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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 01/09/2003
APPENDIX N - SURREY STRUCTURE PLAN : CONSULTATION ON "PRE-EiP CHANGES"



Summary & Purpose
Surrey County Council is preparing a new County Structure Plan. In November 2003 the Structure Plan will be subject to an “Examination-in-Public” (EiP). The County Council has published “Pre-EiP Changes” to the Plan, which includes an increase in the number of dwellings allocated to each District and Borough in Surrey. This report summarises the key changes and recommends a response at paragraph 13 of the report.

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
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive



APPENDIX N
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 1ST SEPTEMBER 2003
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Title:

SURREY STRUCTURE PLAN: CONSULTATION ON “PRE-EiP CHANGES”

[Wards Affected:All]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

Surrey County Council is preparing a new County Structure Plan. In November 2003 the Structure Plan will be subject to an “Examination-in-Public” (EiP). The County Council has published “Pre-EiP Changes” to the Plan, which includes an increase in the number of dwellings allocated to each District and Borough in Surrey. This report summarises the key changes and recommends a response at paragraph 13 of the report.
_________________________________________________________________________
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
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive

The Structure Plan is a strategic ‘land-use’ plan based upon ‘sustainable development’.

E-Government implications:

The Structure Plan and supporting technical documents are available on the Surrey County Council website at www.surreycc.gov.uk.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no resource or legal implications arising from this report.


Introduction

1. The Surrey Structure Plan sets the strategic planning framework for the County. Structure Plans are being phased out under Government reforms to the planning system. They will eventually be replaced with “Regional Spatial Strategies”. Until that happens, the Structure Plan will remain valid. When Waverley prepares a Local Development Framework (to replace the Local Plan) it will need to comply with the new Structure Plan, as well as regional and national policies.
2. The adopted Structure Plan has been in place since 1994. The process for the new Structure Plan is set out below:
3. The Executive previously considered a report on the Structure Plan on 4th February 2003 when it agreed comments on the “Second Deposit Draft”. Annexe 1 sets out the County Council’s responses to those comments. The County Council disagrees with this Council’s comments, which related to sustainability, the Green Belt and the Countryside, and Dunsfold Aerodrome. Policies on the Green Belt and the Countryside will be discussed at the EiP, with Waverley invited to participate. Officers have made further requests of the County Council to reconsider the Plan’s wording with regard to Dunsfold Aerodrome (see letter at Annexe 2).

Pre-EiP Changes

4. The key issues in the Plan will be discussed at an “Examination-in-Public” (EiP), before an independent panel. The County Council placed “Pre-EiP Changes” to the Plan ‘on deposit’ from 11th July to 22nd August 2003. The purpose of this report is to recommend the response at paragraph 12. The opportunity to comment on matters not addressed in the Pre-EiP Changes has passed.

5. The key areas of change over the Second Deposit Draft Plan are:
The distribution of new housing
The deletion of a proposed new community north-west of Guildford
Affordable housing

The distribution of new housing (Policy LO7)

6. Regional Planning Guidance (RPG9) allocates 35,400 dwellings to Surrey, to be built between 2001 and 2016. The “Second Deposit Draft” failed to identify sufficient land to meet this figure, with a shortfall of 7,500 dwellings. The Pre-EiP Changes address the shortfall as shown in the table below:
7. The “capacity allocations” are derived from the “Surrey Housing Capacity Study”. This provides an assessment of the likely supply of housing in the County in the period 2001–2016, before any strategic allocations are added. The study was carried out jointly, and agreed as a technical assessment of capacity by Surrey County Council and officers of the 11 district and borough planning authorities in Surrey. The methodology was revisited and made more robust for the final version of the study, which resulted in the revised estimates of “capacity” that informed the Pre-EiP Changes.

8. The Structure Plan strategy directs new development to sites within settlements, in preference to green field sites. This accords with Government policy. To maintain and enhance the quality of urban life, planning authorities will be required to prepare “Comprehensive Urban Strategies” (CUS). These will link new development to an overall vision for an urban area and the longer-term community needs. CUSs will address infrastructure, design excellence and other aspects that contribute to urban quality of life. More detail is provided in “Managing Urban Areas” – a supporting document to the Structure Plan, also prepared jointly by the Surrey Authorities.

9. To put Waverley’s allocation into context, 2,810 dwellings over 15 years equates to 187 dwellings per annum. Over the last five years the Borough has seen, on average, 190 new dwellings per annum. The allocation of 2,810 dwellings anticipates no need for green field land releases in the Borough.

10. If the Committee supports the recommendation, and does not object to the revised allocation of 2,810, then Waverley’s ‘housing land supply’ position changes. Currently the Council is refusing housing developments on large, open sites, on the grounds of prematurity, under Policy H2 (Monitoring and Phasing of Housing Provision) in the Local Plan. In other words, certain large sites, that are acceptable in principle for development, can be ‘withheld’ until such time as they are needed to help meet the Council’s strategic housing requirements. It acts as a ‘brake’ to development when planned housing provision is being exceeded. The increase in housing numbers in the Pre-EiP Changes means the Council would no longer be in a position to apply Policy H2. There are currently two planning appeals pending where Policy H2 was a reason for refusal. The Council would need to withdraw that reason for refusal in those cases.

Deletion of proposed new community northwest of Guildford (Policy LO7)

11. A proposal for a new community northwest of Guildford has been deleted. A new community to the northeast of Guildford remains in the Plan if Guildford Borough Council cannot find sufficient housing supply from previously developed land.

Affordable Housing (Policy DN11)

12. There are no significant changes to policy, but the target in the Second Deposit Draft Plan that 40% of all new housing should be “affordable” is being looked at again. The revised strategy for locating development (discussed above) means more reliance on small, previously developed sites, where there is less scope to secure affordable housing. The abolition of Local Authority Social Housing Grant could also jeopardise the delivery of affordable housing. Work is currently underway to assess how affordable housing delivery can be maximised within the revised planning strategy and current financial constraints. The results will inform the debate at the EiP.


Officer comments on the “Pre-EiP Changes”

13. The following officer comments are suggested:

Recommendation

That the comments set out under paragraph 13 above and at Annexe 4 to this report, be endorsed as the Council’s response to the Surrey Structure Plan “Pre-EiP” Changes.
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Background Papers

Surrey Structure Plan Deposit Draft, December 2002
Pre-Examination-in-Public Changes, July 2003
Surrey Housing Capacity Study, June 2003
Managing Urban Areas, June 2003
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Daniel Hawes Telephone: 01483 523295

E-mail: dhawes@waverley.gov.uk


comms/exec/2003-04/219