Conwy Local Development Plan 2007 - 2022

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4. Section Four - Spatial Policies and Supporting Development Management Policies

4.1 DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES

4.1.1 Principles Determining the Location of Development

4.1.1.1 The principles of sustainable development underpin the Conwy LDP. Sustainable development means achieving economic stability and removing social inequalities whilst at the same time protecting and enhancing the environment. The Development Principle Policies aim to ensure that the location, scale and type of development allowed follows sustainable development principles and achieves environmental, economic and social gains for current and future generations of Conwy.


4.1.1.2 It is essential that we promote attractive, high quality, sustainable places where people want to live, work and relax. This chapter, therefore, contains the key principle policies relating to sustainable development and sets out the priority criteria that new development will need to meet, in principle, in achieving sustainable and appropriately located development.


4.1.1.3 Proposals in the Plan Area should seek to promote sustainability by demonstrating that the following criteria set out in Policy DP/1 – ‘Sustainable Development Principles’ have been taken into account.
 

STRATEGIC POLICY DP/1 – SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRINCIPLES

  1. Development will only be permitted where it is demonstrated that it is consistent with the principles of sustainable development. All developments are required to:
  1. Accord with national guidance in line with Policy DP/6 – ‘National Guidance’;
  2. Be consistent with the sequential approach to development as set out in Spatial Policy DP/2 – ‘Overarching Strategic Approach’;
  3. Make efficient and effective use of land, buildings and infrastructure by giving priority to the use of previously developed land in accessible locations, achieve compact forms of development through the use of higher densities and be capable of future adaptation in line with Policy DP/2 and other related policies within the Plan;
  4. Conserve or enhance the quality of buildings, sites and places of historic, archaeological or architectural importance in line with Strategic Policy CTH/1 – ‘Cultural Heritage’;
  5. Conserve or enhance the quality of biodiversity and wildlife habitats, and safeguard protected species in line with Strategic Policy NTE/1 – ‘The Natural Environment’;
  6. Take account of and address the risk of flooding and pollution in the form of noise, lighting, vibration, odour, emissions or dust in line with Policies DP/2 and DP/3 – ‘Promoting Design Quality and Reducing Crime’;
  7. Make efficient and effective use of resources by employing sustainable building techniques, incorporating energy and water conservation measures and, wherever possible, the use of renewable energy, in line with Policy DP/3 and Strategic Policy NTE/1;
  1. Development proposals should also where appropriate:
  1. Provide safe and convenient access by public transport, bicycle and on foot minimising the need to travel by car in line with Policy DP/2 and Strategic Policy STR/1 – ‘Sustainable Transport, Development and Accessibility’;
  2. Include measures to manage traffic and minimise congestion arising in line with Strategic Policy STR/1;
  3. Make provision for infrastructure and other public services made necessary by the development, in line with Policies DP/4 – ‘Development Criteria’, DP/5 – ‘Infrastructure and New Developments’ and the Monitoring and Implementation Plan;
  4. Be designed to a high standard, being attractive, adaptable, accessible, safe and secure as set out in Policy DP/3;
  5. Promote sustainable economic development in line with Strategic Policy EMP/1 – ‘Meeting the Employment Need’;
  6. Conserve or enhance the quality of valued open spaces, the character and quality of local landscapes and the wider countryside in line with Strategic Policies NTE/1 and CFS/1 – ‘Community Facilities and Services’;
  7. Take account and address the potential impact of climate change in line with Strategic Policy NTE/1;
  8. Protect the quality of natural resources including water, air and soil in line with Strategic Policy NTE1;
  9. Reduce waste production and manage waste re-cycling in line with Strategic Policy MWS/1 – ‘Minerals and Waste’.


4.1.1.4 This key policy draws together sustainability issues to ensure that the fundamental principles of sustainable development underpin all development proposals. The issues dealt with are covered in greater detail in the later subject chapters. It also includes references to key sustainability issues of building methods and materials, which will be part of the overall consideration of the development proposal, but are not directly related to the planning system.

4.1.2 Overarching Strategic Approach

4.1.2.1 Spatial Objectives

SO1, SO3, SO4, SO7.
 

Policy DP/2 – OVERARCHING STRATEGIC APPROACH

Development will be located in accordance with the overarching strategic approach set out below:

Urban Areas
Abergele/Pensarn, Colwyn Bay (inclusive of Rhos-on-Sea and Old Colwyn), Conwy, Deganwy/Llanrhos, Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Llanfairfechan, Llanrwst, Mochdre, Penmaenmawr, Penrhyn Bay/Penrhynside and Towyn/Kinmel Bay.

Most new development will take place within, and on the fringe of, these urban areas. Over the Plan period approximately 85% of the housing and 85% of employment (B1, B2 & B8) development (through completions, commitments, windfall and new allocations) will be located primarily within, and on the fringe of, the urban areas to reflect the spatial priorities of contributing to the creation of sustainable communities.
Urban Areas will be key in the provision of a combination of market and Affordable Housing for Local Need (AHLN) on both allocated sites and windfall sites. Settlement boundaries will be amended to reflect the proposed development. AHLN will also be permitted on exception sites adjoining Llanrwst.

Main Villages
Tier 1:
Llanddulas, Dwygyfylchi*, Llysfaen, Glan Conwy

Tier 2:
Betws-yn-Rhos, Cerrigydrudion, Dolgarrog*, Eglwysbach, Llanfair Talhaiarn, Llangernyw, Llansannan, Tal-y-Bont*/Castell and Trefriw*

The scale of proposed future development will reflect the settlements’ needs in terms of the size and function and their physical and functional relationships with the urban areas. Main Villages provide a service function for the Minor Villages and Hamlets and this will be maintained and further developed to meet the needs of these communities. Over the Plan period, approximately 15% of the housing and 15% of the employment (B1, B2 & B8) development will be accommodated within Main Villages, Minor Villages and Hamlets, but primarily in the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Main Villages and delivered through completions, commitments, windfall and new allocations.

Tier 1 Main Villages will provide a combination of market value and AHLN and Tier 2 Villages will seek to provide 100% AHLN only on both allocated sites and windfall sites within the confinements of the settlement boundaries. To provide an element of flexibility, market dwellings will be permitted in exceptional circumstances on allocated sites and windfall sites within the Tier 2 Villages as a means to deliver affordable housing on-site, subject only to financial viability testing. Such development will be of a smaller scale than that permitted in the Urban Areas. No further development will be permitted outside settlement boundaries, except for 100% small scale AHLN on exception sites to meet identified need in line with Policy HOU/6 – ‘Exception Sites for Affordable Housing for Local Need’ and in exceptional circumstances to meet employment needs in line with Policy EMP/3 – ‘New B1, B2 & B8 Office and Industrial Development on Non-Allocated Sites’;

Minor Villages
Bryn Pydew, Glanwydden, Groes, Henryd, Llanbedr-y-Cennin*, Llanddoged, Llanelian, Llangwm, Llannefydd, Pentrefelin, Pentrefoelas, Rhyd-y-Foel, Rowen*, St George, Tal-y-Cafn and Tyn-y-Groes

Limited development will take place in the Minor Villages to protect the character of the area, and contribute to the creation of sustainable communities. Over the Plan period, no market housing sites or employment sites will be allocated, neither will the settlement boundaries be drawn around the Minor Villages. In line with Policy HOU/2, the Minor Villages will seek to deliver 100% AHLN only on windfall sites within the confinements of the settlement or where single or small groups of new dwelling estates (up to 5 dwellings) represent a form of infilling and relates physically and visually to the settlement. To provide an element of flexibility, market dwellings will be permitted in exceptional circumstances on windfall sites within the confinements of the settlement as a means to deliver affordable housing on-site, subject only to financial viability testing. Small scale 100% AHLN exception sites may be permitted outside, on the fringe of, the main settlement confinements, where it meets local need in line with Policy HOU/6.

In exceptional circumstances new B1, B2 & B8 employment development will be permitted in line with Policy EMP/3.

Hamlets
Bodtegwel, Bryn-y-Maen, Bryn Rhyd-y-Arian, Brymbo, Bylchau, Cefn Berain, Cefn Brith, Capelulo*, Dinmael, Glan Rhyd, Glasfryn, Groesffordd, Gwytherin, Hendre, Llanfihangel GM, Maerdy, Melin y Coed, Nebo*, Pandy Tudur, Pentre Isa, Pentre-llyn-cymmer, Pentre Tafarn-y-Fedw, Rhydlydan and Tan-y-Fron

Over the Plan period, there will be no allocations for development within the Hamlets. Development will only be permitted in exceptional circumstances. An exception will be where development would provide single AHLN or employment opportunities in acceptable and sustainable locations.

* Falls partly within the Snowdonia National Park


4.1.2.2 The Overarching Strategic Approach defines the framework for the location of development. This is necessary to ensure that the countryside is protected from gradual encroachment on the edges of villages and to help guard against incremental growth in unsustainable locations. However, the efficient re-use of previously developed land within development frameworks will generally be supported, subject to the satisfaction of relevant policies, in the interests of sustainability. Frameworks have been defined to take into account the present extent of the built-up area, development committed by planning permissions and other proposals included in the LDP.


4.1.2.3 To contribute to achieving the priority issues of protecting the natural and built environment and providing land to meet AHLN, the Council is promoting a level of development over the Plan period which looks to play a part in delivering these priority issues. In tackling these issues facing Conwy, development will be focussed in the most sustainable locations, in line with Policy DP/2 – ‘Overarching Strategic Approach’ in the Urban Development Strategy Areas of Abergele, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno and Llandudno Junction.

4.1.3 Promoting Design Quality and Reduction of Crime

4.1.3.1 Spatial Objectives

SO10, SO11, SO14.
 

Policy DP/3 – PROMOTING DESIGN QUALITY AND REDUCING CRIME

  1. All new development will be of high quality, sustainable design which provides usable, safe, durable and adaptable places, and protects local character and distinctiveness of the Plan Area’s built historic and natural environment. The Council will require development to:
  1. Be appropriate to, and enhance, its locality in terms of form, scale, massing, elevation detail and use of materials;
  2. Meet the Council’s approved standards of open space provision and parking;
  3. Meet required standards of accessibility, having suitable regard to the needs of people of different ages and abilities in the design of the proposal;
  4. Have regard to the impact on adjacent properties and areas and habitats supporting protected species;
  5. Have regard to appropriate orientation, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in design, layout, materials and technology in accordance with NTE/6 – ‘Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies in New Development’;
  6. Provide sustainable urban drainage systems to limit waste water and water pollution and reduce flood risk in line with national guidance and Policy NTE/8 – ‘Sustainable Drainage Systems’.
  1. The Council will also seek, where appropriate, to:
  1. Enhance the local character of buildings, heritage and open spaces;
  2. Provide for a compatible mix of uses, particularly in town and village centres;
  3. Incorporate landscaping within and around the development appropriate to the scale and impact of the development;
  4. Integrate with existing routes to provide linked up places connecting with the wider area, in particular public facilities and green transport routes;
  5. Provide developments that offer transport alternatives and promote walking, cycling and use of public transport;
  6. Create safe places through the adoption of ‘designing-out-crime’ principles to provide natural surveillance, visibility, and well lit environments and areas of public movement;
  7. Secure the retention and enhancement of features of biodiversity;
  8. Incorporate areas and facilities for waste management, rainwater harvesting/storage, grey water reuse and recycling;
  9. Have regard to the Authority’s Road Adoption Guidelines in road design.
  1. The Council will seek the contribution of an agreed percentage of the total development costs for the provision or commissioning of publicly accessible art or design improvement works in accordance with DP/5 – ‘Infrastructure and New Developments’ where appropriate to its location and viability.


4.1.3.2 Any development, from an urban extension to an extension to an existing household, must respond to its context, including existing buildings, open spaces and village edges, and ensure an integrated scheme that does not harm local amenity and, wherever possible, brings benefits to the area. High quality design is a priority issue for the Council to encourage the younger population to remain and return to the area to work and live. Sustainable development can be achieved where attractive and functional places are created that have substantial benefits for the development itself, the residents, the environment and community. Minimum requirements for accessibility to buildings are included in Approved document Part M of the Building Regulations and assessed separately from the Planning system; however the Council will look favourably on proposals that seek to provide higher levels of accessibility than are required. Poorly designed developments are unacceptable; they can reduce the perception of safety, increase crime, discourage recycling, increase energy consumption and discourage residents from exercising and using local open spaces. To assist good design, a Householder Design SPG has been prepared and a Design SPG will be prepared in line with the monitoring section to support Policy DP/3.


4.1.3.3 All new buildings should be of high quality, sustainable design and must respect and enhance their surroundings without harming local amenity. They should protect and enhance local distinctiveness and character. They should be of an appropriate scale, design and materials which are appropriate to their location including landscaping. Public art may make a significant contribution to enhancing local character and identity, and will be supported where appropriate in accordance with DP/4 – ‘Development Criteria’ and the supporting Planning Obligations SPG.

4.1.4 Development Criteria

4.1.4.1 Spatial Objectives

SO1, SO13.
 

Policy DP/4 – DEVELOPMENT CRITERIA

  1. Development proposals, where appropriate and in accordance with the policies of the Plan and the Council’s Standards, should provide the following:
  1. Affordable Housing for Local Need;
  2. Safe access from the highway network and enhancement of public transport, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure;
  3. Car parking;
  4. Safe and secure cycle parking;
  5. Open Space;
  6. Safe and convenient access for all to public buildings and spaces, including those with limited mobility or those with other impairments such as of sight or hearing;
  7. Screened storage of refuse, including recyclable materials;
  8. A design and layout that minimises opportunities for crime;
  9. Financial contributions towards the provision and maintenance of infrastructure, services and facilities required by the development.
  1. Planning permission will not be granted where the proposed development would have an unacceptable adverse impact:
  1. On residential amenity;
  2. From traffic generated;
  3. On archaeological interests and the built form;
  4. On the Welsh language;
  5. On environmental conditions arising from noise, lighting, vibration, odour, noxious emissions or dust;
  6. On ecological and wildlife interests and landscape character;
  7. On flooding and flood risk;
  8. On the best and most versatile agricultural land;
  9. On quality of ground or surface water;
  10. On essential community facilities.

4.1.4.2 It is important that development proposals make proper provision to meet the needs generated. Read together with Policies DP/1 and DP/3 on ‘Sustainable Development Principles’ and ‘Promoting Design Quality and Reducing Crime’ respectively, this policy provides a check-list for developers to help ensure that all requirements are met. To avoid an overly lengthy and complex policy, many of the criteria cross-refer to other policies in the Plan, which provide the full detail.

4.1.5 Infrastructure and Development

4.1.5.1 Spatial Objective

SO13.
 

Policy DP/5 – INFRASTRUCTURE AND NEW DEVELOPMENTS

All new development, where appropriate will be expected to make adequate contributions towards new infrastructure to meet the additional social, economic, physical and/or environmental infrastructure requirements arising from the development or future maintenance and upkeep of facilities. Contributions will be sought in line with the Council’s priorities.

4.1.5.2 Proposals for development in Conwy will be supported which have made suitable arrangements for the improvement or provision of on-site and off-site infrastructure, services and facilities made necessary by the development and for their future maintenance.


4.1.5.3 It is important that provision is made for additional infrastructure, services and facilities resulting from new development and for their future maintenance, as well as for suitable access, parking, drainage, design, renewable energy and landscaping within the site. All new development contributes to demands on existing infrastructure, community facilities and public services. Developers will, therefore, be expected to contribute towards the necessary improvements or new provision to serve needs arising from their development. Development should not take place before the infrastructure needed by its occupants is in place. Development will only be permitted when agreement has been reached between the relevant parties on the funding and programmed implementation of required on-site and off-site provision as set out in the Planning Obligations SPG. However, it is apparent that some sites experience considerable constraints which could have an impact on the deliverability of a site financially. In these cases, a degree of flexibility will be applied. 


4.1.5.4 The contributions will be sought in line with priority mechanisms set out in the Planning Obligations SPG.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

4.1.5.5 The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a voluntary mechanism that allows local authorities in England and Wales to levy a standard charge on most types of new development, to fund the infrastructure needed to support development in their area. 4.1.5.6

The regime for this new charge now allows local authorities to impose charges upon most new development via CIL. The CIL has been the subject of lengthy consultations. In essence, CIL has been designed to replace the current system of planning obligations. However, the Government has set out transitional rules for a period of 4 years from 6th April 2010, following which Local Authorities may not seek contributions for pooled resources, for example play-space contributions, via Section 106 agreements. It is the intention of the current Plan to secure contributions via Section 106 Agreements until work begins on the CIL (potentially early 2013). The LDP policy and any related SPG provided in the interim will be monitored annually through the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) and amended where required.

4.1.6 National Planning Policy and Guidance

4.1.6.1 Spatial Objectives

Inclusive of all Spatial Objectives - SO1 to SO16
 

Policy DP/6 – NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY AND GUIDANCE

Development proposals must comply with national planning policy and guidance.

4.1.6.2 The Welsh Government’s national land use planning policies are set out in Planning Policy Wales and Minerals Planning Policy Wales supplemented by Technical Advice Notes and Circulars and by Ministerial Interim Planning Policy Statements. Authorities in Wales must have regard to national policy, including the Wales Spatial Plan, in the preparation of LDPs. 


4.1.6.3 A thorough scoping exercise has been undertaken of all national guidance as set out in BP/1 – ‘Related Plans and Strategies’ to understand areas of repetition. However, to provide the user of the Conwy Revised Deposit LDP with the relevant national guidance related to certain planning applications, the Council will provide regular updates on the public website and provide guidance notes.


4.1.6.4 Policy DP/6 subjects all planning applications to up-to-date planning guidance to avoid unnecessary repetition throughout the LDP.

4.1.7 Masterplans and Community Appraisals

4.1.7.1 Spatial Objectives

SO2, SO5, SO6, SO8.

Policy DP/7 – MASTERPLANS AND COMMUNITY APPRAISALS

Land use proposals resulting from Masterplans, Community Appraisals, or similar, will be supported where they:

  1. Relate to the Strategic Objectives of the Plan;
  2. Have regard to national policy, the Wales Spatial Plan and the Community Strategy;
  3. Can be developed and supported by evidence base of need;
  4. Are supported by Strategic Environmental Assessment/Sustainability Appraisal, where appropriate;
  5. Are realistic, viable and can demonstrate deliverability through supplementary evidence;
  6. Are prepared in consultation with the public and relevant stakeholders;
  7. Conform with other related policies within the Plan.

4.1.7.2 The overarching aim of Masterplanning is to achieve sustainable places. This process identifies the need for consideration of site planning, community integration, sustainable transport, ecology and landscaping. There is also a recognised need to raise the quality of design for new developments in the Plan Area, from strategic sites and significant areas of change to some smaller individual sites.


4.1.7.3 There are a number of such schemes in progress including Masterplans for Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction and Llanrwst which have been progressing in accordance with specific and separate briefs and are all at different stages. A further Abergele Materplan is proposed to not only provide the strategic direction for the proposed developments set out in this Plan, but to further understand the wider implications and improvement measures associated with the development. The LDP will support those aspects of the masterplans which meet Policy DP/7.


4.1.7.4 The majority of masterplans will be Council-led, however, developers or community groups may wish to undertake similar exercises to inform wider development proposals. In both instances there will be two main aims: to “regenerate town centres and villages and rejuvenate run-down or underused areas” and to “protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment”. Any proposals requiring planning permission will be considered against the Development Principles and other policies in the plan.
 

Policy DP/8 – COLWYN BAY URBAN REGENERATION MASTERPLAN

Regeneration proposals in Colwyn Bay will be concentrated within the Colwyn Bay Masterplan (CBMP) area as shown on the proposals map. Key Proposals and interventions will be supported which assist the following Colwyn Bay urban regeneration objectives:

  1. Creates the conditions for investment and economic growth and improved social activity;
  2. Provides for new housing in line with Strategic Policy HOU/1 – ‘Meeting the Housing Need’;
  3. Increases connectivity to the waterfront, east-west links between the town centre, East Colwyn and Eirias Park and along Abergele Road in line with Strategic Policy STR/1;
  4. Provides for new town centre retail and commercial development in line with Strategic Policies CFS/1 and STR/1;
  5. Enhances the opportunity provided at Eirias Park by the new Events Centre and Rugby Academy with further clustering of the sports facilities to the southern boundary;
  6. Contributes to buildings and structures with local or national heritage importance through sympathetic enhancement or conservation proposals;
  7. Provides for improved development of the waterfront to include coastal defence works and the enhancement of the area as a tourism and leisure facility/attraction;
  8. Provides for improved development of the Bay View Shopping Centre and its connectivity with the surrounding town centre in line with Strategic Policies CFS/1 and STR/1;
  9. Creates a new focus for the town centre;
  10. Improves vehicle movement and public transport access to and within the town, including a new integrated transport hub at the Station Square and realigned highways and new public realm in line with Strategic Policy STR/1.

4.1.7.5 In 2008, the Welsh Government (WG) launched the Strategic Regeneration Area Initiative (SRA) to regenerate coastal communities in Conwy and Denbighshire. The Council are working in partnership with WG to promote the comprehensive regeneration of coastal communities, broaden economic activity, address social exclusion and reduce deprivation. As part of this regeneration initiative, a multi-disciplinary team of consultants has been appointed to prepare a Masterplan for Colwyn Bay to promote the sustainable regeneration of the area to 2025. 


4.1.7.6 The urban regeneration of Colwyn Bay is not about radical redevelopment. The objectives will be achieved through changing and enhancing the spatial experience of the town and link its assets together. This will be achieved via key themes and spatial objectives.


4.1.7.7 Allocating land in the Urban Development Strategy Area and, in particular, housing allocations within Colwyn Bay, will improve and support the objectives of the Colwyn Bay Masterplan and other settlements in the coastal zone which are supported by the SRA. The Colwyn Bay Masterplan forms Supplementary Planning Guidance, which consists of the final report produced by DPP Shape and supported by evidence set out in BP/23 – ‘Colwyn Bay Master Plan Baseline Report’.

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