Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

Search Representations

Results for Bloor Home Ltd 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: 7089

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Soundness
For the reasons set out in the full text of the representation, Bloor Homes object to Policy SS1, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- has not been positively prepared
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies;
- is not effective in that some allocation sites will not deliver the scale of development the Submission Plan currently assumes, and the identified needs will not therefore, be met; and
- is inconsistent with national policy

Full text:

Plan Period
The current plan period for the Proposed Submission Harborough Local Plan runs to 2031. It is currently anticipated that the Local Plan will be adopted by October 2018. That programme is extremely ambitious given the progress made thus far, and the complexities of the key development proposals on which relies in order to meet identified development needs (notably the Strategic Development Areas).

Even if it is adopted by October 2018, there will not be a 15-year horizon to the end of the plan period. This does not accord with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states that local plans should "be drawn up over an appropriate time scale, preferably a 15-year time horizon, take account of longer term requirements, and be kept up to date" (NPPF, paragraph 157, point 2). Given that objectively assessed development needs (OAN) have been assessed for the period to 2036, the plan period should be extended to 2036 to ensure that the Local Plan has a time horizon in excess of 15 years and longer term development requirements, including an adequate level of future housing and the infrastructure required to support that, can be provided for.

Policy Part 1
The proposed settlement hierarchy set out in Policy SS1 and the principle that this should be used to manage planned growth and direct development to appropriate locations in a sustainable manner is supported. Specifically, the identification of the Principal Urban Area (PUA), including Scraptoft, Thurnby and Bushby at the top of the hierarchy as a focus for housing and employment growth in the District is welcomed. This approach reflects the locality's accessibility to higher order facilities, services and employment opportunities, and the level of infrastructure available to support future growth and development to meet the identified housing needs of the District, as well as assist in meeting the unmet needs of Leicester.

In this regard, it is paramount that the policy then seeks to enable all opportunities for the delivery of sustainable development at the PUA as a means of boosting the supply of housing in accordance with paragraph 47 of the NPPF. As set out below, however, Part 2 of this policy potentially restricts development in the most sustainable location in the District.

Policy Part 2a
Part 2a of the policy proposes a requirement to provide a minimum of 12,800 dwellings over the plan period to 2031. However, as noted above, the current plan period does not provide a 15-year time horizon and should, therefore, be extended to 2036. The proposed development requirements will need to be increased accordingly, but a separate objection to Policy H1 has also highlighted critical concerns in relation to the identification of an appropriate housing requirement and the allocation of sufficient sites to meet that requirement. Notably, the unmet housing needs arising in Leicester and Oadby & Wigston have not been addressed, and the plan is consequently fundamentally unsound in that regard. Addressing those matters will result in a further uplift in the housing requirement in the District and necessitate the allocation of additional housing sites in accordance with the proposed spatial strategy set out in Part 1 of the Policy.

More specifically, the following matters must be addressed:

ii & iii. The proposed allocation of Strategic Development Areas (SDAs) in the HLP is not objected to in principle. Notably the Scraptoft North SDA is within the Leicester PUA and, therefore, reflects the proposed settlement hierarchy that underpins the plan's spatial strategy. However, there is a significant over reliance on their delivery in order to meet the identified needs of the District. The combined quantum of development provided by the two sites provides over 55% (2,700 dwellings) of the total housing supply for the plan period (excluding sites already completed or committed). Moreover, it is extremely unlikely that the SDAs will deliver the scale of development currently assumed by the HLP within the plan period (as explained more fully in the objection to Policy H1). There is, therefore, a significant risk that the identified development needs will not actually be met, and it is imperative that is mitigated through the allocation of a wider portfolio of sites in appropriate locations that accord with the Local Plan's spatial strategy. Given that the Leicester PUA (Scraptoft, Thurnby and Bushby) is positioned at the top of the settlement hierarchy, that should be the first location to consider for the identification of additional sites to be allocated for development.

iv. The reference to the allocation of other sites to meet the identified development needs is supported. However, as a result of the proposed allocation of the SDA, the HLP currently excludes the allocation of any other development sites at the PUA. That is objected to as the distribution of development requirements throughout the District does not reflect the spatial strategy that is purported to underpin the HLP. That, however, can be remedied through the allocation of additional development sites to accommodate the increase in the housing requirements that would result from addressing the concerns highlighted above.

The clear merit of directing future growth to this locality is recognised throughout the HLP and reflected in the proposed Settlement Hierarchy (as set out above). Indeed there are opportunities to allocate smaller development sites at the PUA that would make an extremely valuable contribution to meeting the District's identified development needs, and would of course also be very well placed to address the identified unmet need arising in the City. One such site is the land off Uppingham Road, Bushby that adjoins the committed development site at Charity Farm, and is also controlled by Bloor Homes (further detail is provided in the objection to Policy H1).

Part 4
The aspiration to ensure that the quantity and location of development within and adjoining the Leicester PUA safeguards the identity of the communities of Scraptoft and Thurnby/Bushby is recognised. However, the requirements of the policy are unclear in terms seeking to ensure that development "supports regeneration and development objectives in the neighbouring City of Leicester and Oadby and Wigston Borough". As stated above in relation to Part 2 of the policy, it is paramount that the HLP allocates sufficient brownfield and greenfield land to meet the fully identified needs of the District, and positively address the identified unmet needs of Leicester and Oadby & Wigston. The HLP currently fails to do that, and is therefore, fundamentally unsound. However, there are sustainable sites available on the edge of the PUA that are clearly well-placed to address that need including, as noted above, land off Uppingham Road, Bushby.

Part 9
The intent to "strictly control development in the countryside" is objected to. This suggests the imposition of a pre-NPPF style "blanket" protection of the countryside and constraint on development that clearly does not comply with the policy requirements of the NPPF. The NPPF no longer uses the language of seeking to protect the countryside simply because it is countryside, but instead in trying to balance the need for development, it refers to recognising the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside and supporting thriving rural communities within it (at paragraph 17 point 5). As such it does not preclude development in the countryside and it would be inappropriate for the HLP to seek to do so.

Indeed, this part of the policy creates a policy tension with Policy GD2, which is not helpful in terms of guiding the decision maker when determining planning applications. Part 9 of the policy should, therefore, be omitted.

Soundness
For the reasons set out above, Bloor Homes object to Policy SS1, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- has not been positively prepared as it is not based on a strategy that will ensure that the objectively assessed housing needs, including unmet development requirements arising in Leicester, will be met within the plan period;
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies;
- is not effective in that some allocation sites will not deliver the scale of development the Submission Plan currently assumes, and the identified needs will not therefore, be met; and
- is inconsistent with national policy in that it does not fully reflect the Government's priorities and policies in terms of enabling sustainable development and boosting the supply of housing to meet identified needs.

Revise policy as follows:
- The plan period should be extended to 2036.
- Part 2: the housing requirement should be increased to reflect the extended plan period to 2036 and the concerns raised in the objection to Policy H1.
- Part 2: include reference to the allocation of additional sites, most notably at Scraptoft, Thurnby and Bushby, given the PUA's position within the settlement hierarchy and relationship to Leicester.
- Part 4: requires further clarification of the specific development requirements of this policy to support the regeneration and development objectives in the neighbouring City of Leicester and Oadby & Wigston Borough.
- Part 9: delete.

Support

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GD2 clause 1

Representation ID: 7097

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Representation Summary:

The aspiration of Policy GD2 to enable the development of unallocated sites in sustainable locations that accord with the Local Plan's spatial strategy is welcomed.

The policy should not be seen as an alternative to allocating sufficient appropriate development sites in the Local Plan.

The criteria proposed within the policy is considered generally appropriate, albeit that they need to be considered in the context of the site's specific circumstances.

Full text:

The aspiration of Policy GD2 to enable the development of unallocated sites in sustainable locations that accord with the Local Plan's spatial strategy is welcomed. Bloor Homes particularly support the principle of permitting development within or contiguous with the existing or committed built up area of the PUA. This is particularly significant in light of the concerns highlighted in their objection to Policies SS1 and H1 in relation to the housing requirements and the number, nature and location of the housing allocations proposed to meet the housing requirements; notably the failure to allocate any sites other that the proposed SDA at the PUA that is positioned at the top of the proposed settlement hierarchy.

However, the policy should not be seen as an alternative to allocating sufficient appropriate development sites in the Local Plan. A plan led approach is required by the NPPF to provide the necessary certainty that the identified development needs will be provided for in appropriate locations.

As paragraph 4.3.7 of the Local Plan acknowledges, in order to meet the development needs of all settlements and conform to the NPPF's presumption in favour of sustainable development, it is imperative that a criteria-based approach that is responsive to local circumstances is followed to allow sufficient flexibility. In this regard, the criteria proposed within the policy is considered generally appropriate, albeit that they need to be considered in the context of the site's specific circumstances.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GD7 Clause 1

Representation ID: 7101

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Soundness
For the reasons set out in full text of representation, Bloor Homes object to Policy GD7, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies.

Full text:

The proposed designation of a Green Wedge between Thurnby / Bushby and Scraptoft adjacent to the area of committed housing development to the north east of Bushby (as identified on the Proposals Map Inset Map 63 - Scraptoft, Thurnby, Bushby) is objected to.

Whilst the western part of this area has previously been designated as an Area of Separation that sought to prevent coalescence of Scraptoft with Thurnby and Bushby (Core Strategy Policy EV/3 and Scraptoft Neighbourhood Plan Policy S7), the proposed Green Wedge extends significantly further eastwards. No justification for that is given in the Local Plan or the supporting evidence. Indeed, the recently adopted Scraptoft Neighbourhood Plan (Adopted March 2016) only sought to retain the Area of Separation immediately east of Station Lane (although part of this area has since been incorporated into a committed development site).

Moreover, there is no evidence presented to justify this new designation in terms of the specific merits of this area in relation to the express purposes of a Green Wedge designation. The HLP refers (para 4.13.4) to the Green Wedge Review (Draft Technical Update 2015) but that only considers the redesignation of the extant area of Green Wedge to the south of the existing urban area of Bushby.

In considering the four specific aims set out in Part 1 of this policy, the designation of this Green Wedge and extension of the area of protection in this way is not necessary to prevent the merging of settlements or to guide the form of development. In addition, the committed developments in this location provide appropriate connections between the urban area and the surrounding countryside, incorporating key publics rights of way and providing significant recreational opportunities without adding pressure or undermining the function of the wider area.

As such the designation of this area is neither necessary nor justified. Moreover, there are sufficient policies within the HLP to appropriately guide development form without the need for further restrictive measures.

Soundness
For the reasons set out above, Bloor Homes object to Policy GD7, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies.

Proposed Change
Delete the Green Wedge designation that applies to the area between Thurnby / Bushby and Scraptoft.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H1 Opening sentence

Representation ID: 7104

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Policy H1 is considered unsound on the basis that it:
-has not been positively prepared as it is not based on a strategy that will ensure that the objectively assessed housing needs, including unmet development requirements arising in Leicester, will be met within the plan period;
-is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies;
-is not effective in that some allocation sites will not deliver the scale of development the Submission Plan currently assumes, and the identified needs will not therefore, be met;&
-is inconsistent with national policy
Now broken down into individual reps: 7646/7647/7648/7649/7650/7651

Full text:

Objectively Assessed Need & Housing Requirements
A central tenet of the NPPF is the provision of sufficient housing to meet the needs of present and future generations and, in doing so, to widen the choice of housing (paragraphs 7 and 9). To achieve that it requires (paragraph 14) "local planning authorities should positively seek opportunities to meet the development needs of their area", that "Local Plans should meet objectively assessed needs, with sufficient flexibility to adapt to rapid change", and set out a "clear strategy for allocating sufficient land" (paragraph 17). Delivery is underpinned by paragraph 47, which seeks to significantly boost the supply of housing requiring local planning authorities to "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".

In terms of the required evidence base, the NPPF requires (para. 159) local planning authorities to prepare a Strategic Market Housing Assessment (SHMA) to assess their full housing needs, and that the SHMA should identify the scale and mix of housing and the range of tenure that the local population is likely to need over the plan period. That should meet household and population projections, address the needs for all types of housing and cater for housing demand in the area. The housing requirement set out in Policies SS1 and H1 is derived from the Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA) published in January 2017. That concluded that the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for Harborough District for the period 2011-2031 is 532dpa and for the period 2011-2036 is 514 dpa.

However, the HEDNA does not take account of the proposed major extension to Magna Park within the M6, M69 and M1 triangle (700,000m2 of B8 floor space) in the period to 2031. The Council's Magna Park Employment Growth Sensitivity Study 2017 concludes that in order to align this employment growth and housing provision, the housing requirement should be increased by 25dpa above the HEDNA OAN figures. That should be appropriately reflected in the housing requirements established in Policies SS1 and H1.

Bloor Homes' objection to Policy SS1 highlights that the plan period for the Local Plan should extend to 2036 to reflect the NPPF's requirements for a minimum of 15 year time horizon post its adoption. The minimum housing requirements in Policies SS1 and H1 should, therefore, also be increased accordingly to reflect the extended plan period.

It is inevitable that there will be a delay to at least some of the identified development sites in the Submission Plan coming forward and/or the rate of their delivery will not be high as currently anticipated. That inevitability should be addressed at the outset rather than monitored and managed. The proposal to incorporate an uplift of 20% above the OAN into the housing requirement in Policies SS1 and H1 is therefore, supported. That approach reflects the positive plan led approach to ensuring the delivery of sustainable development to actually meet the HMA's housing needs as required the NPPF (para 150-151). However, the uplift must be applied to the true OAN (i.e. the HEDNA OAN plus the recommended uplift to reflect the growth of Magna Park) and across the extended plan period to 2036.

Moreover, the housing requirement uplift should not be used as both a contingency guarding against a shortfall in delivery in the District and a potential contribution to unmet needs arising elsewhere in the Housing Market Area (HMA). Unmet needs arising in the wider HMA must be directly addressed as set out below, and should form an specific part of the overall housing requirement with a shortfall contingency uplift applied to the total requirement.

Unmet Need & the Duty to Cooperate
The Duty to Cooperate (DTC), introduced by the Localism Act 2011, requires the Council to engage "constructively, actively and on an on-going basis to maximise the effectiveness of Local and Marine Plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters" (NPPG). The NPPF requires (para 181) that authorities "demonstrate evidence of having effectively cooperated to plan for issues with cross-boundary impacts". The demonstration of effective cooperation in reality means a positive outcome to these strategic planning discussions, even if agreement is not secured on all issues. Compliance with the duty to cooperate is central to ensure that a Council delivers sustainable development (NPPF paras 150-151) and meets its full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the HMA (NPPF para 47), including the unmet needs of neighbouring authorities where it is reasonable to do so and consistent with sustainable development (NPPF para 182).

The Council has not prepared a Local Plan that is compliant with the DTC in terms of the housing requirement proposed in Policies SS1 and H1. It is apparent that the Council have sought to engage with the other Local Authorities in the HMA (the "HMA Authorities") during the preparation of the Plan. However, it is also clear that there has not yet been a positive outcome to that engagement that will ensure that (market and affordable) housing needs in the HMA, identified in an up to date objective assessment, will be properly identified and then effectively provided for.

The Duty to Cooperate Paper sets out the Council's engagement with the HMA Authorities and others, including in the preparation of various studies most notably the HMA wide HEDNA. It highlights the intention is to agree a new "final" Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the HMA Authorities by January 2018 and for it to inform the preparation of the emerging Strategic Growth Plan that will guide growth across the HMA. In the meantime, the Submission Plan suggests that the 20% uplift in the housing requirement will provide for a potential unmet need arising elsewhere in the HMA in the future.

However, as set out above, that uplift provides an appropriate mitigation strategy within the Local Plan for unforeseen circumstances in relation to the housing land supply required to meet the District's own needs. It cannot be considered to provide for unmet housing needs arising elsewhere in the District under the DTC.

Moreover, it is very clear that there is already an unmet need arising in Leicester City that needs to be positively addressed now. Shortly after the publication of the HEDNA, Leicester City Council wrote to North West Leicestershire District Council in the context of the examination of its Local Plan, formally declaring an unmet need arising in the City. The reasons given refer to substantial increase in the OAN for the City over the same period compared to the 2014 SHMA (now over a third of the total OAN for the HMA arises within the city), and that the densely urbanised nature of the city, flood constraints and tightly drawn boundaries, limits the amount of land available for development. The letter eschews precisely defining the scale of unmet need, but the Appendix to it highlights that there is already a shortfall of 2,917 dwellings of completions compared to need in the period from 2011, and if completions were to remain relatively consistent, then there would be a shortfall of nearly 11,840 dwellings against the HEDNA OAN by 2031. It later highlights that even if all of the total capacity in the draft SHLAA is developed out in that period, then there would still be a shortfall of 8,834 dwellings against the HEDNA OAN by 2031 (although that is clearly seen as a minimum figure). Oadby & Wigston Borough Council also indicated a potential unmet need arising in the period post 2031.

This is clearly a critical matter that all of the Planning Authorities in the HMA need to address as part of their obligations under the DTC through the preparation of their Local Plan Reviews. It is not appropriate to seek to defer this issue to a review of this Local Plan, particularly because the "Final" MoU is apparently imminent and the currently proposed housing requirement would, therefore, be effectively out of date before the Local Plan is even adopted. Nor is it necessary to wait for the preparation of the Strategic Growth Plan, as that is a non-statutory plan that will consider options for guiding growth in the HMA over the period 2031 to 2050. The identified unmet need in Leicester is arising now (as highlighted by the City Council's letter referred to above) and needs to be addressed now in this Local Plan, otherwise it is fundamentally unsound. A failure to do so will only continue the great uncertainty going forward as to how much development should take place and where, and ultimately lead to a situation where housing needs in the City continue to be ignored.

Land Supply & Housing Trajectory
To accord with the NPPF, the Local Plan must facilitate a continual supply of both market and affordable housing from a "portfolio" of deliverable development sites based on a robust spatial development strategy, with sufficient flexibility to make sure that the identified full OAN for the District and the unmet need arising in Leicester needs are met even if key developments do not proceed as currently anticipated. That will ensure a rolling 5 year housing land supply is maintained, that the overall housing requirements are met within the plan period (NPPF para. 47) and that everyone actually has the opportunity of a decent home.

However, the Submission Plan fails to allocate sufficient housing sites to meet even the identified housing requirement, let alone what the stated requirement should be in light of the matters highlighted above. Notably Policy H1 does not allocate specific sites at the Rural Centres or Selected Rural Villages, instead seemingly relying on Policy GD2 to facilitate delivery of the required development on unallocated sites (the housing trajectory indicates circa 800 dwellings plus over 200 dwellings on windfall sites). However, that approach does not reflects the positive plan led approach to ensuring the delivery of sustainable development to actually meet the identified housing needs as required the NPPF (para 150-151). There is no certainty that there are deliverable or developable sites available in those locations (as required by NPPF para. 47). Policy GD2 should only be used to complement Policy H1 in this regard, and not used as an alternative to the allocation of appropriate sites.

Moreover, as highlighted in Bloor Homes' objection to Policy SS1 there is an over reliance in the Local Plan on a small number of development locations (the SDAs) to provide the majority of the required housing, which creates a significant risk that the identified housing need will not be met in the plan period if one or both of those sites fails to come forward as anticipated. That concern is only exacerbated when the specific issues in relation to the deliverability of both proposed SDAs, as set out in the objections to Policies CS1 and L1, are considered.

Notwithstanding that, entirely unrealistic assumptions in terms of both the timing and rate of delivery at the SDAs have been embedded in the Local Plan Housing Trajectory (Appendix G). That indicates that the Council anticipate that the Lutterworth SDA will deliver its first completions in the period 2022/23, i.e. 51/2 years away from this date. Annual completions are then expected to significantly increase to circa 240 dpa. The first completions at the Scraptoft SDA are expected even earlier in the period 2021/22, i.e. only 41/2 years away from now. Annual completions then expected to increase to circa 180 dpa. On that basis, the Housing Trajectory indicates that the SDAs are expected to deliver a total of 2,702 dwellings in the period to 2031.

In order to achieve that, this Plan will first need to be submitted, examined and, if found sound, adopted. The District Council's Local Development Scheme currently anticipates that the Plan will be adopted by October 2018, but that programme is extremely ambitious given the progress made thus far, and the complexities of the key development proposals on which the Local Plan relies in order to meet identified development needs. Adoption during 2019 does, however, appear feasible subject to the issues highlighted in these representations being appropriately resolved.

Outline planning applications will then need to be prepared, submitted and approved. The very detailed allocation policies in the Submission Plan clearly highlight the scale and complexity of that process for each of the SDAs. Notably, the Policies SC1 and L1 require the prior preparation and agreement of comprehensive Masterplans that have been considered via an independent design review. That is perfectly understandable, but will take time to do given the range of issues that need to be addressed (as highlighted by the allocation policies). Furthermore, given the scale and nature of the sites, the planning applications submissions will need to be accompanied by robust Environmental Statements and Transport Assessments. The outline application preparation process should, therefore, be expected to take 1 to 2 years. The determination of those applications, including the signing of the associated Section 106 Agreements to secure the infrastructure required to support the development, should also be excepted to take 1 to 2 years.

Following the grant of outline planning permission, the sale (if promoted by the landowner) / purchase (if promoted by the developer) of the land needs to be finalised in light of a detailed cost & revenue planning exercise (which is even more complicated if multiple landowners are involved). Reserved Matters submissions will then need to be prepared, submitted and approved, conditions discharged and other (highway and drainage) consents secured to deliver the site. That process will take at least 2 years.

The developers resources (labour, equipment and materials) will then need to be mobilised before the development can begin. That commonly takes around 6 months. Site preparation and enabling works (e.g. infrastructure provision) then takes place prior to the construction of the actual homes and their delivery to the market. The first completions are then usually provided 6 months following the start on site. However, on strategic sites where major upfront infrastructure and site preparation is required, it is often 9-12 months form start on site to first legal completions.

This view of the likely timescales for delivery of the SDAs is supported by the various nationwide studies of the delivery of housing on strategic sites that have been published in recent years. Moreover, the folly of the District Council's delivery assumptions is clearly evidenced by the experiences of other Local Authorities in the HMA that have similarly sought to rely on the delivery of strategic urban extensions (SUEs) in excess of 1000 dwellings in their post NPPF Development Plan Documents in order to meet identified housing needs and are now needing to manage a shortfall in the housing land supply in their area.

Charnwood
The Charnwood Borough Core Strategy was adopted in November 2015 after the Inspector concluded that the delivery assumptions in relation to the 3 strategic urban extensions were optimistic but realistic. The Housing Trajectory indicated that the West Loughborough and North East Leicester sites were expected to deliver completions from 2016/17 and the North of Birstall site was expected to deliver completions from 2017/18. However, none of those sites have come forward as expected. The current position is as follows:

- An outline planning application for the development of the West Loughborough site was submitted in September 2014, and the Borough Council resolved to grant permission a year later in September 2015. However, a Section 106 Agreement has not yet been finalised and so planning permission has not yet been granted over 3 years following the submission of the planning application.
- An outline planning application for the development of the North East Leicester site was submitted in December 2013, and the Borough Council resolved to grant permission a little under a year later in November 2014. However, planning permission was not actually granted until August 2016. Now, over a year later, there is still no sign of the site's development.
- An outline planning application for the development of the North Birstall site was submitted in August 2016, but there is no clear indication when it will be determined.

Clearly the Core Strategy's housing trajectory was entirely unrealistic and now, only 2 years following its adoption, the Borough Council have indicated that there is a shortfall in their 5 year housing land supply.

Blaby
The Blaby District Core Strategy was adopted in February 2013, and relies on the delivery of the Lubbesthorpe SUE to meet the vast majority of the identified housing needs. The Housing Trajectory indicated that the SUE was expected to deliver housing completions from 2014/15. That was considered sound by the Inspector on the basis that the District Council has resolved to grant outline planning permission for the development of the site in September 2012 (following submission of the application 19 months earlier in February 2011).

Planning permission was not, however, actually granted until 16 months later in January 2014. Various Reserved Matters and condition discharge approvals have followed and development has now began, but only 2 completions were recorded by 2016/17. That was over 2 years later than the Core Strategy Trajectory had assumed and the anticipated rate of delivery is now much lower. Consequently, the District Council are now in the process of preparing a Delivery DPD that seeks to allocate additional sites close to the PUA to remedy the growing shortfall in the housing land supply.

Hinckley & Bosworth
The Hinckley and Bosworth Core Strategy was adopted in December 2009 and allocated 2 strategic urban extensions in Earl Shilton and Barwell. The housing trajectory anticipated first completions on both sites in 2012/13. That was followed by the Earl Shilton and Barwell Area Action Plan in September 2014 that sought to facilitate the delivery of the SUEs.

An outline planning application for the delivery of the Barwell SUE was subsequently submitted in February 2015 and the Borough Council resolved to grant permission in June 2016. However, 2 years 9 months later planning permission has still not actually been granted.

A planning application for the development of the Earl Shilton SUE has not yet been submitted.

As a consequence of the ongoing delays in the delivery of these sites, the Borough Council allocated the Hinckley West strategic urban extension in its Site Allocations DPD. That was adopted in July 2016. By that time, the Borough Council had resolved (in June 2016) to approve an outline planning application that had been submitted in over 17 months earlier in February 2015. The submission of the outline application had been quickly followed (in May 2015) by a full application for the development of the first 2 phases and the Borough Council resolved to approve that in August 2016. However, the planning permissions have not yet been formally granted.

Leicester
The Ashton Green SUE was first allocated for development in the Leicester Local Plan adopted in 2006, and reallocated in the Core Strategy that was adopted in July 2014. That assumed that the first completions on the site would be delivered in 2017/18 on the basis that an outline planning permission was granted in January 2014 (following submission in June 2010 and resolution to approve in March 2011). It is understood that a developer partner has not yet been secured, and consequently there is no sign that the site will be delivered in the foreseeable future.

Harborough Housing Trajectory
Based on the conservative analysis of the required timescales to deliver the SDAs set out above, the Submission Plan should assume the first delivery of housing completions at the SDAs a minimum of 6 years post the likely adoption of the Local Plan in 2019; i.e. in the 2025/26 period. Even then there is a significant risk that the resolution of the site specific environmental constraints, infrastructure provision and landownership issues highlighted in the objections to Policies L1 and SC1 and will further delay delivery.

Thereafter a robust view on the rate of delivery needs to be taken. The assumed rate of delivery for the Lutterworth SDA in particular (rising to around 240dpa for a sustained period) is extremely ambitious, and no evidence has been presented that demonstrates that it is actually achievable in this location.

Notwithstanding that, the delay in delivery alone will mean that the Lutterworth SDA will only provide 518 dwellings in the period to 2031 and the Scraptoft SDA will only provide 634 dwellings, resulting in a total shortfall of 1,152 dwellings in the plan period.

Consequences
Consequently Bloor Homes are very concerned that the District Council are not seeking to meet the FOAN across the HMA in accordance with the NPPF or allocating sufficient land to meet the identified housing need. This must be remedied in the Submission Draft Local Plan as the consequences of not planning to meet the identified need would be dire.

The Housing Strategy for England "Laying the Foundations" states in paragraph 1 that a "thriving, active but stable housing market that offers choice, flexibility and affordable housing is critical to our economic and social wellbeing." It continues to highlight (paragraph 5) that "we have not built enough homes for more that a generation and the credit crunch has simply compounded this challenge", and (paragraph 8) that "without urgent action to build new homes, children will grow up without the same opportunities to live near their families, young people will struggle to get a place to call their own and older people will not have the choice and support they need." Furthermore, paragraph 9 states: "Housing is crucial for our social mobility, health and wellbeing - with quality and choice having an impact on social mobility and wellbeing from an early age, and our homes accounting for about half of all household wealth. Social housing should provide support for those who need it, when they need it, and should help vulnerable people to live independently. And opportunities for wealth must be open to all, with housing choices helping rather than hindering people's ability to build assets and find employment."

More recently the Housing White Paper presents startling facts and figures that highlight the acute socio-economic effects of a continued undersupply of housing in the country. Average house prices have rocketed compared to earnings, home ownership in the under 35s has significantly decreased and rental costs are continuing to escalate. The under supply of housing is also having a severe negative impact on the economy in terms of labour mobility, the construction industry, economic spend and increasing housing benefit costs.

A key element of addressing this negative cycle is a focus on "planning for the right homes in the right places" as espoused by the NPPF. The District Council must, therefore, increase the housing requirement established in Policies SS1 and H1 and propose additional development allocations accordingly to ensure that the identified housing needs are actually met.

Land to the North of Uppingham Road, Bushby
Bloor Homes are a house building company who have an interest in land off Uppingham Road, Bushby. Some of that land already benefits from a planning permission and reserved matters approval for the delivery of 275 dwellings, and development of the site will commence in 2018.

However, given the concerns raised in this objection and in that submitted in relation to Policy SS1, Bloor Homes are of the view that the PUA could and should accommodate further development in order to ensure the District's Housing Needs are met and to meet a proportion of the unmet housing need stemming from Leicester within the plan period. The PUA is positioned at the top of the proposed settlement hierarchy that underpins the Submission Plan, and further development at Thurnby and Bushby (over and above that already committed and the proposed allocation of the SDA) would entirely accord with Harborough's established development strategy and housing objectives.

In that context there is additional land available adjacent to the committed site that would be an entirely appropriate development allocation for accommodating an element of that further growth on the edge of the PUA.

The site assessments and masterplanning that has been undertaken to underpin an imminent outline planning application submission have confirmed that the site is suitable and deliverable in NPPF terms. The location benefits from having good access to Leicester via the A47, providing access to an extensive range of higher order services, facilities and employment opportunities. Some key services (such as convenience store, primary schools, post office and GP surgery) are also provided within Thurnby and Bushby (and new additional retail provision will be made as part of the committed site). It is, therefore, entirely appropriate to locate new development in this sustainable location.

Bloor Homes' aspiration for the development of the site is to deliver a high quality housing development that respects its relationship with the surrounding urban form and sensitive environmental and cultural features. In that light, the development proposals for the site have evolved through an iterative masterplanning exercise that has taken into account the requirements of the various technical and environmental assessments, and best urban and landscape design practice. Whilst the development of the site would inevitably result in the loss of agricultural fields on the edge of the settlement, the Masterplan seeks to ensure that the proposals respond to the surrounding landscape character by retaining and enhancing boundary hedgerows and trees within the site wherever possible, and by providing new public open space with additional tree hedgerow planting to ensure a soft transition between the built development and open countryside. Within that context the Masterplan demonstrates that the site has the capacity to deliver a further 125 dwellings.

Local Plan Review
Policy IMP1 sets out the circumstances where a review of the Local Plan would be undertaken. However, a review mechanism is an inappropriate and ineffective response to the fundamental matters of soundness set out above (and in the response to Policy SS1) that need to be directly addressed now before the Local Plan can be found sound. Moreover, such a "commitment" to a Review cannot be enforced if the Council decide, for whatever reason, not to honour the commitment in the policy (e.g. a failure to agree a new MOU that addresses unmet need arising elsewhere).

Whilst a similar review mechanism was endorsed by the North West Leicestershire Local Plan Inspector to address some similar issues, the trigger for the review there is the agreement of a MoU demonstrating a requirement to address an unmet need and that is apparently due in January 2018. A short delay in the submission of the Local Plan will allow the distribution of the development needs to be understood and then agreed ensuring that the unmet needs that are already arising in Leicester are appropriately provided for within the HMA, including Harborough District, in accordance with the requirements of the NPPF.


Soundness:
For the reasons set out above, Bloor Homes object to Policy H1, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- has not been positively prepared as it is not based on a strategy that will ensure that the objectively assessed housing needs, including unmet development requirements arising in Leicester, will be met within the plan period;
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies;
- is not effective in that some allocation sites will not deliver the scale of development the Submission Plan currently assumes, and the identified needs will not therefore, be met; and
- is inconsistent with national policy in that it does not fully reflect the Government's priorities and policies in terms of enabling sustainable development and boosting the supply of housing to meet identified needs.

Proposed Change:
To remedy the flaws in the soundness of the plan:
- Policy H1 should identify a housing requirement for a plan period to 2036 (to provide a 15-year time horizon).
- That requirement should reflect the up to date, full and objectively assessed needs for housing and economic development within the District and wider HMA, based on the findings of the HEDNA and the Final MOU between the HMA Authorities that addresses the likely unmet need arising in Leicester City and Oadby & Wigston.
- The housing trajectory should reflect a realistic timescale for the delivery of the SDAs.
- The Local Plan should then identify sufficient deliverable and developable supply of housing land / sites to meet that need in sustainable locations in the District, notably at the PUA.
- That should include the allocation of the land off Uppingham Road, Bushby.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H2 clause 1

Representation ID: 7108

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Soundness:
For the reasons set out in full text of representation, Bloor Homes object to Policy H2, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national guidance in that it does not fully reflect the Government's objective to ensure affordable housing requirements are not prohibitive to the delivery of sustainable development.

Full text:

Bloor Homes fully support the provision of affordable housing as an integral part of housing development in order to meet the affordable housing needs of the District. However, the viability and deliverability of development sites cannot be compromised by over ambitious requirements to deliver affordable housing.
The Residential Options Viability Interim Report dated April 2016 by Aspinall Verdi indicates that the impact on the viability of development based on the proposed affordable housing requirement of between 30 - 40% (subject to location within District) is significant, requiring policy trade-offs between affordable housing provision and infrastructure. The cumulative impact of policy requirements within the Submission Plan will, therefore, result in the provision of affordable housing at the majority of sites being routinely negotiated on the grounds of viability, thereby considerably slowing the delivery of development. The Viability Report also highlights the effect of the proposed requirements on the viability of the SDAs. Given the reliance on SDAs to meet the full and objectively assessed needs of the District, Policy H2 is unlikely to effectively deliver the level of affordable housing required to meet identified needs with significant socio-economic consequences for the District.

The provision in Part 5 of the policy to enable the Council to consider a different level or mix of affordable housing in order to make the development viable is, therefore, welcomed by Bloor Homes. However, the NPPF is quite clear (paragraphs 158 and 173-174) that the onus is on the local authorities to demonstrate that policy requirements (cumulatively) are achievable and do not render development unviable. The viability implications of the requirements within the policy must, therefore, be considered at this stage before the targets are set to ensure the delivery of sustainable development. If a consequent reduction in the target will result in a shortfall in provision of affordable housing to meet identified needs then additional development allocations will be required to boost supply.
It is also important that affordable housing provision reflects site and location specific variables and the changing needs of the District over the plan period, both in terms of quantum and tenure. Provision must, therefore, be based upon the most up to date evidence available, including the monitoring of market activity over the plan period to identify the ability of developers to deliver affordable housing across the differing locations within the District.
In light of that, the proposed affordable housing tenure mix of 75% affordable / social rent and 25% intermediate is unduly prescriptive. The Government's proposals for Starter Homes as set out in the Housing White Paper alongside other affordable home ownership and rented tenures as a means of boosting the provision of affordable housing across the District should also be considered. This broadening of the approach to housing mix will allow for greater flexibility and will in turn assist in ensuring delivery.

Soundness:
For the reasons set out above, Bloor Homes object to Policy H2, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national guidance in that it does not fully reflect the Government's objective to ensure affordable housing requirements are not prohibitive to the delivery of sustainable development.

Proposed Changes:
To remedy the flaws in the soundness of the plan:
- The policy should include Affordable Housing quantum and mix requirements that do not undermine the viability of schemes and delay / prevent sustainable development; and
- The policy should include sufficient flexibility to allow development to respond to site-specific constraints, evidence of need and the provision of other forms of affordable housing.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H4 clause 1

Representation ID: 7110

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Soundness:
For the reasons set out in full text of representation, Bloor Homes object to Policy H4, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national guidance in that it does not fully reflect the Government's objective to ensure the housing requirements are not prohibitive to the delivery of development.

Full text:

Bloor Homes has no objection to the principle of sheltered and extra care accommodation being provided in appropriate locations, but questions the basis and associated evidence upon which at least 10% of housing is required for this purpose as part of developments over 100 dwellings in size. This prescriptive approach does not take account of local need or the site and location specific constraints to delivery of specialist housing of this type. Conversely, the policy text (para 5.7.5) recognises the significance of providing properties suitable for older people within the District's villages, reflecting a generally higher age profile in these locations, and a more significant contribution may therefore be appropriate in these locations rather than on larger sites. Moreover, the imposition of a blanket requirement adds a further unnecessary layer of complexity that will only delay the delivery of the much needed housing in the District.

Consequently, the Submission Plan should seek to identify and allocate specific development sites to address these needs where they are required. Whilst it may then be appropriate to encourage the specialist housing provision in general housing developments, provision must be based on robust and credible evidence that identifies an up to date local need, including the monitoring of market activity over the plan period to identify the ability of developers to deliver specialist housing across the differing locations within the District.

Moreover, whilst the reference in Part 1b to taking account of the impact on deliverability and/or viability of developments is welcomed, the provision of specialist housing may have a critical affect on the viability of new housing developments in the District, and the deliverability of sustainable development cannot be compromised by unduly onerous policy requirements. The Council must, therefore, demonstrate that the policy and infrastructure requirements in the Local Plan (cumulatively) in terms of financial contributions are achievable and do not render development unviable (NPPF paragraphs 158, 173-174). That must be considered at this stage. There is no evidence to that effect at this point in time as these policy requirements have not been robustly considered Local Plan's Viability Report.

Soundness:
For the reasons set out above, Bloor Homes object to Policy H4, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national guidance in that it does not fully reflect the Government's objective to ensure the housing requirements are not prohibitive to the delivery of development.

Proposed Changes:
To remedy the flaws in the soundness of the plan the evidence required to support the imposition of the housing requirements must be provided and the cumulative impact on the viability of sustainable development examined.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H5 clause 1

Representation ID: 7114

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Soundness:
For the reasons set out in full text of representation, Bloor Homes object to Policy H5, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national guidance in that it does not fully reflect the Government's objective to ensure the housing requirements are not prohibitive to the delivery of development.

Full text:

Bloor Homes do not object to the overarching objective of Policy H5, as it seeks to secure good quality housing design and maximise the efficient use of land by optimising the density of development on sites that are accessible to a full range of local services and facilities.

Housing Standards
However, the requirement in Part 1b of the policy for developments to meet the Nationally Described Space Standard (NDSS) has not been appropriately justified. The Written Ministerial Statement dated 25th March 2015 confirms that "the optional new national technical standards should only be required through any new Local Plan policies if they address a clearly evidenced need, and where their impact on viability has been considered, in accordance with the NPPG". Therefore, if the Council wishes to adopt the NDSS up to date evidence of local need, together with assessments of the cumulative impact of the policy on viability, the implications of costs to being passed on to homebuyers, and the potential impact development delivery rates must be provided. That evidence has not been provided and the imposition of this blanket requirement has not, therefore, been justified in accordance with the requirements of the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG Paragraph: 020 Reference ID: 56-020-20150327) .

Similarly the prescriptive blanket approach to the provision of accessible and adaptable compliant homes in Part 3 of the policy has not been appropriately justified.

Mix
The emphasis in Part 2 of the policy for a flexible approach to the determination of housing mix that is informed by up to date evidence is welcomed and, indeed, is critical in order to reflect changing need across the District and over the plan period.

However, paragraph 50 of the NPPF states that in order to deliver a wide choice of high quality homes, widen the opportunities for home ownership and create sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities, planning authorities should consider both the needs of different groups and local demand for such. It is, therefore, essential that the difference between need and demand is recognised in the Submission Plan, as for instance whilst the need arising from smaller households might be for smaller properties, the actual demand is commonly still for larger properties. This is not surprising as the benefits to smaller households of having more flexible living accommodation in both the short and long terms are clear, and ultimately more sustainable.

This point is acknowledged in the HEDNA (Leicester and Leicestershire Authorities - Main Report January 2017). Paragraph 8.36 states that the conclusions on the mix of market housing are strategic and goes on to state that care should be taken in "applying these prescriptively to individual development sites, where consideration should be given to the mix of housing locally, the setting of the site and character of the area, and local demand evidence."

Self Build
It is acknowledged that self-build and custom house building is an element of the Government's housing strategy. However, the Council's approach to self / custom build should be to increase the total amount of new housing developed by supporting development on small windfall sites as well as allocating more small sites rather than by setting a restrictive policy requirement for inclusion of such housing on larger allocated sites. Indeed the Submission Plan itself acknowledges that only 57 people had registered an interest in self-build and custom house building plots on the Council's website. Notably, those registered are not required to be means tested and, therefore, in reality the demand is likely to be significantly lower. Moreover, the requirement has not been justified or tested in terms of the potential impact on the deliverability of development schemes as required by the NPPF.


Conclusion
These matters will have a critical affect on the viability of new housing development in the District, and the deliverability sustainable development cannot be compromised by unduly onerous requirements. The policy should, therefore, include a caveat in relation to the critical need to maintain the viability of the required development.
In the first instance, however, the Council must demonstrate that the policy and infrastructure requirements in the Submission Plan (cumulatively) in terms of financial contributions are achievable and do not render development unviable (NPPF paragraphs 158, 173-174). That must be considered at this stage. There is no evidence to that effect at this point in time as these policy requirement have not been robust considered Local Plan's Viability Report.

Soundness:
For the reasons set out above, Bloor Homes object to Policy H5, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national guidance in that it does not fully reflect the Government's objective to ensure the housing requirements are not prohibitive to the delivery of development.

Proposed Changes:
To remedy the flaws in the soundness of the plan the evidence required to support the imposition of the housing standards and self build requirements must be provided and the cumulative impact on the viability of sustainable development examined. The policy should then also be revised to incorporate an appropriate caveat in relation to scheme viability and the importance of considering demand as well as need in relation to the required mix of housing.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GI1 clause 1

Representation ID: 7116

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Soundness:
Bloor Homes object to Policy GI1, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not effective as a means of ensuring green infrastructure is fully integrated with other GI networks across the District.

Full text:

The policy's aspirations in relation to the safeguarding and provision of Green Infrastructure (GI) networks is welcomed by Bloor Homes. It is, however, unclear how this policy relates to the wider requirements for open space, sports and recreation provision set out in Policy GI2. The Submission Plan requirements should not place an unduly onerous burden on new developments as these matters can fundamentally affect the capacity and, therefore, viability of schemes. Further clarity is, therefore, required. Moreover, as highlighted in the response to Policy GI2 the provision of multi-functional open spaces that respond to a variety of needs should be encouraged to maximise the benefits of GI and open space provision in association with development.
Soundness:
Bloor Homes object to Policy GI1, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not effective as a means of ensuring green infrastructure is fully integrated with other GI networks across the District.

Proposed Changes:
To remedy the flaws in the soundness of the plan:
- Include cross-reference to meeting the requirements of Policy GI2 as part of the GI network.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GI2 Clause 1

Representation ID: 7123

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Soundness:
Bloor Homes object to Policy GI2, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national policy in that it does not fully reflect the Government's priorities and policies in terms of the provision of public open space and facilitating the delivery of sustainable development.

Full text:

The provision of an appropriate quantum and type of open space in association with development is fully supported by Bloor Homes.
The policy should, however, incorporate sufficient flexibility in its requirements to maximise the opportunity for on-site provision to reflect the site specific circumstances and context. It is not, therefore, necessarily helpful to seek to apply blanket requirements for a variety of very specific types of open space that have particular location and design requirements to each and every site. Instead guidance is required that encourages proposals to respond to both the strategic context and existing (or proposed) provision, and the specific nature of the site. The provision of multi-functional spaces that respond to a variety of needs should also be encouraged to maximise the benefits of open space provision in association with development.
The specific requirements set out in Table B.30 also require further clarification. In particular, it is unclear how rural and urban areas are defined in respect of determining the quantum of natural and semi-natural green spaces.

Soundness:
Bloor Homes object to Policy GI2, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national policy in that it does not fully reflect the Government's priorities and policies in terms of the provision of public open space and facilitating the delivery of sustainable development.

Proposed Changes:
To remedy the flaws in the soundness of the plan the policy should be reworded to provide additional flexibility in the provision of public open spaces on development sites that reflect the required standards taking account of the existing (or proposed) provision in the area and the specific characteristics of the development site and encourage the delivery of multi-functional public open space in the context of the aspirations of Policy GI1 in relation to Green Infrastructure.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

CC1 clause 1a

Representation ID: 7124

Received: 17/11/2017

Respondent: Bloor Home Ltd

Agent: Define

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Soundness:
Bloor Homes object to Policy CC1, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not effective as a means of ensuring development mitigates climate change without unduly restricting the viability and/or delivery of development.

Full text:

Bloor Homes broadly support the aspiration of this policy. However, the policy must be sufficiently flexible to allow for location and context-specific considerations to be taken into account in the delivery of development. For instance, it might not be feasible or viable for specific mitigation measures, such as renewable energy, to be incorporated into a specific development scheme.

Bloor Homes has adopted a holistic fabric first approach in their house type design as an alternative to renewable energy infrastructure, which seeks to reduce each dwelling's inherent energy demand. The approach also includes the installation of water saving appliances to aid water efficiency, highly efficient gas condensing boilers to reduce fuel costs, and gas savers and waste water heat recovery systems to reduce carbon emissions. This fabric first approach has a number of clear benefits, notably that it is built into the property for its whole life and achieves the aim of reducing CO2 emissions. In comparison to renewable technologies there is no maintenance required, and it avoids the concern as to whether the technologies are actually being used.

Part 1 of the policy should, therefore, allow greater flexibility by including reference to the potential inclusion of alternative measures to mitigate climate change. As with Part 2 of Policy CC1 in relation to SDAs, reference should also be made within Part 1 to the associated impact on the viability of development in demonstrating what measures can be incorporated into a scheme.

Soundness:
Bloor Homes object to Policy CC1, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not effective as a means of ensuring development mitigates climate change without unduly restricting the viability and/or delivery of development.

Proposed Changes:
To remedy the flaws in the soundness of the plan the policy should be reworded include reference to "alternative measures, such as a fabric first approach, as appropriate to the site and demonstrated by the developer to meet overarching climate targets".

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