Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

Search Representations

Results for Bidwells search

New search New search

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

SS1 clause 1. manage planned growth to 2031 in accordance with the following settlement hierarchy:

Representation ID: 7594

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney. Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations inaccordance with the hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

Support

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GD1 clause 1.

Representation ID: 7595

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Representation Summary:

A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

Support

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GD2 clause 1

Representation ID: 7596

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Representation Summary:

The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required.
It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the boundary.
Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site.

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

Support

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GD8 clause 1

Representation ID: 7597

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Representation Summary:

We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H1 clause 4 Fleckney

Representation ID: 7605

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map.

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H2 clause 1

Representation ID: 7606

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report - Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken.

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H5 clause 2

Representation ID: 7607

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need.
It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure.

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

HC1 clause 2

Representation ID: 7609

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF.
This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent a positive strategy for heritage assets.

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

Support

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

IMR clause 2

Representation ID: 7610

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bidwells

Representation Summary:

An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF.
It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.

Full text:

I write on behalf of Bidwells' client, the landowners for a site on land off Longgrey, Fleckney. The eastern part of the site (2.1ha) has previously been promoted under the emerging Local Plan (SHLAA reference: A/FK/HSG/10). I enclose with this response a Site Location Plan (reference: A.50,691) of the land at Longgrey, Fleckney. I also enclose with this representation a completed response form. We welcome this opportunity to comment on the Draft Submission of the Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031 (the Local Plan).
We consider the Local Plan as drafted is not sound under the 'test of soundness' in the NPPF. The plan has not been positively prepared, it is not justified or effective and it is not consistent with the NPPF. Paragraph 157 of the NPPF requires Local Plans to allocate sites to promote development, bringing forward new land where necessary, and provide detail on form, scale access and quantum where appropriate.
The Local Plan as drafted does not allocate sites sufficiently in locations such as Fleckney and hence it does not comply with the NPPF. Where relevant suggestions for changes to the plan to address the concerns in respect of soundness are
identified in these representations.
Part A: Strategy and General Policies
3. Sustainable Settlements
Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy
Part 1 of Policy SS1 seeks to direct growth to the most appropriate locations according to the settlement hierarchy. Part of the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA) is identified under limb 'a' and the Sub-regional Centre of Market Harborough is identified under limb 'b'. Fleckney is identified within the fourth tier (part 1, limb 'd' of Policy SS1) of the settlement hierarchy as a Rural Centre along with Billesdon, Great Glen, Houghton on the Hill, Husbands Bosworth, The Kibworths and Ullesthorpe. Part 2, limb 'a' of Policy SS1 identifies a housing provision for a minimum of 12,800 dwellings (Use Class C3) during the period 2011-2031. This includes provision for "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" under limb sub-limb 'v' of limb 'a'. Part 7 of Policy SS1 states that Fleckney (along with other Rural Centres) are to operate as Rural Centres providing housing, business, retail, leisure and community facilities to serve their needs and those of surrounding areas.
Paragraph 17 of the NPPF identifies one of the core planning principles is "to take account of the different roles and character of different areas...recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it." Furthermore, guidance contained within the NPPG highlights that all settlements can play a role in delivering sustainable development so blanket policies restricting housing development in some settlement and preventing other settlements from expanding should be avoided. We consider that the distribution of housing identified under Policy SS1 should be well balanced to meet both the housing needs of urban and rural communities.
We are supportive of the allocation of housing for Rural Centres. We consider that Fleckney represents a sustainable village with good access to local amenities and services. The settlement is ideally placed to deliver some level of housing growth for the District in order to meet local housing need and support village amenities and services. It is noted that Policy H1 identifies provision of a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney with further consideration below.
Object: Change Required: Allocate housing towards sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement hierarchy and ensure a balanced distribution of housing to meet the need of urban and rural communities.
4. General Development Policies
GD1: Achieving Sustainable Development
A positive approach to development within the District is welcomed. It is also welcomed that applications will be approved without delay where possible.
Support: No changes required
GD2: Settlement Development
The principle of development on sites within or adjoining the existing or committed built up area is welcomed. Notwithstanding this, further consideration to the implementation of this policy may be required. It would be useful to have an indicative level of development for growth or for an acceptable level of provision within a settlement. It is also suggested that provision for development which facilitates the delivery of services or facilities is considered acceptable within or adjacent to the settlement boundary. Redevelopment of previously developed land is welcomed; however, consideration of the viability implications of PDL should be considered depending on the site specifics.
Support: Change proposed
GD8: Good Design in Development
We consider that the aspiration for good design within developments as set under the policy is welcome.
Support: No change required
Part B - Key Topics
5. Housing
H1: Provision of New Housing
The District is within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA) and Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) of Leicestershire. The nine Leicestershire local authorities have jointly prepared the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HEDNA) 2017 as part of their Duty to Cooperate responsibilities. Within the HEDNA, Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough have both declared an unmet housing needs. The HEDNA was subject to further testing via the process of the preparation of local plans. North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) was the first authority to consider the HEDNA and the Inspectors report was published on the 13 October 2017. The Inspector found that the HEDNA provided a robust justification for the stated housing and employment land requirements of the NWLDC Local Plan; however, he also stated that the outstanding concern is whether NWLDC should accommodate some of the unmet needs of the City of Leicester and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, but these needs will not be clarified until the Strategic
Growth Plan is finalised at some time in the future. In the case of NWLDC, they have confirmed that they will review their local plan once the extent of the future Strategic Growth Plan has been provided, leading to an early review.
Paragraph 47 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that LPAs should:
"Use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area, ..."
The NPPF therefore clearly states that allowances should be made to accommodate any identified unmet housing need should it exist within the HMA. Although the Local Plan acknowledges that there is an unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, the figure of 557 dwellings per annum has been used to calculate the housing requirement. This relates to the 532 dpa within the HEDNA with an additional 25dpa following the Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study (2017).
A 15% contingency in the supply of housing land has been added to the housing requirement. This contingency needs to accommodate any provision for the unmet housing need of other authorities within the HMA. The supporting text under paragraph 5.1.10 states that the contingency is not only to provide for the potential need of unmet housing need arising from other LPAs, roles also include allowances for a slower than expected delivery of the housing allocations, failure of permitted sites to deliver, changing economic circumstances and to provide flexibility and choice in the local housing market.
Although it is currently out for consultation and can therefore hold limited weight, the long awaited 'Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals' identifies both Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough Councils as having a potentially large uplift on their local assessment of housing need. This could result on additional pressure for districts such as Harborough to provide for the wider area. The provision of a contingency is welcomed. However, it is suggested that a contingency of just 15% will fail to meet the targets of Policy H1 insofar as it will not meet the FOAN for the market area as well as the other objectives of the contingency including providing for potential unmet need, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances. It is noted that HDC published their 5 Year Housing Land Supply statement (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2022) on 12 July 2017. This statement accepted that the Council's current 5-year housing land supply position to be 4.45 years. In view of the Council's current five-year housing land supply position, it is considered that additional deliverable sites for residential development will need to be brought forward through site allocations in the Local Plan.
Policy H1 identifies land for a minimum of 4,660 new homes during the plan period to 2031, in addition to the delivery of existing commitments and completions and the allowance for windfalls. Part 4 of Policy H1 states that at Fleckney, a minimum of 295 dwellings, including (only) the allocation land at Arnesby Road - about 130 dwellings in accordance with Policy F1. Paragraph 5.1.15 of the Local Plan states that "Policy H1 identifies the approximate number of homes to be provided in or adjoining each settlement in the settlement hierarchy. These homes will be provided on a range of sites, including on land specifically allocated for housing within the policy in the larger settlements." Paragraph 5.1.16 further states that "Each
allocated site has been assessed through the SHLAA and identified as either deliverable within the first 5 years of the plan period or developable later within the plan period." In addition, paragraph 5.1.17 states that "the scale of new housing to be provided in individual settlements reflects the roles of different places in the settlement hierarchy (see Policy SS1 The Spatial Strategy). These roles partly reflect the population size of the settlements and their location in respect of other settlements but also relate to the range of activities and services present and, in relation to primary schools, their ability to expand to accommodate the needs generated by new development. In selecting the scale of housing to be provided in each settlement, account has been taken of fundamental constraints on development, such as flood risk, and the supply of potential development sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). It also included further detailed consideration of villages where the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) of this
Local Plan identified potential sensitivity, or where the SHLAA sites were considered to conflict with the criteria in Policy GD2 Settlement development. Each settlement figure is a residual figure, taking account of existing commitments and previous completions within the settlement. For this reason there are relatively few dwellings required to be found in Rural Centres, where a large number of planning applications have been recently approved." Paragraph 5.1.18 further states that "the Local Plan also makes provision for smaller housing sites. Provision of smaller sites will be made through: the delivery of existing small site commitments; 'windfall' sites and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 'Settlement Development' and GD4 'New Housing in the Countryside'; and housing allocations in neighbourhood plans."
Whilst Policy H1 identifies provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings at Fleckney, only provision for 130 dwellings at 'land at Arnesby Road' has been identified within the policy. Policy H1 it does not fully identify where provision for all of the 295 dwellings will be allocated at Fleckney. For Policy H1 to allocate this level of housing for Fleckney, we consider that both Policy H1 and the Policies Map should identify where this housing provision is to be delivered by specifying it within the policy text and identifying its location as a housing allocation in the Policies Map. HDC published their Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2015 Update in May 2016. Appendix E 'Scored Settlement Maps' identifies the eastern part of the site (2.1ha) as SHLAA reference:A/FK/HSG/10 and is developable in the next 6 to 10 years for 35 dwellings. The remaining western part of the site is not identified in the SHLAA. It should also be noted that there is no 'made' or advanced emerging draft Neighbourhood Plan for Fleckney.
In view of the above findings, it is unclear under Policy H1 exactly how Fleckney will meet all of its provision for a minimum of 295 dwellings as identified under the policy. We consider that the SHLAA has demonstrated additional land that is deliverable and developable and additional provision for housing should be identified at Fleckney. The land off Longgrey, Fleckney is ideally suited to meet additional growth requirements for the village under a housing allocation in the Local Plan.
There are no known constraints to the proposed residential development of the site. Safe access to the site can be achieved off Longgrey and the site is located close to local amenities and services in Fleckney. It is considered that landscape enhancements will help mitigate any potential landscape and visual impact from the proposed development. An illustrative masterplan/layout plan can be provided in due course to provide details of proposed layout and design to show how residential development of the site can be delivered. In view of the above, the site represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable site to support the necessary housing growth for the District. The proposed development will contribute towards the Council's
housing requirements and expected further unmet need from Leicester City and Oadby and Wigston Borough. Residential development of the site can be delivered and achieved within the forthcoming five year period, which will contribute significantly towards the Council's five-year supply and help towards addressing their current shortfall.
Changes Required: Ensure the housing requirements meet the FOAN for the market area and other objectives of the contingency identified above including providing for potential unmet housing need from Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council, lack of delivery from housing allocations and permitted sites and changing economic circumstances; identify the site off Longgrey, Fleckney as a housing allocation.
H2: Affordable Housing
The allowance of off-site affordable housing is welcomed where it is not possible to provide an on-site contribution. There is a clear need for affordable housing within the District; however, it is important that the affordable housing requirement does not restrict development within the District. Part 5 of the policy is welcomed as
there will be instances where the high level of affordable housing provision is not feasible given the market values or site-specific concerns. The latest evidence base for affordable housing is contained within the Local Plan Viability Interim Report
- Residential Options Viability, prepared by Aspinall Verdi and published April 2016. This report demonstrates that viability varies between 30% - 40%. We consider that there is no justification for the Council to apply the higher figure of 40% affordable housing provision as a blanket figure across the whole District when their latest evidence base suggests otherwise.
Policy CS3 of the adopted Core Strategy recognised the need for different areas of the District to provide lower affordable housing requirements. This helped enable developers to provide high quality developments whilst compensating for lower market values within these areas. It is recommended that a similar aspect of this policy is incorporated into Policy H2. Policy H2 needs to consider the level of
affordable housing requirements to ensure that an effective viability of the Local Plan can be undertaken as required by the NPPF. We also consider that Policy H2 should consider the Government's proposals for Starter Homes. A proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable/social rent and 25% low cost home ownership is too prescriptive and could prevent the delivery of Starter Homes coming forward. We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide an element of affordable housing provision in order to help meet the District's affordable housing need.
Object: Recommend amendments - it is suggested that the previous affordable housing policy within the adopted Core Strategy is retained.
H5: Housing Density, Mix and Standards
The provision of high quality housing, suitable to the needs and aspirations of an area is strongly supported. Notwithstanding this, the practicalities of housing provision needs to be carefully considered to ensure that unnecessary delays in housing delivery are not experienced. It is important to remember that development
cannot only provide for existing demand, it can also address the aspirations of an area. For example, young families could be attracted to an area through the provision of family accommodation whereas the elderly would have different housing requirements. It is recommended that Policy H5 is amended to include variations to the policy where evidence is provided to support any deviation. The required housing mix density for housing developments in different locations
across the District needs to reflect the market in these locations and the local housing need. It is not necessary to require adherence to Building Regulations within a development plan policy and therefore this reference should be omitted.
We consider that proposed residential and associated development of the land off Longgrey, Fleckney is suitable to provide a mix of housing size, types and tenure in order to help meet the District's mix of market and affordable housing need.
Object: Suggested amendment proposed to accommodate deviation from the policy in exceptional circumstances; omission of reference to Building Regulations
8.Heritage and Community Assets
HC1: Built Heritage
This policy needs to be changed to more accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF. Paragraph 126 of the NPPF states that: "Local planning authorities should set out in their Local Plan a positive strategy for the conservation and enjoyment of the historic environment, including heritage assets most at risk through neglect, decay or other threats."
The requirement to adhere to the NPPF guidance is especially relevant to developments proposals which are considered to lead to less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets under paragraph 134 of the NPPF.
In this situation, it is necessary to assess the public benefits of the proposed development and then depending on the outcome of this assessment to undertake a balancing exercise under paragraph 14 of the NPPF. This policy does not accurately reflect the heritage guidance in the NPPF as therefore it does not represent
a positive strategy for heritage assets. Object: Change required to reflect heritage guidance in the NPPF to ensure there is a positive strategy for heritage assets.
12. Implementation, Monitoring and Review
IMR1: Monitoring and Review of Local Plan
An early review of the Local Plan is welcomed given the uncertainty of housing numbers within the HMA and pending changes to Government guidance on calculating housing requirements and changes to the NPPF. It is necessary to provide greater clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Support: Suggest clarity and certainty on the timing for a review of the Local Plan.
Conclusion Our client welcomes this opportunity to comment on the emerging Local Plan. As it stands the plan is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan. We would be grateful if Harborough District Council could confirm receipt of this representation and continue to keep us informed as to the subsequent stages of the Local Plan.

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.