Vale Council to scrap draft Local Development Plan

First published in News

THE Vale of Glamorgan Council has confirmed that it is to scrap the Local Development Plan (LDP) put forward by the previous administration, and produce a replacement draft plan.

The new draft LDP - which will determine the location of developments within the Vale for the next 15 years - is set to be discussed by the council’s cabinet on Monday (November 19).

But council leader Cllr Neil Moore, cabinet member for regeneration, innovation, planning and transportation Cllr Lis Burnett, and director of development services Rob Thomas, announced this week that they see a replacement plan as the “most appropriate way forward”.

As a result the process will be taken back to the LDP Preferred Strategy implemented by the Labour-Plaid coalition in 2007 - described as “sound” by Cllrs Moore and Burnett, and Mr Thomas.

It means that work on the draft LDP produced by the previous administration and published for consultation before the May election will not be progressed, and that the whole process will be delayed by around a year.

Many residents raised concerns over the previous administration’s draft plan, which named ‘candidate sites’ in Penarth, Sully and Dinas Powys, fearing local roads, schools and services could not cope with the extra development.

Under the new plans, the number of new houses to be accommodated is expected to remain at 10,000, but the trio confirmed that all candidate sites proposed in the current draft plan will be up for review.

They said the decision was made because changes to the current plan, which is six years in the making, would be “significant” and unlikely to be accepted by an independent inspector who must review the plan.

A statement handed out at the briefing on Tuesday (November 13) said: “As a result of discussions with Welsh Government officials, it has been confirmed that it is possible to produce a replacement Deposit LDP and consult on it, and this is an option that is the most appropriate and reasonable for the Vale of Glamorgan.”

The replacement plan is anticipated to be published for statutory consultation in autumn 2013, with the final LDP expected to be submitted for review in 2017.

The statement said that the new administration saw securing the infrastructure necessary to deliver the developments proposed in the LDP as “imperative”.

“Whilst the LDP’s Preferred Strategy of 2007 is sound, the representations to the deposit plan have led to a significant number of representations questioning the approach to implementing that strategy,” it said.

“In particular concerns relate to the need for the necessary infrastructure to support growth.”

The statement also said air quality within the Vale was a significant issue, particularly in Penarth.

“The proposed declaration of an Air Quality Management Area of part of Windsor Road, Penarth, as a consequence of nitrogen dioxide levels derived from combustion mainly from traffic emissions, is a matter which will need to be considered in detail,” it added.

Cllr Burnett said future consultation on the plan would be ‘as accessible as possible’, after residents complained that they had found it a complicated process last time around.

“We want to ensure the widest possible engagement,” she said. A series of update sessions will be held in advance of the formal consultation exercise on the replacement plan next year, she added.

The delay in proceedings had been discussed with the Welsh Government and the decision to produce another Deposit LDP approved, she added.

Following next Monday’s cabinet meeting (November 19), the report will be referred to the economy and environment scrutiny committee on December 4, and the planning committee on December 20, before being reported back to cabinet on January 7, 2013, and presented to full council on January 23.

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