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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/12/2003
Planning Policy Statement 12: Local Development Frameworks



Summary & Purpose
The government has published a draft Planning Policy Statement (PPS) on Local Development Frameworks (LDFs): the new type of Local Plan. Comments are requested by 16th January 2004. The report looks at the PPS and the implications for Waverley, and puts forwards comments on the issues arising.

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



The quality of life implications for Waverley arising from the new PPS are all positive because the new system will lead to the devising of policies and proposals which will aim to safeguard the environment, create prosperity and engender a flourishing community.

E-Government implication

There may well be opportunities for enabling the community to participate in the development of LDFs through new IT initiatives.

Resource and legal implications:

Drawing up the new plans may have resource implications, as there will be more emphasis on Supplementary Planning Documents. As these can be time consuming and detailed to produce, there may be a staffing implications.
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Local Development Frameworks – the format

1. The new plans will be very different to the familiar Local Plans that have been produced over the past 20 years at Waverley. The government objective is that local authorities should produce an integrated set of policies and proposals which are based on a clear understanding of the economic, social and environmental needs of the area and any constraints on meeting those needs.

2. Planning Policy Statement 12 explains that Local Development Frameworks will be “portfolios” containing a series of documents, and these can be updated individually without revising the whole plan.

3. The portfolio is itself the Local Development Framework, and the documents inside will be:

The Local Development Scheme (LDS) Development Plan documents (LDD) which are:

- the core strategy
-site specific allocations of land
- area action plans
- the proposals map

Supplementary planning documents (SPD) Generic policies Sustainability appraisal The Strategic Environment Appraisal. The Statement of Community Involvement

4. The Development Plan documents will be subject to Examination in a Public Inquiry, and the outcome of the Inspector’s Report will be binding on the authority.

The Local Development Scheme

5. The Council will have to submit a local development scheme within 6 months of commencement of Part 2 of the Planning and Compensation Act in July 2004. This is a public statement of the local planning authority’s programme for a three year project plan. Waverley has agreed with the Government Office for the South East (GOSE) that it will submit a draft scheme at the end of this year, and a final scheme in April 2004, following liaison with GOSE advisers.

The development plan documents (DPD)

6. “The core strategy should comprise a vision and strategic objectives for the area, along with a spatial strategy, a number of core policies and monitoring and implementation framework. It must be up to date and, once adopted, all other development plan documents must be in conformity with it.” (paragraph 2.2.2.PPS12).

7. The Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002 included a Keynote Policy, which expresses a vision for the area. This could form the starting point for devising the new core strategy.


8. Site specific allocations are identified in a document in the portfolio on the basis of a robust and credible assessment of the suitability and availability of land for particular uses or a mix of uses. It will be possible to review this document separately, making it easier to provide an up to date plan. Site specific allocations differ from action plans in that they focus on a particular site rather than a whole area.

9. “Area action plans should be used to provide the planning framework for areas where significant change or conservation is needed. Authorities may set criteria in their core strategy for identifying locations and priorities for area action plan preparation”
(paragraph 2.2.12)

10. The Proposals Map may look similar to the existing Local Plan Map, but few details are available in the Statement. More guidance is awaited.

The supplementary planning documents (SPD)

11. This is a change of name for the previous supplementary planning guidance documents, the familiar SPGs, which the Borough has been producing for a number of years. Like the existing format, SPDs will not be statutory documents and do not form part of the development plan (unlike the core strategy.)

Generic policies

12. These policies are not in the Development Plan but will set out the criteria against which planning applications for the development and use of land and buildings will be considered. There should only be a limited number and they should not repeat national planning policy statements. “Policies should be affirmative and should focus on achieving the outcomes required to meet the authority’s vision.” (Paragraph 2.5.3).

Sustainability appraisal and the strategic environmental appraisal

13 “Local planning authorities should adopt an integrated approach towards sustainability appraisal and the requirements of the European directive for strategic environmental assessment to avoid unnecessary confusion and duplication, “(paragraph 4.3.2). The assessments will play an important part in testing the soundness of LDDs. Few details are available as yet on how these documents might look.

The Statement of Community Involvement

14. The Statement of Community Involvement is a new concept. It should set out the standards of consultation to be achieved by the local authority in producing the LDF. It should enable the community to know when and how it will be involved in the plan process. It should identify the links with the Community Strategy.

15. There are four stages:

• Pre-production: survey and evidence gathering
• Production: issues options and consultations
• Examination: soundness of the plan
• Adoption: the binding report.

16. The Sustainability Appraisal and the Strategic Environmental Appraisal should be carried out during the production stage. Preferred options should be prepared at this stage and there should be consultation for a six week period.

17. The community should be involved at an early stage. Paragraph 3.1.3 states:

18. Under the existing system, the Public Inquiry (examination) is normally followed by a series of Modifications with associated consultation. This stage is to be deleted. Any modifications will be dealt with by the Inspector, and his verdicts on issues are final. At present, the Inspector is appointed by the local authority and acceptance of his/her report is at the discretion of the Local Authority. This will no longer be the case.

Transferring to the new system

19. The Waverley Borough Local Plan 2003 will retain development plan status and become a “saved” plan for a period of three years from commencement of the Act in June 2004. The Surrey Structure Plan that will be produced following the Examination in Public at the end of this year will also be a “saved” document. During the three year period, the Borough will need to bring forward local development documents to replace all or parts of the “saved” plan in accordance with our development plan scheme.

OBSERVATIONS ON THE NEW PLANNING PROCESS

20. The following observations can be made on the new process:

Conclusion

21. Overall, the new system is welcome and will provide a new and productive approach to plan making.

Recommendation

That the observations in this report be agreed and conveyed to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
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Background Papers (DoP&D)

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

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Geraldine Molony telephone: 01483 523296

E-mail: gmolony.@waverley.gov.uk