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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 7 October, 2013

 

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

 

Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan Deposit Draft Plan 2011 - 2026

 

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 November, 2013.

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 prior to Christmas during November and December 2013 and that any representations received after the close of the consultation period are not accepted and not regarded as duly made.

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

4.         That the Director of Development Services, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, be authorised to make any necessary minor typographical changes and associated amendments to the Deposit Plan proposals and constraints maps as well as the associated background documents.

5.         Following the close of the public consultation on the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal report, and the Habitats Regulation Assessment, the Director of Development Services be authorised to undertake a 6 week public consultation in respect of any alternative sites promoted for development through the Deposit period.

6.         That a further report be presented to Cabinet in 2014 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, the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) and the Community Liaison 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 2013) 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 2013) 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 2013) 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, the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) Committee and the Community Liaison Committee are 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. Cabinet will recall that on 23rd January 2013, the Council resolved not to continue with the Vale of Glamorgan Deposit Draft Plan (2012) which had been the subject of a statutory six week public consultation exercise in spring, 2012.  Instead the Council agreed to prepare a replacement Deposit Plan based on the LDP Draft Strategy which was agreed on 3rd February 2010 (Minute No C392 refers). 

4.         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 is available via: www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp.

5.         Members will recall that I recommended to Cabinet in November last year, that after an in depth consideration of options, a replacement Deposit Local Plan be produced.  In making such a recommendation I was mindful that it was essential that the final adopted LDP contained the right mix of development for the Vale of Glamorgan and that such development be supported by the necessary infrastructure.  I was also mindful of the fact that in my opinion the previous Deposit LDP did not pay sufficient regard to the need for infrastructure to support growth and indeed this was a concern raised by a significant number of people who made representations on the previous Deposit LDP.  Another key concern raised previously was that there was a need to make future consultation as accessible as possible and that update sessions would be planned in advance of formal consultation on the replacement Deposit LDP and this issue is addressed in paragraph 52.

6.         As a result of the Council's decision to prepare a replacement Deposit LDP the Welsh Government approved an amended LDP timetable on 28th June 2013.  The revised timetable shows the Deposit Plan being subject to a statutory six week public consultation in September / October 2013 and shows an indicative adoption date of January 2017.

Relevant Issues and Options

7.         Since the approval of the Draft Strategy in early 2010 and the Council's decision to prepare a Replacement Deposit Plan in January 2013 there have been a number of significant changes to the Deposit Plan.

8.         In October 2010, the UK Government decided not to proceed with the proposed Defence Training College at St. Athan.  Notwithstanding this decision, the UK Government maintain that St. Athan remains a key location for military and associated training activity.   St. Athan to Cardiff Airport has also been designated as an Enterprise Zone, with a particular emphasis on the aerospace sector.  The Deposit Plan fully embraces this designation with St Athan being identified as a suitable area for mixed land uses to include large employment and housing allocations as well as accompanying infrastructure and the Airport being an important transport hub together with it being an opportunity for inward business investment (Strategic Policy SP 2 refers).

9.         There have also 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 parts of the 2011 Census and data on births, deaths and migration.  The Deposit Plan has taken on board this new information, with additional objectives and refinement of the Strategic Policies to ensure compliance with the latest planning guidance and to reflect the Council’s own aspirations for managing development during the Plan period.

10.      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 derived from the 2008 based Welsh Government Local Authority projections.  This figure has also considered the statistics that have been released for the 2011 Census as well as the latest 2011 population projections.  Full details on this can be found in the Housing Supply Background Paper (2013) at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp.

11.      Perhaps of most significance is the fact that this Deposit Draft Plan comprehensively identifies and allocates land for the services and facilities that will be needed to support the additional residential and employment growth to 2026.  This Deposit Plan contains significantly more detail and evidence than its predecessor on where new educational facilities (Policy MG 6), new Community Facilities (Policy MG 7), new health facilities (Policy MG 8), new transport proposals (Policies SP 7 and MG 16) and new open space allocations (Policy MG 25) are required as a result of the additional housing and employment allocations.

Deposit Plan Structure

12.      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 Growth in the Vale of Glamorgan

·           Managing Development In the Vale of Glamorgan

·           Delivery and Implementation

·           Measuring Success

·           Appendices

·           Proposals Map

·           Constraints Map

·           All Members have been provided with a copy of the Plan and the accompanying Proposals and Constraints maps.  All background and supporting documents are available on the following web link: www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp  or on request a CD can be provided.

 

Introduction

13.      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

14.      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), the Wales Spatial Plan (2008 update) and the City Regions Report (2012)

The Spatial Profile in the Vale of Glamorgan

15.      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

16.      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.  The Council has previously 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

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

18.      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.

19.      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.  This section also explains how the LDP seeks to minimise risk to the delivery of the strategy, 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.

20.      Eleven Strategic policies have also been developed which cover a variety of key issues including delivering the Strategy, the allocation of strategic sites, the residential requirement, affordable housing provision, employment requirements, retail, transportation, sustainable waste management, minerals, built and natural environment, tourism and leisure.

Managing Growth and Managing Development

21.      Both the Managing Growth and Managing Development 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.

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, gypsy and travellers, special landscape areas and green wedges. There is a strong emphasis in this Section on ensuring that additional residential and employment allocations have the necessary accompanying services and facilities through the allocation of appropriate areas of land for new educational, health, transport, open space and community facilities.

23.      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 including the historic environment, maintaining and enhancing biodiversity, renewable energy and community infrastructure and planning obligations.

Delivery and Implementation

24.      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.

Measuring Success

25.      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

26.      The appendices contain supporting information to the main body of the Plan and are referenced throughout the main document as appropriate.  There is a useful Glossary of Terms and also a full list of supporting/ background papers that have been prepared as part of the LDP process.  Copies of all supporting documents are available on the Council's web site www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp  or on request a CD can be provided.  These supporting/ background  papers include topics such as population projections, housing supply, affordable housing, employment land, minerals waste and flooding. 

Proposals Map

27.      The Proposals Map shows the geographical location and extent of the site specific development and protection policies that are designated within the Deposit Plan.  Each Member has been given a copy of the Proposals Map and it can also be viewed on the following web link: www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp  

Constraints Map

28.      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.  Each member has been given a copy of the Constraints Map and it can also be viewed on the following web link www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp.  

General

29.      Authority is sought for the Director of Development Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, 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

30.      In terms of housing, the Deposit Plan will allocate land for the provision of 10450 (9950 plus a reserve site of 500 units) new dwellings over the Plan period. The 9950 dwellings would comprise allocations of 7329 dwellings on 45 sites, plus the reserve housing site of 500 units.  The remainder of the dwellings would be provided by the development of sites with extant planning permissions (175 at April 2011), and by the development of unallocated windfall sites (2448 dwellings).  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

31.      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.  Development outside of these identified settlement boundaries will only be permitted where it consists of either small-scale rounding off of the settlement or for affordable housing which responds appropriately to its local context.  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

32.      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 4 refers), promoting the re-use / rehabilitation of existing older housing stock and through the implementation of a 'rural exceptions’ policy (policy MD 6 refers).

Employment

33.      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 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 land on a range of sites throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.

Transportation

34.      The Deposit LDP favours a large number of 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, several bus prioritisation improvements, as well as identifying the electrification of the Vale of Glamorgan Railway Line.  A new Barry Island Link Road is proposed as part of the Barry Waterfront development proposals which will help to reinforce existing links. Further proposals include a northern access road in connection with employment and residential proposals at St Athan, as well as a new road link between the A48 and Llantwit Major Road as part of a residential allocation at Cowbridge and road improvements to the Cross Common junction Dinas Powys and to the north of the A48 at Bonvilston.  The Deposit Plan also recognises the need for improvements on Five Mile Lane and the B4265 at Gileston Old Mill in order to facilitate access to the St. Athan to Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone.

Retail

35.      The Deposit Plan allocates land for convenience retail development at the Barry Waterfront strategic site. 

Waste Management

36.      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.

Minerals

37.      The Deposit Plan seeks to provide for a continuous supply of Minerals throughout the Plan period.  It also provides a Policy to consider proposals during the Plan period for the extraction of Minerals as well as outlining how applications for the exploration of shale gas will be considered.

Tourism

38.      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.  In addition to further enhance the offer of quality bed spaces in the Vale, land is allocated at Cottrell Park Golf Course for a major new hotel and luxury Spa.

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

39.      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).

40.      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 is available at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report

41.      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 Sustainability Appraisal Report, which tests the LDP Deposit Plan against the Sustainability Appraisal framework and which built upon the previous assessment work of the 2012 Deposit Plan, and has concluded that the Deposit Plan is a more sustainable Plan than its predecessor.  A copy of the SA Report is available at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp

Next stage

42.      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 2013) shows that the public consultation was to have taken place during September and October 2013.  However, it is envisaged that the Deposit Plan consultation will commence in early November 2013 and continue into December 2013.  It is imperative that the six week consultation period closes before the Christmas break to allow a clear, uninterrupted six week period.  As a consequence it is envisaged that consultation will commence during the first full week of November and current indications suggest that consultation will commence on the 8th November.  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.

43.      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.

44.      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 practicable 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 consultation on the "alternative sites" stage will be undertaken during 2014, with the specific date being confirmed nearer the time.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

45.      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)

46.      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 set out the Council's proposals to meet the requirements of legislation.

Crime and Disorder Implications

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

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

48.      The Adopted 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.  The Strategic Equalities Plan, Consultation Directory will be used to advise equality groups of the Plan.

Corporate/Service Objectives

49.      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

50.      The production of a Local Development Plan is a matter for Full Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

51.      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. 

52.      In order to assist the public with understanding what is a very complex and legal process, informal drop in question and answer sessions are being held in Barry, Penarth, Cowbridge, Llantwit Major and St Athan whilst the Deposit Plan is being considered by Members.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

53.      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

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 2013)

Vale of Glamorgan LDP Sustainability Appraisal

Vale of Glamorgan Draft Preferred Strategy (December 2007)

Vale of Glamorgan LDP Background Papers and Supporting Documents as listed in the LDP appendix

 

Contact Officer

Emma Reed - Operational Manager, Development Services Tel: 01446 704673

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal - Committee Reports

Senior Accountant

All Directors and Heads of Service

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services.

 

 

 

 

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