Preferred Strategy

Ended on the 20 September 2019
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(1)Executive Summary

(1)1.1 Conwy are now preparing a Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) to cover the period 2018 - 2033. Together, we want to contribute positively to sustainable development by improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Conwy by 2033 and ultimately 'Creating Greater Opportunities to Live, Work and Visit'
This will be achieved by preparing a focussed, succinct and relevant Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) which embraces the sustainable development principles and the concept of placemaking. By taking such action it will ensure that the RLDP embeds the spirit of the Well-being of Future Generations Act and seeks to take positive steps to creating sustainable places, social inclusion and improved Well-being for all in Conwy.
The Preferred Strategy is the first statutory stage in preparing the RLDP. It sets out the broad approach that the RLDP intends to take in order to ensure that development in Conwy is sustainable. The Preferred Strategy (PS) is supported by four supporting sections designed to contribute individually to placemaking and sustainable development in Conwy:

Placemaking in Conwy

Informed by the Key Planning Principles and the National Sustainable Placemaking Outcomes in Wales, the concept of placemaking will be a key element of the Conwy Preferred Strategy in delivering the goals of Well-being of Future Generations Act and in driving Conwy's plan-making and development management decisions to create sustainable places. Placemaking in Conwy will ensure that a holistic approach to the planning and design of development and spaces results in positive outcomes in urban and rural areas. It will draw on Conwy's potential to create high quality development and public spaces that promote people's prosperity, health, happiness, and well-being.

Sustainable Placemaking

The preferred Strategy is formulated having had consideration of the strategic placemaking issues impacting on Conwy. This section of the PS focuses on those strategic polices that will have the greatest impact on the type of development which is ultimately delivered and its contribution to sustainable development and the environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of Conwy. This section promotes integrated polices that should not be considered in isolation during the development process. This includes considering the design of a development and its impacts upon everyday lives as well as thinking holistically about where people might live and work and which areas should be protected. This section provides the strategic and locally distinctive placemaking vision for delivering sustainable placemaking, which is supported by strategic polices on Sustainable Placemaking Principles, Levels of Housing Growth, Levels of Jobs Growth, Growth Distribution and Hierarchy of Settlements, Placemaking and Good Design, Promoting Healthier Places, The Welsh Language, Sustainable Management of Natural Resources, Placemaking in Rural Areas, Place Plans, Strategic Sites, Infrastructure and New Development and Managing Settlement Form.

Prosperous Places in Conwy

The Preferred Strategy promotes a prosperous economy in Conwy by providing well-connected employment and economic development in sustainable and accessible locations. These places will be designed and located to promote healthy lifestyles and tackle climate change by making them accessible by walking and cycling, linked by public transport and by using renewable and low carbon energy sources. This section sets the strategic direction for Economic Development, Tourism, The Rural Economy, Transportation Infrastructure, Telecommunications, Energy and Minerals & Waste.

Healthy & Social Places in Conwy

Social Places in Conwy will be contributed to by providing well-connected cohesive communities for all sectors of society. This will be achieved by allowing everyone to have a good quality of life by living in strong and safe communities, promoting inclusive developments and by improving access to key services and recreation facilities. The Preferred Strategy approach will support people to adopt healthy lifestyles, secure socially inclusive development and more cohesive communities. This section sets the strategic direction for Transport, Housing, Retail & Commercial Centres, Community Facilities and Recreational Spaces.

Natural and Cultural Places in Conwy

Natural and Cultural Places in Conwy are those which value the quality of Conwy's landscapes and historic environment, future proof economic assets both in response to the challenges presented by climate change and in promoting low carbon solutions, protecting landscapes and habitats, enabling opportunities for connecting with the natural environment and encouraging healthier lifestyles with the benefit of improving physical and mental well-being, elements of which are encouraged in the Conwy & Denbighshire Well-being Plan. This section sets the strategic direction for Landscape, Coastal Areas, Historic Environment, Culturally Led Regeneration, Green Infrastructure, Biodiversity, Water, Air, Soundscape & Light and Flooding.
Together these four strategic subject areas develop the approach in contributing positively to prosperity for all in Conwy. This will be realised initially via a proposed Vision, Objectives and Growth Strategy within this Preferred Strategy.

Vison and Objectives

The Preferred Strategy sets out for consultation the issues identified as being critical for Conwy up until 2033. In response to these it proposes a Vision of the type of place we would like Conwy to be in 2033 and the Objectives to make this happen.

Spatial Strategy

The Council must consider and assess a number of realistic options for the spatial distribution of development across the Plan Area. Having considered these options, the Preferred Strategy identifies the level of new growth that is needed by 2033 and the spatial distribution of the growth through the identification of key sustainable places, strategic sites and vital infrastructure requirements.

New Growth 2018 - 2033

The new growth proposed in this Conwy Preferred Strategy is the result of evidencing and balancing a number of key factors. It is the outcome of understanding how the population and households will change up to 2033, together with planning for the new employment, housing and related infrastructure that is required as a result of local and regional economic drivers and affordable housing need. It also reflects the capacity of the development industry and other strategic objectives that the RLDP needs to tackle. In balancing these key growth factors the Conwy Preferred Strategy proposes to accommodate up to 1,800 new jobs and 4,300 homes by 2033. It also sets out an ambitious plan to deliver the needs of 1,800 affordable homes over the Plan Period comprising approximately 1000 new affordable homes from new build and a further 800 from policy mechanisms and Council initiatives

Spatial Distribution of Growth

An essential component in creating sustainable places in Conwy is where development is to be located. This Preferred Strategy provides the basis for locating growth and identifies key development strategy areas and strategic sites for new development, supported by the required community and utility infrastructure up to 2033. Having identified and understood the needs of existing urban and rural areas and their key attributes, the Preferred Strategy proposes to focus growth within the two strategic areas, the Coastal Development Strategy Area (CDSA) and the Rural Development Strategy Area (RDSA).

Coastal Development Strategy Area (CDSA)

Conwy's population primarily falls within the urban coastal corridor along the strategic transport routes of the A55 dual carriageway and railway line. These urban locations offer the best opportunity to locate growth, meet community's needs, promote active travel, healthier communities, combat climate change and ultimately conform to the Key Planning Principles and the National Sustainable Placemaking Outcomes in Wales However, these areas also experience community and infrastructure capacity issues (e.g. schools, doctor's surgeries and utilities supply), which are planned for in this Preferred Strategy to ensure sustainable communities are created.
Some urban areas, such as Abergele, Pensarn, Towyn and Kinmel Bay also suffer from major constraints, such as flood risk and highways infrastructure, which impacts on their ability to accommodate growth and regenerate. This Preferred Strategy promotes an Eastern Regeneration and Investment Area (ERIA) as part of the Preferred Strategy to avoid further decline in these vulnerable areas and ensure that the plan contributes to the creation of resilient communities.
Having considered these key urban issues, the majority of growth is focused in the more sustainable accessible urban towns within the Central, Creuddyn and Western areas of the CDSA.

Rural Development Strategy Area (RDSA).

Conwy's countryside is a dynamic and multi-purpose resource. In line with sustainable development and the national planning principles and in contributing towards placemaking outcomes, it must be conserved and, where possible, enhanced for the sake of its ecological, geological, physiographic, historical, archaeological, cultural and agricultural value and for its landscape and natural resources. The need to conserve these attributes will be balanced against the economic, social and recreational needs of local communities and visitors.
For most rural areas in the Conwy RDSA the opportunities for reducing car use and increasing walking, cycling and use of public transport are more limited than in CDSA. The Preferred Strategy therefore focuses limited growth to those rural settlements which have relatively good accessibility by non-car modes when compared to the rural area as a whole. As such the majority of rural growth is focused in the Key Service Centre of Llanrwst, which is a settlement that supports the wider rural communities in terms of employment, retailing and education. To ensure that the wider rural communities have the opportunities to sustain themselves, a more flexible approach to development is promoted where it safeguards community identity and meets local needs.

Strategic Sites

Prior to this Preferred Strategy, the Council undertook a 'call for candidate sites' exercise, enabling all parties to submit potential sites for inclusion in the RLDP. The Council must prepare a Candidate Site Register and publish this alongside this Preferred Strategy consultation. The candidate site register is a living document which can be updated until RLDP Deposit planned for early 2020.
This Preferred Strategy identifies those Strategic Sites key to delivering the overall strategy, including supporting viability assessments and concept drawings. A Strategic Site is classed as being 6 hectares (60,000 sqm) or more, which could include a specific use or a mix of uses. Strategic Sites will be supported by a placemaking vision and schematic frameworks, design principles and infrastructure requirements.
For instructions on how to use the system and make comments, please see our help guide.
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