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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 31/10/2006
RESPONSE TO THE POST-SUBMISSION CONSULTATION ON THE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK DRAFT CORE STRATEGY



Summary & Purpose
The Local Development Framework draft Core Strategy was approved for submission on the 13th December 2005. Submission was delayed because of the judgement in the European Court of Justice on the 20th October 2005 which required the Council to undertake an Appropriate Assessment of the Core Strategy to asses its impact on European Sites of Nature Conservation Importance. That work was undertaken in the early part of 2005 and concluded that the Core Strategy would have an adverse impact on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. This could be mitigated by making improvements to Farnham Park.

The Core Strategy did not, therefore, require amendment and could be submitted in accordance with Council’s decision of 13th December. The Core Strategy was submitted on the 31st July. The post submission consultation period extended from the 1st August to the 15th September.

APPENDIX F
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – 31ST OCTOBER 2006

EXECUTIVE – 31ST OCTOBER 2006
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Title:
RESPONSE TO THE POST-SUBMISSION CONSULTATION ON THE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK DRAFT CORE STRATEGY
[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and Purpose:

The Local Development Framework draft Core Strategy was approved for submission on the 13th December 2005. Submission was delayed because of the judgement in the European Court of Justice on the 20th October 2005 which required the Council to undertake an Appropriate Assessment of the Core Strategy to asses its impact on European Sites of Nature Conservation Importance. That work was undertaken in the early part of 2005 and concluded that the Core Strategy would have an adverse impact on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. This could be mitigated by making improvements to Farnham Park.

The Core Strategy did not, therefore, require amendment and could be submitted in accordance with Council’s decision of 13th December. The Core Strategy was submitted on the 31st July. The post submission consultation period extended from the 1st August to the 15th September.

This report has been prepared to give an indication of the nature of the responses received. Copies of the responses and summary schedules which have been forwarded to the Inspector and GOSE are available in the Core Strategy Examination Library. The representations are also available on the Council’s web-site.
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Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):
The post-submission consultation is a formal part of the new development plan system established under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.

E-Government implications:
Wherever possible the Council has undertaken consultation electronically.

Resource and Legal Implications
There are no direct resource or legal implications.
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Background

1. Work commenced on the preparation of the Core Strategy in August 2004. Between August and December that year officers started to collate the evidence base for the Core Strategy. Early consultation with stakeholders and the public on the Issues and Options took place in January/February 2005. 2. The Preferred Option and Policies were subject to formal public consultation between 27th June and 3rd September 2005.

3. The draft Core Strategy was approved for submission on the 13th December 2005. Submission was delayed because of the judgement in the European Court of Justice of the 20th October 2005 which required the Council to undertake an Appropriate Assessment of the Core Strategy to asses its impact on European Sites of Nature Conservation Importance. That work was undertaken in the early part of 2006 and concluded that the Core Strategy would have an adverse impact on the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area, this could be mitigated by making improvements to Farnham Park.

4. The Core Strategy did not, therefore, require amendment and could be submitted in accordance with Council’s decision of 13th December 2005. The Core Strategy was submitted on the 31st July 2006. The post submission consultation period extended from the 1st August to the 15th September 2006.

7. This report summarises the nature of the responses received. These responses will be considered by the Inspector at the Examination which is scheduled to commence on the 16th January 2007. Copies of the responses and summary schedules which have been forwarded to the Inspector are available in the Core Strategy Examination Library managed by the Programme Officer. The representations are also available on the Council’s web-site.


Summary of responses

8. A total of 68 representations (from individuals, organisations and statutory consultees) were received during the consultation period (1st August to the 15th September 2006). Many of these representations made multiple comments. In total there were 406 individual comments.

9. A copy of the questionnaire is attached at Annexe 1. Whilst most of the representations were made in hard copy, many were submitted electronically. Members will recall that when the Preferred Option was consulted on during 2005 there was considerable support for the strategic approach and the policies that have been proposed.

10. Some 36 respondents made generalised comments. 33 respondents made comments in terms of the 9 tests of soundness. Many of these responses were “multiple” representations and related to more than one test of soundness. To summarise:

a) 1 respondent considered that the Council had not prepared the Core Strategy in accordance with the Local Development Scheme and therefore failed Test 1;
b) 4 were critical of the way that the Council had undertaken public consultation and did not consider that the Core Strategy had been prepared in compliance with the Statement of Community Involvement and therefore failed Test 2;
c) 3 were critical of the Sustainability Appraisal and therefore failed Test 3;
d) 23 did not consider that the Core Strategy complied with national/regional policy and therefore fails Test 4. In particular respondents criticise the Core Strategy for not reflecting the housing allocation figures in the draft South East Plan as submitted to Government on 31st March. As Members will recall, there was considerable debate on SEP housing allocations in the early part of 2006 and the housing allocations part of the |SEP was not submitted to the Government until the end of March 2006, i.e. after the Council resolution of the 13th December 2005. Submission of the Core Strategy could have been further delayed to take this into account, however SEERA has confirmed that the Core Strategy is in general conformity with the South East Plan and current work as part of the Housing DPD indicates that these allocations can be met without changing the Core Strategy. Respondents have also criticised the Core Strategy for being over-reliant on windfall sites, for not giving sufficient consideration to the issue of climate change, failing to be consistent with PPG3, failing to reflect the importance of Higher Education and failing to identify broad areas of land for longer term development including urban extensions and/or a new settlement.
e) 3 respondents consider that the Core Strategy fails Test 5 as it does not give sufficient priority to affordable and key worker housing and higher education needs as set out in the Community Strategy;
f) 9 respondents consider that the Core Strategy fails Test 6 in that it is not consistent with other DPDs, including the Housing DPD ;
g) 20 respondents did not feel that the policies in the Core Strategy represented the most appropriate in all circumstances and it therefore failed Test 7;
h) 6 respondents claimed that the Core Strategy failed Test 8 (mechanisms for implementation and monitoring;
i) 10 respondents did not consider that the Core Strategy was sufficiently flexible and therefore failed Test 9. 11. Many respondents made specific detailed comments about individual paragraphs and policies and many have suggested specific changes to the wording of the text and the policies.

12. A number of respondents have suggested that additional sites in the Green Belt should be identified as Major Developed Sites (St John’s Seminary, Wonersh; Ladywell Convent, Godalming; Barnett Hill, Blackheath and the Weyburn site at Elstead). A number of other respondents have identified individual sites for housing development. The Cranleigh area is identified by a number of respondents as being suitable for identification as a broad location for housing. Others have criticise the Core Strategy for not specifically safeguarding land at Furze Lane for housing.

16. Some respondents objected to the specific identification of Dunsfold Aerodrome as a site for an Area Action Plan. Others have stressed that large scale development at Dunsfold Aerodrome would be inconsistent with national policy whilst others were critical of the fact that the Core Strategy did not adequately consider the opportunities that a new settlement at Dunsfold Aerodrome could provide (including opportunities for affordable housing) and that this option had been dismissed for inadequately substantiated reasons.

17. The Government Office made a small number of detailed comments relating to local distinctiveness/clarity.

18. SEERA confirmed that the Core Strategy was in general conformity with both the adopted and emerging RSS and made a number of detailed comments, the most significant of which was that the Core Strategy should be amended to refer to the draft South East Plan as submitted on the 31st March 2006 and should reflect the most up-to-date housing allocations

19. The County Council made specific criticisms of Policies CP2 (Location of Development), CP4 (Countryside), CP5 (Infrastructure and Services), CP13 (Design), CP16 (Subsidised Affordable and Social Housing) and CP20 (Visitor Economy). The County Council also made a number of detailed comments on wording.

Summary of the main issues

20. The main issues which the consultation has elicited appear to be:

General j) Whether the proposals for monitoring the plan are sufficiently clear and precise.

Location of Development
Housing
Affordable Housing Green Belt

a) Whether the Green belt Boundary should be reviewed

b) Whether further sites should be identified as MDSs.

Dunsfold
Recommendation
That the Committee note the contents of this report.
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Background Papers (DPD)

Individual responses to the Draft Core Strategy post-submission Consultation.
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CONTACT OFFICER:
Name: Peter Hartley Telephone: 01483 - 523297
E-mail: phartley@waverley.gov.uk

G/Bureau/comms/O&S3/2006-7/137.doc