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Local Development Plan - Flintshire

Planning in Wales is based on a Plan – led system whereby development plans are prepared by each local planning authority in order to provide for the economic, social and environmental needs of the County.  Development plans contain a framework of policies and proposals which seek to regulate and control the development and use of land, and to provide the basis for consistent and transparent decision making on individual planning applications.

Following the adoption of the Flintshire Unitary Development Plan (UDP), the Council is now embarking on the preparation of a Local Development Plan (LDP) for the County.  A Local Development Plan (LDP) is a new style of Development Plan which differs from the UDP in terms of how it is prepared.  A key feature of the LDP process is the opportunity for engagement with a variety of stakeholders from early on in the process, in order that they can have the opportunity to influence the Plan as it progresses.

The LDP will focus on delivering sustainable development in the County for a 15 year period 2015 to 2030 and will include:

  • policies which will guide decisions on planning applications
  • proposals for the development of housing, retail, employment and other land uses
  • policies which seek the protection and enhancement of the natural and built environment

Any queries relating to the LDP should be directed to 01352 703213 or by e-mail to developmentplans@flintshire.gov.uk

Summary of Progress:

  • Delivery Agreement approved by Welsh Government in Feb 2014
  • Document and evidence library uploaded and available to view on the LDP web page.
  • Consultation on Topic Papers (Mar / April 2015)
  • Publication of Candidate Sites Register and consultation on Candidate Site Assessment Methodology (Mar/April 2015)
  • Consultation on Key Messages document and settlement audits (Mar 2016)
  • Consultation on Strategic Options (Growth and Spatial Options) (Oct 2016)
  • Consultation on Preferred Strategy (Nov 2017)

Current / Next Consultation

  • The Council will be consulting upon the Deposit Plan in November 2018.

Sustainability Appraisal (Scoping Report)

The Council is undertaking a sustainability appraisal of the LDP, which is a proven method for ensuring that sustainability issues are taken into consideration when preparing a Plan.  The Scoping Report is the first stage of sustainability appraisal and outlines the background information, context and sustainability issues relevant to the Plan being appraised, and set out methodologies for completing the remainder of the appraisal process.

In order to achieve a sustainable future for the County it is vitally important for stakeholders to help the Council undertake the SA process and to identity:

  • the relevant plans, policies, programmes and initiatives contained in relevant strategic documents that will inform the sustainability appraisal process and the local plan;
  • the relevant baseline information;
  • key sustainability issues and problems; and
  • an appraisal framework, consisting of sustainability objectives and indicators, against which the local plan can be considered.
  • Consultation on Preferred Strategy (Nov 2017)

Comments are invited on the SA Scoping Report for a 5 week consultation period commencing Monday 13th April and ending on Monday 18th May. The SA Scoping Report is also available for inspection at Council Offices and at libraries.

Flintshire LDP SA scoping report 

Comments should be forwarded to developmentplans@flintshire.gov.uk or in writing to Chief Officer Planning and Environment, Flintshire County Council, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NF. Any queries can also be directed to the LDP helpline no 01352 703213.

Delivery Agreement

The preparation of a Delivery Agreement is the first stage in the LDP process.  The Delivery Agreement is essentially a project plan which sets out a ‘Timetable’ and a ‘Community Involvement Scheme’.  The timetable for the preparation and adoption of the Plan includes all key dates for the various stages involves in progressing the Plan.  The community involvement scheme explains how and when people will have an opportunity to be engaged in its preparation and consulted with at key stages and sets out how responses will be treated by the Council and what feedback the Council will give.

The Council’s Delivery Agreement was approved by Welsh Government on 12/02/14.  It is necessary for the Council to keep the Delivery Agreement under regular review and where significant revisions are necessary, to agree them with Welsh Government. A second revised Delivery Agreement has now been agreed by Welsh Government and sets out a revised timetable for preparing the LDP to take account of slippage to date. The initial Delivery Agreement, the first revised Delivery Agreement and the current second revised Delivery Agreement can be viewed by clicking on the links and can also be inspected at the Main Reception in County Hall and at all Connects Offices and at all libraries.

Document and Evidence Base

An essential part of preparing the LDP is to compile an evidence base to inform the content of the Plan.  The Plan’s vision, objectives, strategy and detailed policies and proposals must be based on a robust and up to date evidence base.  The document library, which forms the evidence base is grouped according to National, Regional & Local documents and by clicking on each of the links the relevant documents can be viewed.  The evidence base will be updated as the Plan progresses.

Candidate Sites

A key element of the evidence base is the identification of sites for possible inclusion within the Plan.  The Council undertook a ‘Call for Candidate Sites’ whereby any interested persons could put forward land to be considered by the Council as potential allocations in the Plan.  By submitting a Candidate Site it must be stressed that there is no guarantee that the site will be included in the Plan.

The period for submitting Candidate Sites commenced on 28/02/14 and ended at 5.00pm on 30/05/14. A Guidance Note prepared to explain the process of submitting a Candidate Site and this can be viewed by clicking on the link. A Submission Form was also produced to assist in the submission of sites and this can be viewed by clicking on the link.

The Call for Candidate Sites resulted in 734 sites being promoted for development, or to be protected from development.  The sites have now been processed, formal acknowledgement letters sent out and the Candidate Site Register is now available for inspection.

The Council published a Draft Methodology and Assessment Process document setting out the methodology by which the LDP Candidate Sites will be assessed.  The Draft Methodology was the subject of a 6 week consultation exercise which ran between Monday 9th March and Monday 20th April 2015.  Representations made to the Draft Methodology were considered by the Planning Strategy Group on 21st May 2015.

As a result a number of changes have been made to the (Candidate Sites Assessment Methodology) which are set out in this report.  The Candidate Sites Assessment Methodology document is also available for inspection at Council Offices and at libraries.

In due course the Council will publish a report setting out whether or not candidate site submissions have been successful or not.  However, before this is done the Council must agree its Preferred Strategy (Pre-Deposit Consultation Plan) i.e. the level of growth to be provided by the Plan and how that growth will be distributed spatially across the County.  Candidate sites which have been assessed as being ‘technically’ acceptable will then be compared with the Plan Strategy in order to determine which sites will be included in the deposit plan.  It is at this stage that the outcome of the candidate sites assessment will be published.

Further Call for Candidate Sites – Minerals and Waste - Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation

LDP Topic Papers

The Council has prepared a set of 18 summary Topic Papers on a range of issues and topics.  Each Topic Paper sets out the relevant guidance for the particular topic and identifies the relevant issues that the Plan will need to address as well as possible policy approaches to be incorporated in the Plan.  The Topic Papers are intended to provide an early opportunity for stakeholders and the public to have an input in the Plan in terms of identifying issues which the Plan should be tackling and ideas as to how these issues should be addressed.

The Topic Papers were the subject of a 6 week consultation period commencing Monday 9th March and ending on Monday 20th April 2015.  Representations on the Topic Papers were considered by the Planning Strategy Group on May 2015 and a number of changes have been made to certain Topic Papers as set out in this report.  The Topic Papers are also available for inspection at Council Offices and at libraries. 

Key Stakeholder Forum

A Key Stakeholder Forum (KSF) has been established to assist in the Plan preparation process.  Members of the KSF will have an important role to play in the key stages of the preparation of the Plan, in particular drawing up the evidence base and the consideration of the Plan’s vision, objectives and options in terms of growth and spatial strategy.  The Forum will operate on the basis of regular formal meetings, throughout the key stages and will act as a sounding board to discuss key issues and options. 

The KSF is drawn heavily on the existing Local Service Board (responsible for Community Strategy and Single Integrated Plan) and includes representatives from public and private sectors from a variety of disciplines and these are listed in the Terms of Reference below.  It is made up of those key statutory consultees and other organisations representing environmental, social and economic disciplines who are able to take a more strategic role in looking at the Plan.  The Forum must be balanced between having too few members whereby it is difficult to gain consensus on the way forward or too large whereby it becomes unproductive. 

The function of the Forum is share ideas, draw out key issues and act as a sounding board to assist in the production of the emerging LDP.   It must be stressed that the KSF acts in an advisory capacity and is not a decision making body since decisions on the Plan rest with the Council’s elected Members.  The notes of each Meeting will be reported to and discussed by the Council’s Planning Strategy Group before being distributed to Forum members and being posted below:

  • Terms of Reference
  • KSF1 met on 27/02/15 and considered the terms of reference for the group as well as a draft vision, issues and objectives for the Plan. The notes will be available here.
  • As part of the overall consultations on the LDP, the KSF was recently consulted regarding the Key Messages Document.
  • For the next stage of consultation, a meeting of the KSF will be held to discuss the growth and spatial options for the Plan. 

Key Stakeholder Forum meeting 27.02.15 Notes 

Key Stakeholder Forum - Terms of Reference 

Key Stakeholder Forum – Strategic Options 12.10.16 

Wrexham and Flintshire’s joint Local Housing Market Assessment

Wrexham and Flintshire have undertaken a joint Local Housing Market Assessment.

Households in both areas were asked to take part in a survey to understand the amount and type of housing needed over the coming years, including the potential demand for affordable housing.  The information gathered will help both Council’s to prepare the future housing and planning policies for the area.

The Assessment will find out how much housing is required, what the aspirations of households are and the need for specialist and supported housing for particular groups, such as older people.

A specialist housing and research company called Arc4 were appointed to advise the Council.  Their research is based on a survey of local residents, discussion with house builders, estate agents, registered social landlords and other interested parties, and an analysis of statistical information such as the Census 2011.

A postal survey was sent out in September 2014 to over 27,500 randomly selected households across Wrexham and Flintshire.  This was an important opportunity for residents who receive the questionnaire to have their say.

The final report is now available for inspection and comprises an overarching report and a detailed report

Flintshire’s New Housing Occupancy Survey

Flintshire has undertaken a New Housing Occupancy Survey of households in Flintshire, specifically new houses which have been built in the County between 2010 and 2014.  This is a survey to help the Council gain an understanding of new housing in the County.  The survey included questions to ascertain who has moved in the County, where they have moved from and why they have moved into a new home.  The information gathered will help the Council to prepare the future housing and planning policies for the area.  The assessment concerns issues such as the type of properties people are moving from and to, the ages of people in the new houses, where people work, and it also includes questions about the Welsh Language.  A specialist housing and research company called Arc4 was appointed to advise the Council.  A postal survey was  sent out in July 2015 to 1,994  households across Flintshire.  A total of 391 questionnaires were completed which represents a response rate of 20%. This report provides a summary over-view graph and table form of the findings from the survey.  A copy of the questionnaire for reference is also provided in Appendix A.

Key Messages Document

The Council has produced a ‘Key Messages’ document which sets out the vision for the Plan, the issues to be faced by the Plan and the objectives for the Plan.  The intention of the consultation exercise is was ensure that a range of stakeholders, including the general public, were comfortable with the direction that the Plan is heading in.

The document also builds on work relating to the recent survey of settlement services and facilities.  This work on the sustainability of each settlement has informed a review of the approach taken in the UDP regarding settlement categorisation and resulted in a number of settlement hierarchy options being considered.  The consultation therefore sought views as to whether the approach taken in the UDP is still fit for purpose or whether one of the alternative approaches is more appropriate.

The consultation documents included the Key Messages document itself and the supporting settlement audit reports.  The Key Messages document comprised three elements:

  • The covering section with pre-set questions and answer boxes
  • Appendix 1 - sets out the methodology for assessing the sustainability of settlements
  • Appendix 2 - sets out a number of different approaches to settlement categorisation

The Key Messages document was the subject of a 6 week consultation exercise commencing on Friday 18th March and ending at 5.00pm on Friday 29 April 2016.  The consultation responses were reported to Planning Strategy Group on 2th May 2016 and this has resulted in a number of minor amendments to the document.  This is now available as a revised Key Messages document having regard to the summary table of comments and responses presented to and agreed by Planning Strategy Group.  Furthermore, minor amendments have been made to the settlement audits for Penyffordd /Penymynydd, Afonwen, Caerwys and Leeswood.  This will now  assist the Planning Strategy Group in considering the formulation of growth and spatial options which will be consulted upon later this year.

Any queries can be directed to the LDP helpline 01352 703213 or by using the e-mail address above. 

Strategic Options

The Council has produced a ‘Strategic Options’ document which will be the subject of a consultation exercise commencing Friday 28th October 2016 and ending Friday 9th December 2016.

This consultation follows on from and is informed by the recent consultation on the Key Messages document.  The Key Messages document consultation enabled the Council to firm up the vision for the Plan, the issues to be faced by the Plan, the objectives for the Plan, a preferred settlement hierarchy and the key messages emerging.

The Strategic Options document considers Growth Options for the Plan (the amount of growth to be provided) and Spatial Options (how growth is to be distributed across the County).  The outcome of the consultation will help the Council to draw up a ‘Preferred Strategy’ for the Plan which itself will be subject of a further consultation in the form of a pre-deposit consultation draft Plan.

The documentation includes:

Documents will be available on the website www.flintshire.gov.uk/LDP and will available in hard copy at Council Offices and libraries, during normal opening hours.  An exhibition will be at County Hall for the duration of the consultation period and also at the following locations, during normal opening hours:

County Hall, Main Reception – 28/10/16 to 09/12/16

Buckley Library, Upstairs Gallery – 28/10/16 to 18/11/16

Deeside Leisure Centre – 28/10/16 to 18/11/16

Holywell Library – 28/10/16 to 18/11/16

Broughton Library – 18/11/16 to 09/12/16

Flint Library – 18/11/16 to 09/12/16

Mold Library – 18/11/16 to 09/12/16

This is an important stage in preparing the Plan and as part of our continuing engagement and consultation on the Plan we want to hear your views about the level of growth you think is appropriate for the County and how that growth should be distributed across the County. Comments can be made:

•      By e-mailing developmentplans@flintshire.gov.uk

•      By downloading or printing the comments form and returning it

•      By writing a letter

Comments arising from the consultation will be reported to the Council’s Planning Strategy Group and will inform the preparation of the Preferred Strategy for the Plan.  A summary of comments received during the consultation event and responses to them will be made available on website in due course.

Any queries can be directed to the LDP helpline 01352 703213 or by using the e-mail address above.

Preferred Strategy (Pre-Deposit Public Consultation)

The Council has produced a Preferred Strategy document for the Flintshire LDP. The Preferred Strategy document outlines the Plans vision, issues and objectives, preferred level of growth and preferred spatial strategy. It identifies two Strategic Sites and Strategic Policies.