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THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 11TH JANUARY, 2016

 

REFERENCE FROM PLANNING COMMITTEE: 17TH DECEMBER, 2015

 

"                NEW DRAFT SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE - AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND PLANNING OBLIGATIONS (REF) -

 

Approval was sought for the new Draft Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) which was attached at Appendix 1 to the report and new Draft Planning Obligations SPG which was attached at Appendix 2 to the report, to be submitted as evidence to the Planning Inspectorate as an examination document to the Deposit Local Development Plan (LDP). A further report would be brought to Cabinet on the status of the SPGs following the receipt of the Inspector's Report.

 

On 24 July, 2015 the Council formally submitted its LDP and associated supporting documents to the Planning Inspectorate for Examination in Public (E.I.P). This coincided with a 6 week public consultation on proposed Focused Changes arising from the previous Deposit LDP consultation.

 

In the interim period since submission of the LDP, the Council had produced a new Local Housing Market Assessment (LHMA 2015) which provided an updated picture with respect to housing across the Vale of Glamorgan. In light of the new evidence of affordable housing need, the Council had also updated the LDP affordable housing viability evidence to take account of the findings of the LHMA in respect of affordable housing tenures.

 

In response to the Focused Changes Consultation, the Welsh Government had submitted representations in respect of the Council's proposed changes to the LDP, including Policy MG4, which proposed a three tier affordable housing requirement. Within the representations the Welsh Government had requested further clarification on the status of the Council's Draft Affordable Housing SPG, which the Council had referred to in the written justification of the Deposit LDP.

 

In order to address the Welsh Government's representation, officers wished to submit as evidence in support of the LDP the draft affordable housing SPG (attached at Appendix 1 to the report) which clarified how the Council proposed to implement the affordable housing policies set out in the LDP.

 

The Council benefited from an adopted SPG on Planning Obligations which assisted officers when negotiating the terms of legal agreements on these topics and in particular, the likely contributions required for new major development proposals. Since the last update in July 2012 (Cabinet meeting 23/07/12 Minute No. C1785 referred), there had been substantial changes in legislation, the Deposit Local Development Plan had been submitted to the Welsh Government and construction costs had increased. The revised Draft SPG took account of these changes and the most up to date evidence that had been used to inform both the LDP and the Draft SPG.

 

The Draft Planning Obligations SPG was attached at Appendix 2 to the report. The SPG was largely based on the existing SPG which provided a sound basis for seeking planning obligations and was equally applicable to the proposed LDP policies. The main changes to the Planning Obligations SPG were set out in the report.

 

The Head of Regeneration and Planning commented that these documents were for the inspector to consider and were not final. Should the inspector decide to amend them, they would be coming back to Cabinet for information and consideration.

 

The Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety welcomed the report and thanked Officers of the Planning and Housing department for their work on this matter, as she felt the Supplementary Planning Guidance better reflected the varied and diverse rural and urban areas of the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision

 

Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)                T H A T the Draft Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and the Draft Planning Obligations SPG be approved for submission as evidence to the examination in public of the Council's Local Development Plan (LDP).

 

(2)                T H A T the changes to the S106 consultation procedure attached at Appendix 3 to the Draft Planning Obligations SPG be noted and endorsed.

 

(3)                T H A T a further report on any proposed changes to these SPGs be brought back to Cabinet after the Council has received the LDP Inspector's Report.

 

(4)                T H A T the SPGs be approved to be used as material considerations in relevant Development Management decisions with immediate effect.

 

(5)                T H A T the report be referred to Planning Committee for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)                To enable the Council to provide the appointed Planning Inspector additional evidence on how the Council proposes to implement the Affordable Housing and Planning Obligations Policies set out in the Deposit Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan.

 

(2)                To reflect the recent changes in organisational structure following the creation of the Regeneration and Planning Services within the Resources Directorate.

 

(3)                To allow Cabinet to amend the SPGs to reflect any changes to the relevant LDP policies following the Inspector's Report in due course.

 

(4)                To enable the Draft SPGs to be used for Development Management purposes in the current context where the UDP is time-expired.

 

(5)                To inform Planning Committee of the proposals.

 

- - - - -

 

The Operational Manager for Development Management presented the Cabinet report and and relevant Cabinet Minute, which was tabled at the meeting, following which a discussion took place in relation to the new Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Affordable Housing and Planning Obligations.

 

It was confirmed that the new draft SPGs were specific to the Vale, rather than across Wales.

 

A Member expressed concern that the new Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance for Affordable Housing would stifle economic development and building in the Vale of Glamorgan, and would negatively impact on economic growth in the county. Concern was also expressed that they would be detrimental to small scale developments.

 

The Operational Manager for Development Management advised that the thresholds within the new draft Affordable Housing SPGs were not unique to the Vale and all Authorities had affordable housing policies, with thresholds being lower in rural Authorities. She commented that she did not feel the new draft SPGs would undermine planning in the Vale.

 

A Member expressed the view that the Vale had one of the most buoyant housing markets in Wales and the draft SPGs for Affordable Housing may well balance up the housing demand in the county. Furthermore, there was a severe housing shortage in the Vale and there was a need for affordable housing which the draft SPGs might address. Another Member stated that the authority would need to monitor the SPGs on Affordable Housing to ensure there was no negative impact, however was aware that they were reviewed as a matter of course.

 

A Member expressed the view that they would like to see further evidence in relation to the thresholds for affordable housing in the draft SPGs and required information on what other Welsh Authorities were doing in regard to affordable housing thresholds.

 

Following consideration of the decisions of Cabinet, it was

 

RESOLVED - T H A T the new draft SPGs for Affordable Housing be referred back to Cabinet for further consideration, with further information being provided in relation to affordable housing thresholds with particular regard to what other Welsh Councils' policies are on Affordable Housing thresholds and that Planning Committee be informed of the decision of Cabinet in due course.

 

Reason for decision

 

To address concerns expressed by the Planning Committee in relation to the new draft SPGs on Affordable Housing."

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