The purpose of the Local Development Plan
1.1. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (the Act) requires each local planning authority in Wales to prepare a Local Development Plan (LDP, the Plan), with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development.
1.2. The Plan establishes a vision based development strategy and policies to guide the development and use of land in Pembrokeshire1 from adoption2 to 2021. It provides the policy context for directing development to appropriate locations, conserving the natural, built and historic environment and providing a basis for rational and consistent decision-making on planning applications. The base date for the Plan’s land use allocations is 2011.
1.3. This Plan complements the Wales Spatial Plan3 and the Pembrokeshire Community Plan4. It relies on national policy, set out in Planning Policy Wales, Edition 3, July 2010, Minerals Planning Policy Wales 2000 together with the supporting suite of Technical Advice Notes and Circulars as the context for decision making on land use planning where there is no locally specific LDP policy5. These and all adopted Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) which support this Plan will be material considerations when making decisions on relevant proposals for development.
1.4. For convenience, in this document the Plan area is usually referred to as “Pembrokeshire” which should be taken to mean the county excluding the National Park. The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is subject to a separate LDP that is the responsibility of the National Park Authority.
1.5. The existing plan – the Joint Unitary Development Plan (JUDP) – will remain the adopted Development Plan for Pembrokeshire until the adoption of this Plan. The JUDP is supplemented by the Affordable Housing Delivery Statement 2009, which sets out the County Council’s interim policy for the delivery of affordable housing in Pembrokeshire6. Whilst the plan will not become operational until it has been adopted, analysis and calculations made have been based on an assumed plan period from 2011 to 2021.
1 Excluding the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
2 Expected to be late 2012
3 Wales Spatial Plan First Review 2008
4 Pembrokeshire Community Plan 2010
5 LDP Wales paragraph 2.2
6 This paragraph is intended to clarify the policy position between deposit and adoption and is not intended to be included in the adopted plan
The structure of the document
1.6 This chapter (Chapter One) briefly explains the process of producing an LDP, how and where it will be applied and the approach to monitoring its achievements. This Plan has been shaped by community involvement and the processes of Sustainability Appraisal, Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA/SEA), Pembrokeshire County Council’s Quality of Life checklist and Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) – these processes are introduced in this chapter.
1.7 Chapter Two describes how this Plan takes into account relevant strategies, policies and programmes such as the Wales Spatial Plan and the Pembrokeshire Community Plan.
1.8 Chapter Three outlines the issues that impact on the future development of Pembrokeshire and these have been shaped by public engagement. It explains the collaborative work that has been undertaken with other service areas, neighbouring local authorities and stakeholder organisations.
1.9 Chapter Four details the Vision and Objectives for this Plan. It sets out the vision for what sort of place Pembrokeshire should be in 2021 and provides a detailed framework of land use objectives, that is, what the plan is seeking to achieve. These objectives have been developed following engagement with stakeholders and public consultation.
1.10 Chapter Five sets out the spatial strategy and the strategic policies guiding future development and land use in Pembrokeshire during the plan period.
1.11 Chapter Six sets out general policies that will be used to guide development and assess future planning applications.
1.12 Chapter Seven sets out the arrangements for monitoring the implementation of the plan and interventions if the plan objectives are not being met.
1.13 The evidence that the Authority has relied on in the preparation of this plan is available to the public.
How to use this document
1.14 The Local Development Plan comprises a Written Statement and a Proposals Map. It is designed to complement national policy7 and guidance which may be used in decision making where relevant to an application and does not repeat it. This Plan should be read in conjunction with the Planning Policy Wales (Edition 3, July 2010) which identifies those aspects where clear statements of national development management policy should not be repeated as local policies.
1.15 The Written Statement (this document) sets out the vision for how Pembrokeshire will develop over the plan period and identifies objectives to achieve the vision. Strategic and general policies set out the approach to development that should deliver the objectives and vision.
1.16 The Proposals Map shows the geographical location and extent of site specific development and protection policies on an Ordnance Survey base. It is part of this Plan although it is published as a separate document for ease of use. It covers the whole of the plan area. In the event of any discrepancy between the Written Statement and the Proposals Map the written text takes precedence. The Proposals Map represents a clear basis on which to show the Plan’s policies and proposals. However, the allocations shown on the Proposals Map were compiled using a Geographical Information System (GIS) and digitised at a scale of 1:2500. Any clarification or detailed interpretation of the boundary of an allocation shown should be resolved by reference to the GIS at 1:2500 scale.
1.17 A glossary is included at Appendix 1 to explain the meaning of technical terms.
1.18 Reference is made in the plan to various Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) documents prepared, or to be prepared, by the County Council. These documents provide further specific detail and guidance that will be used in decision making.
1.19 Many of the Plan policies are inter-related and several policies may relate to any individual development proposal. It is therefore important that the plan is read as a whole and used in conjunction with national policy and guidance and local SPG.
1.20 This Plan presents policies for the main types of development likely to take place in the plan’s area during the plan period, together with general and criteria-based policies which provide a basis for evaluation of other proposals.
7 LDP Manual (Welsh Assembly Government 2006) paragraph 2.3.5 and 5.3.1
Community Involvement in Preparation of the Local Development Plan
1.21 The Community Involvement Scheme8 sets out the Authority’s arrangements for involving stakeholders and the local community in preparing the Local Development Plan. Stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds have helped to prepare the Local Development Plan. They include organisations frequently involved in development such as infrastructure providers, national agencies such as the Environment Agency, Town and Community Councils, interest groups and individuals. Community involvement in this Plan will continue during its implementation and monitoring. The “Initial Consultation Report” documents the various opportunities and events that have enabled the community and stakeholders to help shape this Plan.
8 Part of the Delivery Agreement, 2007 with timetable update, 2009
The Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Process
1.22 Local Development Plans must help to deliver the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitments on sustainable development. To demonstrate that this has been achieved and that the strategic direction and policies are sustainable this Plan is measured or tested against economic, social and environmental criteria. This is referred to as the Sustainability Appraisal (SA).
1.23 Under European legislation9 it must be demonstrated that this Plan does not result in significant harm to the environment through a process referred to as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
1.24 This process has been integrated within the SA, with the results in the accompanying Sustainability Appraisal Report.
1.25 The strategic policies have been assessed using the County Council’s own Quality of Life Assessment Toolkit, to ensure compatibility with the key principles of the Community Plan.
9 European Directive 2001/42/EC transposed by The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2004
The Habitats Regulations Appraisal
1.26 The Local Development Plan is also subjected to a Habitats Regulation Appraisal, required under European law10. This legislation has been developed in order to ensure that the highest level of protection is afforded to European designated sites; namely Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas. The Habitats Regulations Appraisal of this Plan has been published as a supporting document.
10 As a requirement of the Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC transposed by The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010