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Agenda Item No. 5

 

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

COMMUNITY LIASON COMMITTEE: 16 OCTOBER 2013

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET:    7 OCTOBER 2013

 

C2044              VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN DEPOSIT DRAFT PLAN 2011 - 2026 (RIPT) (SCRUTINY – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) –

 

Approval was sought for the Vale of Glamorgan Local Deposit Plan to be a basis for a statutory six week public consultation exercise commencing in November, 2013.

 

Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 placed 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 prescribed the form and content of the LDP and made provision for the procedure to be followed in its preparation.

 

The Deposit Plan provided 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 would be used to guide and control development and investment within the authority, providing a basis for consistent and appropriate decision making.

 

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 would be made available alongside the Deposit Plan during the public consultation period.  That Consultation report would be a summary of the main issues raised as a result of the consultation undertaken on the Draft Preferred Strategy, and reflected the details provided in the report to Cabinet on 3rd February 2010.  A copy of the Initial Consultation report was available via: www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp.

 

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 showed the Deposit Plan being subject to a statutory six week public consultation in September / October 2013 and showed an indicative adoption date of January 2017.

 

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 had been a number of significant changes to the Deposit Plan.

 

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 maintained that St. Athan remained a key location for military and associated training activity.   St. Athan to Cardiff Airport had also been designated as an Enterprise Zone, with a particular emphasis on the aerospace sector.  The Deposit Plan fully embraced 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).

 

There had 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 had 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 had 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.

 

In particular, 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 had now increased to 9950 in the Deposit Plan derived from the 2008 based Welsh Government Local Authority projections.  This figure had also considered the statistics that had been released for the 2011 Census as well as the latest 2011 population projections.  Full details on this could be found in the Housing Supply Background Paper (2013) at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp.

 

Perhaps of most significance was the fact that this Deposit Draft Plan comprehensively identified and allocated land for the services and facilities that would be needed to support the additional residential and employment growth to 2026.  This Deposit Plan contained 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) were required as a result of the additional housing and employment allocations.

 

Deposit Plan Structure

The structure of the Deposit Plan largely reflected the guidance contained within the Welsh Government’s LDP Manual (June 2006) and was 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

 

Housing

In terms of housing, the Deposit Plan would 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 would be required, save for the minor rural settlements where a density of 25 dwellings per hectare would generally apply.

 

Residential Settlement Boundaries

The Deposit LDP had 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 would only be permitted where it consisted of either small-scale rounding off of the settlement or for affordable housing which responded appropriately to its local context.  A more flexible approach was applied in the minor rural settlements, where no residential settlement boundaries were identified in order to consider on a case by case basis any future limited and appropriate opportunities for infilling and rounding off.

 

Affordable Housing

The Local Housing Market Assessment (2010) revealed that a significant proportion of the Vale of Glamorgan’s population was unable to meet their housing needs through the private housing market.  In order to help address this issue, the Deposit Plan would expand opportunities to maximise the provision of affordable housing in respect of both social rented and low cost housing for sale.  This would 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

The Deposit LDP provided land for the development of employment allocations of both strategic and local importance.  The strategic employment land allocations included 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 included the development of land on a range of sites throughout the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Transportation

The Deposit LDP favoured a large number of transport improvements that serve the economic, social and environmental needs of the Vale of Glamorgan and promoted the objectives of the Regional Transport Plan.  In particular, the Plan supported the ongoing implementation of the National Cycle Network Route 88 which generally ran 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 was proposed as part of the Barry Waterfront development proposals which would help to reinforce existing links. Further proposals included 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 recognised 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

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

 

Waste Management

The Deposit Plan identified 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

The Deposit Plan sought to provide for a continuous supply of Minerals throughout the Plan period.  It also provided 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 would be considered.

 

Tourism

The Deposit Plan encouraged proposals which sought 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 was encouraged, in particular rural diversification which helped to support the local economy.  In addition to further enhance the offer of quality bed spaces in the Vale, land was 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

In accordance with the EC Habitats Directive, the Council had previously undertaken a screening exercise to establish whether the LDP was likely to have a significant effect on European sites of nature conservation importance.  The Vale of Glamorgan contained the Dunraven Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and its boundary formed 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 were considered in this report and Kenfig (SAC) Cefn Cribwr Grasslands (SAC), Blackmill Woodlands (SAC) and Cardiff Beech Woods (SAC).

 

Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report

Although the SA/SEA and LDP preparation were separate processes, it was essential that they were well integrated.  The SA/SEA process needed to inform the LDP process to ensure that the adopted LDP was one that promoteed sustainable development.  ODPM/WG guidance (2005) stated that the SA/SEA process was an iterative one that needed to guide the development of the LDP.  In accordance with the guidance, the Council had prepared a Sustainability Appraisal Report, which tested the LDP Deposit Plan against the Sustainability Appraisal framework and which built upon the previous assessment work of the 2012 Deposit Plan, and had concluded that the Deposit Plan was a more sustainable Plan than its predecessor.  A copy of the SA Report was available at www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/ldp

 

Next stage

When the Council consulted 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) showed that the public consultation was to have taken place during September and October 2013.  However, it was envisaged that the Deposit Plan consultation would commence in early November 2013 and continue into December 2013.  It was imperative that the six week consultation period closes before the Christmas break to allow a clear, uninterrupted six week period.  As a consequence it was envisaged that consultation would commence during the first full week of November and current indications suggested that consultation would commence on the 8th November, 2013.  The consultation would include communication with all those individuals and organisations that were 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 was proposed to undertake various staffed exhibitions across the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

Those making representations on the Deposit Plan would be encouraged to do so on a standard form, setting out clearly any supporting representation or objection. Objectors would also be required to indicate what test(s) of soundness the Plan was considered to fail, and indicated what changes to the Plan were sought.  This information would inform the Inspector’s consideration of the soundness of the LDP, including implications for the sustainability appraisal.

 

All representations received by the Council that sought 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 was envisaged that this consultation on the "alternative sites" stage would be undertaken during 2014, with the specific date being confirmed nearer the time.

 

At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, explained that she was extremely pleased in bringing this report forward.

 

The Director of Development Services commented that there would be a statutory consultation period of six weeks held between November and December 2013. He further commented that the consultation period could not be more or less than the statutory six weeks and due to the specific regulations any comments made before or after this period would not be taken into account.

 

In referring to recommendation 7, the Director made reference the fact that the comments of Scrutiny, Planning and Community Liaison committees would be brought before Cabinet in due course.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED – 

 

(1)       T H A T the Deposit Plan, the Sustainability Appraisal Report and the Habitats Regulation Assessment be approved for public consultation purposes.

 

(2)       T H A T 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)       T H A T 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)       T H A T 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)       T H A T 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)       T H A T 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)       T H A T the Planning Committee, the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) and the Community Liaison Committee be consulted on this report.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(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.

 

Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet  7 OCTOBER 2013

 

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