Paper 1: Priority Issues, Vision and Objectives

Ended on the 25 January 2019
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Appendix 1 - Background Evidence Base Papers


Background Paper



Growth Level Options Report (Housing & Employment)

This briefing paper looks at the latest national population and household projections, setting out a number of growth options. It compares them with past projections, looks at the implications of the projections for the RLDP and provides a critique of the uses of projections. To be updated to conclude a Preferred Growth Level.


Spatial Distribution Options Report

This paper sets out the general spatial distribution of development over the Plan period. This paper details the spatial options considered. To be updated to conclude a Preferred Growth Level.


Hierarchy of Settlements and Settlement Boundaries.

The BP sets out the current settlement hierarchy options for the RLDP based on an assessment of every settlement's character and sustainability. The Settlement Hierarchy is essential in setting the spatial distribution of growth. . To be updated once the preferred settlement strategy is known.


Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

The full SA report is a public document and its purpose is to show how the sustainability considerations are integrated into preparing the RLDP. The SA report is also intended to allow readers of the plan an idea of how effective the RLDP might be in delivering more sustainable development, and where there might be adverse impacts Where potential negative effects are identified the SA then makes recommendations for how the RLDP can be modified, or controls put on development, to avoid or mitigate against these. This is part of a process where successive stages of the emerging RLDP are appraised and findings fed into the next stage of plan preparation.


The Habitat Regulations Appraisal

There are six European Sites within the Plan Area and a further five just outside the area on which the RLDP could potentially have impacts. These sites are either Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) (for the importance of their habitats) or Special Protection Areas (SPAs) (for the importance of their bird species). Essentially, an appraisal will be needed to assess all stages of the RLDP and whether it is likely to have a significant effect on a European Site and, if so, an Appropriate Assessment (AA) will need to be undertaken. The RLDP cannot be adopted unless it can be ascertained, by means of the AA, that the plan will not adversely affect the integrity of the site(s).


Site Deliverability Assessment

This report details the process undertaken for assessing sites submitted for potential inclusion in the RLDP, known as 'candidate sites'. Sites have been submitted for a number of land uses and have been subject to a detailed site assessment process, the purpose of which is to identify the most suitable sites for inclusion in the RLDP to meet the identified site needs for residential, employment and mixed uses.


Housing Land Supply

This Background Paper looks at the possible and realistic sources of housing land supply over the RLDP 2018 - 2033 period. It should be read in conjunction with the other related background papers, including the Joint Housing Land Availability Study (JHLAS).


Conwy Annual Joint Housing Land Availability Study (2018)

This is the annual Joint Housing Land Availability Study Report and provides crucial trend data relating to housing delivery and take-up. The JHLAS is a good source of data to understand the capacity of the housebuilding industry and inform growth levels.


Local Housing Market Assessment. (LHMA)

This report considers evidence about housing need and demand in Conwy and will inform the preparation of local strategies including planning and housing policies. It should be read in conjunction with the other related background papers, including BP08 Joint Housing Land Availability Study (JHLAS), BP11 Affordable Housing Needs Calculation and BP10 Affordable Housing Viability Study.


Affordable Housing Viability Study

The Study will advise on the most ambitious yet achievable and viable target(s) and threshold(s) for affordable housing which fully reflect the availability of a range of finance towards affordable housing and reflects priority infrastructure needs. The study will also assess the potential options for increasing affordable housing levels via various options, which will inform later policy.


Affordable Housing Needs Calculation

When the Council publishes its RLDP, it must explain how the relevant policy has been formulated based on the evidence available to the Council at the time. This background paper provides evidence and justification for the policy approach in the RLDP relating to the affordable housing target. This paper will be important in assessing all potential mechanism to improve affordable housing delivery, including investigating land values to assist RSLs. The affordable housing needs calculation looks at current and potential future affordable housing need, and calculates an annual estimate of how many households will require help to access affordable housing in addition to households who are already being helped.

It is important to note that the 'bottom line' affordable housing need figure isn't simply about the requirement to build new homes - it's about households in need. As well as providing new affordable housing, there are a variety of other ways of helping these households which don't require new building - for example through placement within existing social housing stock; the provision of supported purchase schemes such as that provided through the First Steps register; the conversion or adaptation of existing stock to better meet tenants' needs (from stock within both the social sector and the private sector) and through financial support to rent within the private sector (housing benefit). Though some households identified as being in need of help to access affordable housing will currently be without a home, most will have accommodation, albeit in inadequate housing. This does not negate the need to provide a significantly greater number of affordable housing options (particularly as housing costs continue to rise and those with lower incomes are squeezed out of market), but suggests that methods other than building new housing for social and intermediate tenure need to be employed to meet this need. This BP will be crucial in understanding this.


Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

In light of changes to the Use Classes Order related to HMOs and the need to accommodate single household accommodation, the current policy will be reviewed in light of the outcomes of this paper.


Phasing Plan

Its purpose is to provide further evidence and justification for the phasing of housing and employment sites between 2018 and 2033.


Capacity of the Housebuilding Industry

It is essential that the Council has an understanding of the capacity of the house building industry. This will allow a sound and appropriate level of housing supply to be delivered enabling the Council to tackle the issues associated with the projected population change during that period. To help gain this understanding, the Council will liaise with developers and landowners to understand capacity issues.


Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA)

Sets out that Conwy has a current need to deliver 1 transit site to accommodate 7 pitches.


Brexit and the Rural Economy

The BP specifically investigates the potential impact of Brexit on the rural economy and farm diversification and implications on policy in the RLDP


Employment Land Supply

The Employment Land Supply Report is a study of all employment sites over 0.1 hectares that are considered suitable for office, industrial or warehouse development. This is a continuous exercise and is updated on an annual basis. The study monitors the take up, allocation and distribution of employment land and enables the Council to begin to determine the extent to which the employment requirements set out in the RLDP can realistically be met through existing provision.


Employment Land Review (including Regional Economic Drivers)

Assesses a number of employment forecasts to determine the level of employment land required over the RLDP period. The BP also concludes the type of business-class development required. The BP has also considered the implications of the North Wales Growth Deal and Conwy Economic Strategy in terms of employment need and land requirement.


Commercial Market Analysis

The BP considers the best locations for employment having consulted with existing employees within the County Borough. The work will assist the employment land locations and inform the growth strategy.


Skills Needs Assessment

This BP takes on-board the outcome set out in the Conwy Economic Strategy to understand the needs for higher education faculties and the potential for a new higher education campus. The conclusions of the BP will inform the need for land/policy.


Primary Holiday Accommodation Zones (HAZs)

This paper analyses the existing policies and provision for holiday accommodation in the tourism centre of Llandudno. The provision of holiday accommodation in the HAZs is reviewed in line with the established policies for holiday accommodation zones, and the survey results will inform any proposed changes to these zones in the RLDP.


Tourism Growth Strategy

Will assess the demand for tourism facilities (including adventure tourism) and accommodation throughout the County Borough. The BP will inform potential policy and land-use designations and allocations.


Llandudno Tourism Vision

Will set out the future direction for Llandudno in partnership with the sector. The Vision may result in the need to identify supporting policy and land-use allocations.


Retail Capacity Study

The study considers key retailing statistics and spending with the County Borough and identifies opportunities and constraints affecting each settlement. It then provides an assessment of how best to accommodate future requirements for retail floor-space. The Retail Study also identifies a number of recommended actions for the Council to undertake concerning planning policy


Retail Centre Health Checks

This BP assesses the overall health of the town centres against various criteria, including vacancy levels, accessibility, etc. It will inform the retail policies and regeneration strategies for the RLDP


Retail Hierarchy

The current LDP has a Retail Hierarchy based on sustainability criteria. The hierarchy is used in policy to ensure that major retailing is directed towards the most sustainable towns.


Primary & Secondary Retail Areas

This paper has two main purposes; to explain the rationale behind the formulation of the retail hierarchy, and to review and rationalise the existing shopping zones within the adopted LDP, proposing amendments and new boundaries where appropriate.


Open Space Assessment

This paper analyses and reviews the existing provision of open space in Conwy and will include proposed new sites in the RLDP. The BP will also inform potential growth strategies due to the importance of creating healthy and active lifestyles.


Green Wedge Assessment

This report reviews the role of designated Green Barriers and Green Wedges within current development plans covering Conwy County Borough. It also sets out to identify any proposed amendments to existing Green Barriers/Wedges as a result of previous commitments or proposed housing allocations. Finally it seeks to identify any new areas in need of designation due to risk of coalescence or other landscape reasons.


Allotment Site Demand and Supply Report

The purpose of this background paper is to outline the current level of allotment provision, identify those areas where there is the greatest demand for allotments and assess any potential new allotment sites.


Burial Grounds Site Demand and Supply Report

The purpose of this background paper is to outline the current level of burial ground provision, identify those areas where there is a demand for burial ground provision and assess any potential new sites


Special Landscape Areas

This Background Paper provides a brief overview of processes involved in identifying the landscape character areas within the Plan Area and the reasoning and justification for the criteria set out in Policy NTE/5 of the RLDP. Special Landscape Areas were included in the Colwyn Borough Local Plan, Gwynedd Structure Plan and Unitary Development Plan with the intention of adding further weight to the protection of the undeveloped rural areas. In all of these plans the Character Areas covered all of the Plan Area outside of the defined settlement boundaries. In the future it is proposed that LANDMAP is used as a basis for landscape impact assessments


Renewable Energy Assessment

To provide a robust Renewable Energy evidence base which will inform the RLDP production and form the baseline for future monitoring of Renewable Energy.


Conwy Strategic Flood Consequences Assessment. (SFCA)

Flooding is a natural occurrence which is often hard to predict. It can pose a direct risk to human life and cause extensive damage to both property and infrastructure. The threat posed by climate change is likely to increase the risk of coastal and fluvial flooding due to a predicted rise in the sea-level and more intense rainfall. Therefore the risk of flooding is a material consideration which influences both development control decisions and LDP site allocations. The aim of the SFCA is to inform the application of the sequential test to candidate development sites within the RLDP. This will enable the Local Planning Authority to adopt the precautionary principle promoted in National planning guidance to direct development away from high flood risk areas.


Flood Risk and Development Opportunities to the East of the County Borough.

Main purpose of this study is to assess the potential for development in the flood risk area by promoting innovative design solutions. The paper will inform the preferred growth strategy, but ultimately will assess the potential for accommodating development in this area due to high levels of current flood risk.


Waste Management

There are many drivers for change in terms of how we manage our waste. European Directives and National Guidance, and also regional-level working is bringing about a step-change in the management of waste. The purpose of this background paper is to set the context and provide a summary of these drivers and local issues which will influence land-use policy, and form part of the evidence base to support Waste policies in the RLDP.



Construction projects can sterilise aggregate resources permanently, rendering them unavailable for future generations. Planning policies protect potentially valuable aggregate resources from development proposals which might sterilise them in the long-term. This background paper explains how the LDP ensures that aggregate reserves are safeguarded for future generations.


Heritage Designations

This Background Paper (BP) provides a brief overview of the statutory heritage designations that need to be factored in when reviewing the LDP.


Buildings and Structures of Local Importance (BSLI)

The BP will inform the reasoning and justification for the BSLI policy which seeks to retain non-listed buildings of historic/architectural interest


Active Travel Plan

Assesses the alternative mode routes (cycling, walking, etc.) throughout the County Borough and identifies key gaps in the overall system. The BP will inform the potential improvement areas, policy and the spatial distribution.


Conwy Strategic Transport Strategy

Will set out the strategic transport interventions for the County Borough.


Welsh Language Impact Assessment

This background paper provides evidence and justification for the policy approach in the RLDP relating to the Welsh language. It will inform the preferred growth strategy in line with TAN20.


Collaborative Working with neighbouring Authorities.

This background paper details the collaboration undertaken with neighbouring Councils and local planning authorities in preparing the RLDP. This includes cross boundary issues such as the economy, affordable housing and transport.


Population Increase, Housing & Health/Primary Care Impact

The BP will assess the current capacity issues and understand the impacts from projected growth on Primary Care. The BP will determine whether land/obligations are required to assist growth levels.


Population Increase, Housing & Education Impact

The BP will assess the current capacity issues and understand the impacts from projected growth on education. The BP will determine whether land/obligations are required to assist growth levels.


Place Plans

This paper sets out the forwards approach and status of Place Plans in Conwy. Place Plans will set out the more detailed thematic or site specific guidance to supplement the policies and proposals presented in an LDP, Town and Community Councils will engage with local communities, business and the LPA to deliver Place Plans locally. Place Plans will be Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to the adopted Local Development Plan and must be in conformity with it. A Place Plan where produced in accordance with the guidance will be a material consideration when deciding planning applications.

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