Agenda Item No. 6
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 7 OCTOBER 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 8 SEPTEMBER 2014
C2455 WELSH GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION: DRAFT TECHNICAL ADVICE NOTE (TAN) 1 JOINT HOUSING LAND AVAILABILITY STUDIES (RIPT) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -
Cabinet were advised of the Welsh Government’s consultation on Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies and approval was sought for the report as the Council’s formal response to the consultation.
Planning Policy Wales (PPW) set the context for sustainable land use planning policy within which Local Authorities' statutory Local Development Plans (LDPs) were prepared and development control decisions on individual planning applications and appeals were made. PPW was supplemented by a suite of topic based Technical Advice Notes (TANs) and procedural guidance was contained within circulars and policy clarification letters.
It was important that planning policy continued to evolve to accommodate changing circumstances. Accordingly, the Welsh Government (WG) continually monitored PPW and TANs in relation to their objectives for Wales and when necessary, published updated national planning guidance.
The Council’s proposed response to the Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies consultation was attached at Appendix A to the report.
The mains points of the Council’s proposed submission were summarised below:
Removing the ability of LPAs without an adopted UDP/LDP to evidence a 5 year housing supply would seriously undermine the principles of sustainable development inherent within national planning policy. Moreover while it was good practice to incentivise LDP preparation, Welsh Government would be aware of the timetable for plan preparation which was often elongated by factors outside of a Council’s control such as judicial review and the significance of public opinion.
It was not necessarily the case that an adopted LDP ensured the provision of the required 5 year housing land supply. Of the 14 LPAs which had an adopted LDP, 11 presently did not have a 5 year housing land supply, and in the case of both Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil Councils neither had achieved a 5 year supply since adopting their LDPs in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
The proposal would increase speculative and potentially undesirable development proposals, placing unnecessary additional pressure on LPAs, at a time when resources were already being stretched - potentially redirecting resources away from LDP work, leading to delays in their progression.
The proposal was likely to lead to an increase in appeals and more worryingly legal challenges to decisions from local communities and developers.
The proposal could potentially undermine emerging LDPs as sites other than those identified within Deposit LDPs would inevitably come forward speculatively. This was the experience of the Vale of Glamorgan during 2012/13 when the Council’s JHLAS showed a less than 5 year housing land supply.
Councillors had to make brave and informed decisions to approve housing schemes which were not in an adopted but time expired UDP in order to continue to ensure a 5 years supply was maintained. In the Vale of Glamorgan, such decisions had been properly made by Councillors who clearly understood the reasoning behind the land supply argument. If the proposal was to be implemented there would be no perceived benefit or incentive to approve controversial housing developments as this would not improve a Councils Housing land supply figures. It was possible that the planning system and more importantly the delivery of housing land could be delayed and the appeals system overwhelmed with such applications, which would be to no one’s benefit.
The prospect of the â€œNo plan, No Housing Supplyâ€ situation could actually hinder the LDP process, slow the delivery of housing land and undermine the ability for LPAs to appropriately and sustainably manage development and the delivery of essential infrastructure.
That it was the current LDP process that required a complete and timely overhaul - presently the process was considered to be unnecessarily technical and bureaucratic which from experience disenfranchised the public; and the number of statutory consultation stages were considered cumbrous, time consuming and resource intense, and arguably the key reason of delays in LDP coverage within Wales. This was especially the case in areas of high land values and development pressures such as the Vale of Glamorgan.
This was a matter for Executive decision
(1) T H A T the Council’s formal response to the Welsh Government consultation on Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies as attached at Appendix A to the report be approved.
(2) T H A T the report be referred to Planning Committee and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for information.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To approve of the response prepared to the consultation on Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies as attached at Appendix A to the report
(2) To advise Planning Committee and the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) of the recent public consultation.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 8 SEPTEMBER 2014