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Agenda Item No. 5

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Council Meeting: 28th June 2017

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning

 

Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan 2011 - 2026: Inspector's Report and Adoption

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. This report has been prepared to advise Council of the Inspector's binding report on the Examination of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan 2011 - 2026 (LDP) and to adopt the LDP as required by Regulation 25 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005 (as amended) (2005 LDP Regulations)
  2. This report contains the following appendices which are attached electronically as links due to the size of the documents. In addition, copies of the appendices are available in the Members' Room and at the Council's Dock Office Reception, Barry.

Appendix 1- LDP Inspector's Report (May 2017)

Appendix 2 - Summary of Inspectors Report

Appendix 3 - Tracked Changes Version of the Deposit LDP (illustrating all changes since the Deposit Plan)

Appendix 4 - Final Composite Version of the LDP Written Statement (June 2017)

Appendix 5 - The Adoption Statement (June 2017)

Appendix 6 - Final Sustainability Appraisal Report (June 2017)

Appendix 7 - Equalities Impact Assessment (June 2017)

Recommendations

  1. That Council note the findings of the Inspector's binding report and endorse the Adoption Statement and final Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating the Environmental Report) (Appendix 5 and 6) and approve the Adoption of the Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan 2011 - 2026.
  2. That the Head of Planning and Regeneration or Operational Manager for Development Management be authorised to make any outstanding typographical or factual corrections to the LDP arising from the changes made during the examination, together with any other presentational matters or consequential amendments following the recommended changes, in accordance with paragraph 1.13 of the Inspector's report.
  3. That officers make the necessary arrangements to translate and publish the Local Development Plan and make it available on the Council's website and deposit locations, in accordance with the 2005 LDP Regulations.
  4. That the adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance documents (SPGs) which were prepared to supplement the policies contained in the Adopted UDP listed at paragraph 27 of this report continue to be used as material considerations in the determination of planning applications until they are replaced or otherwise withdrawn.

Reasons for the Recommendations

  1. To Adopt the Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan 2011 - 2026 as required by the 2005 LDP Regulations and to endorse the Inspector's Report, Adoption Statement and final Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating the Environmental Report).
  2. To ensure the published version of the Adopted Local Development Plan does not contain any factual, typographical or presentational inaccuracies, as authorised by the Inspector's report.
  3. To publish the Adopted Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan 2011 - 2026 as required by the 2005 LDP Regulations.
  4. To ensure the advice and guidance provided in existing SPGs is carried forward to offer support to the policies of the Adopted LDP.

Background

  1. Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (PCP Act 2004) places a duty on each Local Authority in Wales to prepare a Local Development Plan (LDP) for its area. The Council commenced its LDP process in June 2006 with the adoption of the LDP Delivery Agreement and this report represents the culmination of the statutory plan preparation process.
  2. Members will be aware that the LDP was submitted to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate for independent examination on the 24th July 2015 in order to determine whether the Plan satisfied the procedural tests and could be considered as sound.
  3. In the course of preparation, the LDP has progressed through the following various stages:
  • Delivery Agreement Consultation - March/April 2006
  • Call for Candidate Sites - December 2006/January 2007
  • LDP Vision - adopted January 2007
  • Preferred Strategy Consultation - January/February 2008
  • Preferred Strategy High Court Challenge - March 2010
  • Deposit Plan Consultation - February to April 2012
  • Replacement Deposit Plan Consultation - November/December 2013
  • Alternative Sites Consultation - March to May 2014
  • Submission to Welsh Government and Focused Changes Consultation - July 2015
  • Examination Pre-Hearing Meeting - November 2015
  • Examination Hearing Sessions held - January 2016 to February 2017
  • Matters Arising Changes Consultation - September/October 2016
  • Further Matters Arising Changes Consultation - February to March 2017
  • Inspectors Report - May 2017
  1. Once adopted the LDP will be used to guide and manage development, providing a basis by which future planning applications and appeals will be determined. The LDP will therefore formally replace the now time expired Vale of Glamorgan Unitary Development Plan 1996 - 2011.

Examination in Public

  1. The Deposit LDP was submitted for independent examination to Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate on the 24th July 2015 in order to determine whether the Plan satisfied the relevant procedural tests, including whether the Plan was prepared in accordance with the Delivery Agreement and whether it satisfies the tests of soundness set out in national policy.
  2. The Ministers of the Welsh Government appointed Planning Inspector Mr Richard Jenkins BA (Hons) MSc MRTPI to conduct the independent Examination to determine whether the Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan (LDP) is 'sound'. A pre-hearing meeting was held on 19th November 2015 and the appointed Inspector proceeded to hold an initial 22 hearing sessions which commenced on 19th January 2016 and concluded on 20th April 2016. The Council proposed a series of Matters Arising Changes (MACs) in response to the action points and matters raised at these hearing sessions. The Matters Arising Changes underwent public consultation from 16th September to 28th October 2016 and all duly made representations were considered by the Inspector.
  3. Following consideration of these the Inspector held a further 4 hearing sessions between 24th January 2017 and 1st February 2017 to conclude proceedings. These resulted in a number of Further Matters Arising Changes (FMACs) which addressed the matters raised in these sessions. The Further Matters Arising Changes underwent public consultation from 17th February to 31st March 2017 and again the Inspector considered all duly made representations following the consultation.

Inspector's Report

  1. The Council received the Inspectors Report on 25th May 2017. The 2005 LDP Regulations require the following at section 25.-(1) "The LPA must adopt the LDP within eight weeks of receipt of the recommendations and reasons given by the person appointed to carry out the examination unless otherwise agreed in writing by the National Assembly."
  2. The report concludes that, subject to the recommended changes set out at Appendices A to C of the report, the Vale of Glamorgan LDP 2011-2026 satisfies the requirements of section 64(5) of the PCP Act 2004 and meets the tests of soundness set out in Planning Policy Wales. In concluding this, the Inspector has considered that the Council has provided sufficient evidence to support the LDP Strategy and has shown that it has a realistic prospect of being delivered.
  3. A copy of the Inspector's report is attached electronically at Appendix 1 of this report. The Inspector's recommended and binding changes, needed to meet legal and statutory requirements and to ensure that the Plan is sound, are set out in the Appendices to that report. The Inspector considers that these do not alter the thrust of the Council's overall strategy and do not undermine the Sustainability Appraisal (SA). A non-technical summary of the Inspector's report, including a summary of the changes made to the LDP, is provided at Appendix 2 of this report.
  4. Recommended changes have been shown in bold in the Inspector's report. The report advises that almost all of the recommended changes that were put forward by the Council as part of the MACs or FMACs process in response to matters raised during the examination should be incorporated in the Adopted LDP. A small number of changes were not considered necessary for soundness but would provide helpful additional clarity and precision (MAC1 and MAC79). As these changes do not affect the soundness of the Plan they are not subject to the Inspector's binding recommendations, however the Council are able to incorporate these into the final version of the LDP. A limited number of other changes raised issues of soundness and are not recommended. Specifically these include: FMAC6, FMAC7, MAP FMAC04, MAP MAC64 and MAP MAC120 - 122.
  5. Three additional Inspector proposed changes or IMACs have been recommended. IMAC1 clarifies the requirements for on-site delivery of affordable housing in Policy MG4 (Affordable Housing) and would not take forward the amendment proposed through FMAC6 to include the requirement for affordable housing to be constructed to the latest Welsh Government Development Quality Requirements (DQR) standards. In addition, IMAC2 provides clarification to the wording of criteria in Policy MD17 (Rural Enterprise) and IMAC3 includes additional wording to Policy MG22 (Dormant Mineral Sites) to clarify that, whilst Argoed Isha is identified as a dormant minerals site, a prohibition order would not be served given the potential for the site to be reworked in future.
  6. In the interest of ensuring that the final adopted version of the Plan is usable and accurate, the Inspector at paragraph 1.13 of his report has provided the Council authorisation to amend any outstanding typographical or factual errors arising from the changes made during the examination, together with any other presentational matters or consequential amendments flowing the recommended changes.
  7. A tracked changes version of the Deposit LDP illustrating the recommended changes endorsed by the Inspector is attached electronically at Appendix 3. A final composite version of the LDP Written Statement is also attached electronically at Appendix 4 of this report. This includes the consequential changes required in terms of policy and paragraph numbering and any typographical issues identified in preparing the final version of the Plan.
  8. In accordance with the LDP Regulations, when a Local Planning Authority adopts its LDP, it is required to produce and publish an Adoption Statement which also incorporates a statement relating to the Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA) process undertaken. This document is attached electronically as Appendix 5 to this report.
  9. A final SA Report (incorporating SEA) has also been published alongside the final version of the LDP. The SA Report has been updated to take account of the changes to the Plan (incorporating the findings from earlier stages) and sets out a summary of the appraisal process undertaken to date. The final SA Report is attached electronically at Appendix 6.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. As highlighted above, the Council is required to adopt the LDP within 8 weeks of receipt of the Inspector's report under the 2005 LDP Regulations Publication of the report concludes the Examination process. The Inspectors' Report and its recommendations are binding on the Council and there are no opportunities to request changes after the receipt of the Inspectors Report.
  2. As the existing Unitary Development Plan is now time expired, it is crucial that a new Plan is adopted to ensure an up-to-date policy framework is available to provide greater certainty and to effectively guide future development in the area. This will ensure that the Council is better able to manage future developments and is able to resist unallocated speculative development proposals. By adopting the LDP, the Council's requirement under the PCP Act 2004 to prepare and keep under review a LDP for its area will also be satisfied.
  3. The LDP will become operative on the date it is adopted by the Council. Should the Council not agree to adopt the LDP, the Welsh Government have default powers under Section 71 (4) of the PCP Act 2004 to intervene and approve the LDP on the Council's behalf. In such circumstances there would be no certainty regarding the timing of the Plan's adoption. In addition, the Council would be required to reimburse Welsh Government of any costs associated with direct intervention, under Section71 (6) of the 2004 Act.
  4. National planning policy requires that local planning authorities demonstrate there is a five-year housing land supply at the time the plan is adopted as part of the Examination process (Technical Advice Note 1 (TAN1), paragraph 3.2). The Inspector has concluded that the Council has provided sufficient evidence to support the LDP and that subject to the recommended changes it represents a realistic and deliverable development plan for the area that is capable of meeting the identified housing need (paragraph 4.31 of the Inspector's report). TAN1 advises that without an adopted LDP the Council would be unable to formally demonstrate a sufficient housing land supply or prepare a Joint Housing Land Availability Study (JHLAS) which would assist in resisting potentially undesirable development proposals, for example, on unallocated greenfield sites. Following Adoption of the Plan the Council would prepare a formal JHLAS in April 2018 and until this time the Council would be considered as having a sufficient housing land supply (by virtue of having a recently adopted LDP). The Council's Housing Land Supply Trajectory prepared for the Examination indicates that housing land supply is currently 5.6 years.
  5. Furthermore, the LDP provides a stronger policy framework for matters that have moved forward in the planning system since the preparation and adoption of the Unitary Development Plan. For example, the LDP has a specific policy setting out the Council's expectations for Planning Obligations (under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act) which the UDP did not. This strengthens the Council's position in negotiating with developers on a case by case basis and provides the foundation for the Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG).

Next Steps

  1. In accordance with the LDP Regulations and the Council's Delivery Agreement, notification of the adopted LDP and the availability of documents will be published by means of a statutory notice. Notification will also be sent to all consultees who have been involved in the plan preparation process and those who have requested to be kept informed. The adopted LDP and associated documents will be published on the Council's website and made available at deposit locations.
  2. Once adopted the Local Development Plan becomes the statutory Development Plan for Vale of Glamorgan and the Unitary Development Plan (UDP) will cease to have effect. The Adopted LDP will be subject to a six week challenge period to the High Court provided by section 113 of the PCP Act 2004 from the date of adoption.
  3. Members are advised that whilst a basic version of the LDP Written Statement will initially be made available (Appendix 4), a graphically designed version of the LDP Written Statement will be made available following adoption. It is also intended that web based interactive proposals and constraints maps will be made available in addition to fixed scale paper maps which will also be available to download. The final version of the LDP will be published in Welsh and English.

Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG)

  1. The Council has a number of adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance documents (SPGs) which were prepared to supplement the policies contained in the Adopted UDP. In order to ensure conformity with LDP policies, a review of these will be carried out as soon as is practicable following adoption of the LDP. In the interim it is proposed that these will be carried forward for the use as material considerations in the determination of planning applications. This includes the following existing SPGs:
  • Parking Standards SPG
  • Biodiversity and Development SPG
  • Conversion and Renovation of Rural Buildings SPG
  • Design in the Landscape SPG
  • Public Art SPG
  • Trees and Development SPG
  • Barry Development Guidelines SPG
  • Barry Garden Suburb SPG
  • Conservation Areas in the Rural Vale SPG
  • County Treasures SPG
  • Design in the Landscape SPG
  • Model Design Guide for Wales
  • Penarth Conservation Area SPG
  • Sustainable Development - A Developers Guide SPG
  • Upper Holton Road Development Guidelines SPG
  1. To ensure the effective consideration and implementation of planning proposals draft Affordable Housing and Planning Obligations SPG have been prepared that take account of LDP policies as well as the latest evidence and guidance. Public consultation on the draft documents took place concurrently with the Matters Arising Changes from 16th September to 28th October 2016. The adoption of these SPG will be subject to a separate report to Cabinet in the future.
  2. Additional SPGs and Development Briefs will also be required following the adoption of the LDP in line with the Plan's monitoring and implementation proposals including the following:
  • Renewable Energy SPG (within one year)
  • Travel Plan SPG (within two years)
  • Householder Design Guidance SPG (within one year)
  • Cardiff Airport and St Athan Enterprise Zone Strategic Development Framework (within one year)
  • Minerals Safeguarding SPG (within one year)
  1. The previous suite of SPGs supplementing the UDP included "Golf Related Development", which is no longer considered necessary in the current planning policy framework and is proposed to be deleted and no longer used in development management decisions.

Plan Monitoring, Review and Amendment

  1. Following the LDP's adoption the Council must submit an Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) on the LDP to Welsh Government and must publish it on the Council's website (LDP Regulation 37). The first AMR is required to be published by 31st October in the year following adoption (i.e. October 2018). This will assess the extent to which LDP strategies, policies and key sites are being delivered (i.e. whether the Plan's policies are being implemented as intended).
  2. The first report will establish data on the range of monitoring framework indicators contained within the LDP. Subsequent reports would identify any significant trends and would consider whether policies are not being implemented or whether the LDP is failing to deliver what was intended. The reports will consider what action, if any, is required in line with the monitoring options listed in the framework. This includes considering whether further training, additional SPG, Development Briefs or further policy research would be required. Where monitoring indicators suggest that policies are failing to implement the Plan's strategy, a policy review can be undertaken to consider what further action may be required. Whilst this may not trigger a full plan review in itself, the policy review can inform any future Plan review that is considered necessary. In addition to annual monitoring, the Council must undertake a mandatory Plan review 4 years following its adoption to ensure that the LDP remains up to date. This would take place in July 2021.
  3. In undertaking a Plan review the Council will need to consider the effectiveness of the Plan in delivering the Strategy and the soundness of the adopted Plan having regard to the findings of previous AMRs, available evidence from updated surveys and changes to national policy. Where significant changes to the evidence base occur, the Council will need to take account of these as part of the Plan review process. For example, if population trends showed a significant increase or decrease this would need to be considered alongside all other factors, including the Plan's Strategy and objectives in the review process. This would include ensuring that there would be sufficient provision to meet future needs over the new Plan period. Alternatively, if a major infrastructure project came forward that was demonstrated as being needed and deliverable, this could also be considered as part of the Plan review process.
  4. A Plan review would require the preparation of a Plan Review Report setting out what the Council has considered, which stakeholders have been engaged, what changes are needed and why, based on evidence; including a review of the issues, objectives, strategy, policies and Sustainability Appraisal. As national policy requires that Development Plans should remain up-to-date and have sufficient remaining operative life the review process would include ensuring that sufficient provision is made in terms of site allocations for an extended Plan period for any replacement LDP. A full Plan review would also require the Council to undergo the statutory plan preparation process set out by the 2005 LDP Regulations including an Examination in Public on any replacement Plan. In summary, this would involve preparation of a new Delivery Agreement, engagement with key stakeholders, a call for candidate sites, a review and update of the evidence base and public consultation on Pre-Deposit proposals (Spatial Options and draft Preferred Strategy) and a replacement Deposit Plan.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The preparation of the Local Development Plan has been undertaken by officers within the Regeneration and Planning Division within existing budgets. The adoption of the LDP is not anticipated to result in significant additional expenditure. It is not proposed to publish hard copies of the LDP as they can be downloaded and printed from the Council's website.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The implementation of the LDP will contribute towards Welsh Government goals and objectives set out under the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015. Whilst the Deposit Plan was prepared prior to the coming into force of the Act the Council has undertaken an assessment of the LDP against the seven Well-being goals contained within the Act which are set out in the Council's hearing statement for Hearing Session 26A. This concluded that the LDP as amended would be compatible with the Well-being goals and would contribute towards sustainable development.
  2. The Inspector has also considered the compatibility of the LDP against the objectives of the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 (paragraph 2.7 of the Inspector's report). The Inspector considered that the Plan, as modified, will contribute towards improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales and is satisfied that it complies with the overarching principle of achieving sustainable development required by the Act.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Part 6 of the PCP Act 2004 requires each local authority in Wales to prepare and keep under review a LDP, to provide the local policy framework for the determination of future planning applications and for the provision of sustainable development.
  2. As advised earlier in this report, the Council is now required by the 2005 LDP Regulations to adopt the Plan within 8-weeks of receipt of the Inspector's report. The Adopted LDP will be subject to a six week challenge period to the High Court provided by section 113 of the PCP Act 2004 from the date of adoption.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. The LDP contains design policies, such as Policy MD2 (Design of New Development), which requires the consideration of crime and antisocial behaviour in the design and layout of new developments. Notwithstanding this, there are not considered to be any direct crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. The Local Development Plan has been subjected to Equalities Impact Assessment throughout the plan preparation process. The Equalities Impact Assessment has been updated and is attached electronically at Appendix 7 to this report. There are considered to be no equal opportunity implications (or Welsh Language Issues) arising from the production of this report. The final version of the LDP will be published in Welsh and English.
  2. The Inspector also considered the public sector Equalities duty to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different communities as part of the Examination process (paragraph 2.6 of the Inspector's report). The Inspector was satisfied that the LDP promotes equality and diversity and does not adversely affect or discriminate against any people who are protected under the Equality Act 2010. The Examination process also considered the impact on the Welsh Language and it was concluded that the Plan would not have an adverse effect on the linguistic balance of the area (paragraphs 3.26 to 3.28 of the Inspector's Report).

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The LDP is a key corporate policy document for the Council which will assist in addressing a wide number of corporate and service objectives. In particular, its policies and proposals seek to address local housing, economic development, environmental protection and infrastructure provision, amongst others issues. Adoption of the LDP addresses the Council's Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 2 (An environmentally responsible and prosperous Vale) and specifically Objective 4: Promoting sustainable development and protecting our environment.
  2. The Adoption of the LDP will ensure that up-to-date and robust local planning policies can be used in the consideration of future development proposals in the area. Upon adoption the LDP will replace the Council's Unitary Development Plan as the statutory development plan for the area.

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The adoption of the Local Development Plan as the statutory development plan for the Vale of Glamorgan is a matter for Full Council.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. As this matter relates to a Vale of Glamorgan wide issue no specific Ward Member consultation has been undertaken.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Environment and Regeneration

Background Papers

Attached electronically

Appendix 1- LDP Inspector's Report (May 2017)

Appendix 2 - Summary of Inspectors Report

Appendix 3 - Tracked Changes Version of the Deposit LDP (illustrating all changes since the Deposit Plan)

Appendix 4 - Final Composite Version of the LDP Written Statement (June 2017)

Appendix 5 - The Adoption Statement (June 2017)

Appendix 6 - Final Sustainability Appraisal Report (June 2017)

Appendix 7 - Equalities Impact Assessment (June 2017)

Contact Officer

Marcus Goldsworthy - Head of Regeneration and Planning

Officers Consulted

Managing Director

Lawyer, Legal Division

Principal Accountant

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Managing Director

 

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