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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 18/04/2006
Local Development Framework - Housing Development Plan Document (DPD) - Issues and Options



[Wards Affected: All ]
Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to bring members up to date on the preparation of the Housing Development Plan Document (DPD) and to seek approval for the draft Issues and Options Paper as the basis for public consultation.

Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

The Housing DPD will be a key document in the Council’s emerging Local Development Framework. At this stage, the document has only reached the point of identifying the issues and the possible options to address these. However, the preferred options that are subsequently followed and the associated policies and any site specific allocations of land, will all have potential quality of life implications. These will be identified and assessed through the process of Sustainability Appraisal.

E-Government implications:

The intention is to make both the consultation documents and the final document available to view and download via the web site.

Resource and legal implications:

There are resource implications in carrying out the proposed consultation. However, at this stage it is envisaged that this will be managed through existing resources.


1. Under the terms of the Planning and Compensation Act, which came into effect in September 2004, the Council is required to produce a Local Development Framework (LDF). This is intended to be a suite of planning policy documents which, over time, will replace the existing Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002. The Local Development Scheme sets out the documents that are being prepared as part of the LDF. The principal and first document is the Core Strategy, which sets the strategic planning approach for the period up to 2018, together with the associated Core Policies. The draft Core Strategy was agreed by the Council in December 2005. However, submission to the Government has been delayed whilst the officers carry out an “Appropriate Assessment”, which is required in order to assess the potential implications on the Core Strategy of the Special Protection Areas (SPAs), which affect the Borough.

2. The second main LDF document that is being prepared is the Housing DPD. This will also cover the period up to 2018. It will deal with both issues of housing need (particularly the need for subsidised affordable housing) and the issue of housing supply. The current housing requirement is set out in the Surrey Structure Plan 2004. Waverley is required to make provision for at least 2,810 net new dwellings in the period from 2001 to 2016. This requirement will be “rolled forward” to 2018 and will be the minimum housing supply requirement for the Housing DPD to address.

3. In due course, the South East Plan will replace the Surrey Structure Plan and will set out a new housing requirement for the Borough to run to 2026. However, until that plan is finally approved, the housing requirement is that contained in the Structure Plan. Therefore, in relation to housing supply, the Housing DPD focuses on meeting the Structure Plan requirement.

Evolution of the Issues and Options for the Housing DPD

4. The work on the Housing DPD has reached the stage of identifying the issues and setting out some options to address these. The evolution of the issues and options has been influenced by a number of factors:-

The Core Strategy;
Other relevant policies/guidance in the various national, regional and local policy documents relating to housing;
The Community Strategy;
The various evidence documents – particularly the updated Housing Needs Survey 2005 and the Urban Housing Potential Study (UHPS) that has been prepared for the Council by the consultants Baker Associates.

5. In addition, both officers and members have contributed to the evolution of the issues and options through meetings and workshops devoted to this subject.

The Workshops for Members on 8th & 16th March 2006

6. Officers recently organised two workshops for Members, where they had the opportunity to discuss and identify the important issues that the Housing DPD should consider and to consider some of the potential options for addressing the issues. These workshops focused on three broad themes:-

Housing needs;
Managing housing supply;
The location and density of housing; 7. As a result of these workshops, a number of factors have been identified that Members may find helpful in considering the issues and options and their potential advantages and disadvantages:-

1. The Housing DPD should ensure that the right amount of new housing is delivered;
2. There should be tighter controls on where development takes place, having regard to the Waverley context;
3. The Housing DPD should deliver the right quality and type of housing;
4. The importance of the plan having public credibility;
5. The importance of consistency both across the Borough and with the policies of neighbouring authorities;
6. The fact that the three “themes” are not discrete – the overlaps must be recognised.

8. There were a number of other points raised in the workshops that are not covered in the Issues and Options Paper. In some case this is because they are matters over which the Council does not have direct control (such as the level of Stamp Duty), or where they are not directly related to planning. Some other matters were raised but have not been developed further for various reasons:-

The scale/size of an extension to an existing dwelling, relative to the size of the existing dwelling and/or its plot size. It would be difficult in practice to identify sufficiently robust criteria to control the housing mix in this way. Existing criteria based design policies deal with visual impact.
Extensions to rural dwellings – this will be covered when the Council reviews the relevant policies in the Local Plan (RD2 & RD2A).
Loss of agricultural land – this issue goes wider than housing.
Definitions of what is “urban” and what is “rural” – again this issue goes wider than the Housing DPD.
Retention of single storey properties to serve the needs of the elderly. It would be difficult to apply a control of this nature to the existing stock, as it would require controls over and an understanding of the market which do not exist at present.
Review of rural settlement boundaries to release more development sites – The overall strategy is to focus development mainly in the four main settlements. The rural exception sites policy allows for development outside rural settlements to meet specific local needs.

The Purpose of the Issues and Options consultation

9. The consultation at this stage is on the issues that have been identified and on the possible options for dealing with these issues. The Council is not putting forward a set of preferred options or policies. Instead, it is inviting comments from a range of stakeholders on the issues and options. The outcome of this consultation will be used to take the development of the Housing DPD to the next stage – i.e. the identification of preferred options.

10. Whereas the Core Strategy does not consider site specific options, it is necessary for the Housing DPD to consider site specific issues, including, where necessary, the allocation of sites for housing purposes. The evidence documents include the Urban Housing Potential Study (UHPS) that has been produced for the Council by Baker Associates. The UHPS identifies some specific sites with potential for housing. The consultation on the issues and options will also give the opportunity for people to comment on those sites and to put forward sites that they believe should also be considered for allocation in the Housing DPD. Part of the further work on the Housing DPD will involve assessing the relative merits of all sites that are identified as having potential for housing development, to identify any sites that should be formally allocated for housing in the Plan.

The Issues and Options Paper

11. Attached as Annexe 1 to this report is the draft Issues and Options Paper for the Housing DPD. This sets out some background to the Housing DPD and some contextual information. The identification of the issues and options in the Paper is again based around the three broad themes that were used in the Member Workshops. The issues themselves and the associated options are set out in three tables (one for each “Theme”). These tables also include an indication of the potential advantages and disadvantages of these options.

12. The proposed consultation will include a wide range of interest groups, including the Parish and Town Councils, statutory and non-statutory consultees, amenity groups, individual residents, representatives of the business community, landowners and developers and Registered Social Landlords.


13. This is the first stage of the public consultation on the Housing DPD. The outcome will help to inform the subsequent development of the preferred options and policies for the Housing DPD. There will be further consultation on the Housing DPD at a future stage, when the Housing DPD has been developed to the stage of identifying the preferred options.


It is recommended that:

1. the draft Issues and Options Paper for the Housing DPD be recommended to the Executive for approval as the basis for public consultation.

Background Papers (DoPD)

Housing Development Plan Document (DPD) draft Issues and Options Paper


Name: Graham Parrott Telephone: 01483 523472

E-mail: gparrott@waverley.gov.uk