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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 23rd July 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

 

Amendments to the Supplementary Planning Guidance on Planning Obligations

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To consider proposed amendments to the Supplementary Planning Guidance(SPG) which was originally agreed by Cabinet on 25th March 2009, so that it can reflect the up to date position and can continue to be used for Development Control purposes.

Recommendations

1.             That the Planning Obligations SPG as amended, be approved for development control purposes.

2.             That the report be referred to Planning Committee for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

3.             To provide up to date guidance relating to the use of Planning Obligations in the Vale of Glamorgan for all interested parties.

4.             To advise Planning Committee of the changes to the Planning Obligations SPG.

Background

2.             Members will be aware that the Council has the power to enter into legal agreements with developers under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, to seek facilities, services or contributions from developers to mitigate negative development impacts and facilitate development which might otherwise not occur. These agreements, often referred to as Section 106 agreements, contain clauses known as planning obligations. The most common planning obligations in the Vale of Glamorgan have related to public open space, public art, affordable housing, education and transport.

3.             The Council currently benefits from an adopted SPG on Planning Obligations which greatly assists officers when negotiating the terms of legal agreements on these topics. However, this guidance was first adopted in 2009 and since that time construction costs and education requirements in terms of space provision per pupil have increased.  Furthermore there have been some changes to the Councils guidance in respect of affordable housing.  These changes need to be reflected in the SPG document

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             The current Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Planning Obligations was originally prepared and adopted in March 2009. The SPG contains an introduction to planning obligations and their use in the Vale of Glamorgan, outlines when they are likely to be sought, what they are likely to be sought for and the process to be followed. The SPG also contains a template of a typical Section 106 legal agreement. The SPG has a series of topic specific appendices detailing the Council's approach to particular topics such as affordable housing, public open space and educational facilities and it sets thresholds for when these planning obligations are likely to be sought and what formula will be applied.

5.             The original SPG was approved by Cabinet following consultation with Planning Committee and all the Council’s Scrutiny Committees. The process also included an 8 week public consultation exercise which was undertaken between 7th December 2008 and 30th January 2009, in accordance with the Council’s protocol for consultation on SPG.  However, as the currently proposed amendments only relate to inflation based updates and the correction of text to accord with current Council Policy, it is not considered necessary to undertake a second consultation exercise.

6.             Further to the above, members will note that page 9 of the SPG advises that where topic papers appended to the guidance refer to cost formulae, this was derived on the basis of the costs at that time and will be reviewed to ensure inflationary price  increases are accounted for. 

7.             A number of up-dates are proposed to the SPG at appendix A. The changes include increasing the formulae for provision of education facilities to reflect common practice in the South Wales area, having regard to the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) cost multipliers.  In addition the SPG is recommended to be updated to take account of the Affordable Housing Delivery Statement 2009 (adopted by the Council on 14th October 2009), which updates the requirements for the provisions of affordable housing, and other changes in national planning policies.

8.             The main changes are:

·               Updates to the main body of SPG to reflect current LDP status and changes in legislation, namely the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.

·               Removal of standard heads of terms in Appendices as these have been superseded by practice and are of little value to the guidance.

·               Amend table 1 to provide for a Section 106 threshold for affordable housing to 10 properties or more.

·               In appendix 1, Affordable Housing, at point 2 replace the reference to Vale of Glamorgan Local Housing Market Assessment 2008 (draft) with 2010 LHMA, and Affordable Housing SPG with Vale of Glamorgan Affordable Housing Delivery Statement 2009

·               In appendix 1, replace the references at point 3 from more than 50 dwellings to 10 or more dwellings and reference to the 2010 Housing Market Assessment.

·               In appendix 1 replace the references at point 4 from more than 50 dwellings to 10 or more dwellings.

·               In Appendix 3, update the formulae for calculating education facilities contributions in line with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) cost multipliers.

9.             The SPG is attached at Appendix A with the proposed changes inserted in tracked changes for clarity.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

10.        The planning obligations sought through Section 106 legal agreements are an important mechanism to mitigate against the impacts of new developments and provide facilities to serve new and existing communities in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11.        The planning obligations system is covered by Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Crime and Disorder Implications

12.        None arising out of this report, although planning obligations can be related to crime and disorder matters given that such matters are material considerations

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

13.        None arising out of this report, although S106 planning obligations can mitigate the impact of new development, and the provision of new facilities and infrastructure can promote equality of opportunity and access to facilities.

Corporate/Service Objectives

14.        The contributions paid by developers under the planning obligations system have a wide impact on many of the Council’s functions including education, community facilities, highways and public transport.

Policy Framework and Budget

15.        This report is a matter for Executive Decision by the Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

16.        No Ward Member consultation has been undertaken on the specific report as the report has implications for the Vale as a whole rather than specific wards. 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

17.        Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

Community Infrastructure Regulations 2010

Welsh Office Circular 13/97 (Planning Obligations)

Planning Policy Wales (2002) & Technical Advice Notes

The Vale of Glamorgan Adopted Unitary Development Plan 1996-2011 (UDP)

'Section 106: Guidance on the Use of Planning Obligations for Welsh Local Authorities' Planning Officers Society for Wales (2008) sponsored by WAG.

Unitary Development Plans Wales (2001) / Local Development Plans Wales (2005)

 

Contact Officer

Contact Officer – Victoria Robinson

Tel: 01446 704662

 

Officers Consulted

Legal Services - Committee Reports

Director of Finance, ICT and Property

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services - 01446 704630.

 

 

 

 

 

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