Agenda Item No. 4
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 16 JUNE 2015
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 1 JUNE 2015
C2790 VALE OF GLAMORGAN LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN: REPORT OF CONSULTATION AND SUBMISSION FOR INDEPENDENT EXAMINATION (R) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -
Cabinet was provided with an overview of the representations made to the Deposit Local Development Plan (DLDP) and the Alternative Sites consultations and was presented with an outline of the responses and main issues raised including whether focused changes were considered necessary in order to ensure that the Local Development Plan (LDP) was 'sound'.
Approval was also sought for the submission of the DLDP and the required accompanying documentation to the Welsh Government for Independent Examination in accordance with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005. Finally, delegated powers were sought for the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy in consultation with the Managing Director and the Cabinet Member for Regeneration to agree potential changes to the LDP as part of the independent examination process in accordance with Welsh Government guidance.
Subject to Cabinet approval, the report would then be considered by Community Liaison Committee on 2 June, 2015, Planning Committee on 4 June, 2015 and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on 16 June, 2015. Comments from these committees would then be considered by Cabinet on 22 June, 2015 and then referred to Full Council for final approval on 24 June, 2015.
The Council had a statutory duty to prepare a Local Development Plan and the statutory duties in this regard were set out in Part 6 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, which required that an LDP be made subject to independent examination to determine whether it was 'sound'. LDPs had to be sound in terms of their content and the process by which they were produced. The relevant guidance, 'Local Development Plans Wales' set out the tests of soundness which an LDP must meet in terms of procedure, consistency, coherence and effectiveness.
Cabinet was presented with a previous report on 7 October, 2013 which sought the endorsement of the DLDP and approval for a six week public consultation to be undertaken on the DLDP in accordance with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005. The six week formal public consultation on the DLDP took place between 8 November and 20 December, 2013 and a brief summary of consultation was set out in the report. A more detailed outline was contained in Appendix 1 attached to the report in the Deposit Local Development Plan Consultation Summary Report.
As well as representations to policies, paragraphs and supporting evidence, the DLDP consultation generated representations from individuals, groups and organisations that sought the inclusion of new sites as well as the deletion or amendment of allocated sites. Collectively, these site specific amendments were termed 'Alternative Sites' and the Council was again required to undertake public consultation on the Alternative Sites to ascertain people's views. It was noted that whilst the Regulations required the Council to undertake a public consultation on the Alternative Sites, the Council was not promoting the sites in any way.
The six week consultation exercise on the Alternative Sites took place between 20 March and 1 May, 2014 and the summary details were set out in the report and a more detailed outline on the Council's response to these representations was set out in Appendix 3 as attached to the Report.
In total 3367 representations were received to the DLDP from 1328 organisations, bodies and individuals. The majority of the representations received were site specific in that they either sought the inclusion of new sites not shown in the DLDP, objected to allocations in the DLDP or sought amendments to site boundaries or the uses of sites allocated in the DLDP. Other representations sought a variety of changes to the DLDP including but not exclusively:
Amendments to policy wording or text to ensure compliance with Welsh Government guidance, to improve policy effectiveness or merely to reflect factual updates;
Mapping changes, in terms of accuracy and requests for amendments, deletions and additions; and
Clarification and requests for additional evidence in respect of supporting evidence and particular topic areas.
Of the 3367 representations raised, 2921 were objections, 291 were expressions of support and 155 provided general comments to the DLDP. The responses resulted in the identification of 225 alternative sites of which 108 related to new alternative sites, 53 to the deletion of allocated sites, and 64 to amended sites. Copies of the representations received could be found in the Alternative Sites Representations Register. A summary of these together with the Council's response to individual representations could be found within the Deposit LDP Representations Summary and Responses Register attached at Appendix 2 to the report.
Consideration was given to the following main issues and were detailed in the report:
LDP Vision, Objectives and Strategy
Strategic Site: Barry Waterfront
Strategic Site St Athan - Cardiff Airport Enterprise Zone
Housing Provision and Housing Sites
Gypsy and Travellers
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and other Infrastructure
Built and Natural Environment
Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA) and Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA)
Delivery, Implementation and Measuring Success
Alternative Sites Consultation
Proposed Focused and Minor Changes
Housing Requirement Figure
Affordable Housing Policy MG 4
Land West of Swanbridge Road, Sully Policy MG 2 (46)
Land to the north and west of Darren Close, Cowbridge Policy MG 2 (20)
Land South of Junction 34 M4 Hensol Policy MG 9 (2)
Appendix 5 attached to the report provided a list of the main documentation that was required to be submitted to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate for Independent Examination. This was considered to represent a range of material and evidence that was necessary to meet the relevant LDP tests of soundness and further supported and clarified policies in the Plan.
Upon submission of the DLDP and all relevant documentation to the Planning Inspectorate, an Independent Inspector would be appointed on behalf of the Welsh Government to examine the Plan. The examination process was likely to commence in Autumn 2015 with an Exploratory Meeting ahead of any hearing. After considering all of the evidence, the Inspector would prepare and issue a binding report on the DLDP that would set out amendments which must be made to the Plan by the Council prior to its formal adoption. It was noted that the Inspector, not the Council, would consider whether any changes were appropriate to the Plan as a result of the consultation.
In accordance with Welsh Government guidance and in order to enable the efficient and timely running of the examination, it was advised that measures be put in place to permit effective dialogue between the Independent Inspector and Council representatives. It was therefore proposed that delegated powers were vested with the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy in consultation with the Managing Director and Cabinet Member for Regeneration in order that they could negotiate issues, agree amendments and respond to requests for further information as required by the Inspector during the examination process.
A Programme Officer had recently been appointed to manage the day to day arrangements and running of the examination process. A Service Level Agreement with the Planning Inspectorate would be put in place which would come into effect once the LDP was submitted. This would set out the steps each party will take to ensure an efficient examination and reporting process.
At the meeting the Cabinet Member for Regeneration commented that this plan was about building communities, not just about houses and that was why it focused on the jobs and infrastructure that sustained communities and the affordable housing that allowed local people to set up home in them. She stated that the Local Development Plan included proposals for job creation, maintaining community services and providing new transport infrastructure. This was the blueprint by which the Council would continue to regenerate all areas of the Vale of Glamorgan.
The Cabinet Member further commented that this was not a case for brevity, as we needed all the evidence to underpin our plan for examination. The Council aimed for comprehensive communication and engagement and as a result the two-stage consultation process reviewed just under 12,000 responses. Amendments had been made to the Deposit Local Development Plan and planning officers had undertaken significant further research and gathered additional supporting evidence for the Authority’s land use strategy.
The Cabinet Member for Regeneration concluded by giving thanks to the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy and her team, commenting that they had to cope with huge resource issues in completing this report but had managed to deliver at every point. She continued that they fully committed to the task with the aim of community engagement.
This was a matter for Executive and Council decision
(1) T H A T the responses to the Deposit Local Development Plan (DLDP) and Alternative Site representations as contained at Appendices 2 and 3 as referred to in the report, be approved.
(2) T H A T the Focused and Minor Changes detailed at Appendix 4 as referred to in the report be approved for public consultation purposes, the results of which will be considered by the Inspector in due course.
(3) T H A T the Deposit Local Development Plan (DLDP) together with the accompanying documentation be approved for submission to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005.
(4) T H A T delegated powers be granted to the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy in consultation with the Managing Director and Cabinet Member for Regeneration to negotiate issues, agree amendments and respond to requests for further information as required by the Inspector during the examination process.
(5) T H A T the report be referred to Community Liaison Committee, Planning Committee and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for consideration.
(6) T H A T thanks be given to the Operational Manager, Planning and Transportation Policy and her team for all their hard work on producing this detailed report.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To enable the Council to submit the DLDP and accompanying documentation including responses to the alternative sites consultation to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005.
(2) To enable the Council to undertake public consultation on the proposed Focused Changes concurrent with the submission of the DLDP to the Welsh Government and the Planning Inspectorate.
(3) To enable the Council to submit the DLDP and accompanying documentation to the Welsh Government and to the Planning Inspectorate in accordance with Regulation 22 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development Plan) (Wales) Regulations 2005.
(4) To facilitate the efficient operation of the examination process, to avoid undue delay to the examination process and to ensure effective dialogue between the independent Inspector and the Council's representatives in accordance with Welsh Government guidance.
(5) To obtain the views of these committees on the content of the report prior to further consideration by Cabinet and final approval by Council on 24 June, 2015.
(6) To thank staff for all their hard work.
Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 1 JUNE 2015