12/06/2012 SC Agenda

Shadwell Parish Council

Neighbourhood Planning meeting

25.06.12 at 7.30pm

The Localism Act 2011

  • The Localism Bill gained Royal Assent on November 15th 2011. It has now become an Act of Parliament. The regulations governing neighbourhood planning came into force on April 6th 2012.

New Planning Powers – Neighbourhood Plans

  • Neighbourhood Plans will allow local communities, via a Town or Parish Council or newly designated Neighbourhood Forum, to set out a vision for an area and planning policies for the use and development of land. It will be about local rather than strategic issues. For example it could cover where new shops, offices or homes should go and what green spaces should be protected and include local design standards such as the type of materials, scale and character that must be used for any new property. The plan does need to be compatible with national policies (NPPF) and the policies in the authority’s local plan (Core Strategy). It should be focused on guiding development rather than stopping it. If adopted it will become a statutory plan, have legal status and be used in making decisions on planning applications.
  • Neighbourhood development orders (NDOs) can grant planning permission for specified developments in a neighbourhood area, for example, certain types of household extensions, shop fronts, ‘green energy’ proposals. Where there is a neighbourhood development order in place there would be no need to apply to the council for planning permission for the development it covers.
  • Whilst local residents should not be under any illusions that this action would completely repel all prospective developers (especially on already allocated sites), a Neighbourhood Plan would allow local communities to genuinely help shape the areas where they live and work.
  • Any Neighbourhood Plan would be subject to both an independent examination and referendum – where it would need to receive 50% of vote share – as well as being in “general conformity” with the local plan (in this case the council’s Core Strategy). If accepted and ratified by a referendum any Neighbourhood Plan would become part of the Local Development Framework (LDF) and have real legal weight as a statutory document. This legal standing is a key differentiation from existing Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) such as Village Design Statements and Parish Plans, which are only material considerations in the planning process.
  • There are also the perceived financial benefits of producing a Neighbourhood Plan. By producing a Neighbourhood Plan, communities can effectively offer-up areas of land for potential development. As part of the government’s drive to encourage new home building in the absence of the recently defunct Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS), communities will be eligible for monies from the mooted Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). These monies could then be re-invested back into the local community in line with aspirations of the Neighbourhood Plan and the associated infrastructure requirements of any new development. 

 

The national and local context

  • National Planning Policy Framework
    • The government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) replaces existing government planning policy including the Regional Spatial Strategy which previously dictated housing targets (4,300 houses for Leeds – though there was a shortfall of around 2,000 per year).
    • The headline from the NPPF is that there will be a default ‘yes’ to all sustainable development though there are significant concessions to building on brownfield land and the importance of neighbourhood planning.
    • The emerging Core Strategy will now inform the housing policy for the City. This replaces the existing Unitary Development Plan (UDP).
    • The Core Strategy will form part of a suite of documents known collectively as the Local Development Framework (LDF).
    • Approximately 5,000 homes per year will need to be developed over the next 15 years. The council is currently looking to identifying sites to match this need (5 years identified as shovel-ready, 5 years for the medium-term, 5 years for the longer-term). In short, approximately 70,000 dwellings need to be found.

 

  • The Core Strategy is a significant document that will affect the city on a number of levels. The matters relating to housing and regeneration need to be closely considered as they will affect almost every community across Leeds.
  • The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) is a forum/tool for identifying land across the City for possible future development. There are currently approximately 180,000 dwellings or 760 proposed sites identified in the 2011 SHLAA - 600 existing (but some updated) and 160 new.
  • Approximately 17,500 of these dwellings or 120 proposed sites have been identified in both Harewood and Wetherby Wards.
  • A further SHLAA list is to be produced in 2012 that is not yet publicly available.
  • Some of the sites contained in the 2011 SHLAA are on greenbelt land. Many others on brownfield land. Approximately a third of the listed SHLAA sites could come forward for development. Other sites that are not on the SHLAA list will also come forward as the council seeks to identify land for housing.
  • It is important to note that there is no longer a requirement for developers to look to build on brownfield sites first, though this is encouraged in the recently published National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
  • The council’s Core Strategy was recently been subject to a consultation exercise that ended on 13th April 2012. Subsequently, further amendments will be made. In autumn 2012, the amended Core Strategy will then be submitted to a Government Inspector for a soundness test. It is anticipated, all being well, that the Core Strategy will then be fully adopted by the council in spring 2013.
  • The Site Allocations Process (SAP) will be developed in tandem with the Core Strategy. The SAP process – which will outline where houses will actually go in local communities - will cover four key areas; housing, employment, retail and greenspace. An initial scoping exercise has commenced on the SAP but this is not anticipated to be finalised until spring 2013.
  • It is during the SAP that any emerging Neighbourhood Plans would come into their own. The councils planning department is now receptive to the idea that empowered communities, through Neighbourhood Plans, would effectively take responsibility for allocating land for development in their own areas.

What’s happening on the ground in Outer North East

  • The six pilot parishes are progressing well; Walton Parish Council has produced a first draft of their Neighbourhood Plan that has been out to consultation.
  • A second Neighbourhood Planning Project Board has been established involving the areas nine remaining Parish Councils, including Shadwell Parish Council.
  • At the time of writing 11 Town and Parish Councils in both Harewood and Wetherby Wards have submitted their intention to produce a Neighbourhood Plan.
  • City-wide around 36 groups have expressed a serious interest in neighbourhood planning. The council has responded, finally, to this challenge by appointing a dedicated neighbourhood planning team – lead by Ian Mackay – and Ian has producing a report and detailed guidance note on Neighbourhood Plans that was passed by the Executive Board on 20.06.12.
  • We now know the housing numbers that the Outer North East area collectively has to fulfil – 4,600 dwellings - though this is allocated via “wedge” (Harewood and Wetherby Wards) and not by village.
  • The Site Allocation process is to start in earnest in the very near future. Villages/communities across Leeds are being encouraged to put forward their case for certain housing sites to be considered (and others discounted) in parallel with the neighbourhood planning process.
  • At the time of writing there are 12 SHLAA sites that fall within in Shadwell’s identified boundary:
    • Main Street (off), Cricket Field, Shadwell – 49 dwellings
    • Whinmoor Lane, land to the rear of Wainscott Cottage, Shadwell – 58 dwellings 
    • Colliers Lane (land off), Shadwell – 72 dwellings
    • Blind Lane, Shadwell – 61 dwellings
    • Manor Farm, Shadwell – 294 dwellings
    • Holywell Lane/Bridle Path (land to the east of), Shadwell – 50 dwellings
    • Bridle Path Road (land to the north of), Shadwell – 33 dwellings
    • Oakhill Cottage Farm, Shadwell – 364 dwellings
    • Land rear Gateland Lane, Shadwell – 92 dwellings
    • Elmete Lane, Shadwell – 50 dwellings
    • Wellington Hill, Shadwell – 64 dwellings
    • Rear 268 – 274 Shadwell Lane – 8 dwellings

Total number of dwellings proposed for Shadwell = 1195 units