Prosperous Places in Conwy
6.1.1 The Prosperous Places theme covers the economic components of placemaking in Conwy. These components are complementary to the other Strategic sections, which collectively come together to creating sustainable places in Conwy.
6.1.2 Such places are those which promote our economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being by providing well-connected employment and sustainable economic development. These places will be designed and sited to promote healthy lifestyles and tackle climate change. This is done by making them: easy to walk and cycle to and around; accessible by public transport; minimising the use of non-renewable resources; and 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.
6.2.1 Strategic Objective 7 (SO7): Support long-term economic prosperity, diversification and regeneration, by taking advantage of Conwy's strategic position within the wider regional context and by promoting a holistic employment and housing growth strategy, which will facilitate new jobs growth of the right type in sustainable and accessible locations, support business networks and clusters, increase skills in high value employment and provide the necessary new infrastructure, which overall will enable new businesses to locate in Conwy and existing business to grow.
(1) Strategic Policy SP/27Economic Development
In order to assist with the delivery of predicted economic growth for the County, the LDP will provide between 12-14 hectares of employment land on a split of 50% B1 office uses and 50% B1c/B2/B8 uses. A criteria based policy will seek to safeguard existing B class employment sites where they are needed to ensure adequate supply of employment land in the right locations, as guided by the Conwy Commercial Market Analysis.
6.2.2 Since the adoption of the LDP in 2013, Conwy County has seen an increase in economic activity rates and, until autumn 2018 had seen a steady decline in unemployment levels, which broadly reflects national trends over the past five years. The claimant count unemployment rate for February 2019 was 3.1%, which is significantly higher than figures seen over the past four years or so, and mirrors the national pattern which have seen claimant rates rise month-on-month since autumn 2018. The overall figure is currently also significantly higher than the Wales and UK rates (2.7% and 2.6% respectively), possibly due to the seasonal nature of tourism-based employment patterns in the County Borough. (source: ONS claimant count). However the rate of employment land take up has remained low at an average of 1.2 ha per annum (5 year average).
6.2.3 Though economic activity rates are on an upward trend, the total number of people who are economically active is more volatile. This is affected by the size of the working age population, estimates currently put the percentage of the population in Conwy CB who are aged 16-64 at only 56.6%, compared to 61.5% in Wales and 62.9% across Great Britain. This leads to high dependency ratios - that is, the number of children/older people for each person of working age. High proportions of dependants in the population can place a strain on the economy and on the social structure of the community. The population structure in Conwy County Borough is also ageing at a faster rate than much of the rest of Wales and our closest English neighbours and the size of the working age population will start to decline in the near future due to the large 'baby boomers' cohort moving out of the workforce as they reach retirement age. This has implications for the labour market which may begin to struggle to fill vacancies in the future.
6.2.4 Whilst the existing labour market is relatively highly skilled and competitively-priced for businesses, there are relatively weak levels of business start-ups and future employment growth is forecast to be flat. Therefore Conwy's economy faces a number of opportunities and challenges in coming years. However, there are a number of regional projects scheduled to come forward within the RLDP period which will have a positive impact on employment levels and should attract more people of working age to the area, such as Colwyn Bay Tidal Lagoon, Deeside Advanced Manufacturing Institute, Menai Science Park, Orthios Eco Park and Energy Centre, Parc Adfer and Wrexham Energy Centre.
6.2.5 The employment structure in Conwy County Borough differs from that of Great Britain as a whole . The production base has declined considerably over the past 20 or so years to about 3.5% of jobs by 2017, and there is a heavy skew towards employment in the service industries (particularly in the public sector) and the tourism sector. In Conwy County Borough employment in the high skills, high wage sectors of information & communication, finance & insurance, professional, scientific & technical, and business administration & support services is relatively low, totalling just 13% of all employment compared to 25% across Great Britain as a whole.
6.2.6 The proportions of employment in the tourism related sectors of retail, accommodation & food services, and arts, entertainment & recreation are high - a total of about 32% of all jobs compared to 21% nationally. These sectors are the ones most likely to include low wage, part time or seasonal employment.
6.2.7 The 2017 STEAM report estimates that around 9,950 jobs are provided directly by the tourism industry and a further 2,350 jobs are indirectly supported by tourism - around 12,300 jobs in total, which is well over a quarter of all employment in Conwy County Borough. Tourism brings in around £888 million each year to the local economy.
6.2.8 Using the Employment Land Review (2019) as evidence base, this Preferred Strategy takes into account the North Wales Economic Ambition Board's (NWEAB's) Economic Growth Vision. The vision sets out linkages with the Northern Powerhouse (North West England) and Ireland, estimating an additional 120,000 jobs in the region by 2035, increasing the Gross Value Added (GVA) to £20 billion. Separately but related to the above is the North Wales 'Growth Deal' which sets out a vision for the North Wales region with the aims of creating over 5,000 jobs and attracting private sector investment to the value of £1bn in the region over the next 15 years. Specifically, the deal aims to build on the strengths of the region in the low carbon, advanced manufacturing and digital sectors, promote business growth in the form of Regional Business and Smart Technology and Innovation hubs.
6.2.9 The Conwy Employment Land Review has considered the current and predicted changes in the economic environment and identifies a range of between 12-21 hectares will be needed across Conwy upto 2033. This is based on a range of scenarios including labour force forecasts, sectoral trends and past take up rates. In line with the preferred option for growth, the scenario that reflects around 14 hectares has been chosen as this takes into account the Experian jobs growth forecasts for the area and regional growth projects that will come forward over the next 15 years.
6.2.10 The Conwy Commercial Market Analysis (2017) identified that Conwy has proportionately more office space (and less industrial) than other Councils in North Wales, and in Wales as a whole. However it is a demand for industrial premises in the County Borough that is outstripping supply due to a shortage of modern, purpose built premises between 2000 and 5000 sqft in size. For this next Plan Period, there is a need for new industrial units situated along the A55 corridor and also a better choice of office developments to enable businesses to expand without leaving the County Borough.
6.2.11 Supporting the rural economy is of paramount importance, recognising the impact that leaving the European Union may have on demand for different land uses in the countryside. In line with PPW, additional flexibility will be afforded to rural businesses where they are seeking to expand their existing operations. The sequential approach in policy EMP/3 will be maintained to further encourage businesses to identify sites within sustainable locations.
6.2.12 There is recognition that development projects and growth sectors in and around Conwy County Borough will generate significant demand for skills. In the Skills Needs Assessment (Background Paper 20) it is reported that there is/will likely be a shortage of construction workers, engineers (electrical and mechanical), surveyors, project managers and ecology specialists related to projects that are planned for the North Wales Region within the next 15 years. Tourism is another area highlighted for growth within the Conwy Economic Strategy 2017-2027, the need for jobs and skills to support this sector is likely to increase. In conclusion, while there is no evidence to suggest a need to provide a separate new Higher Education establishment in Conwy, there is scope for greater dialogue between the HE providers and CCBC to look at opportunities for addressing skills gaps.
6.2.13 Delivering the Objective and Strategic Policy
The Conwy Employment Land Review (ELR) 2019 and the Regional Economic Drivers Report provided a range of scenarios for economic growth upto 2033. The second of these scenarios in the ELR titled 'Policy On' (also Growth Option 4 in the Growth Options Paper) has been selected as the preferred option. This concludes that Conwy would need to accommodate in the region of an additional 1800 jobs over the RLDP Period which equates to around 12-14 hectares of employment land for B class uses. This scenario takes into account the impact of regional drivers for growth such as Colwyn Bay Tidal Lagoon, Deeside Advanced Manufacturing Institute, Menai Science Park, Orthios Eco Park and Energy Centre, Parc Adfer and Wrexham Energy Centre and includes and allowance for contingency. The ELR states that based on jobs in these industries coming forward and the current balance of the employment land supply, allocations and underused supply should be split 50% B1 office and 50% for B1c/B2/B8 Industrial and Warehousing. The Conwy Commercial Market Assessment indicates that new employment land should ideally be located along the key A55 trans-European route, with current popular locations being Mochdre, Llandudno Junction, Conwy and Kinmel Bay. The Conwy Economic Strategy also promotes the use of urban town centres, for example Colwyn Bay and Llandudno as key areas for employment growth.
6.2.14 In terms of how much land supply there is in Conwy, the results from the Employment Land Supply have been summarised in Table 8 below:
Table 8: Employment Land Supply
Safeguarded Employment land NYS*
New Sites/ Sites with planning permission & site losses to other uses
Existing Vacant stock (Ha)
Undeveloped LDP Allocations (Ha)
Less de-allocations **
Target growth from ELR
Amount of new land needed for employment in RLDP
*Excl. Tir Llwyd, Kinmel Bay.
** This figure is based on a preliminary qualitative assessment of existing undeveloped LDP allocations. A more detailed assessment will be undertaken as part of the site assessment exercise when formulating the Deposit RLDP.
(1) 6.2.15 Currently in quantitative terms there is 17.92 hectares of employment land supply which includes vacant designated land, new permissions, losses, undeveloped LDP allocations and vacant units on existing business parks. However when taking into account an initial qualitative assessment, this is reduced to 13.32 hectares which means an additional 0.68 hectares of new land will be allocated in the Deposit RLDP to allow for choice of location and type as per the Commercial Market Analysis. A more detailed qualitative assessment will be carried out as site assessment work for the Deposit Plan takes place, which may result in land supply being reduced and more land for new allocations being required. Tir Llwyd is currently safeguarded in the LDP for employment use, however given the significant flood risk constraints the remaining undeveloped land at Tir Llwyd has not been included as supply.
6.2.16 Designated and existing B1, B2, B8 employment sites (subject to criteria) will be safeguarded from other uses unless it can be demonstrated that there is no longer demand for the current use. Indeed smarter use of existing office floorspace will be advocated where stock is no longer in demand for traditional B1 use in line with the Conwy Commercial Market Analysis. While there is a need to protect B1, B2, B8 employment land where it is required, it is also recognised that other uses such as D1 clinics, A2 financial services and certain leisure and sui generis uses can have employment generating potential. Where it is deemed that a B class use is no longer needed, other uses may be acceptable subject to a criteria based policy.
Strategic Employment / Mixed Use Site - Abergele South East
Around 8.8 hectares of land for a mixture of employment, retail, open space and a school will be allocated on land at Abergele South East.
Abergele South East was allocated within the Conwy LDP 2007 -2022 as a mixed use site. The employment element of this site is recognised regionally as a strategic employment site by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board in their document titled 'The Growth Vision for the Economy of North Wales.' Officers are currently in discussions with developers and landowners to produce a masterplan for the northern-most parcels of land. Around 4.7 hectares of land will be reserved for employment uses in this location.
Provision will be made for a choice of employment sites within the coastal urban area to deliver the proportion of growth set out in the Plan. A sequential approach will be adopted when looking at new employment sites that are not allocated or safeguarded in the RLDP to ensure development is guided to the most appropriate locations.
The Deposit RLDP will allocate sites within the coastal urban area to meet the need for growth up to 2033. These sites will be made up from some of the existing LDP allocations (where these have undergone qualitative assessment and are deemed to be suitable to carry forward into the RLDP) and new allocations.
6.3.1 Strategic Objective 8 (SO8): Encourage and support the provision of sustainable tourism where it contributes to economic prosperity and development, conservation, rural diversification, regeneration and social inclusion, while recognising the needs of visitors, businesses, local communities and the need to protect historic and natural environments.
(1) Strategic Policy SP/28Tourism
Proposals for Tourism development will be supported provided that they are in an appropriate location, contribute to the diversity and quality of accommodation and attractions, and respect and protect the natural and built environment and surrounding communities.
6.3.2 This strategic policy sets the framework for the policy approach within the RLDP that is sufficiently responsive and flexible to the tourism market demand up to 2033, whilst also seeking to protect Conwy's communities, landscape and townscape. The strategic policy provides the overarching context with detailed policies prepared for Deposit Plan stage.
6.3.3 Delivering the Objective and Strategic Policy
Tourism is a key component of Conwy's economy, supporting over 12,000 full time equivalent jobs either directly or indirectly, bringing more than £800m revenue to the County's economy annually and attracting 9.5m visitors in 2017 (STEAM 2017 data).
6.3.4 The County boasts a wide range of activities, facilities and types of development and is vital to economic prosperity and job creation in many parts of Conwy. Tourism can be a catalyst for regeneration, improvement of the built environment and environmental protection. Therefore, the Preferred Strategy encourages tourism development where it contributes to economic development, conservation, rural diversification, urban regeneration and social inclusion, while recognising the needs of visitors and those of local communities. More recently Conwy has seen a growth in sustainable all-year round outdoor and adventure tourism business resulting in greater demand for a variety of holiday accommodation.
6.3.5 In line with PPW 10 the RLDP will provide a framework for maintaining and developing well-located, well designed, good quality tourism facilities. It will consider the scale and broad distribution of existing and proposed tourist attractions and enable complementary developments such as accommodation and access to be provided in ways which limit negative environmental impacts.
6.3.6 This Preferred Strategy follows the aspirations of the Growth Vision for the Economy of North Wales (North Wales Economic Ambition Board - 2016) vision, in relation to tourism, and seeks to capitalise on the regions reputation as a place with a great quality of life and as a world-renowned adventure tourism destination.
6.3.7 The Llandudno Tourism Study (2019) provides a comprehensive report and analysis of how tourism impacts the main resort of Llandudno and provides key data to help develop a trajectory of visitor numbers and trends over the coming years. In addition this report looks to enable all stakeholders in the town to understand the key dynamics of the town's tourism economy and provide a range of potential options to help develop the tourism offer in Llandudno in line with the aspirations of key stakeholders, residents, visitors and the Council. Focus will also be placed on the tourism offer during the winter season.
6.3.8 There will be a need for the RLDP to accommodate the predicted demand through land allocations and/or appropriate management policies. On a County-wide context the Conwy Destination Management Plan and Conwy Bed stock Survey provides evidence to further understand supply and demand issues, identifies priorities and assesses the existing level of all types of Conwy's holiday accommodation stock, occupancy and trip data. The Primary Holiday Accommodation Zones (HAZs) 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 established policies and new evidence with the results informing any proposed changes to these zones.
6.3.9 In rural areas, tourism-related development is essential in providing for a healthy and diverse economy and requires careful consideration in the RLDP. Tourism development in rural areas will need to be sensitive in nature and scale to the local environment.
(1) 6.3.10 In the flood risk areas of Pensarn, Towyn and Kinmel Bay, which have high levels of caravan park accommodation, consideration will be given to the protection and improvement of such sites to maintain bed stock levels and assist the local economy.
6.3.11 The key areas to be addressed are:
The RLDP objectives and policies will continue to support the development and adaptation of a range of tourism attractions, in appropriate locations, to accommodate a wide array of activities in both the rural and urban areas.
6.3.12 Adventure Tourism is a growing market, with new attractions within and in close proximity to Conwy County. The Authority has supported new tourism proposals such as Adventure Parc Snowdonia (formerly Surf Snowdonia) in Dolgarrog. Welsh Government wish to promote Wales as the world's capital of adventure tourism, 2016 was the Year of Adventure and subsequent annual themes have been announced to promote Wales's greatest strengths and focus activities, events and attractions on the strongest qualities of the Welsh tourism offer. New and existing adventure tourist attractions within or close to Conwy include:
- Plas y Brenin outdoor pursuits centre
- Adventure Parc Snowdonia, Dolgarrog
- Bounce Below and Zip World, Blaenau Ffestiniog
- Zip World, Bethesda
- Zip World Fforest, Betws y Coed
- Antur Stiniog mountain bike centre, Blaenau Ffestiniog
6.3.13 North West Wales has witnessed a considerable growth in activity based tourism over recent years and it is regarded as a potential major future growth area within Conwy. Furthermore, adventure tourism offers great opportunity to develop an all year round tourism product in that it is least affected by changes in the weather.
Rural Business Diversification
The RLDP will contain appropriate policy to support the development of small scale, low impact alternative accommodation associated to genuine farm diversification. New developments would need to be in suitable locations and not have a negative impact on the landscape. Specific policy will ensure farm and rural business diversification is appropriate, assists the retention of the enterprise and benefits the rural economy.
The Authority recognise that some agricultural business may need to diversify in order to provide additional income. This sometimes involves the conversion of existing underused buildings into short term self-catering holiday accommodation and existing policies support the conversion of certain agricultural buildings, where appropriate. The main purpose of the policies are to provide some form of economic benefit and not to permit second home occupation.
6.3.15 Conwy has seen a growing number of enquires and applications for new campsite or caravan sites on existing farm holdings. The Authority will consider these types of development and include appropriate, criteria based policy to support small scale, low impact accommodation associated to genuine farm diversification. New developments would need to be in suitable locations and not have a negative impact on the landscape.
Alternative forms of tourist accommodation
With new types of small scale 'glamping' accommodation becoming increasingly popular RLDP criteria based policies will ensure all types of holiday accommodation are included and located, assessed and managed appropriately.
Since the adoption of the LDP there has been an increase in the types of self-catering/temporary accommodation on the market. The types of accommodation that have been seen are pods, yurts, tepees and wooden tents, collectively known as 'glamping'. The Authority is likely to experience an increase in planning applications for these non-traditional types of accommodation.
6.3.17 This type of 'low impact' accommodation can be aesthetically more acceptable than 'traditional' forms of accommodation such as static caravans. Therefore, current LDP policies will require modification to ensure that all types of holiday accommodation are included and assessed appropriately.
Creating a night time economy and a winter visitor offer
In order to grow the year round market the RLDP objectives and policies will continue to support the development and adaptation of a range of tourism attractions and facilities to improve the winter tourism offer throughout the County.
The night-time economy and a compelling winter visitor offer are fundamental to establishing Conwy as a year-round destination. The STEAM1 data shows that visitor numbers across the county dip significantly from November through to February. This doesn't mean that people don't holiday during the winter months, they're just choosing to go elsewhere. Whilst Llandudno is the key holiday destination, investment must be across the County to ensure a consistent visitor experience. Core to attracting more visitors through these months will be programmes to invest in attractor events at this time of year and developing/investing in attractions which can be enjoyed through the winter. This would encourage more accommodation to be available at this time, contributing to the overall ambition of improving the tourism range and creating the environment for full-time, quality jobs.
Holiday accommodation, particularly within the coastal towns, will be carefully controlled and protected to ensure an adequate supply and range of good quality accommodation to meet the all year round tourism market needs.
A successful tourism destination is highly dependent on the quality, level and type of accommodation available within that area. Providing and protecting quality accommodation is one of Conwy's key priorities. There is a need to ensure there is a sufficient supply and range of quality accommodation in the right areas to meet changing market needs, accommodate growth and support a thriving tourism economy. Furthermore, it is also recognised that a broader range of serviced accommodation would allow more choice for the visitor and appeal to the growing short break market.
RLDP policies will continue to support and further develop the region as a place for cultural tourism businesses to thrive, raise standards and encourage skills and careers.
The Destination Conwy Management Plan identifies heritage as one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in Wales and the UK with more than half of the top 20 visitor attractions in Wales being historic sites. Welsh Government is managing a project to develop heritage tourism in Wales, which will help maximise the economic value of heritage by increasing the number, length and value of visits to Wales. Cadw is working with communities, heritage partners and the tourism sector across Wales to improve the visitor experience and provide a more integrated range of heritage tourism activities by developing heritage tours, trails and events packages.
6.3.21 Conwy's cultural heritage is rich and diverse and includes examples such as Conwy Castle World Heritage Site which is an essential part of the all Wales project as an important historic, economic and social asset.
The Rural Economy
6.4.1 Strategic Objective 9 (S09): Promote and support sustainable and vibrant rural communities by establishing new enterprise, expanding existing business and by adopting a constructive approach to agriculture and changing farming practices.
(1) Strategic Policy SP/29Rural Economy
A criteria based policy will ensure that new rural employment development is guided towards suitable locations using a sequential approach, whilst allowing flexibility to support existing rural businesses to expand.
6.4.2 LDP policies covering the rural economy need to be responsive to changes in the wider economic environment in terms of UK and wider European impacts. Analysis from planning applications since adoption of the Conwy LDP (2007-2022) show that developments in the rural areas tend to be driven by tourism (holiday lets and camping/caravan sites) although there have been a number of applications for food production and agricultural developments, wind turbines and market dwellings. There have also been a number of enquiries relating to expansion of existing rural businesses.
6.4.3 Looking to a post-Brexit future, some key changes affecting the rural areas for example may involve increased diversification of smaller enterprises, on-site business expansion and a potential increase in need for rural enterprise dwellings to support both larger scale production and new micro businesses. There may also be a greater need for processing facilities for agricultural produce including livestock and a continuation in the trend towards home-based working.
6.4.4 Delivering the Objective and Strategic Policy
To support development of the rural economy, a flexible policy approach will be adopted towards the expansion of rural enterprises. Having allocated employment sites in the rural area in the previous LDP (none of which have come forward for development,) the RLDP will instead include a criteria based policy which will allow greater flexibility for economic development in the rural area. It is also expected to maintain the flexible and sequential approach which will allow businesses to look beyond settlement boundaries where there are no suitable lands within.
6.5.1 Strategic Objective 6 (SO6): Deliver sustainable development and seek to tackle the causes of climate change by extending the choice of sustainable transport to enable Conwy's communities to access jobs and key services through the promotion of shorter and more active and efficient walking, cycling and public transport use and by influencing the location, scale, density, mix of uses and design of new development.
Strategic Policy SP/30Transportation Infrastructure
To facilitate the delivery, decarbonisation and improvement of sustainable transport infrastructure in a way which reduces the need to travel, particularly by private vehicles, and facilitates and increases active travel choices. Transport projects will be compatible with the Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG) and North Wales Joint Transport Plan (NWJTP) whilst improving links within and between different types of transport, education, health, employment and social uses.
6.5.2 Transportation Infrastructure
The provision of sustainable transport infrastructure is essential in order to build prosperity, tackle climate change, reduce airborne pollution and to improve the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales. Planning authorities should support necessary transport infrastructure improvements, where it can be demonstrated that such measures are consistent with Welsh Government policy to encourage and increase use of sustainable transport and reduce reliance on the private car for daily journeys.
6.5.3 Transport infrastructure should not generate significant demand for additional car movements or contribute to urban sprawl or neighbourhood severance. The planning and design of transport infrastructure schemes will be expected to consider the needs of users of active and sustainable transport before that of the private car, taking into account the sustainable transport hierarchy.
6.5.4 The RLDP will include policies and proposals relating to the development of transport infrastructure and related services (such as public transport interchange facilities and rail facilities), including areas safeguarded for future transport infrastructure/routes. Where possible, the route of the proposed new or improved infrastructure will be shown in the development plan. When the precise route is not known, a safeguarding policy will be applied to the area of land necessary for the scheme. Blight will be kept to a minimum by only including in development plans schemes which are likely to commence within the Plan Period. When development plans are prepared or amended, existing transport proposals should be reviewed so as to remove any proposals that have previously been safeguarded, but are now abandoned, or any that are unlikely to commence during the Plan Period.
6.5.5 Great care will be taken to minimise the adverse impacts of new or improved transport infrastructure on the natural, historic and built environment and on local communities, including on public health resulting from community severance and airborne pollution.
This will be covered under key theme 'Distinctive and Natural Places' in further detail, although has linked objectives around how sustainable transport and Active Travel goals can be integrated into the Plan Area with wider environmental and health benefits.
6.5.7 Green infrastructure measures to mitigate negative effects and enhance environmental quality and connectivity will be considered at an early stage. New route schemes will be expected to make the best use of existing landforms and other landscape features to reduce noise and visual effects, subject to safety and other environmental considerations. Where no other alternative routes or options are practicable, transport infrastructure schemes should provide mitigation measures to minimise the negative impacts and enhance the positive ones caused by their construction and operation, including reducing exposure to airborne pollution.
6.5.8 Assessing transport projects
When assessing transport projects, planning authorities should have regard to the Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance (WelTAG). WelTAG sets out a staged and evidence-led process for analysis of transport problems and the development and appraisal of transport options against a wide spectrum of policies and environmental, social, economic and technical considerations. This objective process is especially important in the planning of strategic transport infrastructure projects and transport associated with major developments, as it helps to ensure account is taken of the full range of impacts of transport options. This helps identify solutions which maximise contributions to well-being goals and allows solutions and mitigation measures to be identified and developed before decisions to proceed with schemes are made. The WelTAG process also acts as a safeguard to ensure that solutions are appropriate for tackling the transport problems identified and to avoid the selection of modal options being pre-determined without supporting evidence
The RLDP will promote and facilitate the provision of high quality public transport infrastructure and set out policies to increase the use of public transport. It will identify and facilitate appropriate public transport routes, measures and facilities taking into account proposals in the Local Transport Plan, which could include improved facilities for bus passengers, park and ride schemes, new rail lines (including light rail), the re-opening of rail lines, the provision of new stations and enhanced passenger services on existing lines.
The Local Transport Plan takes into account the need for additional interchange sites and improvements to existing public transport interchanges, including measures to promote personal safety. In rural areas, interchange sites will be identified at nodes where the transfer between local and long distance public transport services can take place. The Council will also safeguard existing public transport interchanges from development that would compromise their continued use.
6.5.10 Disused railways and disused or unused rail sidings will, where possible, in collaboration with Transport for Wales and Network Rail, be safeguarded from development which could adversely affect them being brought back to rail use in the future. Any planning application or proposed development plan policy in the vicinity of, or directly affecting a former railway line will consider the impact on their potential use for rail in the future. As an interim measure, it may be appropriate to use disused rail alignments as open space corridors, for example for walking and cycling routes as informed by Green Infrastructure Assessments.
Trunk roads in Conwy have a national and international role, providing a network of high quality roads carrying long distance traffic between major centres. The Council will seek to reduce the need to use trunk roads and other through routes for short, local journeys. At any location, traffic flow and safety can be assisted by good junction design. The number of accesses permitted will depend upon the type and nature of the road. Similarly, the type of access provided should reflect the type of road and the volume and character of traffic likely to use the access and the road.
6.5.12 The strategy specifies the primary road network, including trunk roads, and separately identifies the core network. These routes are identified on the constraints map as corridors for movement adjacent to which development that would compromise this strategic transport role, or adversely affect the environment or people's health, amenity or well-being, will be resisted.
6.5.13 The RLDP will include all proposals for new roads and major improvements to the primary road network over the Plan Period, and set out the broad policy on priorities for minor improvements. For local road schemes, the development plan procedures should normally provide the means to examine both the need for and the alignment of the route.
6.5.14 The process of designing new road schemes and road improvements should take into account the transport hierarchy, whereby active and sustainable transport is considered before private motor vehicles. This will help to minimise community severance from a scheme and its impacts on the safety, convenience and amenity of routes for journeys on foot, bicycle and public transport.
6.5.15 Ports, Harbours, Marinas and Inland Waterways
Conwy has a small number of harbours, marinas and inland waterways, which make it an attractive location for businesses and visitors. Quarry docks also allow freight transportation. Support and investment in these facilities unlocks potential to boost the economy both directly, from the greater use of the facilities, and indirectly through the opportunities that improved maritime transport infrastructure provide for other sectors (both nationally and internationally).
6.5.16 The Welsh National Marine Plan (WNMP) provides a vision within which ports, harbours, marinas and inland waterways can plan their current and future operations, including options for expansion and diversification. Planning authorities must consider the land use implications of the WNMP.
6.5.17 Transport and Direct Health Impacts
Planning authorities have a role to play in the prevention of physical and mental illnesses caused, or exacerbated, by pollution, disconnection of people from social activities (which contributes to loneliness) as well as the promotion of travel patterns which facilitate active lifestyles. The RLDP will consider the impacts of new infrastructure development on existing communities and maximise health protection and well-being and safeguard local amenity.
6.6.1 Strategic Objective 7 (SO7): Support long-term economic prosperity, diversification and regeneration, by taking advantage of Conwy's strategic position within the wider regional context and by promoting a holistic employment and housing growth strategy, which will facilitate new jobs growth of the right type in sustainable and accessible locations, support business networks and clusters, increase skills in high value employment and provide the necessary new infrastructure, which overall will enable new businesses to locate in Conwy and existing business to grow.
Strategic Policy SP/31Telecommunications & Business Clusters
The provision of infrastructure to support telecommunications will be considered at an early stage of the development process of LDP allocations. The council will liaise with telecoms providers to ascertain where there is need for improvement or replacement of infrastructure and how this will be integrated with new development. To further enhance communication and networking opportunities, the clustering of businesses on existing employment sites that is of benefit to the economy and local community will be supported in principle
6.6.2 The RLDP recognises telecommunications including broadband and mobile phone networks as an essential service that should to be planned alongside developments from the outset, taking into account the requirements and priorities identified in the North Wales Digital Connectivity Strategy. The installation of superfast broadband is a key issue of importance in the rural areas, which rely on such services for both business and social needs. Provision of telecommunications infrastructure such as broadband and mobile phone apparatus is therefore supported in suitable locations.
6.6.3 Delivering the Objective and Strategic Policy
It is recognised that the most cost effective and least disruptive way to establish broadband infrastructure is prior to the commencement of development. By working alongside the telecoms industry, the Council will identify which locations could best support this infrastructure, where there are current shortfalls and plans for future improvements. This information will be used to inform and plan future developments in the RLDP. Criteria based policy will be developed to assess applications for mobile network apparatus, to ensure it is provided in suitable locations.
6.6.4 There is a need to support the development of business networks and clusters particularly in relation to innovative and technology based enterprise. This approach is advocated in PPW 10 and the Council is experiencing growing demand for businesses forming clusters to exploit the mutual benefits gained by co-location, networking and being able to offer joined up services to customers/clients. Some examples of this are food distribution in Llanrwst, builder's merchants in Kinmel Bay and Mochdre and pharmaceutical companies / laboratories in Conwy.
6.7.1 Strategic Objective 10 (SO10): Secure an appropriate mix of energy provision, including the promotion of a Tidal Lagoon, which maximises benefits to Conwy's economy and communities whilst minimising potential environmental and social impacts.
(2) Strategic Policy SP/32Energy
To promote a mix of energy generation sources, energy storage and building design which deliver clean growth and contribute to decarbonisation of energy as well as being resilient to the impacts of climate change.
The planning system plays a key role in delivering clean growth and the decarbonisation of energy, as well as being crucial in building resilience to the impacts of climate change. The transition to a low carbon economy not only brings opportunities for clean growth and quality jobs, but also has wider benefits of enhanced places to live and work, with clean air and water and improved health outcomes.
6.7.3 Topic Paper 9 introduced the issues relating to Renewable Energy within the Plan Area and this stage builds on that piece of work to inform change and the strategic approach. There is a need for continued decarbonisation of the energy generation sector across Wales to support the transition to a low carbon economy and to help mitigate climate change. At the same time, a mix of energy generation sources is required to ensure continued security of supply and to overcome intermittency issues associated with wind and solar technologies.
6.7.4 The changing climate and the impacts for Wales predicted by the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) present the planning system with serious challenges. In addressing them, Planning Policy Wales (PPW) outlines a series of objectives which should be taken into account during the preparation of a development plan. Local Authorities have several key roles to play that can facilitate the use and generation of renewable and low and zero carbon energy. These include:
- Preparing planning policies and allocating land in Local Development Plans (LDPs).
- Development management - taking decisions on planning applications submitted to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) for development; as well as preparing Local Impact Assessments.
- Corporate - taking action at a council wide level to achieve a low carbon economy.
- Leadership - taking forward wider community action and communicating the need to increase the uptake of renewable energy.
(1) 6.7.5 Delivering the Objectives and Strategic Policy
The Environment Act sets a legal target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050. The Act also requires a series of interim targets (for 2020, 2030 and 2040) and associated carbon budgets for key sectors. The budgets will set limits on the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions emitted in Wales over a 5 year period to serve as stepping stones and ensure progress is made towards the 2050 target.
6.7.6 The Welsh Government has set the following targets for the generation of renewable energy:
- For Wales to generate 70% of its electricity consumption from renewable energy by 2030;
- For one Gigawatt of renewable electrical capacity in Wales to be locally owned by 2030; and
- By 2020 for new renewable energy projects to have at least an element of local ownership.
- Integrate development with the provision of additional electricity grid network infrastructure;
- Optimise energy storage;
- Facilitate the integration of sustainable building design principles in new development;
- Optimise the location of new developments to allow for efficient use of resources;
- Maximise renewable and low carbon energy generation;
- Maximise the use of local energy sources, such as district heating networks (DHNs);
- Minimise the carbon impact of other energy generation; and
- Move away from the extraction of energy minerals, which the burning of is carbon intensive.
6.7.8 The RLDP will set out policies, proposals and guidance to support the transition to a low carbon economy. Guidance which responds to predicted climate change impacts and allows communities and businesses in the Plan Area to adapt to the changing climate.
PPW sets out guidance on the selection of sites in order to deliver sustainability. The potential for strategic sites to contribute to the delivery of sustainable buildings (including zero carbon) forms part of this stage of the LDP process. New development can be located so as to maximise opportunities for delivering higher sustainable building standards. This, for example, includes locating sites of specific uses together so as to make community heating schemes more viable by providing a sufficient heat load. However, Conwy's Renewable Energy Assessment (REA) showed limited opportunity for existing or new housing in close enough proximity to existing anchor heat loads. Conwy will engage with developers, landowners and the community to identify and discuss the opportunities for achieving higher sustainable building standards on strategic sites. An important part of this will be to consider whether local requirements are viable and will not act as an unreasonable barrier to development or planned growth, including the delivery of affordable housing and other planning obligations.
6.7.10 The RLDP categorises settlements in a hierarchy which reflects their relative sustainability. The Plan's aspiration of minimising the need to travel, particularly by private motor car, and its contributory role towards the facilitation of an integrated transport strategy seeks to direct development to appropriate locations which serve to achieve this.
In many cases the ability and capacity of a proposed RE development to connect to the electricity distribution grid will not be a planning consideration. However, given the importance of exporting electricity to the grid in many cases, it is recommended that developers conduct initial discussions with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) at an early stage in the development of the project. These discussions should seek to identify routes for grid connection infrastructure which avoid areas of high landscape, ecological or archaeological sensitivity. Preference will be for sub-surface connections.
6.7.12 This will not be an issue in circumstances where it is not proposed to connect the technology to the electricity distribution grid. Examples of this include using the electricity generated directly by the business or household, or using storage solutions, such as batteries which will in principle will be supported.
6.7.13 The need to tackle climate change represents a fundamental challenge if sustainable development and the obligations under the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015 are to be delivered.
6.7.14 Electricity Grid Network and Energy Storage
An effective electricity grid network is required to fulfil the Welsh Government's renewable and low carbon ambitions. An integrated approach will be adopted towards planning for energy developments and additional electricity grid network infrastructure. In certain circumstances, additional electricity grid network infrastructure will be needed to support the Strategic Search Areas and other areas identified in development plans. CCBC will plan positively and facilitate for grid infrastructure required to support the renewable and low carbon energy potential for the area. Appropriate grid development schemes will be supported in principle, whether or not the developments to be connected are located within the Plan Area.
Grid Connection and RE storage
Grid connection, improvement and storage schemes will be supported in principle where they avoid areas of high landscape, ecological or archaeological sensitivity. Preference will be for sub-surface connections.
6.7.15 Local Involvement and Community Benefit
Community groups, and organisations who seek to promote renewable energy projects, may require particular assistance in navigating their way through the planning system. CCBC will assist as facilitating this process when dealing with these projects.
6.7.16 Community groups in Conwy are currently eligible to apply to the Gwynt y Môr Community Fund from the GYM Offshore Wind Farm offering a total of £19 million for communities in Conwy, Denbighshire and Flintshire. The benefits of CCBC's involvement in future renewable energy projects will be explored in order to tackle issues of deprivation within the CCBC area through additional funding opportunities as new development comes forward.
(1) 6.7.17 Renewable Energy Targets
The planning system has an active role to help ensure the delivery of carbon reduction targets, in terms of new renewable energy generating capacity and the promotion of energy efficiency measures in new buildings.
(1) 6.7.18 To assist in the achievement of these targets, CCBC will take an active, leadership approach at the local and regional level, by identifying challenging, but achievable targets for renewable energy in development plans.
6.7.19 CCBC has considered the renewable energy resource available in the Plan Area through the REA and renewable energy targets will be based on this and additional evidence base. Targets will be developed through the Deposit RLDP but will be used as a tool to maximise available resource. However additional funding schemes and grid connection have key roles to play.
6.7.20 The strategy seeks that:
- Additional capacity within the SSA up to an additional 30MW will be supported within the Plan Period with review.
- Land at Gofer will be allocated for 4MW PV solar array.
- Development with local ownership and community schemes will be supported where in line with other national and local policies. By 2020 for new renewable energy projects to have at least an element of local ownership.
- Grid improvement schemes will be supported.
- 70% of electricity consumption in Conwy comes from renewable energy by 2030.
6.7.21 The Energy Hierarchy requires all new development to mitigate the causes of climate change by reducing energy demand and increasing energy efficiency through the location and design of new development.
Figure 5: PPW Energy Hierarchy
(1) 6.7.22 Sustainable Buildings
Sustainable building design principles should be integral to the design of new development. Development proposals should:
- mitigate the causes of climate change, by minimising carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions associated with the development's location, design, construction, use and eventual demolition; and
- include features that provide effective adaptation to, and resilience against, the current and predicted future effects of climate change.
6.7.23 New development that has very high energy performance, supports decarbonisation, tackles the causes of climate change, and adapts to the current and future effects of climate change through the incorporation of effective mitigation and adaptation measures will be supported in principle.
This will be covered in more detail in the Transport Preferred Strategy
Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicles
The provision of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) and charging points will be encouraged and supported through the RLDP as part of new development. Where car parking is provided for new non-residential development, the RLDP will seek a minimum of 10% of car parking spaces to have ULEV charging points. The Council will also prepare a ULEV Strategy which will complement the aspirations of ULEV ambitions in the RLDP.
6.7.25 Local Energy Generation
Locally generated electricity and heat to help meet the national target of one Gigawatt by 2030 will be supported in principle especially where proposals:
- facilitate the co-location of major developments to enable the use of local heat opportunities;
- facilitate the linking of renewable and low carbon energy with major new development and high energy users;
- maximise the use of waste heat;
- promote district heating; and
- promote Combined Heat and Power schemes.
Local Energy Generation
The RLDP will support, in principle, identified opportunities for district heating, local renewable and low carbon energy generation schemes, and the co-location of new proposals and land allocations with existing developments, heat suppliers and heat users.
6.7.26 Locational Policies for Renewable and Low Carbon Energy Development
Renewable and low carbon energy development will be supported in principle. The Council has assessed the opportunities for renewable and low carbon energy in the area, and will use this evidence to establish spatial policies in the RLDP which will identify the most appropriate locations for development. There will be a presumption in favour of development in identified areas, including an acceptance of landscape change, with criteria-based policies setting out detailed locational issues to be considered at the planning application stage.
6.7.27 Large Scale Wind Energy Development
The Welsh Government has identified Strategic Search Areas (SSAs) which, on the basis of substantial empirical research, are considered the most appropriate locations for large scale on-shore wind farm development (over 25MW). Within and immediately adjacent to the SSAs, there will be implicit acceptance that there will be significant change in landscape character from wind turbine development. Whilst cumulative impact is a material consideration, it will be balanced against the need to meet the Welsh Government's aspirations for energy in Wales and the conclusions reached fully justified in any decisions taken. Developers will need to be sensitive to local circumstances, including siting and design in relation to local landform, proximity to dwellings, local ownership and other planning considerations.
6.7.28 The development of large wind farms or other large scale renewable and low carbon energy schemes will not generally be appropriate in internationally or nationally designated areas and sites.
(1) 6.7.29 The RLDP supports further large scale wind energy development within the existing SSA. Grid connection and funding incentives continue to be limiting factors for development and should local micro-siting criteria be needed for land outside of the preferred locations then sites will be assessed on their own merits.
Large-scale wind turbine development
Large-scale wind turbine development with a target capacity of 30MW within the Plan Period will be supported within the existing SSA as shown on the proposal map.
(2) 6.7.30 Offshore Energy Generation
On 1 April 2012, under the Localism Act 2011, the Planning Inspectorate became the agency responsible for operating the planning process for nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs). NSIPs are usually large scale developments such as new harbours, power generating stations (including wind farms), and electricity transmission lines, which require a type of consent known as 'development consent' under procedures governed by the Planning Act 2008 (and amended by the Localism Act 2011). The 2008 Act sets out thresholds above which certain types of infrastructure development are considered to be nationally significant and require development consent.
(2) 6.7.31 A tidal lagoon generating project is supported for the inshore area off Conwy's coast which could potentially span into a neighbouring authority area. Early scoping and feasibility work is underway. This project could also have wider coastal defence benefits which will also include community safeguarding and health and wellbeing goals.
(1) 6.7.32 The onshore works for on and offshore renewable energy development will require considerable pre-application scoping and sequential assessment exercises and pre-application work. Environmental Statements should include impacts and mitigation measures. Community benefit and ownership needs to be considered from the outset.
6.7.33 Development Management and Renewable and Low Carbon Energy
In determining applications for the range of renewable and low carbon energy technologies, CCBC will take into account:
- the contribution a proposal will make to meeting identified Welsh, UK and European targets;
- the contribution to cutting greenhouse gas emissions; and
- the wider environmental, social and economic benefits and opportunities from renewable and low carbon energy development.
6.7.34 CCBC will give significant weight to the Welsh Government's targets to increase renewable and low carbon energy generation, as part of the overall approach to tackling climate change and increasing energy security. In circumstances where protected landscape, biodiversity and historical designations and buildings are considered in the decision making process, only the direct irreversible impacts on statutorily protected sites and buildings and their settings (where appropriate) will be considered. In all cases, considerable weight should be attached to the need to produce more energy from renewable and low carbon sources, in order for Wales to meet its carbon and renewable targets.
6.7.35 The RLDP will identify and require suitable ways to avoid, mitigate or compensate adverse impacts of renewable and low carbon energy development. The construction, operation, decommissioning, remediation and aftercare of proposals should take into account:
- the need to minimise impacts on local communities, such as from noise and air pollution, to safeguard quality of life for existing and future generations;
- the impact on the natural and historic environment;
- cumulative impact;
- the capacity of, and effects on, the transportation network;
- grid connection issues where renewable (electricity) energy developments are proposed; and
- the impacts of climate change on the location, design, build and operation of renewable and low carbon energy development. In doing so, consider whether measures to adapt to climate change impacts give rise to additional impacts.
6.7.36 Renewable Energy Assessment
The REA consists of a high-level strategic assessment of the potential for different scales of renewable and low and zero carbon energy generation in different locations.
6.7.37 This REA constitutes an evidence base informing the RLDP. This enables decisions to be taken based on policies that support and facilitate the deployment of renewable and low and zero carbon energy systems. The REA consists of a high-level strategic assessment of the potential for different scales of renewable and low and zero carbon energy generation in different locations. These policies will come forward through the RLDP.
6.7.38 CCBC has carried out a Renewable Energy Assessment which forms an evidence base for the development of renewable and low carbon energy policies. CCBC has:
- taken into account the contribution the Plan Area can make towards the reduction of carbon emissions and increasing renewable and low carbon energy production;
- recognised that approaches for the deployment of renewable and low carbon energy technologies will vary;
- identified accessible and deliverable renewable energy resource potential for the Plan Area, including heat, and considered the likely utilisation of this resource over the plan period;
- assessed the social, economic, environmental and cultural impacts and opportunities arising from renewable and low carbon energy development;
- taken into account the cumulative impact of renewable and low carbon energy development and their associated infrastructure, including grid connections;
- engaged with the renewable energy development industry and the WG Energy Service to consider the deliverability of schemes; and
- considered local and strategic priorities for renewable energy.
- identify criteria for determining applications for sites based on their installed capacity; and
- take into account issues associated with grid connection and the transportation network.
What is the Preferred Strategy and RLDP seeking to
In the case of no LDP then there would be still be RE and network development in terms of the national-scale schemes and Building Regulations requirements. The Preferred Strategy allows for significant integration with other development and that as a result of the LDP. The benefit of improved integration with other plans and aligned working on timescales and shared goals will ultimately be of wider benefit in achieving better integration of development, sharing costs and more efficient use of resources.
Council-owned land at Gofer will be allocated for 4MW PV solar array.
A Strategic Search Area is designated in line with national guidance as shown on Map 9.
Map 9: Strategic Renewable Energy Map
Minerals and Waste
6.8.1 Strategic Objective 11 (SO11): Contribute to the implementation of the circular economy, manage waste with minimal environmental impacts and ensure the sustainable use of natural resources, including for energy generation and providing an adequate supply of minerals and materials for construction.
(4) Strategic Policy SP/33Minerals
The Council will manage the mineral resources in a sustainable manner which will support the construction economy, whilst safeguarding the natural and built environment by:
- Ensuring that there is sufficient provision of permitted reserves of aggregates to meet local and regional supply needs throughout the duration of the Plan.
- Identifying areas for future hard rock working, including potential extensions at existing quarries, and affording necessary long term protection to prevent unnecessary sterilisation of resources which may be required during and beyond the Plan Period.
- Encouraging the efficient and appropriate use of high quality minerals and supporting proposals for the re-use and recycling of suitable materials as an alternative to primary won aggregates.
- Designating buffer zones around quarries to protect amenity and ensuring that mineral operations are not unduly constrained by other land users.
- Safeguarding sand & gravel and hard rock resources as identified on the proposals map and at existing permitted reserves of hard rock at Penmaenmawr, Raynes (Llysfaen) and St George Quarries.
- Ensuring that minerals workings are appropriately restored at the earliest opportunity to enhance environmental, amenity and community benefits.
(2) 6.8.2 Minerals
Minerals are a finite resource and can only be worked where they occur. Policies will be developed to ensure that the County provides mineral resources in sustainable locations to meet society's needs to promote and support economic growth, investment, housing and infrastructure in a manner which protects the amenity and environment, which meets the wellbeing objectives set out by the Welsh Government, and to ensure that valuable mineral resources are safeguarded for use by future generations.
6.8.3 Delivering the Objective and Strategic Policy
Provision of aggregates - For minerals, the provision for aggregates within individual local authorities, groupings of authorities or regional groupings is guided by the Regional Technical Statement (RTS). This technical statement is currently under review and is due to be published early in 2020. The revised RTS will make recommendations for any apportionments necessary to ensure an adequate supply of crushed rock and sand & gravel aggregates, including the nationally recommended minimum provision of 7 years sand & gravel and 10 years crushed rock as set out in Paragraph 49 of MTAN1, are available for the entire duration of any given LDP, recognising the spatial availability of suitable minerals resources across each local authority area.
6.8.4 At this time there remains a significant landbank of permitted crushed rock aggregate reserves in Conwy which is predicted to last the full RLDP period plus the required 10 years landbank, and in isolation it is considered unlikely that there would be any significant requirement to make additional provision. However, it has to be noted that the emerging RTS is assessing options for sub-regional groupings, and it will set sub-regional apportionments. Collaboration between neighbouring authorities may be required to ensure that provision is made to ensure that the supply of aggregates is maintained to meet any sub-regional apportionment within the sub-regional grouping which may arise. To this end, statements of common ground may need to be prepared between local authorities to establish the principle of collaborative provision of aggregate minerals. It is noted that Sub-regional groupings may potentially include Denbighshire, or Gwynedd, Anglesey, and Snowdonia National Park Authority area, and these authorities have national policy constraints on the working of mineral within National Park and Areas of Outstanding Beauty, and constraints due to the geographic occurrence of minerals.
6.8.5 An absence of commercially viable and unconstrained sand & gravel resources in Conwy, mainly on account of them being located in flood risk areas of the coastal strip and vale of Conwy river plains, or narrow upland stream deposits, means that any provision potentially required of Conwy for sand & gravel is more likely to be met by an apportionment on Gwynedd. A potential shortfall of crushed rock aggregate in Gwynedd may require Conwy to make provision. This will be clarified once the RTS is published and any necessary statements of common ground agreed in the event that an allocation or preferred area for future aggregate mineral workings is required.
6.8.6 The strategic policy will make provision to identify areas for future working which should be afforded particular protection to avoid sterilisation of mineral resources which are likely to be required in future LDP plan periods given that existing reserves are a wasting asset, but are supported by pre-existing infrastructure and have access to sustainable modes of transport such as ship and rail, or otherwise close to the primary arterial highway network of the A55(T) Trans European Expressway.
(2) 6.8.7 Safeguarding minerals - Welsh government requires land containing mineral resources to be safeguarded for use by future generations, an afforded policy protection against development which would unnecessarily sterilise the future working of such minerals. Conwy contains high quality Carboniferous limestone running along the coastal strip from Abergele to The Great Orme in Llandudno, and high quality diorite granites at Penmaenmawr. Minerals within resource categories 1(Primary) and 2 (Secondary) which are the best quality resources will be safeguarded. It is not proposed to safeguard category 3 (Tertiary) resources on account of the large distribution of category 1 and 2 resources. The occurrence of sand and gravel is very limited in Conwy, and is either located along the low lying coastal strip and River Conwy valley and Estuary, or in isolated river valleys and pockets of glacial sand in boulder clay located in upland areas. Due to the small scale or narrow nature of many of these deposits, it is proposed to only safeguard deposits which exceed a defined threshold of size, as realistically the majority of such deposits are too small in scale or too isolated to justify safeguarding.
(1) Strategic Policy SP/34Waste
The Council will facilitate the sustainable management of waste and resource recovery, including the circular economy, to provide environmental, social and economic benefits by:
- The allocation of land suitable for development of waste management facilities for existing and future waste management use.
- Promoting the management of waste and resource recovery in accordance with the waste hierarchy.
- Supporting proposals for in-building waste management and resource recovery facilities in existing and allocated industrial sites which are suitable for the intended use in accordance with a criteria based assessment of suitability.
- Providing for certain types of waste management and recovery facilities which may need to be located outside of settlement limits, such as landfill, some types of recycling and transfer, energy from waste, anaerobic digesters and urban quarry use.
- Promote the circular economy with particular emphasis on minimising the generation of wastes by design.
- Promote sustainable management of waste in new development to minimise the production of waste and to maximise the recovery, reuse and recycling of those wastes which are generated during the lifetime and use of a given development.
There is a step change in the management of waste and the recycling, reuse and minimisation of resources. Targets for recycling are continuing to be revised and world events give an opportunity to develop a circular economy to retain resources which can be recycled or reused to be retained in the Welsh economy. There has been a fundamental move away from landfill up the waste hierarchy and policies are required to continue to promote this.
6.8.9 Delivering the Objective and Strategic Policy
Waste arisings - For Waste, a number of regional monitoring reports have been published which show that local authority collected waste arisings in the County have generally declined since 2008 and recycling rates have generally increased and North Wales local authorities have met national targets set by the Welsh Government. There is growing focus from the Welsh government on improving industrial and commercial sector recycling rates. The main conclusion to date has been that there is no additional need for final residual waste disposal capacity within the region and that any further requirement for residual waste treatment capacity should be carefully considered to ensure that the facility would not result in overprovision.
6.8.10 Regional Waste Facilities - A number of facilities have been developed across Wales in response to this, including Parc Adfer in Deeside, Flintshire, which is an energy from waste plant specifically for the final treatment of residual municipal waste, and the AD facility at Rhuallt, Denbighshire, which accepts household food waste, which are of direct relevance to Conwy. Both facilities have been procured to manage wastes collected by Conwy Council. Parc Adfer also has capacity to manage some commercial and industrial wastes, though the amount that could be managed would depend upon the Partner Authorities' requirements. This reduces the need for final disposal options and meets the requirements for infrastructure facilities for disposal and treatment of waste as set out in the Collections, Infrastructure and Markets Sector Plan.
6.8.11 Local waste sites - Land within the Llanddulas quarry and landfill complex contains a plot which is suitable for a range of waste management uses. This site was allocated in the existing Conwy LDP (2007-2022) and offers the advantage of central convenience, located with good accessibility to the major arterial highway network. Due to the high level of visual screening and containment within a quarry void, the site is suitable for transfer, storage, processing and treatment, and offers scope for the development of an Urban Quarry for construction and demolition wastes. As this is defined as a local site rather than strategic, it will be progressed further at the Deposit RLDP stage.
6.8.12 Processing and treatment facilities for the recycling of waste materials together with a diverse range of waste management activities for the sorting, separation, recycling, reuse, processing and treatment of wastes will require suitable sites. A significant proportion of these are suitable to be located within existing employment land allocations, and a flexible policy approach is to be maintained as per current policy on employment. Criteria should be applied to ensure that waste management facilities do not compromise existing adjacent uses, and employment sites will be identified which are suitable for those waste management uses which are more likely to give rise to amenity conflicts.
6.8.13 Increasing emphasis is being placed on the Circular Economy by the Welsh Government and changes are required to retain the value of end of life resources in Wales which can provide economic, social, environmental and transportation advantages, and whether this is to facilitate ease of recycling and recovery of end of use resources, to design out waste and maximising sustainable use of resources in all development, or provision of suitable locations to aid recycling and re-processing initiatives, policies will be required to promote these objectives.