Agenda Item No 9

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 5th November, 2018

Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Planning

Amendment to the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance

Purpose of the Report

  1. This report has been prepared to advise Cabinet of a proposed change to Section 12 (Exemption for Self-Build Housing Developments) of the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). The proposed changes relate to the second and third sentences of paragraph 12.1.2 to ensure clarity for applicants, agents and developers. A copy of the amended Affordable Housing SPG with the recommended tracked changes is attached electronically to this report at Appendix 1.

Recommendations

  1. That Cabinet endorses the proposed changes to paragraph 12.1.2 as shown in the amended Affordable Housing SPG attached at Appendix 1 for use in development management decisions alongside the adopted Local Development Plan.
  2. That members of the Planning Committee be advised of the change to the Affordable Housing SPG.
  3. That the Head of Regeneration and Planning be authorised to agree any necessary typographical changes and minor amendments to the Affordable Housing SPG prior to its publication and thereafter agree any factual updates in response to policy or legislative changes as appropriate.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.        To provide decision makers, applicants, agents and developers with clarity on the requirement for a section 106 agreement in the event that an exemption in made for a self-build housing development.

2.        To inform Planning Committee of the change to the Affordable Housing SPG given that it is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and appeals.

3.        To enable the correction of any typographical or minor errors found in the amended SPG and to accommodate any necessary changes arising from the current revision of Planning Policy Wales by the Welsh Government.

Background

2.        Members will recall the report of 5th February 2018 which outlined the need to review the implementation of LDP Policy MG4 (Affordable Housing) and the Affordable Housing SPG (July 2017). The review focussed on the impact of seeking affordable housing on small sites (less than 10 dwellings) as it was suggested that the policy approach was deterring self-builders and small / medium housing developers from building in the Vale of Glamorgan. The review concluded that the policy framework was working effectively and there was no evidence to suggest that it was deterring small sites from coming forward for development. Nevertheless, the review recommended that the SPG was amended in places to address some of the concerns raised by developers of small sites. 

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. One of the changes recommended in the review was the introduction of a self-build exemption as a mechanism to encourage more self-build developments in the Vale of Glamorgan. Consequently a new section was added to the SPG recognising the importance of self-build housing and setting out how the self-build exemption would operate in practice (section 12 refers).
  2. However, since the introduction of this new section, it appears some applicants have been unclear over interpretation of the second sentence of paragraph 12.1.2 and hence it is considered necessary to provide further clarity.  It has been suggested that the second sentence of paragraph 12.1.2 is ambiguous and implies that a section 106 agreement will not be required in the event of an exemption being made, which is not the case.
  3. Accordingly, for the avoidance of doubt, the Council is proposing to amend the second and third sentences of paragraph 12.1.2 to read as follows:

"A Section 106 Agreement will still need to be entered into, which will set out the Affordable Housing Contribution, and also the self-build exemption procedure and requirements. The Section 106 Agreement will still require the payment of an Affordable Housing Contribution, however, the agreement will set out that this will not be payable for self-build developments where the exemption is claimed and approved by the Local Planning Authority, subject to a disqualifying event not occurring. The procedure is set out in full below."

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The preparation of the amended Affordable Housing SPG has been undertaken by officers within the Regeneration and Planning Division within existing budgets.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. Securing more affordable housing helps to create sustainable communities meeting local housing needs. There are no climate change implications arising from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. Affordable housing contributions are secured under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) and the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010. The amended Affordable Housing SPG will be used as a material consideration in the determination of planning applications and appeals.
  2. In preparing and reviewing the SPG, the Council has considered the requirements of the Well Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the 7 wellbeing goals. There are no human rights implications from the report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. In preparing and reviewing the Affordable housing SPG, the Council has adhered to equal opportunities and Welsh language policies.  The amended SPG will be available in both Welsh and English.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. The well-being objective for "Providing decent homes and safe communities" is included in the Corporate Plan (2016-2020). The Affordable Housing SPG will contribute to meeting this objective as detailed in the Service Plan for Regeneration and Planning (2018-2019).

Policy Framework and Budget

  1. The policy framework for the SPGs is the Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan and the contents of this report are a matter for Executive decision by Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No specific ward member consolation has been undertaken as the application of the revised SPG affects the whole of the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Environment and Regeneration.
  2. Homes and Safe Communities.

Background Papers

The Adopted Vale of Glamorgan Local Development Plan 2011 - 2026

Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance (February 2018)

Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Guidance (July 2018)

Local Housing Market Assessment (2017)

Contact Officer

Lucy Butler - Principal Planner, Planning Policy

Officers Consulted

Head of Regeneration and Planning

Operational Manager Public Housing Services

Section 106 Officer

Lawyer, Legal Division

Operational Manager Accountancy

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Managing Director

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