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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 26/11/2007
Local Development Framework - Annual Monitoring Report 2006/07



APPENDIX G
Waverley Borough Council
environment and leisure scrutiny Committee
26TH NOVEMBER 2007
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Title:
LOCAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK - ANNUAL MONITORING REPORT 2006/ 2007

[Wards Affected: All]
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Summary and purpose:

This report presents the Draft Local Development Framework Annual Monitoring Report 2006/2007 for consideration, prior to its submission to the Government Office of the South East.

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Environmental implications:
The Annual Monitoring Report is a statutory requirement that provides a mechanism for demonstrating how the Council is meeting its sustainable environmental objectives.

Social / community implications:
The Annual Monitoring Report is a statutory requirement that provides a mechanism for demonstrating how the Council is meeting its sustainable social and community objectives.

E-Government implications:
No direct e-government implications.

Resource and legal implications:
New areas of monitoring will have resource implications. It is anticipated at present that these can be absorbed within current resources.

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Background

1. Section 35 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 requires every local authority to make an Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) to the Secretary of State containing information on the implementation of the Local Development Scheme and the extent to which the policies set out in local development documents are being achieved. This third AMR, covering the period April 2006 – March 2007, has to be submitted by the end of December 2007.

2. A key objective of the new planning system is that local development documents will be ‘spatial’ rather than purely land-use plans delivered through the grant and refusal of planning permission. They need to embrace wider social, environmental and economic objectives, as well as providing a mechanism for delivering sustainable development objectives, considering needs and aspirations of communities, adopting an integrated approach taking account of other strategies and policies, and setting out clear and agreed implementation mechanisms to ensure that spatial objectives and policies are delivered.

3. This spatial approach means that local development documents will need to be based on more comprehensive evidence than development plans were in the past. This is one reason why more robust approaches are now needed towards monitoring the new local development frameworks.

This Annual Monitoring Report 4. In this continued transition period from the Waverley Borough Local Plan 2002 to the Local Development Framework, this third Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) will continue to report on the policies of the Local Plan, as no new policies have yet been adopted as part of the Local Development Framework. This AMR assesses the whole year from April 1st 2006 to March 31st 2007.

5. Due to the large size of the document, individual copies of the Annual Monitoring Report have not been distributed. A copy is however available for inspection in the Members’ Room, and individual copies are available upon request using the contact details at the end of this report.

6. Under the new Framework, all of the Policies within the Local Plan were automatically ‘saved’ during the transition period (2004-2007). Some policies have now been formally saved beyond that period. However, due to the retrospective reporting period of the AMR, this will not be commented on until the next AMR 2007/2008.

7. Due to the high number of policies within the Waverley Borough Adopted Local Plan 2002, it is not possible to monitor each and every policy individually. Therefore, the policies have been monitored by topic, grouped as they are within the individual Local Plan chapters.

Developing the Monitoring Framework

8. The monitoring systems that are currently in place within the Planning Department at Waverley are limited. They are not tailored towards comprehensive forward planning and the Local Development Framework. 9. It is the intention to put in place systems that will meet the statutory requirements of the Local Development Framework Monitoring. In addition, as part of national e-planning initiatives and in an attempt to streamline the planning process, a standard planning application form is currently being developed nationally. This will ensure that much of the information required for monitoring purposes is gathered upfront.

10. GOSE recognises that the AMR is a document that will evolve over time, and the information contained within it will be modified as the LDF progresses and saved policies are replaced. New local indicators and targets will be introduced. Currently, few Local Plans are target based, and so in this AMR, targets from the Adopted Surrey Structure Plan 2004 continue to be used, as well as any targets identified in Waverley’s Best Value Performance Plan. This will change in the next AMR due to the need to have ‘saved’ selected Structure Plan policies. Some information is continues to be unavailable at a local level, and therefore some of the core indicators may not be able to be monitored at this stage.

11. No feedback has been received on the last two AMRs from GOSE, and in the absence of further comment or guidance, this AMR follows the same structure as the last documents. It is likely that this document will become more streamlined once the Core Strategy is adopted.

12. A specific chapter relating to monitoring and implementation will be produced for the forthcoming Core Strategy. The targets and indicators in the document will be used to monitor the effectiveness of policies contained in the Strategy, and will be incorporated in the AMR once it has been adopted and the monitoring of the Core policies begins.

13. 13. It will also be possible, in time, to draw out trends from information collected in a consistent way and from the same sources. Analysis of these trends will be vital to understanding the performance of policies in meeting their objectives and targets.

14. As part of the production of the revised Core Strategy, it is the intention to commission a number of studies to be completed by Spring 2008. These include a Town Centre Retail Study, Employment Land Review and Housing Land Availability Assessment, Housing Market Assessment and an Affordable Housing Viability Study. The findings of these studies will enable a sound, current baseline to be produced, which will provide the basis for policies in the Core Strategy. Each of the studies will include a monitoring protocol to ensure consistency for future monitoring.


Key Findings

15. Below are detailed the key findings from this year’s Annual Monitoring Report: The housing trajectory demonstrates that it is possible to meet the requirements of the housing allocations detailed in both the Surrey Structure Plan 2004 and the Draft South East Plan, for the plan period up to 2018;

28% of housing completions (70 units) were affordable, identical to the previous year; Around 95% of housing development has occurred on “previously developed land”; Over 99% of completed housing development is within 30 minutes public transport time of a GP and Primary School, 72% of a Secondary School, and 58% to a Town Centre. Only 61% of new housing developments were within one hour’s public transport time of a Hospital with Emergency Facilities;

There were 439 net dwelling completions (451 gross) in 2006/07, taking the total number of completions for the Structure Plan period since 2001 to 1,552. Considering the target to provide 2,810 dwellings over the entire plan period (2001-2016), and taking account of previous completions, there is now a need to provide an average of 139.8 dwellings per annum to 2016 to meet the outstanding plan requirements. The housing trajectory demonstrates sufficient capacity to meet the Structure Plan housing requirements up to 2016. Two projections are included, one with a windfall allowance for small and medium sized sites (in lieu of any identified supply), and one with no allowance for small and medium sized sites between 2012 and 2017. The first projection identifies a surplus of +540 dwellings against the plan requirement, whilst the second demonstrates a surplus of +28 dwellings. It is thought that the higher surplus demonstrates a more realistic projection.

There are sufficient planning permissions and site allocations to provide a demonstrable 5-year housing land supply (7.97 years supply or 1.59x five-year supply). To account for non-implementation, it is possible to discount the expected supply from planning permissions by some 50% and still achieve a five-year land supply. Around 86% of housing development is occurring on Previously Developed Land, with the majority of provision situated in and around the four main settlements. A significant amount of the remainder was then provided within the Borough’s rural settlements and on two major developments (Institute of Oceanographic Sciences and Wyphurst Road).

Whilst the percentage of affordable housing completions decreased from 28% to 21% from the previous reporting period, in real terms there was an increase in affordable housing completions from 70 units in 2005/06 to 92 units in 2006/07. In line with policy, the majority of completed dwellings continue to be ‘smaller’ units of one, two and three bedrooms. 67% of completions had two bedrooms or fewer, and 86% had three bedrooms or fewer.

House prices in Waverley have risen by 8.6% over the last year. In the South East generally prices rose by 8.3%, and the national rise was 9.25%. Only one appeal Appeals allowed which relatinge to Built Environment policies have reduced from 9 to only 1was allowed since the last AMR, and development within the Low Density areas has beencontinues to be limited with little impact on the overall character; In 2006/07, 37.5% of Waverley’s appeals were allowed against its decision to refuse planning applications, which represents an annual increase of 7.5%. The target set is for 30% and was therefore exceeded. Waverley has a number of areas that are designated as Low Density Residential Areas or Areas of Special Environmental Quality, in Farnham, Godalming and Haslemere. Within the reporting period there were only four residential developments within these areas totaling 15 residential units, all with relatively low densities.
Haslemere has shown increased vacancy rates in retail properties and this will be investigated further in an attempt to identify any underlying issues;

Three additional buildings within Waverley were granted Listed Building status during the reporting period;
Comprehensive systems have been developed in relation to monitoring commercial and retail development, and should be in place to report for the next monitoring period.

There has been a significant reduction in the amount of reported vacant office floor space in Godalming. Farnham, Cranleigh and Haslemere have all remained relatively stable. There is has been a rise in the amount of available warehouse/ industrial space and retail space between 2006/2007, but a significant reduction overall in available office premises.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee forward any comments to the Executive.

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 OFFICERS:

Names:
J. A. Falconer Telephone: 01483 523294
E-mail: jfalconer@waverley.gov.uk
I. P. Rowland Telephone: 01483 523295
E-mail: irowland@waverley.gov.uk


G/Bureau/comms/O&S3/261107/appendixF