Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

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Support

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GD1 clause 1.

Representation ID: 7604

Received: 03/11/2017

Respondent: Taylor Wimpey

Agent: Ms Lydia Voyias

Representation Summary:

Support is given to Policy GD1 Achieving sustainable development. It seeks to reiterate the sentiments of the 'Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development' found at paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Full text:

Support is given to Policy GD1 Achieving sustainable development. It seeks to reiterate the sentiments of the 'Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development' found at paragraph 14 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

In addition supporting paragraph 4.1.3 reiterates the sentiments of paragraph 49 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

v. about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans

Representation ID: 7614

Received: 03/11/2017

Respondent: Taylor Wimpey

Agent: Ms Lydia Voyias

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

Whilst support is given to the settlement hierarchy contained within Draft Policy SS1, this policy does not specifically direct any development to Broughton Astley despite the settlement being identified as capable of sustaining expansion, infill and redevelopment. Passing reference is made to 'made Neighbourhood Plans'.

Policy SS1 criteria v) and vi) make allowance for 'non-allocated' and 'windfall sites' but these are directed to the less sustainable settlements in the District rather than the Key Centres. This is not considered to be a positively prepared policy.

This approach is similarly repeated at Draft Policy GD2 'Settlement Development' and Draft Policy H1.

Full text:

Key Issue 1 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan is 'The spatial strategy for distribution of housing and employment development', determining an appropriate distribution of housing and employment growth that takes account of strategic growth locations, the settlement hierarchy, and the ability to provide essential utilities and infrastructure, whilst safeguarding local heritage and sensitive landscapes.'

Appendix F of the Proposed Submission Local Plan is entitled 'The Settlement Hierarchy'. It explains at page 252 that "Settlements at the top of the hierarchy are considered to be the most suitable in terms of accessibility to services, facilities, shops, employment opportunities and public transport provision. These settlements are therefore the most capable of supporting further development whilst meeting the everyday needs of their residents and thus minimising the need to travel." General support is given to this approach to sustainable development across the district.

Draft Policy SS1 'The Spatial Strategy' for the District seeks to direct development to "the most appropriate locations in accordance with the following settlement hierarchy." The Council proposes to primarily direct development to the Leicester Principal Urban; then to Market Harborough the Sub-regional Centre'; then to the Key Centres of Lutterworth and Broughton Astley. Beyond this are the 'Rural Centre', 'Selected Rural Villages', and 'Other Villages, Rural Settlements and the Countryside.

Appendix D of the Proposed Submission Local Plan is entitled 'Spatial Portrait', page 231 identifies that at the time of the Census 2011, the district's population was mostly concentrated in the larger settlements of Market Harborough, Lutterworth and Broughton Astley (47%). It also noted at page 233 that Market Harborough and the Key Centres of Lutterworth and Broughton Astley provide the most services and facilities for the District.

Broughton Astley is classified as a Key Centre and as such identified at 'Table D.20 Key Centres' the settlement benefits from a range of retail, service, and employment and is a significant residential area. The Council's stated approach to development is that Key Centres are "Settlements capable of sustaining expansion, infill and redevelopment on a scale which reflects their good levels of services, facilities and employment." It is clear that the Council has justified Broughton Astley as a Key Centre settlement within the Settlement Hierarchy.

Policy SS1 however does not specifically direct any new development to Broughton Astley over the plan period. Reference is made at criteria I) to "about 7,915 dwellings already completed or committed, including through planning permissions, resolutions to grant permission and allocations in made neighbourhood plans".

Curiously, the Council identifies at criteria v) "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" (emphasis added). The National Planning Policy framework identifies 'non-allocated' or 'windfall' sites as: "Sites which have not been specifically identified as available in the local plan process. They normally comprise previously-developed sites that have unexpectedly become available." It is questioned why the Council wishes to direct such development to the less sustainable settlements in the District rather than the Key Centres. This is not considered to be a positively prepared policy.

The Council's justification as set out at paragraph 5.1.18 "In order to provide choice in the housing market, provide a mix of sites and make sites available to small and medium size house builders, 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 (as defined in the NPPF glossary) and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 Settlement Development." (emphasis added). The Councils interpretation of windfall sites is at odds with the National Planning Policy Framework definition as it specifically refers to 'smaller sites'.

Further Draft Policy GD2 Settlement development states that "1. In addition to sites allocated by this Local Plan and neighbourhood plans, development within or contiguous with the existing or committed built up area of Market Harborough, Key Centres, the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA), Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages will be permitted" subject to criteria including cross reference to Policy H1. Again this policy is not considered to either effective or positively prepared because it limits windfall development to less sustainable settlements.

Paragraph 4.3.4 explains in relation ton Draft Policy GD2 that "Delivering housing to meet identified need across the District is a vital element of the Local Plan and Policy H1 sets out target figures for the most sustainable settlements in line with Policy SS1. These target figures are linked to ensuring that the District's housing requirements are met and most development is directed to the most sustainable settlements in line with Policy SS1. These target figures are linked to ensuring that the District's housing requirements are met and most development is directed to the most sustainable locations in the District. Policy GD2 supports the aims of the spatial strategy by ensuring that the settlement housing targets set out in Policy H1 are followed. While the term 'significantly exceed' in criterion a should be interpreted by the decision-maker in the context of local circumstances, as a rule of thumb the target should not normally be exceeded by more than about 10%."

Policy H1 is silent about the provision of housing at Broughton Astley.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

GD2 clause 1b

Representation ID: 7615

Received: 03/11/2017

Respondent: Taylor Wimpey

Agent: Ms Lydia Voyias

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

Whilst support is given to the settlement hierarchy contained within Draft Policy SS1, this policy does not specifically direct any development to Broughton Astley despite the settlement being identified as capable of sustaining expansion, infill and redevelopment. Passing reference is made to 'made Neighbourhood Plans'.

Policy SS1 criteria v) and vi) make allowance for 'non-allocated' and 'windfall sites' but these are directed to the less sustainable settlements in the District rather than the Key Centres. This is not considered to be a positively prepared policy.

This approach is similarly repeated at Draft Policy GD2 'Settlement Development' and Draft Policy H1.

Full text:

Key Issue 1 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan is 'The spatial strategy for distribution of housing and employment development', determining an appropriate distribution of housing and employment growth that takes account of strategic growth locations, the settlement hierarchy, and the ability to provide essential utilities and infrastructure, whilst safeguarding local heritage and sensitive landscapes.'

Appendix F of the Proposed Submission Local Plan is entitled 'The Settlement Hierarchy'. It explains at page 252 that "Settlements at the top of the hierarchy are considered to be the most suitable in terms of accessibility to services, facilities, shops, employment opportunities and public transport provision. These settlements are therefore the most capable of supporting further development whilst meeting the everyday needs of their residents and thus minimising the need to travel." General support is given to this approach to sustainable development across the district.

Draft Policy SS1 'The Spatial Strategy' for the District seeks to direct development to "the most appropriate locations in accordance with the following settlement hierarchy." The Council proposes to primarily direct development to the Leicester Principal Urban; then to Market Harborough the Sub-regional Centre'; then to the Key Centres of Lutterworth and Broughton Astley. Beyond this are the 'Rural Centre', 'Selected Rural Villages', and 'Other Villages, Rural Settlements and the Countryside.

Appendix D of the Proposed Submission Local Plan is entitled 'Spatial Portrait', page 231 identifies that at the time of the Census 2011, the district's population was mostly concentrated in the larger settlements of Market Harborough, Lutterworth and Broughton Astley (47%). It also noted at page 233 that Market Harborough and the Key Centres of Lutterworth and Broughton Astley provide the most services and facilities for the District.

Broughton Astley is classified as a Key Centre and as such identified at 'Table D.20 Key Centres' the settlement benefits from a range of retail, service, and employment and is a significant residential area. The Council's stated approach to development is that Key Centres are "Settlements capable of sustaining expansion, infill and redevelopment on a scale which reflects their good levels of services, facilities and employment." It is clear that the Council has justified Broughton Astley as a Key Centre settlement within the Settlement Hierarchy.

Policy SS1 however does not specifically direct any new development to Broughton Astley over the plan period. Reference is made at criteria I) to "about 7,915 dwellings already completed or committed, including through planning permissions, resolutions to grant permission and allocations in made neighbourhood plans".

Curiously, the Council identifies at criteria v) "about 790 dwellings on non-allocated sites or sites to be allocated in neighbourhood plans for Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages" (emphasis added). The National Planning Policy framework identifies 'non-allocated' or 'windfall' sites as: "Sites which have not been specifically identified as available in the local plan process. They normally comprise previously-developed sites that have unexpectedly become available." It is questioned why the Council wishes to direct such development to the less sustainable settlements in the District rather than the Key Centres. This is not considered to be a positively prepared policy.

The Council's justification as set out at paragraph 5.1.18 "In order to provide choice in the housing market, provide a mix of sites and make sites available to small and medium size house builders, 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 (as defined in the NPPF glossary) and small sites identified in the SHLAA that accord with policies GD2 Settlement Development." (emphasis added). The Councils interpretation of windfall sites is at odds with the National Planning Policy Framework definition as it specifically refers to 'smaller sites'.

Further Draft Policy GD2 Settlement development states that "1. In addition to sites allocated by this Local Plan and neighbourhood plans, development within or contiguous with the existing or committed built up area of Market Harborough, Key Centres, the Leicester Principal Urban Area (PUA), Rural Centres and Selected Rural Villages will be permitted" subject to criteria including cross reference to Policy H1. Again this policy is not considered to either effective or positively prepared because it limits windfall development to less sustainable settlements.

Paragraph 4.3.4 explains in relation ton Draft Policy GD2 that "Delivering housing to meet identified need across the District is a vital element of the Local Plan and Policy H1 sets out target figures for the most sustainable settlements in line with Policy SS1. These target figures are linked to ensuring that the District's housing requirements are met and most development is directed to the most sustainable settlements in line with Policy SS1. These target figures are linked to ensuring that the District's housing requirements are met and most development is directed to the most sustainable locations in the District. Policy GD2 supports the aims of the spatial strategy by ensuring that the settlement housing targets set out in Policy H1 are followed. While the term 'significantly exceed' in criterion a should be interpreted by the decision-maker in the context of local circumstances, as a rule of thumb the target should not normally be exceeded by more than about 10%."

Policy H1 is silent about the provision of housing at Broughton Astley.

Support

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

2.1 Local Plan vision

Representation ID: 7616

Received: 03/11/2017

Respondent: Taylor Wimpey

Agent: Ms Lydia Voyias

Representation Summary:

Support is given to the sentiments of the Vision for the Local Plan.

Full text:

Support is given to the sentiments of the Vision for the Local Plan. In particular:

"In 2013, Harborough District will be a vibrant, safe and prosperous place which retains its identity as a predominantly rural area of villages and market towns where local communities enjoy a high quality of life. Residents will benefit from increased access to suitable housing, a wider of local skilled jobs, and high quality services and facilities, all of which promote healthy and safe lifestyles..."

"....New development will have been delivered in the most sustainable locations...."

Market Harborough, Lutterworth "along with settlements near to the edge of Leicester Scraptoft, Thurnby and Bushby), Broughton Astley and the rural centres, will have been the main focus for development. Residential development will have been delivered to meet strategic and local needs and the necessary infrastructure and community facilities needed to support this growth will have been delivered on time."

"....New housing will reflect local needs in terms of type, size and tenure and enable equality of access to suitable accommodation. Older people will have increased access to accommodation to suit their changing needs and affordable homes will have been delivered to enable a new generation of home owners to get onto the housing ladder and to meet the needs of those unable to afford market housing for sale. New housing developments will be high quality, well designed, and respectful of their setting in order to ensure that the character of the District's towns and villages is maintained and protected......."

"......Communities across the District will have embraced neighbourhood planning, affording them the opportunity to shape the future of their environment by ensuring that they have a real stake in the decision making processes that oversee what development takes place and where."

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

SP2: Assisting other local authorities to meet their unmet housing need.

Representation ID: 7623

Received: 03/11/2017

Respondent: Taylor Wimpey

Agent: Ms Lydia Voyias

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

It is unclear at this stage whether there will be unmet housing need within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area and whether this would be further exacerbated as a result of the Harborough Local Plan progressing ahead of other Local Authorities within the Housing Market Area. This is an unsound basis on which to prepare a Local Plan and therefore the current version of the plan cannot be considered positively prepared, effective or consistent with national policy. It is considered that the Council has not fulfilled the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate.

Full text:

Page 15 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan identifies 'Meeting Housing Needs' as a Key Issue for the Local Plan.

Section 1.4 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan identifies the proximity of the Harborough District to the city of Leicester and other Districts within Leicestershire. It is recognised that people travel to work and move house within the identified 'Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area'. It is clear that this relationship should be taken into consideration with the preparation of the plan.

Paragraph 1.5.1 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan explains that the Duty to Cooperate "places a legal duty on local planning authorities, county councils and public bodies to engage constructively, proactively and on an ongoing basis to ensure that significant issues that affect more than one local authority area are addressed adequately within plans. The Harborough Local Plan must therefore consider influences on and the requirements of adjoining areas and how strategic infrastructure is to be delivered."

The National Planning Policy Framework states at paragraph 178 that "The Government expects joint working on areas of common interest to be diligently undertaken for the mutual benefit of neighbouring authorities." Of particular importance is the amount of homes and jobs needed in the area and their distribution.

Paragraph 1.5.2 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan states that Harborough Council has "actively engaged with its strategic partners on an agreed range of strategic priorities throughout the preparation of the plan", and makes reference to separate Duty to Cooperate Statement, 2017.

It is acknowledged that the nine Leicestershire local authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have worked together to prepare the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HENDA) 2017. However, it is apparent from review of the Duty to Cooperate Statement 2017 (page 9) that not all authorities have concluded whether they can plan to meet their own needs or whether they will require assistance from surrounding authorities. To date both Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council have stated that they will not be able to meet their needs within their administrative boundaries.

Harborough Council's Duty to Cooperate Statement states at paragraph 4.11 that a final Memorandum of Understanding is only expected to be available in January 2018, at which point Harborough Council is expecting to submit its Local Plan for Examination, a point beyond which alterations should not be made to the Local Plan.

The Council explains at paragraph 6.17 of its Duty to Cooperate Statement that "the Local Plan should provide land for an uplift of 20% over OAN, bringing the total housing land provision to 12,800 dwellings. This would allow for a contingency to meet unforeseen circumstances and flexibility to make a contribution towards any unmet needs from other Councils that arise across the Housing Market Area (HMA)."

However, the Council's 6.20 "If in the future, an agreement is reached through the Duty to Cooperate, for Harborough to meet some of Leicester's or Oadby and Wigston's unmet needs, then this would further increase the housing requirement" and therefore it is our interpretation that this would reduce any contingency planning for Harborough's housing need, therefore its ability to respond to slower than expected delivery, non-implementation of existing consents, economic change, and flexibility and choice in the housing market.

It is unclear at this stage whether there will be unmet housing need within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area and whether this would be further exacerbated as a result of the Harborough Local Plan progressing ahead of other Local Authorities within the Housing Market Area. This is an unsound basis on which to prepare a Local Plan and therefore the current version of the plan cannot be considered positively prepared, effective or consistent with national policy.

In addition the Government has published a consultation document setting its thoughts for a standardised approach for the calculation of objectively assessed housing need. It maybe that the Council will be required to update its evidence base in light of any new Government Guidance, albeit the consultation document does include allowance for transitional arrangements.

Object

Harborough Local Plan 2011-2031, Proposed Submission

H1 Opening sentence

Representation ID: 7626

Received: 03/11/2017

Respondent: Taylor Wimpey

Agent: Ms Lydia Voyias

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

The plan is silent about growth at Broughton Astley. it is unclear whether there will be unmet housing need within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area and whether this would be further exacerbated as a result of the Harborough Local Plan progressing ahead of other Local Authorities within the Housing Market Area. This is an unsound basis on which to prepare a Local Plan and therefore the current version of the plan cannot be considered positively prepared, effective or consistent with national policy. It is considered that the Council has not fulfilled the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate.

Full text:

Page 15 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan identifies 'Meeting Housing Needs' as a Key Issue for the Local Plan.

Paragraph 5.1.17 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan explains "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."

Policy H1 is silent in respect of growth at Broughton Astley, identified as a Key Centre at Policy SS1. There is no supporting evidence within the Sustainability Appraisal 2017 to suggest the Council has considered the potential for Broughton Astley to accommodate additional growth, notwithstanding the recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan..

It is acknowledged that the nine Leicestershire local authorities and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) have worked together to prepare the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing and Economic Development Need Assessment (HENDA) 2017. However, it is apparent from review of the Duty to Cooperate Statement 2017 (page 9) that not all authorities have concluded whether they can plan to meet their own needs or whether they will require assistance from surrounding authorities. To date both Leicester City Council and Oadby and Wigston Borough Council have stated that they will not be able to meet their needs within their administrative boundaries.

Harborough Council's Duty to Cooperate Statement states at paragraph 4.11 that a final Memorandum of Understanding is only expected to be available in January 2018, at which point Harborough Council is expecting to submit its Local Plan for Examination, a point beyond which alterations should not be made to the Local Plan.

Paragraph 5.1.10 of the Proposed Submission Local Plan states that "Policy H1 provides for delivery of the housing plan requirement, plus an additional 15% contingency in the supply of housing land in order to allow for possible future circumstances affecting the supply of housing in the District"; albeit that the Council explains at paragraph 6.17 of its Duty to Cooperate Statement that "the Local Plan should provide land for an uplift of 20% over OAN, bringing the total housing land provision to 12,800 dwellings. This would allow for a contingency to meet unforeseen circumstances and flexibility to make a contribution towards any unmet needs from other Councils that arise across the Housing Market Area (HMA)."

However, the Council's position as explained at paragraph 6.20 of the Duty to Cooperate Statement is "If in the future, an agreement is reached through the Duty to Cooperate, for Harborough to meet some of Leicester's or Oadby and Wigston's unmet needs, then this would further increase the housing requirement" and therefore it is our interpretation that this would reduce any contingency planning for Harborough's housing need, therefore its ability to respond to slower than expected delivery, non-implementation of existing consents, economic change, and flexibility and choice in the housing market.

It is unclear at this stage whether there will be unmet housing need within the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area and whether this would be further exacerbated as a result of the Harborough Local Plan progressing ahead of other Local Authorities within the Housing Market Area. This is an unsound basis on which to prepare a Local Plan and therefore the current version of the plan cannot be considered positively prepared, effective or consistent with national policy.

In addition the Government has published a consultation document setting its thoughts for a standardised approach for the calculation of objectively assessed housing need. It maybe that the Council will be required to update its evidence base in light of any new Government Guidance, albeit the consultation document does include allowance for transitional arrangements.

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