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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 4th January, 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation

 

Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan: Deposit Plan

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to consider and approve the Deposit Plan as a basis for a statutory six week public consultation exercise commencing in February, 2012.

 

Recommendations

1.             That the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal Report and the Habitats Regulation Assessment be approved for public consultation purposes.

2.             That a six week public consultation on the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal Report and the Habitats Regulation Assessment takes place during February and March 2012 and that any representations received after the close of the consultation period are not accepted and not regarded as duly made.

3.             That the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, in consultation with the Director of Economic and Environmental Regeneration be authorised to agree the arrangements for the public consultation exercise.

4.             That the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation, be authorised in consultation with the Director of Economic and Environmental Regeneration to agree the final format of and any necessary minor typographical changes and associated amendments to the Deposit Plan proposals and constraints maps.

5.             Following the close of the consultation on the Deposit Plan the Sustainability Appraisal report, and the Habitats Regulation Assessment, the Director of Economic and Environmental Regeneration be authorised to undertake a 6 week public consultation in respect of the Alternative Sites promoted for development through the Deposit period.

6.             That a further report be presented to Cabinet later in 2012 on the representations received to the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal Report, the Habitats Regulation Assessment and the alternative sites promoted through the Deposit period.

7.             That the Planning Committee and the Economy and Environment Committee be consulted on the Deposit Plan

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure that the LDP is prepared in accordance with the LDP Delivery Agreement (June 2011) and to satisfy the requirements of the LDP Regulations.

2.             To ensure that the LDP is prepared in accordance with the LDP Delivery Agreement (June 2011) and to satisfy the requirements of the LDP Regulations.

3.             To facilitate the preparation of the Vale of Glamorgan LDP.

4.             To facilitate the preparation and accuracy of the Vale of Glamorgan LDP.

5.             To ensure that the LDP is prepared in accordance with the LDP Delivery Agreement (June 2011) and to satisfy the requirements of the LDP Regulations.

6.             To ensure that Cabinet are kept informed of progress on this matter.

7.             To ensure members of the Planning Committee and Economy and Environment Committee are properly consulted

 

Background

2.             Cabinet will be aware that Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 places a duty on each local authority in Wales to prepare a Local Development Plan (LDP). The Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005 prescribe the form and content of the LDP and make provision for the procedure to be followed in its preparation.

3.             The Deposit Plan provides a sustainable land use framework to guide the growth and ensure the environmental protection of the Vale of Glamorgan over the fifteen year period from 2011 to 2026. Following adoption, the LDP will be used to guide and control development and investment within the authority, providing a basis for consistent and appropriate decision making.

4.             Cabinet will recall my report to the meeting of 25th March 2009, which summarised the main issues raised during the pre-deposit consultation on the Draft Preferred Strategy 2007 and the Initial Sustainability Appraisal Report 2007. Cabinet endorsed the Council’s responses to the representations and agreed that the Draft Preferred Strategy be endorsed and used as a basis for the preparation of the Deposit Plan (Minute No. C392 refers).

5.             However, following the receipt of a High Court Challenge in respect of the decision on the 25th March 2009, Cabinet reconsidered the matter afresh on 3rd February 2010 and again agreed that the Draft Preferred Strategy be endorsed and used as a basis for the preparation of the Deposit Plan (Minute No. C756 refers). It should be noted that the LDP Regulations require the Local Planning Authority to prepare an ‘initial consultation report’ detailing the results of the Draft Preferred Strategy consultation and this document will be made available alongside the Deposit Plan during the public consultation period.  That Consultation report will be a summary of the main issues raised as a result of the consultation undertaken on the Draft Preferred Strategy, and reflects the details provided in the report to Cabinet on 3rd February 2010.  A copy of the Initial Consultation report has been made available in the Members Room.

6.             Cabinet will also recall my report to the meeting of 8th June 2011, which outlined the work that needed to be completed prior to the Deposit stage and referred to the need to amend the LDP Delivery Agreement timetable. The Welsh Government subsequently approved the amended LDP timetable on 15th July 2011, but removed the 4 month slippage permitted in previous versions of the Delivery Agreement. The revised timetable shows the Deposit Plan being subject to a statutory six week public consultation in December 2011 / January 2012 and shows an indicative adoption date of January 2014.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

7.             Since the Draft Preferred Strategy was endorsed by Cabinet in February 2010, there have been a number of new issues which officers needed to take into account when drafting the Deposit Plan.

8.             First, as Cabinet are aware, in October 2010, the UK Government decided not to progress with the Defence Training College proposal at St. Athan. Notwithstanding this decision, the UK Government maintain that St. Athan remains a key location for military and associated training activity. In addition, in September 2011, St. Athan was designated as an Enterprise Zone, with a particular emphasis on the aerospace sector. The Deposit Plan embraces this new designation with St Athan continuing to be identified as a Strategic Opportunity Area (Strategic Policy 2 refers).

9.             Second, the regional role of the Airport in respect of it being an important transport hub together with it being an opportunity for inward business investment has been more fully recognised, in the Strategy itself, and also through Strategic Policy 5.  In addition, recent discussion with the Welsh Government have confirmed that land adjacent to the Airport is likely be designated as part of the St Athan an Enterprise Zone.

10.        Third, there have been extensive developments in national and regional policy, as well as progressive initiatives on topics such as climate change, design, sustainable development and affordable housing. There have also been additional statistics published in respect of demographics for the Vale of Glamorgan, including new data on births, deaths and migration. The Deposit Plan has taken on board this new information, with additional objectives and refinement of the Strategic Polices to ensure compliance with the latest planning guidance and to reflect the Council’s own aspirations for managing development during the plan period. In particular, Cabinet will wish to note the change to the Housing Requirement Figure (Strategic Policy 3 refers).  The Draft Preferred Strategy (December 2007) identified the need for 7500 dwellings over the Plan period which equated to the Regional Housing Requirement Figure. However, this figure has now increased to 9950 in the Deposit Plan and is derived from the latest 2008 based Welsh Government Local Authority projections and the Mid Year Estimates for 2009 -2010.

 

Deposit Plan Structure

11.        The structure of the Deposit Plan largely reflects the guidance contained within the Welsh Government’s LDP Manual (June 2006) and is as follows:

  • Introduction
  • National, Regional and Local Policy Context
  • The Spatial Profile of the Vale of Glamorgan
  • Vision and Objectives
  • LDP Strategy
  • Managing Development in the Vale of Glamorgan
  • Managing Growth In the Vale of Glamorgan
  • Delivery and Implementation
  • Measuring Success
  • Appendices
  • Proposals Map
  • Constraints Map

A copy of the Deposit Plan has been placed in the Members Room and is also available on the following web link:  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/files/ldp/Deposit_Local_Development_Plan.pdfMembers of the public can inspect a hard copy of this information at Dock Office, Subway Road, Barry.

 

Introduction

12.        The Introduction provides the context for the Deposit Plan. It refers to the legal requirement for each local authority to prepare a LDP and explains its role in guiding and managing future development proposals in the Vale of Glamorgan over the next 15 years. It also outlines the LDP process, the structure of the Plan and refers to the requirement to undertake a combined Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA) at each stage of the LDP process together with an Appropriate Assessment / Habitats Regulation Assessment of the Plan.

National, Regional and Local Policy Context

13.        An important element of the LDP process is to ensure that the Plan has regard to but doesn’t repeat  the policy context provided by a range of local, regional and national plans, strategies and programmes. This section provides a brief summary of the key local, regional and national policy documents which have informed the preparation of the LDP. Examples include the Council’s Community Strategy (2011 – 2021), the Regional Transport Plan (2010) and the Wales Spatial Plan (2008 update). 

Spatial Profile

14.        The Spatial Profile identifies the key social, economic and environmental issues in the Vale of Glamorgan. The issues were identified through the pre-deposit consultation process and the Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Appraisal scoping exercise.

Vision and Objectives

15.        The LDP provides a land use framework which assists in the delivery of the Community Strategy’s Vision and Objectives. The Community Strategy (2011-2021) was developed in partnership with the Local Service Board and has been subject to extensive public consultation. Accordingly, it has previously been agreed to adopt the Community Strategy vision as the overarching vision for the LDP. A set of 10 strategic objectives have been developed which formed the basis for the plan’s policy development. The objectives relate to key issues such as climate change, housing, transport and tourism.

LDP Strategy

16.        The LDP Strategy section builds on the principles established in the Draft Preferred Strategy document (December 2007) and contains a number of important elements.

17.        First the Spatial Strategy seeks to guide future development and the use of land over the plan period. The LDP Strategy seeks to promote development opportunities in the South East Zone, an area that accommodates the main centres of population and urban settlements with a wide range of services and facilities, accessible by various modes of transport. Within the South East Zone, Barry is identified as a key settlement, providing opportunities for sustainable growth with a particular emphasis on the regeneration of Barry Waterfront and Barry Island. St. Athan is identified as a Strategic Opportunity Area, with a focus on investment in and around the existing Military base and the proposed Aerospace Business Park. Likewise, the importance of the Airport as a focus for employment and transport investment is acknowledged.  The Strategy also recognises the need for appropriate levels of growth and development in and around other sustainable settlements such as Rhoose, Llantwit Major and Cowbridge which will support and enhance existing facilities and services as well as the wider rural areas of the Vale of Glamorgan.

18.        The LDP Strategy section goes on to introduce the LDP settlement hierarchy and explains the role of the key settlement, the service centre settlements, primary settlements and minor rural settlements. Specific area objectives have been developed for Barry, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major, Penarth and St. Athan together with objectives for the primary settlements and minor rural settlements. The section also explains how the LDP seeks to minimise risk but recognises that the successful implementation of the Strategy depends on a number of external factors, which are outside the control of the local authority. 

19.        Eleven Strategic policies have also been developed which cover a variety of key issues including the spatial strategy, the allocation of strategic regeneration sites, the residential requirement, affordable housing provision, employment land requirements, retailing, transportation, waste management, minerals, tourism and the built and natural environment. 

Managing Development and Managing Growth

20.        Both the Managing Development and Managing Growth policies are aimed at ensuring that new development in the Vale of Glamorgan contributes towards delivering the LDP vision, objectives and strategy. It should be noted that all of the LDP policies have been developed to reflect local circumstances in order to manage the distinct characteristics of the Vale of Glamorgan and seek to avoid repeating national planning policy and guidance.

21.        The Managing Development section contains a set of area wide policies which are intended to provide a framework for managing development throughout the Vale of Glamorgan. These policies refer to issues such as design and place making, environmental protection, maintaining and enhancing biodiversity, renewable energy and planning obligations.

22.        The Managing Growth policies relate to location specific matters, land allocations and designations and are intended to provide a framework for the management of growth in the Vale of Glamorgan. They refer to matters relating to strategic sites, housing allocations and densities, affordable housing targets, special landscape areas and green wedges.

Delivery and Implementation

23.        This section of the Deposit plan outlines the infrastructure and planning requirements necessary for the effective and timely delivery of all the allocated housing and employment sites. Typically, it identifies any known or potential constraints, phasing requirements and whether there is a need for a development brief to be prepared, in respect of particular sites.

Measuring Success

24.        Following adoption of the LDP, the Council is required to prepare an Annual Monitoring Report which will identify if any policies are not being implemented, the reasons why and suggest suitable amendments to the LDP to address the situation. In addition, a full review of the LDP is required every four years in accordance with LDP Regulation 3 (1). The measuring success section provides a detailed monitoring framework for measuring the effectiveness of the plan and particularly the delivery of the LDP Strategy.

Appendices

25.        The appendices contain supporting information to the main body of the plan and are referenced throughout the main document as appropriate. The appendices also contain a full list of background papers that have been prepared as part of the LDP process.  Copies of all background documents will be available in the Members Room for ease of reference, save for those that are currently available on the Council's web site.  These background papers include topics such as population projections, housing supply, affordable housing, employment land, minerals waste and flooding.  All Background Papers will be available on the Council's web site during the consultation period.

Proposals Map

26.        The Proposals Map shows the geographical location and extent of the site specific development and protection policies that are designated within the Deposit Plan. A copy of the Proposals Map is available in the Members Room and can also be viewed on the following web link: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/files/ldp/Deposit_Local_Development_Plan_Proposals_Map.pdf

Constraints Map

27.        The Constraints Map shows the geographical location and extent of constraints to development that are created by legislation outside the development plan process. For example, it identifies Sites of Special Scientific Interest and areas at risk of flooding.  A copy of the Proposals Map is available in the Members Room and can also be viewed on the following web link:  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/files/ldp/Deposit_Local_Development_Plan_Constraints_Map.pdf

General

28.        Authority is sought for the Director of Economic and Environmental Regeneration in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Planning and Transportation to make any minor typographical changes to the form and content of the Deposit Plan proposals and constraints maps.

Key Policy Issues

Housing

29.        In terms of housing, the Deposit Plan will allocate land for the provision of 10945 new dwellings over the Plan period. In order to ensure the efficient use of land, a minimum density of 30 dwellings per hectare will be required, save for the minor rural settlements where a density of 25 dwellings per hectare will generally apply.

Residential Settlement Boundaries

30.        The Deposit LDP has defined residential settlement boundaries around the key settlement of Barry, the service centre settlements and the primary settlements in order to protect their setting and encourage brown field development opportunities. In these areas, additional development will only be permitted within the residential settlement boundaries subject to detailed considerations. A more flexible approach is applied in the minor rural settlements, where no residential settlement boundaries are identified in order to consider on a case by case basis any future limited and appropriate opportunities for infilling and rounding off.

Affordable Housing

31.        The Local Housing Market Assessment (2010) revealed that a significant proportion of the Vale of Glamorgan’s population is unable to meet their housing needs through the private housing market. In order to help address this issue, the Deposit Plan will expand opportunities to maximise the provision of affordable housing in respect of both social rented and low cost housing for sale. This will be achieved by setting percentage targets for sites (policy MG 5 refers), promoting the re-use / rehabilitation of existing older housing stock and through the implementation of a ‘rural exceptions’ policy (policy MD 8 refers).

Employment

32.        The Deposit LDP provides land for the development of employment allocations of both strategic and local importance. The strategic employment land allocations include the development of 217 hectares of land at the proposed aerospace business park, St. Athan, land to the south of Junction 34 of the M4 near Hensol and land adjacent to Cardiff Airport and Port Road, Rhoose. Local employment allocations include the development of 60.5 hectares of land on a range of sites throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.

Transportation

33.        The Deposit LDP favours sustainable transport improvements that serve the economic, social and environmental needs of the Vale of Glamorgan and promote the objectives of the Regional Transport Plan. In particular, the Plan supports the ongoing implementation of the National Cycle Network Route 88 which generally runs in an east west direction through the Vale of Glamorgan. In addition, a new Barry Island Link Road is proposed as part of the Barry Waterfront development proposals which will help to reinforce existing links. The Deposit Plan also favours the construction of a new rail spur off the existing Vale of Glamorgan railway line which would provide direct rail access into Cardiff Airport.  The rail link will feed into a new transport hub at Cardiff Airport which has the potential to provide enhanced public transport facilities for both the airport and the surrounding area. Finally, the Deposit Plan recognises that there is a need to improve highway safety on Five Mile Lane and the B4265 at Gileston Old Mill in order to facilitate access to the St. Athan Strategic Opportunity area and recently designated Enterprise Zone.

Retail

34.        The Deposit Plan allocates land for convenience retail development at the Barry Waterfront strategic site. In addition, land will be allocated for new retail development in Cowbridge.

Waste Management

35.        The Deposit Plan identifies 3 preferred sites for the development of waste management solutions (to meet the Vale of Glamorgan’s requirements identified in the Regional Waste Plan (2008). New waste management facilities may also be permitted on suitable existing and allocated B2 employment sites in accordance with national planning guidance.

Tourism

36.        The Deposit Plan encourages proposals which seek to promote the Vale of Glamorgan as an all year round tourism and leisure destination, with a particular emphasis on Barry. In rural areas, sustainable tourism is encouraged, in particular rural diversification which helps to support the local economy.

Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) of the Vale of Glamorgan LDP Deposit Plan

37.        In accordance with the EC Habitats Directive, the Council has previously undertaken a screening exercise to establish whether the LDP is likely to have a significant effect on European sites of nature conservation importance.  The Vale of Glamorgan contains the Dunraven Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and its boundary forms part of the Severn Estuary Special Protection Areas (SPA).  Other European Sites that could potentially be affected by the LDP within adjacent local authority areas and which are considered in this report and Kenfig (SAC) Cefn Cribwr Grasslands (SAC), Blackmill Woodlands (SAC) and Cardiff Beech Woods (SAC).

38.        The report concludes the likely significant impacts could result from the LDP and therefore Appropriate Assessment (AA) is required in this instance, and this has been incorporated within the HRA work.  A copy of the HRA has been placed in the Members Room and is also available on the following web link:  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/files/ldp/Habitats_Regulations_Assessment_A_A_Report.pdf

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report

39.        Although the SA/SEA and LDP preparation are separate processes, it is essential that they are well integrated.  The SA/SEA process needs to inform the LDP process to ensure that the adopted LDP is one that promotes sustainable development.  ODPM/WG guidance (2005) states that the SA/SEA process is an iterative one that needs to guide the development of the LDP.  In accordance with the guidance, the Council has prepared a Sustainable Appraisal Report, which tests the LDP Deposit Plan against the Sustainability Appraisal framework.  A copy of the SA Report has been placed in the Members Room and is also available on the following link:  http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/files/ldp/Sustainability_Appraisal_Report.pdf

Next stage

40.        When the Council consults on the Deposit Plan, it must advertise the consultation in accordance with the LDP Regulations and notify those parties identified in the Community Involvement Scheme (including statutory consultees), allowing six weeks for representations to be made. The approved Delivery Agreement (June 2011) shows that the public consultation was to have taken place during December 2011 and January 2012. However, it is envisaged that the Deposit Plan consultation will commence in early February 2012. The consultation will include communication with all those individuals and organisations that are included within the Council's LDP data base, placing copies of the Deposit Plan on the Council's web site and at Deposit locations and issuing press releases relating to the same.  In addition it is proposed to undertake various staffed exhibitions across the Vale of Glamorgan.

41.        Those making representations on the Deposit Plan will be encouraged to do so on a standard form, setting out clearly any supporting representation or objection. Objectors will also be required to indicate what test(s) of soundness the Plan is considered to fail, and indicate what changes to the Plan are sought. This information will inform the Inspector’s consideration of the soundness of the LDP, including implications for the sustainability appraisal.

42.        All representations received by the Council that seek to change the Deposit Plan by adding a new site, or by altering or deleting a proposed site, must be advertised by the Council as soon as reasonably practical after the end of the six week consultation period, allowing a further six week period for representations to be made on them. It is envisaged that this will be undertaken during mid 2012, with the specific date being confirmed nearer the time.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

43.        The LDP is being undertaken by officers within the Planning and Transportation Division within existing budgets.  External technical assistance where necessary has been sought.  This has all been within budget.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

44.        The Council's statutory duties under the new LDP system are contained in Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005.  This report has been prepared to meet the requirements of the Act.

Crime and Disorder Implications

45.        The Deposit Plan contains policies which seek to create accessible and safe built environments.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

46.        The LDP will have a bilingual cover and introduction section.  The consultation documentation relating to the Deposit Plan will be made available in both English and Welsh.

Corporate/Service Objectives

47.        One of the service objectives for Planning and Transportation is "to develop a sustainable land use planning and transportation framework for the Vale of Glamorgan."  The preparation and adoption of the LDP is key to meeting this objective.  The adoption of the LDP for the Vale of Glamorgan will be one of the main service targets for the Planning and Transportation Division over the next few years.

Policy Framework and Budget

48.        This production of a Local Development Plan is a matter for Full Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

49.        No specific consultation with Ward Members has been undertaken given that the matter will be reported to Cabinet, Planning Committee, Scrutiny (Economy and Environment) and Council.  It should be noted that the statutory consultation time frames for the LDP are set out in the relevant national legislation and compliance with these must be achieved.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

50.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004

The Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005

The Local Development Plan Manual (June 2006)

Local Development Plans Wales (December 2005)

Wales Spatial Plan (2008 update)

Planning Policy Wales (4th Edition 2011)

Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2004

The Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) Regulations 1994

ODPM  / WAG (2005) Practical Guide to the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive

The Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan Delivery Agreement (June 2011)

Vale of Glamorgan LDP Sustainability Appraisal

Vale of Glamorgan Draft Preferred Strategy (December 2007)

Vale of Glamorgan LDP Background Papers (as listed in LDP Appendix)

 

Contact Officer

Rob Thomas - Head of Planning and Transportation: Tel: 01446 704630

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal - Committee Reports

Senior Accountant

All Heads of Service

Operational Manager Development Control

Operational Manager Countryside and Economic Projects

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Quick - Director of Environmental and Economic Regeneration.