Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 1 December, 2014
Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation
Local Development Plan Process Review Consultation
Purpose of the Report
1. To advise Cabinet of the Welsh Government's (WG) consultation concerning a review of the Local Development Plan (LDP) process and to seek Cabinet's agreement to the Council's response to the consultation.
1. That Cabinet agree and forward to the Welsh Government before 2nd January 2015 the response to the Local Development Plan Process Review Consultation as attached at Appendix 1 to this Report.
2. That Cabinet receive a further report when the changes to the Local Development Plan System are implemented.
3. That this Report is referred to Planning Committee for information purposes.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To enable the Council's response to the Welsh Government's Local Development Plan Process Review Consultation to be submitted by the Closing Date of 2nd January 2015.
2. To advise Cabinet when any changes are made to the Local Development Plan System in Wales.
3. To advise Planning Committee of the proposed changes to the Local Development System in Wales.
2. The WG has consulted the Council on changes it proposes to make to the LDP system in Wales. Full details of the changes can be found at: http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/planning/local-development-plans-process-review/?lang=en
3. The changes are separate to the current consultations in respect of the Planning (Wales) Bill and only affect changes to Guidance and Regulations. No changes as a result of this Consultation are proposed to primary legislation.
4. Cabinet will be aware that the Council is now at an advanced stage of preparing its own LDP and a report outlining responses made to the Council's Deposit LDP and to the Alternative Site process will be presented to Cabinet for consideration in spring 2015. The LDP will then be submitted to the WG in early summer 2015 to enable an Examination in Public to be held in which an Inspector will ascertain whether the Plan is "Sound". Currently the Plan is due to be formally adopted in late 2016. Full details of the Council's LDP can be found at: http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp
Relevant Issues and Options
5. Attached at Appendix 1 to this Report is the Council's proposed response to the WG's Consultation on the LDP Process Review.
6. The changes proposed by this Consultation are the main outcomes from a Local Development Plan refinement process which reported in 2013. This exercise and the subsequent report involved the experience (good and bad) to date of local authorities and other interested parties of the Local Development Plan process in Wales. That report can be found http://wales.gov.uk/topics/planning/policy/guidanceandleaflets/ldp-process-refinement-report/?lang=en.
7. The main matters proposed for review by the Consultation are as follows:
(a) to increase and improve front-loading of the LDP process, with a more integrated approach to incorporating sustainability appraisal / strategic environmental assessment fully into LDP preparation, a more informative Preferred Strategy and a requirement for sites being brought forward at the early stages of the process negating the need for the resource intensive and extremely confusing â€˜Alternative Site’ stage;
(b) to reduce the required stages for LDP plan revision, by introducing a shorter procedure for making partial revisions to an adopted LDP where the issues involved are not of sufficient significance to warrant the full procedure;
(c) to amend the LDP soundness tests to make them clearer and simpler and
(d) to provide greater clarity in relation to the LDP's evidence base, deliverability, monitoring and review.
8. The Consultation also proposes a number of other changes specifically relating to the LDP Regulations. These include checking the LDP has proper regard to the resources available or likely to be available to deliver the policies and proposals set out in the LDP and the removal of the requirement to â€œgive notice by local advertisement" of the LDP.
9. A section on transitional arrangements in the revised Regulations will ensure that no organisation is disadvantaged by the changes proposed.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
10. There are currently no direct resource implications as a result of this Consultation for the Council. The preparation of the response to this Consultation has been undertaken within current LDP resources.
11. It is anticipated that the proposed Consultation changes will speed up the LDP process and mean that LDPs will be produced more quickly. There will be a few minor savings for the production of future LDPs or LDP reviews for the Council in terms of less advertising costs for LDP proposals in newspapers. It is also hoped that the removal of the Alternative Site LDP Stage would reduce the cost of producing or reviewing an LDP for the Council.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
12. This Consultation has no direct implications for sustainability and climate change. The Council's Deposit LDP aims to have sustainability embedded in its preparation. This is achieved through an ongoing, iterative Sustainability appraisal of the Plan and in particular of its Policies and Proposals.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
13. The Changes proposed by the Consultation do not alter the current Primary Legislation which deals with LDP preparation. However the Changes do amend existing LDP Guidance and Regulations and will therefore have to be taken into account if approved in the preparation or review of another LDP for the Vale of Glamorgan.
Crime and Disorder Implications
14. This Consultation has no direct implications for Crime and Disorder matters. The Council's Deposit LDP considers the impact of its Policies and Proposals on Crime and Disorder matters and where feasible mitigates against them.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
15. The concept of equal opportunities is a fundamental principle that underlies all of the Council's policies. An equality impact assessment was undertaken on the Deposit Vale of Glamorgan LDP. This ensured that equal opportunities were considered as part of the preparation of the LDP. Further LDPs or LDP reviews would do the same.
16. The LDP is one of the Council's main Delivery Plans and its adoption is recognised as being key to delivering many major development and regeneration schemes in the Vale to 2026.
Policy Framework and Budget
17. This report is a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
18. Ward Members have not been consulted on this report as it affects all Wards.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
19. Economy and Environment
Appendix 1: Consultation Response to the WG's LDP Process Review WG23293
Emma Reed Operational Manager Development Services (01446) 704673
Committee Reports Legal
Finance Support Officer
Operational Manager Development Management
Rob Thomas Director Development Services