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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15/09/2003
APPENDIX I.2



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is for the Executive to agree Supplementary Planning Guidance on Policy H4 of the Local Plan: “Density and Size of Dwellings” and to recommend it to Council to be formally adopted on 29th July 2003.

This report explains the need for Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). It also outlines the process of consultation and working with Members that has culminated with the revised version of the SPG being recommended for adoption. A copy of the revised SPG is attached at Annexe 1.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
Positive
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX I.2
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 21ST JULY 2003

FOR INFORMATION ONLY
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING GUIDANCE ON DENSITY AND SIZE OF DWELLINGS:
POLICY H4 OF THE WAVERLEY LOCAL PLAN 2002

[Wards Affected: All]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is for the Executive to agree Supplementary Planning Guidance on Policy H4 of the Local Plan: “Density and Size of Dwellings” and to recommend it to Council to be formally adopted on 29th July 2003.

This report explains the need for Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). It also outlines the process of consultation and working with Members that has culminated with the revised version of the SPG being recommended for adoption. A copy of the revised SPG is attached at Annexe 1.
_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
Positive
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive

The Supplementary Planning Guidance seeks to protect the quality and character of the local environment whilst addressing an identified need for dwellings suited to small households. The SPG also promotes good design and specifically refers to safe and secure environments. It could be argued that Policy H4 has positive impacts on natural resource use, the local economy, and perhaps pollution, biodiversity and nature.

E-Government implications:

Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance published in October 2002 is accessible on the Council website. Hard copies are available from the Council’s Godalming office and its Locality Offices in Farnham, Haslemere and Cranleigh. Alternatively, the document can be requested over the phone. The revised version of the Supplementary Planning Guidance will be made available in the same way.



Resource and legal implications:

The cost of printing the final document is the only resource implication and can be met from existing budgets.
________________________________________________________________________
Introduction

1. Policy H4 (Density and Size of Dwellings) is one of the policies in the Waverley Borough Local Plan. The Council adopted the Local Plan on 23rd April 2002. The objectives of the Policy are to ensure that new residential development:
primarily provides one, two and three bedroom market dwellings for which there is an identified need; and
is built at densities of at least 30 dwellings per hectare, and higher than 50 dwellings per hectare at places with good public transport.

2. These objectives stem from national policy set out in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing (PPG3) published in March 2000 and from Waverley’s own Housing Needs Surveys in 1997 and 2001. PPG3 sets the minimum density requirement of 30 dwellings per hectare. The 2001 Housing Needs Survey concluded that “There is a need for low cost market housing and planning policies and site development briefs should continue to encourage more, smaller dwellings to meet current needs and address the shortage of flats in the existing stock”.

3. It is important that Waverley continues to make effective use of land from sites within its settlements that are acceptable in principle for development. The emerging Surrey Structure Plan will allocate 35,400 housing units between the different Districts and Boroughs in Surrey. Waverley will receive a housing allocation based on the estimated “capacity” for new housing within existing settlements. This estimate will take into account the expected density of new development in accordance with minimum density requirements in PPG3.

The need for Supplementary Planning Guidance

4. Policy H4 has raised a number of issues in its implementation, particularly when developments are proposed that comply with policy H4, but would have an adverse impact on the local environment and local character.

5. In response to these difficulties, the Executive agreed Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance for consultation back in September 2002.

6. Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) is a widely used and effective tool to provide additional guidance when applying policies contained within Development Plans. The purpose of the SPG is to clarify, interpret and elaborate on Policy H4 of the Local Plan. SPG does not have the effect of amending development plan policies but may be regarded as a material consideration.

7. SPG that accords with local and national planning policies, and has undergone a thorough and open process of consultation, has a legitimate function and should be given significant weight when decisions have to be made to which the particular SPG is relevant.

Formal Consultation

8. The draft SPG was sent to 85 relevant organisations and interested individuals. A feature was placed in “The Link” – the Council’s magazine to all households inviting comments from the public. 9. 31 written responses were received from a wide cross-section of interests. The schedule at Annexe 2 sets these out, each with a response from the Council. The Council needs to assess whether the revised SPG (Annexe 1) is a fair and reasonable interpretation of how Policy H4 should be applied in light of the consultation responses, bearing in mind the requirements of Government Planning Policy to which the SPG must conform.

Member Involvement

10. Members have attached great importance to the effective implementation of planning policies to get good quality development appropriate to the area. There has been a series of events with Planning officers and Members.

11. A “Design Workshop” was held with members in June 2002 following the publication of “Surrey Design – A Design Guide for Quality Built Environments”. Waverley adopted Surrey Design as Supplementary Planning Guidance on 23rd April 2003.

12. Two “Good Bad, and Ugly Tours” were held during October 2002. This involved a visit to the best and worst new developments in Waverley, including successful examples of residential schemes that comply with Policy H4.

13. February 2003 saw a visit attended by 13 Members to two flagship developments outside the Borough (Beddington Zero Energy Development and Caterham Barracks). It was agreed that, although these developments were in a more urban context than Waverley, higher densities and concepts for sustainable living could be applied, at least to some extent, on some sites within Waverley.

14. A workshop followed soon after, attended by 15 Members in the Council Chamber, looking in more detail at Policy H4. The conclusions of the workshop were in essence:

that protecting “local character” is the priority for all new development
density as an end in itself is not a priority.
the importance of providing new housing, and the right types of housing, is recognised, but that in achieving this, density should be optimised rather than maximised, compatible with local character.
that there is a relationship between appropriate density and access to facilities and public transport. The better the access, meeting housing needs and making best use of land becomes more important. The worse the access to these, so more importance is attached to the provision of off-street parking, and densities and housing need takes a lower priority.

15. The revised SPG is presented following a long and involved programme of work. It has been significantly amended in light of the formal consultation and the recent events with Members.


Recommendation

That the Executive agrees the Supplementary Planning Guidance on Density and Size of Dwellings, attached at Annexe 1, and recommends to Council that it is formally adopted.

________________________________________________________________________
Background Papers (DoP&D)

Waverley Borough Council (October 2002) Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance on Policy H4: Density and Size of Dwellings

DETR (March 2000) Planning Policy Guidance Note 3: Housing The Stationary Office, London
________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Daniel Hawes Telephone: 01483 523295
COMMS/EXECUTIVE/2003-04/156