Community Infrastructure Levy – Statement of Modifications Consultation

A new consultation has been launched today (25 July) seeking views on the proposed changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedule (DCS).

The South Worcestershire Councils (SWC) of Malvern Hills, Worcester City, and Wychavon have now considered the representations made to the CIL DCS consultation, which ran from April to May 2016, and will be submitting the CIL documentation to the Planning Inspectorate for joint examination from Tuesday 26 July 2016. This is in accordance with Regulation 19 of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended).

The Regulations (19(4)) also require that an opportunity is provided to all those who were invited to comment on the DCS to make further representations, to the appointed CIL examiner, on the statement of modifications to the DCS. The modifications have either resulted from representations made earlier in the year to the DCS Regulation 16 stage, or are any other minor amendments that the SWC have identified in reviewing the draft documentation prior to submission.

The consultation has been extended to 5:00pm on Friday 26 August 2016.

Please note this is not a further opportunity to make comments on the DCS but only on the changes proposed in the statement of modifications.

Representations will be considered by the independent examiner, appointed by the Planning Inspectorate, to examine the submitted CIL later in the autumn of 2016. This further stage in the process moving towards adoption of the CIL in early 2017 is part of a program of work set out in the Local Development Scheme that was published by the SWC in October 2015.

Please follow this link to be directed to the statement of modifications consultation page.

Public consultation on changes to South Worcestershire Development Plan launched

A new six-week consultation is today launched to give people the chance to have their say on the latest and, it is hoped, final proposed changes to the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP).

The SWDP is being jointly prepared by Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council to guide economic and housing development in the area to 2030.

The Plan is currently the subject of an Examination by a Government-appointed Inspector, Roger Clews, who has carried out a series of public hearings, intended to ensure the Plan is legally-compliant and sound. These hearings have fed into the proposed “Main Modifications” which are now being consulted on.

Full details of the proposed Main Modifications and the consultation are now available at www.swdevelopmentplan.org.

The consultation is only seeking views on the new proposed Main Modifications, not the SWDP as a whole.

The number of dwellings required to be built under the SWDP was increased to 28,370 last year in the first phase of the Examination. These latest proposed Main Modifications leave that number unchanged.

However, it is now proposed that some housing sites are removed from the Plan. These are the former playing fields site in Green Lane, Malvern, and, a number of small sites in Worcester, including Claines Recreation Ground in Worcester.

Some other sites have had changes proposed to their housing numbers, including a reduction from 200 to 190 at the Crown Packaging site in Worcester, an increase from 596 to 750 at Worcester’s Shrub Hill Opportunity Zone and rises of 100 to 500 at Cheltenham Road and 200 to 250 in Abbey Road, both in Evesham. Recent planning approvals granted outside the SWDP process have also been taken into account in the total housing numbers.

The majority of the other proposed Main Modifications are of a technical nature.

Councillor Melanie Baker, who chairs the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “This may be the last public consultation to be held for the SWDP. The consultation gives residents the chance to raise any points on these latest Main Modifications which they believe are new or untested. Following this consultation we hope the Inspector will take the view that the Plan is sound so that the councils can move on to its adoption.”

The consultation runs until 5pm on Friday, 20 November.

The Main Modifications document and the consultation response form can be downloaded at www.swdevelopmentplan.org.

Printed copies of the Main Modifications can be viewed and consultation response forms can be collected at local libraries and customer service/contact centres at Worcester (The Hive); Malvern; Upton upon Severn; Tenbury Wells; Droitwich Spa; Evesham; and Pershore.

Completed consultation forms can be emailed to contact@swdevelopmentplan.org or posted to South Worcestershire Development Plan, Policy Plans Team, Housing and Planning Services, Wychavon District Council, Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Pershore, Worcestershire WR10 1PT.

The results of the consultation will feed into the Inspector’s final report, which is expected to be published early next year, if no more hearings or modifications are required. It is hoped that the three councils will formally adopt the Plan shortly after that.

The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) will provide a long term vision up to 2030 for south Worcestershire, with the emphasis on boosting the local economy and delivering sustainable housing development.

It is based on extensive evidence and previous consultations and has been jointly prepared by the three partner councils – Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon.

Have your say on new infrastructure and affordable housing in south Worcestershire

Three new six-week consultations on planning documents supporting the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) will open on 16 February 2015.

The funding of new infrastructure – from roads and schools to village greens – and guidance on where and how affordable housing is built will all come under the spotlight.

Residents, developers, town and parish councils, and other interested parties can make their views known via the SWDP Consultations Web Page. The consultations conclude on 30 March 2015.

These consultations complement work on the SWDP, which is being jointly developed by the councils for Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon. The Plan will provide a long term vision up to 2030 for south Worcestershire, with the emphasis on boosting the local economy and delivering sustainable housing development.

Details of the three consultations are:

Community Infrastructure Levy

The south Worcestershire councils are proposing to apply a Community Infrastructure Levy on developers who gain planning permission for new housing and large scale retail development. This will help fund essential strategic infrastructure, such as new or safer transport schemes; flood defences; education, community, health and social care facilities; park improvements; green spaces and leisure centres. Each council is required to produce its own charging schedule and, because of the different land values across the area, the rates across south Worcestershire will vary. Views are now being sought on whether the level of those charges is appropriate.

Developer contributions

Planning guidance is being proposed on how and when developers will need to make contributions towards local infrastructure in order to ensure their proposals are acceptable in planning terms, in line with SWDP policies. Opinions are being sought on this guidance, which is set out in a Supplementary Planning Document on the Developer Contributions Consultation Page.

Affordable housing

The SWDP proposes that most new housing developments should include a proportion of affordable housing, such as rented accommodation managed by housing associations. An Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document now needs to be compiled to give detailed guidance on this, covering issues such as whether flats or houses should be built, how many bedrooms should be included in affordable dwellings, and the circumstances in which developers will have to make a financial contribution towards affordable housing being built away from their own developments. This consultation asks for comments, particularly from landlords and housing developers, on the detailed advice that needs to be included in this document.

At the same time a call for possible sites that could be used as pitches for travellers has been launched. The SWDP includes policies for the provision of up to 70 new pitches for travellers and travelling show people by 2030, in order to comply with national planning rules.

The consultations and call for sites are part of the programme of work in the Local Development Scheme that was approved by the three councils on 30 September 2014.

Councillor Melanie Baker, deputy chairman of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel, said: “The south Worcestershire councils are all striving to ensure the SWDP is able to deliver the planned growth in employment and sustainable developments that will provide residents with homes to meet the needs of young families, older people and single households. The consultations are a vital part of that work and I urge people to get involved and make their views known.”

The consultations are being launched just a few days before public hearings resume in stage two of the formal Examination of the SWDP, being carried out by Government-appointed Inspector Roger Clews.

The latest sessions are:

  • Commencing 24 February 2015 at the Sixways Stadium, looking at SWDP policies one to seven (the basis for how the plan has been compiled, housing and employment sites selected etc) and the strategic sites (including the major “urban extensions” proposed on the edges of Worcester, where some of the largest housing developments have been allocated)
  • Commencing 14 April 2015 at the Sixways Stadium, considering development management policies (the detailed rules that future planning applications will be assessed against, covering, for example, the design of new developments, the proportion of affordable housing to be included in residential developments)
  • Commencing 12 May 2015 at the Worcester University Arena in Hylton Road, focussing on proposed sites in the main towns and villages in south Worcestershire.

Stage one of the Examination resulted in the Inspector recommending an increase in housing provision to 28,370, requiring the councils to identify proposed sites for around 6,200 dwellings.

It is currently expected that the SWDP will be adopted by each of the south Worcestershire councils in early 2016.

More details are available on the SWDP Consultations Web Page.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Update

A  CIL timeline was approved by the South Worcestershire Councils in September 2013.

That was before Stage 1 of the South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) hearing began in October 2013 and before the consequent changes to the SWDP timetable were made.

Given these changed circumstances, it will be necessary to revise the CIL timeline accordingly. The South Worcestershire Councils will make a decision on this revised timeline in Spring 2014 when the position on the SWDP is clearer . For purposes of clarity, there will not be any progression of CIL through the February 2014 cycle.

The purpose of this note is to clarify the position in the interim, as far as is  possible.

If you have any further questions then please contact John Pattinson at john.pattinson@worcester.gov.uk or ring on either 01905 721105 or 01905 721170.

New consultation opens on plan for future of South Worcestershire

A new consultation opens this week on the Plan that will guide South Worcestershire’s economic and housing growth until 2030.

The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) is being jointly prepared by Malvern Hills District Council, Worcester City Council and Wychavon District Council. Once adopted, it will form the basis for planning decisions across South Worcestershire until 2030.

Last month the three councils voted to proceed to submission of the draft SWDP to the Government, and on Friday (January 11) a new six-week public consultation opens – aimed at testing that the plan complies with the necessary legal requirements and is “sound”.

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: “This consultation is not about the actual proposals in the Plan – so it’s not a chance for local people to suggest a new site for employment use or to call for homes to be built elsewhere.

“Instead it’s a chance for people to say if we’ve addressed the necessary legal and procedural tests. Have we got the evidence to back our proposals? Have we followed all the rules about how a Local Plan should be compiled?

“This is a final test of the robustness of the Plan before we submit it to the Secretary of State.”

This technical consultation will give local people and interested parties the chance to give their views on a range of important factors. These include whether the proposals in the SWDP can definitely be delivered, whether they are based on clear evidence and whether there have been appropriate opportunities for the public to give their views on the Plan.

It will also test that the SWDP complies with national guidelines and legislation, including the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, the Localism Act 2011 and the new National Planning Policy Framework.

Once this latest consultation is completed, the SWDP and the consultation results will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. This is expected to happen in April.

The Secretary of State is then expected to call an Examination in Public, chaired by an independent inspector, to examine the Plan.

That is likely to happen in the summer, paving the way for the SWDP to be formally adopted by all three councils by the end of 2013.

The consultation will run at www.swdevelopmentplan.org, and printed copies of the consultation forms will also be available at council offices and libraries.

Responses can be made online at via the consultation portal. Completed forms can be sent to contact@swdevelopmentplan.org or posted to South Worcestershire Development Plan Team, FREEPOST RLTS-XRLK-AKGK, Orchard House, Farrier Street, Worcester WR1 3BB.

The Chairmanship of the SWDP Joint Advisory Panel rotates among the three partner councils, and at the next meeting it will be proposed that Cllr Bayliss stands down as Chairman in favour of Cllr Judy Pearce of Wychavon.

What happens next?

  • 11 January – 5.00pm, 22 February 2013 – Technical consultation on the plan, to allow the public and others to give their views on whether the Plan is sound and complies with legal requirements
  • April 2013 – Draft Plan submitted to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
  • June/July 2013 (TBC) – Examination in Public held by independent inspector
  • August/September 2013 (TBC) – Inspector’s report published
  • Late 2013 (TBC) – Adoption of SWDP by the three councils.

Notes to Editors

The South Worcestershire Development Plan (SWDP) will provide a long term vision up to 2030 for South Worcestershire, with the emphasis on boosting the local economy and delivering sustainable housing development.

It is based on extensive evidence and previous consultations and has been jointly prepared by the three partner councils – Malvern Hills, Worcester City and Wychavon.

The SWDP includes proposed policies for dealing with four broad areas:

  • Creating jobs and economic prosperity
  • Meeting housing needs
  • Transportation
  • The environment.

Details of the proposals are available at www.swdevelopmentplan.org, where the full range of consultation material, including guidance notes and evidence, can also be accessed.

The proposals build on the work done between 2007 and 2010 on the South Worcestershire Joint Core Strategy. The three councils decided to take a different approach when the coalition Government announced its proposed changes to the planning system.

Much of the research behind the Joint Core Strategy has been used in preparing the draft SWDP, but our approach to providing housing has changed and many of the proposed housing sites are now either smaller than previously suggested or have been removed altogether.

The new proposals differ from the Joint Core Strategy in several significant ways:

  • The focus is on supporting and delivering economic growth and jobs
  • Major economic initiatives include a Technology Park to the east of Worcester, near junction 6 of the M5, and major employment sites at Blackmore Park, Malvern; Vale Industrial Park, Evesham; the north east of Pershore; and at Midland Road and south of Warndon Wood in Worcester
  • A range of sites have been allocated for “mixed use”, where housing, employment, retail, leisure and other facilities sit alongside each other
  • Housing numbers are now driven by up-to-date assessments of local needs, not top-down regional targets
  • Approximately 23,200 homes are proposed, around 1,300 less than in the Joint Core Strategy, and with fewer completed each year
  • 42% of the homes required by 2030 have already either been built or given planning permission, or will be met by means such as  bringing empty homes back into use. That means that, in the 18 years remaining till 2030, locations only need to be found for another 13,400
  • More than half of the housing provision for the Worcester area will be met within the city, reducing the need for expansion beyond the city boundaries
  • Although extensions adjacent to Worcester are proposed, what used to be the largest site – to the west of the city – is now due to host only 975 dwellings, 2,500 fewer than were proposed in the Joint Core Strategy
  • In Malvern Hills and Wychavon, it is proposed to have a smaller proportion of new homes built at the main towns. There will also be new housing built in rural villages, with the aim of supporting the needs of the local population
  • The proposed Plan is evidence-based and has been subjected to a range of appraisals covering its sustainability, viability and necessary supporting infrastructure.