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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 24/05/2005
Local Development Framework Core Strategy



Summary & Purpose
The Local Development Framework Core Strategy: Issues and Options document was presented to members of the Planning Policy Special Interest Group on 3rd November 2005 and Members of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 18th January 2005. Since then, the document has been through the committee process and then out to public participation.

The first part of this report sets out the consultation response on the Core Strategy, the Statement of Community Involvement and the Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal. The second part of the report sets out the Preferred Options and Policies for the Core Strategy.

This report is being considered by the Planning Policy Special Interest Group on 16th May and the observations of the SIG are 'to follow'.

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 C
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

PLANNING POLICY SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP -
16TH MAY 2005

ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE-
24TH MAY 2005
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
Local Development Framework Core Strategy
[Wards Affected: All]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The Local Development Framework Core Strategy: Issues and Options document was presented to members of the Planning Policy Special Interest Group on 3rd November 2005 and Members of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 18th January 2005. Since then, the document has been through the committee process and then out to public participation.

The first part of this report sets out the consultation response on the Core Strategy, the Statement of Community Involvement and the Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal. The second part of the report sets out the Preferred Options and Policies for the Core Strategy.

This report is being considered by the Planning Policy Special Interest Group on 16th May and the observations of the SIG are 'to follow'.
_________________________________________________________________________
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 benefit to the Borough of the Core Strategy: Preferred Options and Policies is that it will give a clear statement of how the Borough Council intends to implement the Core Vision and the Core Strategy for Waverley. The Statement of Community Involvement aims to provide guidance for the community on how and who will be consulted on the Local Development Framework. The benefit of the Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal is that it shows the sustainability of the Local Development Framework.

E-Government implications:

In the second phase of the work on the Preferred Options it is intended to develop interactive questionnaire.

Resource and legal implications:

There are no resource or legal implications at this stage.

CONSULTATION ON :
THE CORE STRATEGY ISSUES AND OPTIONS DOCUMENT;
THE INITIAL REPORT FOR THE CORE STRATEGY SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL;
ON THE STATEMENT OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT


1. The consultation on the Core Strategy was carried out in accordance with Regulation 25 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Development) (England) Regulations 2004. This was the early stakeholders stage when a public consultation was held on the Core Strategy Issues and Options. There was also consultation on the Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal – a technical document that tests the sustainability of the Core Strategy. The Statement of Community Involvement had already been through the early stakeholder stage and the consultation was on the preferred options for the document.

2. The consultation period on the three documents was originally from 24th February 2005 to 8th April 2005, but this was extended to 22nd April 2005 to allow the public more time to reply.

3. The consultation was carried out in the following ways:

the documents were sent/emailed to 560 organisations;
the documents were available on the web site;
there was a article in the Waverley Link Magazine;
a Public Notice and articles in the local newspapers;
there was a workshop for organisations and parish councils.
The Citizens Panel was consulted.

4. The consultations on the Core Strategy Issues and Options document and the Statement of Community Involvement were carried out by sending out a questionnaire on each document and inviting comments. The Statement of Community Involvement questionnaire asked two questions on who should be consulted and by what means. A blank copy of the questionnaire on the Core strategy is attached at Annexe E. The questions referred to:-

The vision
The issues
The objectives
The spatial strategy
Four options for development

5. The four options are:
This option continues the present approach of focussing development on previously developed land within existing towns and villages and giving strong protection to the rural areas.

b) Option 2: Focussing development on the four main settlements and in selected villages on principal transport routes c) Option 3: Focussing development on the four main settlements only d) Option 4: Focussing development in a new settlement 6. The outcome of the questionnaires is summarised in Annexe A. The individual comments received from the questionnaire and the comments received from separate letters are set out in Annexe B. The outcome of the Citizens Panel Survey (CPS) is considered in Annexe C.

7. There have been 106 replies from individuals and organisations on the Core Strategy, and 406 specific separate comments. There have been 503 responses to the Core Strategy questionnaire from the Citizens’ Panel Survey. Overall there was a good response.

8. Public Comments on the Core Strategy Issues and Options Document

The spatial strategy and the spatial vision: these were supported by the majority of the participants.

a) managing visitors who wish to come to Waverley;

b) limited public transport especially in rural areas

The Citizens Panel also thought (a) was not a key issue, but supported (b).

Objectives: the objective on access to sport leisure and cultural facilities for all was not thought to be important, by the organisations or the Citizens’ Panel 9. (b) Individual letters and additional comments in the questionnaires from the organisations, the public and the CPS

The objectives
Amendments to the Core Strategy, the Statement of Community Involvement and the Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal.

10. In response to the comments received, amendments are proposed for the Core Strategy, the Statement of Community Involvement and the Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal.

11. The new Core Strategy Preferred Options, incorporating the changes, is set out in full in Annexe D. The proposed changes to the issues and objectives are written in italics.

12. Regarding the Statement of Community Involvement, The questionnaire indicated that the main ways organisations and the public wanted to be consulted was by email, letters and newsletters. Amendments are proposed to the document in response to the comments received, and these are included in Annexe B.

13. The Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal is a technical document but it was sent out for public comment. Annexe B shows the comments that were received and the amendments that are proposed.

The Preferred Options and Policies document – the next step

14. Having amended the original document, “the Core Strategy Issues and Options”, the next step is to produce the second document on the Preferred Options and Policies. This includes the amendments, the choice out of the 4 development options and the policies (Annexe D).


The Core Strategy Policies

15. The policies have been included in the new document. The intention is to base them on the sustainability principle in the Core Vision and the Spatial Strategy. The policies are intentionally concise and are designed to be long term and not be vulnerable to change in the short term.

The Development Options

16. The consultation response to the question about the 4 options for development has been as follows:


OPTIONPUBLIC AND ORGANISATIONSCITIZENS PANEL SURVEY
OPTION 133.8%38%
OPTION 226.5%28%
OPTION 316.2%9%
OPTION 413.2%21%
NOT STATED10.3%3%

The choice of which Option the Council should choose is now considered.

17. The Core Principles establish the key objectives for the Local Development Framework. These seek to respond to the dynamics of change and ensure that services, infrastructure, homes, jobs and community and leisure needs are delivered without undermining the built, natural and man-made environmental resources of the Borough. The purpose of this section of the report is to identify the preferred long-term spatial location for delivering the development to meet these needs.

18. The Core Strategy is influenced by a range of national, regional and strategic policies set out in national Planning Policy Statements and Guidance, the South East Plan (currently under preparation) and the recently approved Surrey Structure Plan (December 2004). It is also influenced by the Waverley and Surrey County Community Strategies and draws on a comprehensive set of information set out in the evidence base. The Sustainability Appraisal report that the Council is preparing identifies the sustainability and environmental issues affecting the Borough and the implications that the Core Strategy will have on the future.

19. Waverley is a largely rural area containing some of the finest landscape in the South-East. It comprises four major settlements, ranging between 12,000 and 36,000 population, and some 20 villages and hamlets ranging from a few hundred to over 3,000 population. It contains some 45 Conservation areas and many attractive residential areas. It is critically important to maintain and enhance the high environmental quality of the Borough and the viability and vibrancy of its communities.

20. The current Local Plan (adopted in April 2002 following a Public Inquiry in 2000) is well-understood and well-respected by the public and developers. It sets out clear policies based on sustainability principles. It provides for development needs of both the rural and urban communities and seeks to protect and enhance the Borough’s valuable environmental assets and improve the quality of life of its residents.

21. The Core Strategy Options paper which was the subject of extensive public consultation between mid-February and mid-April this year identified four spatial options. These options explored different ways of locating and accommodating future development.

22. Each of these options has advantages and disadvantages. These were explored in the recent public consultation exercise. The outcome of the public consultation exercise is set out in the report above. 23. There was a clear preference in the public consultation for Option 1, with a second preference for Option 2.

Development Needs

24 The Core Strategy Policies will provide the framework for development up to 2016. The current Surrey Structure Plan requires that Waverley should provide for 2,810 dwellings over the period April 2001 to March 2016 – i.e. 187 per year. Some 800* dwellings have been built between April 2001 and March 2005. Currently planning permission exists or sites have been identified for a further 1,100* dwellings. This means that Waverley has some 5.9*.years’ supply and that sites will have to be found for some 900* dwellings. Windfall sites will continue to emerge and the Council is currently undertaking a Housing Urban Potential Study. A site has been reserved at Furze Lane for the long-term needs. The Housing Development Plan Document will consider this issue in more detail, however it is not anticipated that significant releases of housing land will need to be made before 2016. 25. The South East Plan is currently being prepared. This Plan will set the strategic context up to 2026. The District housing allocations have not yet been set. Consideration of the Options

26. It is crucial that the Preferred Option for the Core Strategy meets the diverse community needs and directs the necessary new development in a sustainable manner.

For these reasons this option should not be pursued further.

Option 4 seeks to promote a comprehensively planned new settlement which could be designed to provide the development needs of the borough in a co-ordinated manner using up-to-date sustainable construction techniques designed to minimise the consumption of non-renewable resources. Such a proposal, could take 10 years to come to fruition. Even if it were to be built on previously developed land in the rural area, this option would conflict with current Structure Plan and emerging regional planning policies. Furthermore it would have a major impact on the rural character and environment. The Government Office has confirmed that the Council could not resist “windfall” housing development within developed areas if it were to adopt this option.

Current indications are that there is sufficient land to meet the housing allocation development needs up to 2016. It is therefore not necessary to consider the need for this option until the longer term.

Conclusion

The consultation stage on the Core Strategy Issues and Options was very productive and produced a considerable number of very valid points. The proposed amendments are a reflection of this. The Statement of Community Involvement and the Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal were met with approval in general. The policies and the chosen Option relate to the public consultation.


Recommendation

It is recommended that:

1) the amendments to the Statement of Community Involvement and the Initial Report for the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal be approved and any observations be passed to the Executive:

2) the new document “The Core Strategy: The Preferred Options” be approved and any observations be passed to the Executive; and

3) the chosen Option be included in the “Core Strategy Preferred Options and Policies.
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Background Papers ( DoPD)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Geraldine Molony Telephone: 01483 523296
E-mail: gmolony@waverley.gov.uk

Comms/O&S3/05-06/004