Development Management Submission Document

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(9) 1. Introduction

The Role of the Development Management Document

1.1 The planning application process is moving towards a more positive and proactive approach to shaping, considering, determining and delivering development proposals, called development management. It is led by the Local Planning Authority working closely with those proposing developments and other stakeholders (ranging from national bodies such as Natural England and the Environment Agency to parish/town councils and local communities). Development management is undertaken in the spirit of partnership and inclusiveness, and seeks to facilitate the delivery of key priorities within the District.

1.2 Adopting the development management approach will enable us, in conjunction with local communities and a wide range of other stakeholders, to promote and achieve the vision and objectives set out in the Core Strategy (which filters down through the other documents forming the Local Development Framework) and the Sustainable Community Strategy, as well as to deliver relevant local, and national objectives. This will assist us in shaping sustainable, prosperous, attractive and safe places where people want to live, work and relax.

1.3 The Development Management Document will set out the detailed day-to-day planning policies through which development within the District will be delivered. It sets out detailed policies for a range of issues such as the design and density of new developments, rural diversification, houseboats and parking standards.

1.4 The Development Management Document is structured as follows:

  1. Introduction – This section sets out the context for the Development Management Document.

  2. Housing, Character of Place and Residential Amenity – This chapter establishes detailed policies for addressing the detailed design of residential proposals and policies relating to telecommunications development, locally listed buildings and Conservation Areas.

  3. The Green Belt and Countryside – This chapter addresses appropriate development in the Green Belt and the wider countryside including residential, employment and leisure development.

  4. Environmental Issues – This chapter sets out detailed policies for houseboats, nature conservation and air quality.

  5. Transport – This chapter provides more detail on parking standards and traffic management.

  6. Economic Development – This chapter sets out detailed policies for appropriate uses on allocated employment land and working from home.

  7. Retail and Town Centres – This chapter addresses retail development in town, village and neighbourhood centres, and advertisements.

Relationship with other Local Development Documents

1.5 There are a number of different documents which together will set out the Development Plan for the District. The diagram below (Figure 1) shows what these documents are and how they fit together. Planning applications will be determined in accordance with the Development Plan. Development Plan Documents/Local Plans will set the blueprint for the future development of the District through planning policies. Supplementary Planning Documents, however, do not contain policies and as such are not part of the Development Plan. These documents will sit below the policy documents and provide additional advice and guidance, where appropriate, to assist officers in the determination of planning applications.

Figure 1

Figure 1 – The Development Plan

1.6 The Core Strategy is the overarching planning policy document of the LDF, which sets out our main issues for the future and the policies which will shape the future development of the District. The Development Management Document will sit below the Core Strategy in the hierarchy of local development documents for Rochford District. Therefore both these documents will be used in the determination of planning applications for the development and use of land and buildings in the District.

1.7 The other Local Development Documents also play an important role in shaping what the District will look in the future. The Allocations Document will set out how land will be used in future, for example for residential development, community facilities and important nature designations to name but a few. The four Area Actions Plans will provide policies specific to the areas they cover (the three main shopping areas, and the airport and its surrounding area). Together these documents will form the Development Plan for the District.

1.8 The Development Management Document will be subject to several stages of public consultation, which will help shape its preparation. This consultation document is the third stage in the process and has been developed having regard to our approach to future development as set out in the Core Strategy, and comments received during public consultation on both previous versions of the Development Management Document; the Discussion and Consultation Document in 2010 and the (informal) Preferred Policy Options Document in 2012.

1.9 The Core Strategy was adopted on 13 December 2011. The Development Management Document will support and aid the delivery of the policies within the Core Strategy.

1.10 This document should be read in conjunction with the approach outlined in the Core Strategy.

1.11 The Core Strategy is divided into various sub-sections; the Development Management Document covers these sub-sections as set out below:

Table 1: Relationship between the Core Strategy and Development Document

Core Strategy Development Management
Housing The Housing, Character of Place and Residential Amenity chapter addresses housing issues in more detail.
Character of Place The Housing, Character of Place and Residential Amenity chapter addresses character of place issues in more detail.
Green Belt The Green Belt and Countryside addresses development in the Green Belt and wider countryside in more detail.
Upper Roach Valley and Wallasea Island These designations will be protected primarily through the Allocations Document.
Environmental Issues The Environmental Issues chapter addresses issues such as biodiversity and air quality in more detail.
Community Infrastructure, Leisure and Tourism The Green Belt and Countryside chapter primarily addresses the development of green tourism, equestrian facilities, playing pitches and other leisure and recreational activities, and rural diversification in more detail.
Transport The transport chapter addresses the issues of parking standards and traffic management in more detail.
Economic Development The Economic Development chapter address the issues of employment land and working from home in more detail. The Green Belt and Countryside chapter also supports rural businesses.
Retail and Town Centres The Retail and Town Centres chapter addresses retail and town centre issues in more detail.

1.12 The Minerals and Waste Local Plans produced by Essex County Council also form part of the Development Plan for Rochford District. The Waste Local Plan provides the strategy and policies for waste planning in Essex and Southend until at least 2031, and identifies sites for development. The Minerals Local Plan provides the strategy and policies for minerals planning in Essex until 2029 and includes allocations of sites for development. The Local Planning Authority must have regard to the policies in these documents in the determination of the future development of the District.

Vision

1.13 Our vision is shared with that of the Local Strategic Partnership:

‘To make Rochford District a place which provides opportunities for the best possible quality of life for all who live, work and visit here’

1.14 To support this, we have four main corporate objectives. These are:

  • Making a difference to our community

  • Making a difference to our environment

  • Making a difference to our local economy

1.15 The strategic vision for the District during the plan period is set out in the Core Strategy. The Core Strategy and Development Management DPD have a key role to play in the delivery of the vision for Rochford District. For each theme of development management, the vision and objectives for that topic as determined in the Core Strategy have been set out. The Development Management DPD will contribute to the vision and objectives in conjunction with the Core Strategy. Together, these all contribute to the overall vision for the District. The vision and objectives for the plan period have been adapted from those in the Core Strategy to reflect changing circumstances, emerging initiatives and suggestions from community involvement.

Sustainability Appraisal

1.16 The preparation of a Sustainability Appraisal is a mandatory requirement under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 for the production of the documents which together form the Local Development Framework. The integration of this document into the development of planning policy ensures that the wider social, environmental and economic effects of the draft policies and proposals contained within Development Plan Documents (such as the Core Strategy DPD, Development Management DPD and the Allocations DPD) are fully assessed.

1.17 The initial stage of the Development Management Document, called the Discussion and Consultation Document, was published for consultation in 2010. This document was assessed for its environmental, economic and social impacts (Sustainability Appraisal). This assessment and an analysis of the consultation responses received, as well as existing and new evidence that has emerged, have informed the development of this document.

1.18 However, the interim, informal second stage of this document called the Preferred Policy Options Document, which was published for consultation in 2012, provided an additional opportunity to comment on the development of the document prior to the publication of the final version. This document was a culmination of recommendations made through the sustainability appraisal process and consultation responses. As an informal stage, this document was not appraised separately, but has been subsumed into the development of the submission document. This final document has been appraised in sustainability terms.

1.19 The results of the Sustainability Appraisals, including non-technical summaries, and the Consultation Summary for each stage of the Development Management (combined in the Consultation Statement) are available as separate documents.

1.20 The Sustainability Appraisal, as well as the Consultation Statement, form part of the evidence base of the Local Development Framework.

Community Involvement

1.21 Community involvement is an important and integral part of the development of the Local Development Framework. The preparation of this Pre-Submission document has taken into account the findings of community involvement exercises from the various public consultation stages which have informed the development of the Core Strategy, as well as at the Discussion and Consultation and Preferred Policy Option versions of the Development Management Document.

Relationship with Other Strategies

1.22 As stated above, the Development Management Document will have to conform to theCore Strategy. The Core Strategy has been developed having regard to a wealthof other strategies, at higher and lower tiers to the District (i.e. regional, sub-regional, county and sub-district level strategies). The Development Management Document should also take into account these other strategies, and contribute towards their delivery.

1.23 The Sustainable Community Strategy (2009) is the long-term vision for the District and sets out the priorities for improvement intended to deliver the vision. It is developed by the Local Strategic Partnership which is a partnership of local public, private and voluntary sector organisations who play a key part in the provision of services within the District.

1.24 Our Local Development Framework should aid the delivery of the Sustainable Community Strategy and act as an umbrella for all other strategies developed for the area.

1.25 The Sustainable Community Strategy identifies seven key priorities:

  • Supporting the Ageing Population

  • Fostering Greater Community Cohesion

  • Strengthening the Third Sector (voluntary sector)

  • Increasing Accessibility to Services

  • Keeping Rochford Safe

  • Encouraging Economic Development: Skills, Employment and Enterprise

  • Promoting a Greener District

1.26 The Core Strategy, as the main planning policy document of the District’s Local Development Framework, has a key role to play in delivering all of the above. The Development Management Document will address the Sustainable Community Strategy priorities primarily through aiding the delivery of the Core Strategy.

1.27 In addition to the Sustainable Community Strategy, there are a number of other strategies which influence our Local Development Framework. These are set out in paragraph 1.27 of the Rochford Core Strategy.

1.28 National planning policy in the form of the National Planning Policy Framework or NPPF, has also shaped the production of the Development Management Document.

Evidence Base

1.29 This document, where appropriate, has also drawn upon the extensive evidence base which has informed the development of the Core Strategy. The evidence base contains numerous plans, studies and strategies which support the emerging policies and proposals in the Local Development Framework. These key documents are as follows:

  • Affordable Housing Viability Study (2010) assesses the viability of the affordable housing policy in the Core Strategy.

  • Annual Monitoring Reports report on a range of indicators on an annual basis since 2004.

  • Call for Sites was carried out in early 2007 and resulted in the submission of a number of sites from developers, land-owners and agents for consideration by the Council. Over 200 responses were received as part of this process, with land holdings of various sizes and uses across the whole district being put forward for consideration. These sites have then been considered against their proposed uses, in terms of size, location, constraints, sustainability, and viability.

    Appendix 1 to the initial stage of the Allocations Document (the Discussion and Consultation Document) provides a detailed assessment of sites that were put forward for consideration. Please note that, due to the size of this assessment, Appendix 1 is available as a separate document.

    Additional sites were submitted following the initial consultation on the document in 2010. All of the sites (a total of 225 sites were suggested) have been considered in the 2012 Site Screening Report in terms of their relationship with the Core Strategy requirements. The sites which were then screened in – those within the general locations identified in the Core Strategy for residential and employment use – were assessed in more detailed in the 2012 Detailed Residential/Employment Site Options Assessments.

  • Community Involvement carried out at each stage of the development of the Core Strategy (i.e. Issues and Options, Preferred Options, Revised Preferred Options, and Pre-Submission). Comments on the Discussion and Consultation version of the Development Management Document were invited in March/April 2010, and comments on the informal Preferred Policy Options Document were invited in January/February 2012.

  • Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans (2007) assess the characteristics of the District’s Conservation Areas, as well as proposing action to ensure their value is retained or enhanced.

  • Design Guidance Notes: Pavilions and Club Houses developed by Sport England provides advice and guidance on the suitable design and layout of pavilions and clubhouses.

  • Development Control: Planning for Air Quality (2010 Update) sets out how air quality can be properly accounted for in the planning application process.

  • Employment Land Study (2008) examines the supply and demand for various forms of employment land and compares this to the current and projected future economic profile of the District in order to determine the spatial requirements for future employment. The 2010 update to this report focuses on employment land around the airport.

  • Essex and South Suffolk Shoreline Management Plan identifies the best ways to manage flood and erosion risk to people and to the developed, historic and natural environment along the Essex and South Suffolk coast. It also identifies opportunities where shoreline management can work with others to make improvements.

  • Essex County Council Development Management Policies (February 2011) provides policies relating to highways and transport infrastructure.

  • Essex Flood Risk Management Strategy looks at ways to tackle local flood risk in a co-ordinated way. It will identify some strategic actions needing to occur over the next two years and the underlying principles upon which to base future decisions.

  • Essex Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (2009) provides an update assessment of the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers.

  • Essex Landscape Character Assessment (2003) outlines the extent of the three broad landscape character types within the District, and includes an assessment of their sensitivity to different forms of development.

  • Essex Thames Gateway Water Cycle Study – Scoping Study (2009) a sub-regional review of the existing condition of both the natural water environment and the water infrastructure which serves the population of the South Essex.

  • Guidance Notes for the Reduction of Obtrusive Light (2005) developed by The Institution of Lighting Engineers identifies environmental zones and corresponding light thresholds.

  • Guidelines for the Keeping of Horses: Stable Sizes, Pasture and Fencing developed by the British Horse Society recommends appropriate standards for the keeping of horses.

  • Habitats of Principal Importance in England (November 2008) identifies priority habitats that should be conserved.

  • Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (2008) details a wealth of data around health and well-being issues in Essex.

  • Local Wildlife Site Review (2007) is an assessment of existing and potential local wildlife sites to determine their importance as natural habitats.

  • Looking Back and Moving Forward – Assessing the Housing Needs of Gypsies and Travellers in Essex (2006) provides an assessment of the projected future accommodation needs for Gypsies and Travellers up until 2016.

  • Open Space Study (2009) examines the current provision and quality of a variety of open spaces throughout the District.

  • Planning and Design for Outdoor Sport and Play (2008) sets out principles for the planning and design of outdoor sport and play facilities (both children and young people).

  • Playing Pitch Strategy (2012) examines the supply and demand for playing pitches in Rochford District, in relation to a number of sports.

  • Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment is a high level, county-wide analysis which considers past flooding and possible future flooding from the Essex Flood Risk Management Strategy and Surface Water Management Plans.

  • Retail and Leisure Study (2008) examines the shopping and leisure use habits of the District’s residents, and the spatial implications of these for the future development of the area.

  • River Basin Management Plan - Anglian River Basin District (2009) identifies pressures facing the water environment in the Anglian River Basin District, and the actions that will address them.

  • Rochford Biodiversity Action Plan sets out actions and targets to enhance biodiversity in the District.

  • Rochford District Historic Environment Characterisation Project (2006) provides a wealth of evidence on the importance of the historic environment within the District and facilitates the integration of management and conservation principles within the planning process.

  • Rochford Futures Report profiles the social, economic and environmental characteristics of Rochford District at a District and Ward level.

  • South Essex Outline Water Cycle Study (2011) identifies any key constraints on housing and employment growth planned within Basildon Borough, Castle Point Borough and Rochford District that may be imposed by the water cycle and how these can be resolved.

  • South Essex Surface Water Management Plan 2012 sets out a co-ordinated approach to the management of surface water within South Essex (encompassing Basildon Borough, Castle Point Borough and Rochford District).

  • Species of Principal Importance in England (August 2010) identifies priority habitats that should be conserved.

  • Standing Advice for Ancient Woodland (2011) produced by Natural England seeks to aid the Local Planning Authority in the determination of planning applications affecting ancient woodland.

  • Strategic Environmental Assessment Baseline Information Profile presents a plethora of secondary data about the social, physical, environmental and demographic characteristics of the District.

  • Strategic Flood Risk Assessment Level 1 & 2 Final Report (February 2011) provides a revision to the previous Thames Gateway South Essex Strategic Flood Risk Assessment report, and has been progressed following the scoping report in 2009. This is a combined Level 1 and Level 2 report, which includes a strategic overview of all potential sources of flooding which is sufficiently detailed to enable the application of the Sequential Test within the District (Level 1), and provides more detail of flood risk where there is development pressure in areas that are at Medium and High risk and to facilitate the application of the Exception Test where necessary (Level 2).

  • Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment determines the availability, suitability and achievability of housing development sites within the District. The 2012 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) assessed the quantum of land available for residential development. The study confirmed the capacity and extant permissions and other appropriate sites, and ascertained that there would have to be some Green Belt release in order to meet the District’s housing requirements. The SHLAA determined that there were deliverable sites within the general locations identified in the Core Strategy capable of providing the required number of dwellings.

  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2008 provides data on housing supply and demand at the sub-regional level. The Strategic Housing Market Assessment: Update Report 2010 provides a review of the situation in order to reflect changes to the Thames Gateway South Essex housing market in the period from October 2008 to February 2010.

  • Sustainability Appraisals and Strategic Environmental Assessments are an integral part of the development of the planning policy documents forming the Local Development Framework. A Sustainability Appraisal was carried out at each stage in the development of the Core Strategy, assessing the social, economic and environmental impacts of proposed policies. The Sustainability Appraisals have influenced the development of the Core Strategy and thus the strategic approach to future development. This has subsequently shaped the approach of the Development Management Document.

    Furthermore the findings of the Sustainability Appraisals assessing the Development Management Document, both at the Discussion and Consultation Document and Pre-Submission Document stages, have been incorporated into this document. The combined Sustainability Appraisal of the Development Management Document has informed refinement of the proposed policies, and should be read in conjunction with the Core Strategy Sustainability Appraisal and Addendum.

  • Thames Gateway South Essex Strategic Flood Risk Assessment determined the areas at risk of flooding across the sub-region, and calculated the probability of their flooding, enabling land across the sub-region to be categorised as Flood Zone 1, 2, 3 depending on the risk.

  • Thames Gateway South Essex Strategic Flood Risk Assessment Review – Scoping Report (2009) provides a review of the Thames Gateway South Essex Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) which was published in 2006.

  • UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework sets a broad enabling structure for action across the UK between now and 2020.

  • Urban Capacity Study (2007) examines the capacity to accommodate development within the District on existing appropriate sites. This study has been superseded by the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment.

National Planning Policy Framework

Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

1.30 When considering development proposals the Council will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the National Planning Policy Framework. It will always work proactively with applicants jointly to find solutions which mean that proposals can be approved wherever possible, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area.

1.31 Planning applications that accord with the policies in this Local Plan (and, where relevant, with polices in neighbourhood plans) will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

1.32 Where there are no policies relevant to the application or relevant policies are out of date at the time of making the decision then the Council will grant permission unless material considerations indicate otherwise – taking into account whether:

  • Any adverse impacts of granting permission would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the National Planning Policy Framework taken as a whole; or

  • Specific policies in that Framework indicate that development should be restricted.

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