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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 13/09/2004
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEME



Summary & Purpose
The Local Development Framework Special Interest Group is considering the final draft of the Local Development Scheme at its meeting on the 2nd September. This is the document which sets out the programme management plan for producing the Local Development Framework. A report on the outcome of that meeting is to follow.

The purpose of this report is to set out the background to the new system and explain the work that the Local Development Framework Special Interest Group has undertaken in producing the Local Development Scheme.

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, which received Royal Assent on 13th May 2004 (the 2004 Act), provides for a new system for the production of development plans. It is anticipated that the Commencement Orders and the final draft of the Regulations will be published in September.

The current system of Structure Plans (prepared by County Councils), Unitary Plans (prepared by Unitary Authorities) and Local Plans (prepared by District/Borough Councils) is to be replaced with a system of Regional Spatial Strategies (prepared by the Regional Assemblies) and Local Development Frameworks (prepared by Local Planning Authorities).

Whilst the Government has not yet issued the Commencement Orders nor has it issued the final draft of the Regulations, the anticipated timetable for the production of these new documents is very tight. Local authorities are therefore being urged to make a start on the preparation of the documents at an early stage.

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
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX C
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL
ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
13TH SEPTEMBER 2004
___________________________________________________________________
Title:
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT SCHEME
[Wards Affected: All]
___________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The Local Development Framework Special Interest Group is considering the final draft of the Local Development Scheme at its meeting on the 2nd September. This is the document which sets out the programme management plan for producing the Local Development Framework. A report on the outcome of that meeting is to follow.

The purpose of this report is to set out the background to the new system and explain the work that the Local Development Framework Special Interest Group has undertaken in producing the Local Development Scheme.

The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act, which received Royal Assent on 13th May 2004 (the 2004 Act), provides for a new system for the production of development plans. It is anticipated that the Commencement Orders and the final draft of the Regulations will be published in September.

The current system of Structure Plans (prepared by County Councils), Unitary Plans (prepared by Unitary Authorities) and Local Plans (prepared by District/Borough Councils) is to be replaced with a system of Regional Spatial Strategies (prepared by the Regional Assemblies) and Local Development Frameworks (prepared by Local Planning Authorities).

Whilst the Government has not yet issued the Commencement Orders nor has it issued the final draft of the Regulations, the anticipated timetable for the production of these new documents is very tight. Local authorities are therefore being urged to make a start on the preparation of the documents at an early stage.

___________________________________________________________________
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
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


E-Government implications:
There may be implications for e-government in the consultation processes.

Resource and Legal Implications
The resource and legal implications are set out in the report.
___________________________________________________________________
Background
1. The stated aims of the Government in introducing the new regime for the preparation of development plans are to:
build on existing strengths,
ensure that there is strong community involvement,
incorporate principles of sustainability,
be more positive and create confidence and certainty,
be sufficiently flexible so as to reflect changing needs and priorities more swiftly.
Speed up the preparation of plans 2. One of the hallmarks of the new system is that the whole Local Development Framework does not have to be produced at the same time. The Government proposes that the different Local Development Documents (LDDs) which comprise the Local Development Framework (LDF) can be produced at different times.

3. LDFs are to be produced within 3 years of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act coming into force. Until that time current Structure and Local Plans will be automatically “saved”. It is, however, necessary for the Council to examine all its existing policies and decide which can be saved beyond 2007, which are to be replaced by specific Development Plan Documents (DPDs) and which are to be included in a suite of new development control “generic” policies. 4. The 2004 Act only replaces parts of the 1990 Town and County Planning Act. The well-established principle of the “plan-led” system enshrined in Section 54A of that Act remains. National Planning Policy Statements, which are gradually replacing the National Planning Policy Guidance Notes, will set national policy. The Regional Spatial Strategies being prepared by the Regional Assemblies will reflect those policies at the regional level and Local Development Frameworks will reflect them at the local level.

5. Local Development Frameworks (LDFs) should provide an agreed vision for the area which has involved both the community and major “stakeholders” from its inception. They will be:
founded on a sound evidence base
locationally specific,
integrated with other strategies,
more proactive,
focussed on strategy and criteria-based policies and
will not be limited to traditional land-use matters. 6. The main components of LDFs are:
the Statement of Community Involvement (which will explain how the Council will consult and engage with the community in the preparation of the LDF);
the Development Plan Documents which will comprise: a Sustainability Appraisal (SA), and
a Strategic Environmental Appraisal (SEA).

7. The Council must also prepare an Annual Monitoring Report. It may also prepare Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs).

8. The Government Office has made it clear that the priorities in the first three years are for Councils to produce the Core Strategy and Housing Site Allocations Local Development Documents (LDDs). The Core Strategy will cover the overall strategic policies. The Housing Site Allocations Document will include an assessment of housing supply (including an assessment of how much, if any, employment land can or should be redeveloped for housing purposes) and an assessment of affordable housing needs.

The Local Development Scheme
9. The Council must prepare a Local Development Scheme. This document is a programme management plan stating what DPDs are to be produced and when. It will set priorities, identify time-scales and identify resources and research needs and explain how the LDF is to be monitored and reviewed. Although Local Development Schemes have to be submitted to the Regional Office (GOSE) within 6 months of the Act coming into force, the Government Office has requested that they be submitted as soon as possible.

10. Officers have had a number of discussions with officers of the Government Office to ensure that this Council remains on the right track. Officers have also shared ideas with colleagues in other authorities.

Essential Development Plan Documents
11. The following Development Plan Documents will be prepared: 12. The Core Strategy will provide the strategic policies for the LDF and will ensure that the “spatial approach” sought by the Government secures the economic, environmental and social well being of Waverley. The Core Strategy will express the spatial issues emerging from the Community Strategy and will establish the vision for a “Sustainable Waverley”. It will comply with, but not repeat, national policy and will be mainly concerned with strategic priorities and principles.

13. Fundamental to the preparation of the LDF are the requirements for a Sustainability Appraisal and a Strategic Environmental Assessment. The Core Strategy will be founded on a series of Key Sustainability Principles, not dissimilar to the Keynote Policy upon which the current Local Plan is based. This will ensure that all proposals and policies are compliant with the principles of sustainability and that the LDF reflects one of the principal themes to emerge in both Waverley’s and the County Council’s Community Strategies.

14. The Core Strategy will include overarching policies relating to: 15. The Core Strategy will include a Key diagram showing the broad spatial location of development, Area Action Plans, key transportation elements and links with neighbouring authority areas. 16 The Core Strategy will also need to assess different strategic options.

17. The LDF SIG is of the view that it would be in the Council’s best interest to secure the Core Strategy as soon as possible. The LDF SIG therefore suggests that the Council aims to hold an Examination (the new name for Public Inquiries) into the Core Strategy in the autumn of 2005.
18. This document will
demonstrate how Waverley will meet its strategic housing requirements in accordance with the Core Strategy by way of: be the vehicle for revising the Council’s Affordable Housing policy;
set out arrangements for monitoring housing supply.

19. This document will also assess the needs for gypsies and travelling showmen in Waverley.

20. The evidence base required for this document will include:
a study of housing potential (Urban Capacity Studies) to identify sources of housing supply;
housing market/housing needs assessments;
an assessment of the needs of Waverley-based gypsies and travellers, levels of occupancy within existing sites and their capacity for further intensification. 21. This document would be produced in parallel with the Housing DPD and would encompass the proposals in draft PPS3 which require an assessment of land in industrial and commercial use to identify which areas could/should be redeveloped for housing purposes; 22. This document would review the Development Control polices which have become out of date as a result of changes is national and strategic policy and emerging regional policy. 23. The provision of essential infrastructure and environmental benefits was addressed in Policy D14 of the 2002 Local Plan. This policy provided a list of potential benefits which could be negotiated as part of the development process. New housing and its impact on infrastructure are now much more of a key issue and the need to address planning obligation requirements has become more of a priority. A Planning Obligations SPD would enable a review of the role of planning benefits aimed at securing the objectives of the Community Strategy. 23. In order to meet the Government’s target of ensuring that the work relating to the Housing, Industrial and Commercial Land, Development Control Policies and Planning Obligations is completed by March 2007, these DPDs would need to be considered at a Public Examination in late 2006. Existing Commitments
25. A certain amount of work is already under way. Most of this work is nearing conclusion, and includes: 26. Following the Council’s review of Conservation Area Appraisals in 2001 in which Bramley was identified as one of the priorities for appraisal because of the serious impact of the A281, work on the Bramley Conservation Area Appraisal commenced in 2003. The aim of this study is to identify the particular characteristics of the Conservation Area and to examine ways of safeguarding and enhancing it. The study has involved the Parish Council, the Bramley Society and others and is well advanced. A draft document is currently being prepared which will be published for public consultation later this year. It is anticipated that the final draft of the SPD will be ready for in Spring 2005. Dunsfold Aerodrome DPD
27. The Council agreed to commence work on Supplementary Planning Guidance for Dunsfold Aerodrome in January 2003. A considerable amount of data and information has been gathered. A public consultation exercise took place last autumn. This has provided the Council with much information on which it can identify the way forward. With the advent of the new regime under 2004 Act, the Council has agreed that it should proceed on the basis of an Area Action Plan. This document will identify redevelopment opportunities in a co-ordinated and comprehensive manner. It would include proposals for new uses with the aim of optimising economic and social benefits and safeguarding ecological, environmental and infrastructure resources. Currently the aim is to carry out a further period of consultation in the Autumn of this year with a view to identifying the preferred option in the early part of next year. Providing sufficient resources could be made available, this DPD could be ready for a Public Examination at the same time as the Core Strategy.
28. The last study of the Farnham Town Centre Conservation Area was carried out in 1979. Farnham Town Centre Conservation Area was identified as a priority in the Council’s 2001 review of Conservation Area Appraisals in view of the continuing pressures for development and ongoing traffic issues. The aim of this study is to identify the particular characteristics of the Conservation Area and to examine ways of safeguarding and enhancing it. The study has involved the Town Council, the Farnham Society and other main stakeholders and is well advanced. A draft document is currently being prepared which will be published for public consultation later this year. It is anticipated that the final draft of the SPD will be ready in Spring 2005. 29 This document is required for the implementation of the SCC Car Parking Strategy and will identify area-wide packages and measures for the control, charging, regulation and management of parking relevant to the needs of the area and will dovetail with the policies and proposals in the Surrey Local Transport Plan. To date the study has involved key officers from Waverley and County Council and has resulted in the preliminary identification of parking zones which follow the town centre boundaries of the 2002 Local Plan. The intention is that the focus of this document is on parking issues in the town centres areas. 30. Other stakeholders are shortly to be drawn in to assist in identifying key issues and options. This consultation is likely to include Town and Parish Councils, local Chambers of Commerce, the Police, public transport authorities, and neighbouring authorities. Once a draft document has been prepared, it will be subject to fuller consultation towards the end of this year. It is anticipated that the final draft of the SPD will be ready in late Autumn 2005. 31. Work on this SPD by the Waverley Cycling Forum (comprising representatives from SCC, WBC and key cycling groups from across the Borough) is ongoing. A draft plan providing a framework for encouraging increased cycle use is being prepared as a basis for public consultation. The Consultation period will commence later this year with the SPD being ready for adoption in April 2005.

Other Tasks
32. Listed below, in priority order, are a number of DPDs which the LDF SIG has identified should be undertaken should resources permit. 33. Hindhead has suffered considerable blight over the years as a result of the traffic on the A3. A Hindhead Area Action Plan would seek to improve, enhance and rejuvenate the area once the A3 tunnel has been constructed (anticipated 2009). The emphasis of the document would be to enable residents and businesses to foster the benefits of the area once the through traffic has been removed and to improve its environmental quality. Consideration should also be given to working in parallel with East Hants Borough Council on any proposed DPD it may have for Grayshott. 34. Farnham is a complex urban area containing a wealth of listed buildings and some of the finest urban landscape in the South East. The town centre is subject to much pressure and considerable traffic problems. A “Healthcheck” is currently being undertaken.

35. A Farnham Town Centre Area Action Plan would amplify and replace Policies TC1, TC2, TC3, TC8, TC9, TC11 and TC13 in the Local Plan and would provide a framework for development in Farnham Town Centre with the aim of further enhancing its attractiveness, vitality and viability during and following the proposed redevelopment of East Street. It would also seek to address the impacts of traffic on the town centre consequential on the implementation of the highway works proposed on the A31 at Hickley’s Corner. 36. In March 2003 David Lloyd Leisure Ltd and the Farnham Rugby Union Football Club submitted an application for the erection of a substantial leisure facility together with a rugby pavilion and pitches on land at Monkton Lane Farnham. This application generated a considerable amount of public interest both in favour and against the proposal. However, in June the applicants withdrew the application, which had been 'called in' for determination by the Secretary of State, and would have become subject to a Public Inquiry.

37. The application raised many issues about the need for leisure facilities as well as issues regarding the Council’s Leisure and Cultural Strategies, alternative sites and whether leisure needs are best met in a single location.

38. There is clearly an urgent need to consider the issues raised by this proposal and this, in your officers’ view, would be best carried out through the LDF process. This was a point stresses by officers in the reports relating to this proposal.

39. A Leisure DPD would replace Policies LT6, LT7 and LT8 in the Local Plan and would seek to deal with the need for and identification of sites in a pro-active way within a framework based on sustainable objectives. 40. Cranleigh is a settlement of some 11,000 people with an extensive range of shops and services centred on the High Street. A “Healthcheck” has recently been undertaken and the results have been published. A recent application for the enlargement of the Sainsbury foodstore at Stocklund Square generated a lot of public controversy and further developments within the village centre are likely to generate significant public interest. The recent planning permission for a new Village Hospital will release the existing site for redevelopment and it is likely that further sites, particularly some of the larger employment sites adjoining the town centre could become available for redevelopment should these firms move to Dunsfold Park. Proposals are also currently being developed by the County Council (in consultation with Waverley) to improve the street environment in Cranleigh through the “Upping the Street” initiative.

41. A Cranleigh Centre Area Action Plan would amplify and replace Policies TC1, TC2, TC3, TC8 and TC9 in the Local Plan and would provide a framework for development opportunities in Cranleigh. In particular it would examine the options for redevelopment of the Cranleigh Hospital Site and industrial areas close to the town centre which may relocate to Dunsfold. Alternatively this work could be carried out in the form of Development Briefs for individual sites.

Other topics which may be covered post 2007 42. The Godalming Relief Road (Flambard Way) constructed at the end of the 1980s relieved the historic town centre of much traffic and facilitated an extensive town centre improvement scheme. Notwithstanding the removal of through traffic from the historic core of the town, access/accessibility and availability of car parking still remain particular problems. Furthermore the Key Site Development Brief, produced in 2001, needs revisiting following further research into the contamination issues relating to that site. 43. A Godalming Town Centre Area Action Plan would amplify and replace Policies TC1, TC2, TC3, TC6, TC8 and TC9 in the Local Plan and the Godalming Key Site Development Framework (2001). It would examine opportunities for redevelopment within and around Godalming Town Centre, focussing on the Flambard Way Key Site. A Godalming Town Centre AAP could also identify the potential for improvements to Crown Court. The document would focus on maintaining and enhancing the special character, attractiveness, viability and vitality of the town centre. 44. Haslemere’s historic town centre contains many listed buildings and open land as well as significant areas of poor quality buildings. Supplementary Planning Guidance was produced in 1995 and policies were included in the 2002 Local Plan. These led to some of these areas being redeveloped successfully, however many still remain. There is considerable local momentum in the town for following up the recent publication of the “Healthcheck” results. There are also a number of traffic and parking issues, many of which are the result of the railway station being used as a “railhead” for commuters to London. 45. A Haslemere Town Centre Area Action Plan would amplify and replace Policies TC1, TC2, TC3 TC7, TC8 and TC9 in the Local Plan and would focus on the opportunities offered by the existence of large areas of poor quality buildings in fragmented ownerships within and adjoining the town centre. The document would focus on the need to make the most of the town centre’s potential in a co-ordinated manner without damaging the historic character and environmental quality of the area nor its vitality or viability. 46. This document would review the remaining Development Control polices which have not become outdated.
47. The 2002 Local Plan identified a small number of areas of special environmental quality including the Godalming and Haslemere hillsides, South Farnham and low-density residential areas in Farnham, Haslemere and Wonersh. 48. Since the 2002 Local Plan was adopted, there have been a number of high-profile planning applications which have sought redevelopment within other areas which the residents consider to have special environmental qualities.

49. A Special Environmental Areas DPD would enable a timely review of these areas.

Resources
50. The Policy and Special Projects section comprises 8 full-time members of staff. There are sufficient resources to undertake the Core Strategy, however it is likely that outside consultants will be needed to assist with some of the work associated with the Housing DPD. There are also adequate resources to complete the existing commitments. However, there are not sufficient resources to undertake all the other work within the very tight timetable that the Government is proposing.

Draft Local Development Scheme
The LDF SIG is considering the Draft LDS at its meeting on the 2nd September. A further report will be circulated setting out the outcome of that meeting.

Recommendation
It is recommended that the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee forward its comments to the Executive prior to the Local Development Scheme being adopted by Council and submitted to the Government Office by December.
___________________________________________________________________
Background Papers (DPD)
Draft Planning Policy Statement 12 (Local Development Frameworks)
Draft T&CP (Local Development) England Regulations 2004
Draft T&CP (Transitional Arrangements) England Regulations 2004
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CONTACT OFFICERS:
Peter Hartley Telephone: 01483 - 523297
E-mail: phartley@waverley.gov.uk

Miss G Molony Telephone: 01483 523296
E-mail: gmolony@waverley.gov.uk
Comms/0&s3/2004-05/009