Revocation of the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy

On Thursday 25th April 2013 the Government announced that the West Midlands Regional Spatial Strategy would be revoked on Monday 20th May 2013. The Chief Planner’s letter making this announcement can be found here

Clarification of site description of Site Allocation SWDP43/4 Old Northwick Farm

In the Issues and Responses Summary Report (28 November 2012) on Significant Changes Consultation (Summer 2012), the description of an area to exclude from the Old Northwick Farm site allocation was unclear because it refers to ‘delete land at 22a Northwick Lane’.  It should  have read ‘delete land at Old Northwick Farmhouse, Northwick Lane’ .  The maps that were available at the Full Council meetings in December 2012 and the  Interactive Map for the  Proposed Submission Plan exclude Old Northwick Farmhouse from Site Allocation SWDP 43/4 Old Northwick Farm.

Revised number of homes for South Worcestershire being considered

Proposals to increase the number of homes to be built in South Worcestershire are set to be considered by councillors.

The number of homes proposed in the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) – which will guide economic development and housing in the area until 2030 – may need to rise beyond the current figure of 20,360.

The changes being considered follow a public consultation held last year about the initial proposals contained in the SWDP Preferred Options document, published in September 2011.

There were around 10,000 responses to the consultation – which can all be viewed at http://www.swdevelopmentplan.org/ – giving a very broad range of proposed housing numbers, ranging from 7,800 to 55,300. 

These responses have fed into work to prepare the next version of the SWDP, alongside new evidence including updated Population Projections from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment for Worcestershire.

A revised version of the SWDP will go to each of the three partner councils on July 3, and councillors are being briefed over the coming weeks about possible changes that are being considered.

It is likely that councillors will be asked to consider a proposed increase in the number of homes required under the SWDP from 20,360 to 23,000. But in practice the number of additional homes is likely to be fewer than that, because of changes to national planning policies.

New rules introduced in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allow councils, for the first time, to include a variety of housing in their numbers for new homes that were previously excluded from their calculations.

That means the majority of the additional homes would be accounted for by empty homes that are brought back into use and so called “windfall sites”. These are sites that are not specifically identified in the plan but which subsequently come forward for housing development. This includes the reuse of land previously built on for non-residential purposes – for example, a disused factory being turned into flats.

Councillor Marc Bayliss is Chairman of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, which includes councillors from each of the three councils working on the SWDP and also from Worcestershire County Council.

He said: “The SWDP is all about planning for the future, ensuring that we are taking the right steps to help economic growth in south Worcestershire over the next 18 years and providing the homes that local people will need.

“The Panel is now working hard to evaluate all the latest evidence and the representations received in the consultation and make sure the Plan meets the needs of local people and local businesses – both now and up to 2030. Once that work is done, we will be reporting to the three councils with recommendations for changes to the Plan.”

If any changes to the SWDP are backed by the three councils on July 3, further public consultations on those specific changes will take place.

A revised version of the full SWDP document will then be published in October, and will go to a public examination next year. It’s expected the final version of the Plan will be formally adopted later in 2013.

Alongside this work, the three partner councils are also working with Worcestershire County Council to prioritise and prepare an Infrastructure Delivery Plan, setting out the level of investment needed to deliver the SWDP.

Response to Tewkesbury Growth

Submission to the ‘Developing the Preferred Option consultation Document 2011?2012’, published for consultation by Cheltenham Borough, Gloucester City and Tewkesbury Borough Joint Core Strategy partner Councils, on behalf of the South Worcestershire Development Plan 3 partner Authorities – Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council, Wychavon District Council – 10th February 2012.

Read a copy of the submission on behalf of the South Worcestershire Development Plan 3 partner Authorties.

 

 

 

Where to now after the Preferred Options Consultation (Sept – Nov 2011)?

We have received an outstanding level of interest in the SWDP’s latest consultation. This has been demonstrated through 4,000 people attending the 40-odd official consultation events throughout the SWDP area . Nearly 5,000 submitted responses many of which raise a number of issues have been submitted by from local residents, businesses, developers, infrastructure providers and statutory agencies.

This level of interest, along with unfortunate technical issues associated with the on-line consultation tool, caused us to extend the consultation period by a week so that no-one was disadvantaged in getting their views to us.  We are currently sifting through this huge volume of information and for the next few weeks will be analysing it and assessing its implications for the Plan along with identifying where any adjustments are required.

 What happens next?

It is anticipated that by the end of February we will have fully assessed all responses that we have received and that these will be loaded onto the website. We will move as quickly as possible to develop responses to the consultation feedback and will report back to each of the South Worcestershire Councils.   Within this timeframe we will also need to assess whether or not we will have to commission any additional evidence to assist the development of the SWDP or possibly deliver some additional targeted consultation should any major changes (e.g. new proposed housing allocations)  to the SWDP Preferred Options be considered.

As we move forward to the preparation of the Draft Development Plan Document (Regulation 27) stage) later in 2012 there will be a lot happening ….the SWDP Team would like to thank you for all your contributions and would encourage you to keep an eye out for updates over the next couple of months  and beyond.