Waverley Borough Council Home Page Waverley Borough Council Home Page


Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13/09/2005
Response to the Consultation on the Local Development Framework Draft Core Strategy and Sustainability Appraisal



Summary & Purpose
The Local Development Framework Draft Core Strategy Preferred Option and Policies document was subject to formal public consultation between 27th June and 19th August 2005. The period of consultation has been extended to 3rd September because of the publication date of the Link Magazine.

In order to extend the outreach, the consultation also included a Poll of 10,000 households and a survey of the Citizens’ Panel.

In view of the tight timetable, an interim report has been prepared to give an indication of the nature of the responses analysed so far. A schedule is attached at Annexe 1 indicating the responses to the views that had been analysed by the date of dispatch of this report. A further schedule will be circulated before the meeting setting out the remaining responses.

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 or Negative
Positive


APPENDIX E
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
13th SEPTEMBER 2005

___________________________________________________________________

Title:
RESPONSE TO THE CONSULTATION ON THE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK DRAFT CORE STRATEGY AND SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL
[Wards Affected: All]
___________________________________________________________________

Summary and Purpose:

The Local Development Framework Draft Core Strategy Preferred Option and Policies document was subject to formal public consultation between 27th June and 19th August 2005. The period of consultation has been extended to 3rd September because of the publication date of the Link Magazine.

In order to extend the outreach, the consultation also included a Poll of 10,000 households and a survey of the Citizens’ Panel.

In view of the tight timetable, an interim report has been prepared to give an indication of the nature of the responses analysed so far. A schedule is attached at Annexe 1 indicating the responses to the views that had been analysed by the date of dispatch of this report. A further schedule will be circulated before the meeting setting out the remaining responses.

___________________________________________________________________

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

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

Resource and Legal Implications

There are no direct resource or legal implications.

___________________________________________________________________
Background

1. The Local Development Framework draft Core Strategy Preferred Option and Policies document was subject to formal public consultation between 27th June and 19th August 2005. The period of consultation has been extended to 3rd September because of the publication date of the Link Magazine.

2. In order to extend the outreach, the consultation also included a Poll of 10,000 households and a survey of the Citizens’ Panel.

3. The Preferred Option and Policies document reflects Members’ decision to agree a preferred option based on a hybrid of Options 1 and 2 of the Issues and Options stage. This is indicates that development will primarily be located on previously developed land in Farnham, Godalming, Haslemere and Cranleigh; that development appropriate to the needs of rural communities will be permitted in rural settlements and, very exceptionally, limited development to meet the essential and proven social, cultural, economic or housing needs of rural communities adjacent to rural settlements. 4. Nearly 200 responses have been received, most of which set out views on each of the policies. This report gives an indication of the nature of the responses that have been analysed to date. A schedule is attached at Annexe 1 indicating the responses to the views analysed so far. The schedule also sets out officer recommendations as to how the matters should be dealt with. 5. A further schedule will be circulated before the meeting setting out the remaining responses.

Summary of individual responses

6. For the most part, the responses are fairly supportive of the strategic approach and the policies that have been proposed. Whilst there has been no comment from SEERA, there is general support from SEEDA. GOSE has expressed pleasure at the progress the Council has made and has congratulated the Council on the work that it has undertaken so far. The Government Office has made a number of suggestions to improve clarity and to improve overall soundness of the document. These cover issues such as:

clarifying the strategic thought processes that have been undertaken;

clarification in the vision as to how the area will adapt to change; and

how the policies will contribute to achieving those changes
7. Surrey County Council is also generally supportive of the approach and has made a number of specific comments.

8. A number of respondents criticise the whole exercise for being too broad and general and comment that the whole new development plan system is confusing for the public to follow. The Godalming Trust states that the new system is so "inherently complex" that is "likely to thwart the intentions for public consultation".

9. Some respondents criticised the use of jargon and many respondents have suggested amendments that will improve clarity. Three suggestions have been made which improve the wording of the policies.

10. Few respondents object fundamentally to the proposed policies, and most of those who have, are not critical of the principle, but the detailed wording (e.g. that the policies as worded are too restrictive).

11. A small number of respondents question the ability of the Council to make provision for infrastructure/manage travel demand and one suggests that infrastructure should be in place before development is started.

12. Some respondents feel that more stress should be given to meeting affordable/key worker housing. On the other hand one respondent objects to the Affordable Housing Policy as it could distort the balance of accommodation/ character of villages.

13. Most of those respondents who have objected to the Green Belt Policy (CP3) appear to think that the identification of Milford Hospital as a Major Developed Site will mean the loss of the Hospital.

14. There are a number of comments that seek detail that will be provided in future DPDs.

15. There are a number of respondents who feel that Option 4 (the new settlement), which has been retained in the long term should circumstances change, should be completely deleted.

16. Dunsfold Park Ltd and Godalming Town Centre Group have made a number of specific objections.

17. Godalming Trust and Surrey Wildlife Trust have made detailed comments on both the Core Strategy and the Sustainability Appraisal. Most of the points raised do not indicate fundamental objections, but rather the need for amendments/additions.

18. Network Rail suggests a pooling of developer contributions towards general public transport improvements and seeks to ensure that the Core Strategy makes a distinction between the different functions of railway station car parks and other car parks.

19. Many respondents have requested changes that are more appropriately dealt with in future Development Plan Documents. However, for the most part the comments are helpful and can be incorporated. The most significant changes relate to:

the changes resulting from the comments of the Government Office;

the addition of a policy on urban landscape to reflect local distinctiveness and provide a strategic framework for “saved” policies BE2 – BE6 (South Farnham Area of Special Environmental Quality, Godalming & Haslemere Hillsides etc);

amplification of Policy CP11 to include reference to form, density, scale etc;

clearer and more focussed reference to climate change. 20. The most significant difference in opinion between the various respondents has been the retention of Option 4 (New Settlement) and the preparation of an Area Action Plan for Dunsfold Aerodrome which many respondents see as one and the same thing. Officers recommend no basic change to the approach (i.e. retain Option 4 in the long term should circumstances change), but to explain more clearly why this site has been selected for an Action Area Plan. Although the Structure Plan makes no distinction between Major Developed Sites in the Green Belt and in the Countryside, it is felt that, for clarity and consistency with PPG2, the term “Major Developed Site” should refer only to those site in the Green Belt.

Summary of views of Citizens’ Panel

21. Of the 1,080 questionnaires sent out, 469 were returned, representing a response rate of 43%. The overall level of agreement with the 19 policies was high, with all but two being agreed with by at least 80% of the respondents. A list is attached at Annexe 2 setting out the level of agreement.

22. More than 90% of respondents agreed with Policy CF1 (Community Facilities). The small number of those in disagreement were concerned about who makes the decisions and lack of precision in the wording. Proposed amendments to the wording should overcome these concerns

23. The main concern relating to Policy CP2 (Location of Development) related to the provision for limited development adjacent to rural settlements in exceptional circumstances and a concern that the policy, as worded, allowed development anywhere. Although numbers are small there is an indication of a higher level of disagreement among respondents in Cranleigh/Ewhurst and the rural villages.

24. The lowest level of agreement was with Policy CP3 (Metropolitan Green Belt) where those who did not agree focussed concerns about the future of Milford Hospital. This concern is consistent with many of the views expressed by individual respondents. A higher proportion of male than female respondents agreed with this policy and a lower proportion of those in Godalming/Farncombe and in the rural villages.

25. A key concern of those who disagreed with Policy CP4 (Countryside was the unsuitability of Dunsfold Aerodrome for development.

26. Reasons for non-agreement with Policy CP5 (Infrastructure) related to lack of precision in the wording and concerns with existing infrastructure.

27. Those who disagreed with Policy CP6 (Managing Travel Demand and Widening the Choice of Travel) focussed on the inadequacies of existing public transport and the consequent necessity of using the private car.

28. Among those who did not agree with Policy CP7 (Water Management), the main concern, as with individual respondents, was that there should be no building in the flood plain. Those who disagreed with Policy CP8 (Biodiversity and Heritage) largely criticised the wording of the policy. The few respondents who disagreed with Policy CP9 (Environmental quality/pollution) cited lack of evidence of current Council concern for this issue.

29. Over 97% supported Policy CP10 (Landscape). The few respondents who disagreed were concerned that it was not strong enough and that rural area should be left in a natural state. Of the few respondents who disagreed with CP11 (Design) the concern was that design should be in keeping with the character of the towns and lack of evidence that the Council was concerned with design. The proposed revised wording should overcome these concerns.

30. Those who did not agree with the Housing Policies (CP12, 13 and14) had reservations about the mix of types of housing and the number of houses planned for the area, particularly in rural areas. Whilst a number stressed the need for more affordable housing, others questioned the emphasis on affordable housing,

31. Those who did not agree with Policy CP15 (Employment) were mainly concerned about the use of agricultural land. Others felt that vacant or underused industrial/commercial land should be used for housing.

32. Those who disagreed with Policy COP16 (Leisure/Open Space were mainly concerned that these uses should not encroach on rural land. The main concerns of those not agreeing with Policy CP17 (Town Centres and Shopping) were the effects on the character of the towns, particularly with high-density residential developments. These concerns were particularly noted by respondents in Farnham. The proposed changes to the wording of Policy CP11 (Design) including protection of local identity and distinctiveness should overcome these concerns.

33. Those not agreeing with Policy CP18 (Visitor Economy) did not understand the term “sequential test”. The proposed glossary of terms should overcome this point. Those not agreeing with Policy CP19 (Information and Communications) were concerned about mobile phone masts being located in residential areas/near schools and questions of definition.

Poll of 10,000 households

34. One thousand, two hundred and sixty one households responded to this survey, representing a response rate of just under 13%. The poll indicates high overall agreement with the policies and demonstrates a very similar pattern in overall levels of agreement to the Citizens’ Panel. 35. Attached at Annexe 3 is a summary of the results of the survey. It will be seen that 90% plus of the respondents agreed with the Policies CP1, CP7, CP8, CP9, CP10, CP11, CP15, and CP16. The most significant levels of disagreement were with:

Policy CP3 (Metropolitan Green Belt) (60%) where the main concern was the future of Milford Hospital, with residents noting its importance and not wishing to see it closed down

Policy CP4 (Countryside) (75%) where the focus of comment relates to Dunsfold Aerodrome which respondents perceive as unsuitable for development and wish to see returned to agricultural/countryside;

Policy CP13 (Housing Provision) (75%) where the chief concerns were that too many houses are planned for this area and inadequate infrastructure

Policy CP14 (Subsidised Affordable and Social Housing) (76%) where the concern was expressed about building in rural areas and the possible detrimental impacts. Sustainability Appraisal

36. Many constructive detailed comments have been received and can be incorporated. The most significant change relates to the issue of climate change. It is also proposed to include reference to climate change in the vision.

Revised Timetable

37. The Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee will be considering a similar report at the meeting on the 13th September. Following that, officers will draw together the views of the SIG and the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee and prepare an amended document. Officers will consult again with the Government Office on the amended draft document. The document will then be presented to the Executive on the 11th October and Council on the 25th October to meet the submission target date of the end of October.

Recommendation
1. that the Committee forward its comments on the representations to the Executive;

2. that the proposed timetable be noted.

___________________________________________________________________

Background Papers (DPD)

Individual responses to the Draft Core Strategy Consultation.
Report b y Surrey Social & Market Research August 2005.

___________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Peter Hartley Telephone: 01483 - 523297

E-mail: phartley@waverley.gov.uk

Geraldine Molony Telephone: 01483 - 523296

E-mail: gmolony@waverley.gov.uk

bureau\comms\o&s3\2005-06\028