Agenda Item No
The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 9 February, 2015
Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation
Publication of Revised Welsh Government Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies (2015)
Purpose of the Report
1. To advise members of the publication of Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1: Joint Housing Land Availability Studies by the Welsh Government. A copy of the new guidance has been placed in the Members’ Room for reference.
1. That this report updating members on the implications of the revised Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 issued by Welsh Government is noted.
2. That the report be referred to Planning Committee and Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee for information.
3. That strong representations are made to Welsh Government at Ministerial level as to the consequences of TAN1 on the proper planning of the Vale of Glamorgan.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To advise Cabinet of the publication of Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies, and to advise Members of the key planning implications for the Vale of Glamorgan as a result of the new guidance.
2. To advise Planning Committee and the Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee of the result of the recent public consultation, and to advise Members of the key planning implications for the Vale of Glamorgan as a result of the new guidance.
3. In order that Welsh Government is aware of the significant concerns arising out of the content of TAN 1.
2. Joint Housing Land Availability Studies (JHLAS) are the principal mechanism for monitoring the supply of housing land through the planning system. JHLAS demonstrate whether local planning authorities have a deliverable five-year supply of land for housing as required by Welsh Government policy (Planning Policy Wales, paragraph 9.2.3). Failure to have a five-year housing land supply is an important material consideration which is taken into account by Planning Inspectors when determining planning appeals for residential schemes.
3. The Welsh Government consider that having up-to-date Local Development Plans in place is critical for ensuring that the homes needed are delivered. The planning system, through the LDP process, must provide the land that is needed to allow for new home building. Appropriate monitoring of housing land supply is a very important element of ensuring that this is achieved. The Welsh Government has therefore undertaken the review of TAN1 to align the JHLAS and LDP monitoring processes, and secondly incentivise the preparation and adoption of LDPs.
4. Members will recall that the Council’s formal response to the consultation on the draft TAN 1 was reported to Cabinet on the 8th September (Minute C2445 refers) and to Planning Committee on the 2nd October 2014 (Minute 464 refers). In that response, serious concerns were raised regarding the proposals to change the manner in which housing land supply is calculated and that only authorities with an adopted LDP will be able to undertake a JHLAS calculation. Following the consultation process the Welsh Government has now issued an interim copy of the revised TAN1 guidance.
Relevant Issues and Options
5. A key change to the revised TAN1 guidance is that the use of JHLAS to evidence housing land supply is now limited to only those Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) that have in place either an adopted Local Development Plan or an adopted UDP that is still within the plan period. Previously, LPAs without an up-to-date adopted development plan were able to calculate housing land supply using a 10 year average annual past build rate. However, under the new TAN1 guidance the use of the past build rates methodology, which was based on the past performance of the building industry, is not accepted and those LPAs without an up-to-date development plan are unable to demonstrate a housing land supply for determining planning applications.
6. Members will be aware that the adopted Vale of Glamorgan UDP expired on 1st April 2011, and officers are currently preparing for submission of the LDP to Welsh Government for independent Examination by an appointed Inspector, which is timetabled to take place from August 2015. As a consequence of the revised TAN 1 guidance it is not until the Council has formally adopted its LDP that the Council will be able to produce its annual JHLAS report. Under the Council’s LDP Delivery Agreement, adoption of the LDP is anticipated to take place in September/October 2016. Local Planning Authorities that do not have either an adopted LDP or UDP will be unable to formally demonstrate its housing land supply position and will effectively be considered not to have a five year housing land supply.
7. The Council is however required to undertake an annual “objective assessment” of its housing land supply in preparation of its LDP, and will be required to “demonstrate that there is a five-year housing land supply at the time the plan is adopted and the latest approved JHLAS can be used as an important piece of evidence” (TAN 1 paragraph 3.2 refers).
8. In this regard officers are of the view that this requirement to keep under review the housing land supply retains the ability for the housing land supply to be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications, particularly given the emphasis on evidencing a 5 year supply on adoption of its LDP. However, Welsh Government has advised that since the assessment will not be subject to the normal JHLAS process it will not carry the same weight for planning purposes as a formal study. Nevertheless, officers will need to assess how planning proposals will contribute to both supporting delivery of the emerging LDP and the provision of a 5 year housing land supply on its adoption, and these are themselves considered to be important material considerations.
9. In this respect, Planning Policy Wales (section 2.6) remarks on what happens in instances where the local development plan is not yet adopted. Paragraph 2.6.2 of PPW advises that in development management decisions the weight to be attached to an emerging draft LDP will in general depend on the stage it has reached. In considering what weight to give to specific policies in an emerging LDP that apply to a particular proposal, local planning authorities will need to consider carefully the underlying evidence and background to the policies. National planning policy can also be a material consideration in these circumstances (see section 4.2 of PPW).
10. Therefore, the determination of planning applications for residential development in advance of the LDP Examination would need to fully consider all other material considerations, such as the LDP background evidence and the wider environmental, social and economic benefits of the scheme (such as meeting local housing needs and the provision of local infrastructure).
11. On the basis of the revised TAN1 requirement for housing land supply to be calculated using only the residual method, this being the remaining years of the LDP divided by the remaining outstanding dwelling requirement, the Council’s housing land supply as of 1st April 2014 would be 2.2 years, when compared against a 7.3 year supply using the past build rate calculation. Although it should be noted that since April 2014, the Council has approved a number of major applications and officers anticipate that the Council’s housing land supply (based on the residual method) will increase once the 2014-2015 informal objective assessment has been completed.
12. Given that the Council is faced with a less than 5 year housing land supply, and its inability to formally participate in the JHLAS process, it is inevitable that until the Council has formally adopted its LDP, the Vale of Glamorgan will be at risk of speculative development applications as was the case during 2012/13 when the Council’s JHLAS had a less than 5 year housing land supply. This concern was clearly raised by the Council in its formal submission to the Welsh Government draft TAN1 consultation in the Autumn 2014, as referenced via the following link:
It is notable that similar concerns were also raised by the Welsh Local Government Association during the consultation period (Appendix 1) and the Royal Town Planning Institute (Appendix 2).
13. In terms of the position following the adoption of the LDP, the Welsh Government has advised that where this occurs after the annual JHLAS study base date of 1st April the housing land supply figure evidenced during the LDP Examination, which would have been the subject of independent examination, will be the housing land supply figure until the next JHLAS process commences in the following April. For the Vale of Glamorgan LDP this would be 1st April 2017 where adoption of the Plan takes place in late 2016 as set out in the Council’s LDP Delivery Agreement.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
14. Whilst there is no resource implications imposed at this stage, the removal of the Council’s ability to evidence its housing land supply may potentially lead to increased requirement for resources as a result of increased planning appeals.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
15. The changes to the JHLAS process will have implications for the Vale of Glamorgan as the Adopted UDP is a time expired development plan when considering planning applications for new housing development. Due to the weight attached to having a deficient housing land supply in planning decisions this may lead to the approval of developments which would not otherwise be considered acceptable. Therefore, the impact on local sustainability will need to be carefully considered on a case by case basis.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
16. Housing land supply and the JHLAS are a material consideration when considering planning applications for new residential developments. The removal of the Council’s ability to participate in the formal process for evidencing its housing land supply could lead to an increase in development proposals which may not be identified in the Deposit LDP.
17. The amended TAN should be read in conjunction with Planning Policy Wales (PPW) which sets out the land use planning policies of the Welsh Government. PPW, TANs and Circulars should be taken into account by local planning authorities in Wales in the preparation of Local Development Plans. They may be material to decisions on individual planning applications and will be taken into account by Inspectors and the Welsh Government in the determination of appeals and called-in planning applications.
Crime and Disorder Implications
18. None as a result of this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
19. None as a result of this report.
20. The Council's Corporate Plan Outcome for Housing is for “Vale of Glamorgan residents have access to affordable, good quality, suitable housing and housing advice and support”. Whilst TAN 1 aims to support planning authorities in the delivery of housing, the Council is concerned that the revised TAN may undermine the corporate objective.
Policy Framework and Budget
21. This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
22. The consultation response previously prepared by officers ensured that the Council has had the chance to express its views to the Welsh Government prior to the finalisation of the published TAN 1. No ward member consultation has been undertaken as the report has implications for the Vale of Glamorgan as whole rather than specific wards.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
23. Economy and Environment.
Planning Policy Wales 7th Edition (July 2014)
Dear Chief Planning Officers Letter - Revised Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1: Joint Housing Land Availability Studies
Technical Advice Note 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies (January 2015)
Vale of Glamorgan Joint Housing Land Availability Study – 2014
Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation on 8 September 2014 – Welsh Government Consultation: Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 1 Joint Housing Land Availability Studies (Minute C2445 refers)
Andrew Wallace, Senior Policy Officer, Planning and Transportation Policy – Tel: 01446 704670
Marcus Goldsworthy - Operational Manager Development Control
Rob Thomas - Director of Development Service