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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 9 September 2013

 

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

 

Welsh Government Consultation:
Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         The purpose of the report is to advise Cabinet of the Welsh Government’s recent consultation on ‘Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23  Economic Development’ and to seek approval of the report as the Council’s formal response to the consultation.

Recommendations

1.         That subject to consideration by Cabinet, this report is endorsed as the Council’s formal response to the Welsh Government consultation on ‘Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development’.

2.         That the report be referred to Planning Committee and Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To obtain Cabinet's endorsement of the response submitted to the consultation on ‘Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23  Economic Development’

2.         To advise Planning Committee and the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee of the recent public consultation.

 

Background

2.         Planning Policy Wales (PPW) sets the context for sustainable land use planning policy within which Local Authorities' statutory Local Development Plans (LDPs) are prepared and development control decisions on individual planning applications and appeals are made. PPW is supplemented by a suite of topic based Technical Advice Notes (TANs) and procedural guidance is contained within circulars and policy clarification letters.

 

3.         It is important that planning policy continues to evolve to accommodate changing circumstances. Accordingly, the Welsh Government (WG) continually monitors PPW and TANs in relation to their objectives for Wales and when necessary, publishes updated national planning guidance.

4.         Members may recall a previous report of the 17th December 2012, advising them of the publication in November 2012 of Edition 5 of PPW, including a revision of Chapter 7 'Economic Development'. This set out how the planning system should aim to support and promote economic and employment growth alongside social and environmental considerations for local planning authorities plan for the whole economy, requiring the establishment of an up to date evidence base, and the development of a comprehensive understanding of local and wider regional economies.

5.         The draft TAN seeks to provide detailed advice to expand on the economic development policies set out in Chapter 7 of PPW, and once finalised will support PPW Chapter 7 and provide policy implementation advice for local planning authorities.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         The main proposals which are being consulted on are, are summarised below, and the proposed response to the consultation is at Appendix A.

7.         PPW requires local planning authorities to provide robust evidence to inform the preparation of their development plans. The TAN proposes that the structure of this evidence base is made up of a broad overview of the whole economy to inform an economic vision for the plan, and a closer analysis of B class uses to inform detailed policy. This evidence should be provided firstly by a regional study and then by a local study incorporating an Employment Land Review. Detailed advice about the content of Employment Land Reviews will be provided in a separate practice guide, which will be consulted on later in the year.

8.         Planning Policy Wales states that local planning authorities should work together to provide evidence in support of their development plans. The TAN proposes that a development plan’s economic vision should place an authority in its wider regional /sub regional context. To achieve this, authorities should seek to work with neighbouring authorities in regional groups. These groups could be based on existing structures, such as the South East Wales Strategic Planning Group (SEWSPG) and South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA), travel to work areas and housing market areas. Regional groups should undertake an analysis of the dynamics of the commercial and industrial property markets, and prepare future economic scenarios based on past trends identifying employment change by sector and land use. If envisaged growth at a local level differs from the scenarios, local authorities should justify these differences. Resultant evidence bases will inform mutually consistent economic visions across authorities within the regional group.

9.         The TAN requires local planning authorities to assess the economic benefit associated with allocating sites and determining planning applications for economic development. Where a planning authority is considering a site allocation or planning permission that could cause harm to social and environmental objectives, the TAN proposes an approach which poses three questions that should be asked. Are there alternative sites for the proposal? How many direct jobs will result from the proposal? Would such a development make a special contribution to policy objectives?

10.      In identifying new sites, the TAN introduces the application of the sequential test, as is currently required within PPW for new retail proposals. The first preference should be given to sites within the boundaries of settlements (including planned new settlements and urban extensions), second preference to edge-of-settlement sites, and the third preference, to identifying land in the open countryside. Land may be identified in less preferable locations if the resulting benefits outweigh any unacceptable impacts of the development.

11.      Sites should not be identified if there is little prospect of future development. Sites already identified for employment but with no reasonable prospect of being used or reused should be re-allocated or de-allocated. The TAN sets out the criteria by which local planning authorities should consider proposals to release existing B1-B8 employment sites for other uses.

12.      In preparing Local Development Plans the TAN identifies a list of stakeholders who may provide an insight into local economic activity for which the local planning authority should engage with. The economic evidence base for LDP's should consider different economic scenarios so as to allow for LDPs to respond to changing circumstances. In all cases the TAN indicates that the level of growth envisaged within a local authorities LDP must be realistic, able to withstand scrutiny and be consistent with the other aspirations of the plan including population and housing projections.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.      Whilst there is no resource implications imposed at this stage, there could be an increased requirement of resources as a result of the need to produce regional economic development studies, which costs if any would be subject to a further report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.      None arising from this report.

 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.      Once formalised, TAN 23 Economic Development will inform Local Planning Authorities in the preparation of their Local Development Plans, supplementary planning guidance and development briefs.  It will also be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and appeals.

Crime and Disorder Implications

16.      None at this stage

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

17.      None at this stage

Corporate/Service Objectives

18.      The Council's Corporate Plan Key Outcome for Regeneration is that "the Vale of Glamorgan has a thriving economy supporting cohesive sustainable communities". The proposed draft TAN 23 will assist the Council in meeting this outcome through the planning system.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.      This report is a matter for Executive Decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.      No ward Member consultation has been undertaken as the report has implications for the Vale of Glamorgan as a whole rather than specific wards.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.      Economy and Environment

Background Papers

Planning Policy Wales 5th Edition (November 2012)

Draft Technical Advice Note 23 Economic Development

 

Contact Officer

Andrew Wallace – Tel: 01446 704670

 

Officers Consulted

Senior Lawyer

Principal Accountant

Operational Manager - Countryside and Economic Projects

Principal Officer (Business & Employment), Planning and Transportation Services

Principal Regeneration Officer

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services

 

 

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