Aylesbury Vale District Council has published its draft Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP). The draft Plan is open for public consultation between 7 July 2016 and 5 September 2016.
The Council had previously submitted an earlier draft local plan for examination, however this was withdrawn in February 2014.
Timescale for the VALP:
The draft VALP sets out areas where development could take place within the district, as the Council plan for up to 33,300 new homes by 2033.
The Council anticipates that this Plan could be adopted as early as summer 2017, although this appears optimistic given that they are at an early stage in the process; they still need to produce a submission version of the Plan for consultation and then proceed to the formal examination stage by the Planning Inspectorate.
VALP and the NPPF:
The VALP may prove to be controversial as a number of policies appear to be at odds with the spirit of the NPPF. Most notably:
- The Council’s draft policy for development in towns and large and medium sized villages appears to only allow new development where it has been allocated in the local plan or a neighbourhood plan. The exception to this is when the allocated sites are not being delivered against the anticipated delivery rates. Such an approach creates a block to new windfall sites and goes against the principles of sustainable development in the NPPF.
- The Council also appears to be setting maximum housing targets as opposed to the widely accepted minimum targets. Again this goes against the NPPF principles which seek to promote housing growth.
- The Council does introduce a draft self-build policy, however this policy also has its limitations as it only allows self-build schemes as part of large scale projects. It does not make any allowance for any small scale bespoke self-build projects.
One positive policy is the allowance of small scale housing within or adjacent to small villages, where it would contribute to the sustainability of that village. This could open opportunities for a number of high quality edge of village schemes.
Get involved – lack of 5 year housing land supply and windfall sites:
Whilst the Council is going through the local plan process, they have accepted that they cannot demonstrate a 5-year housing land supply.
This presents a window of opportunity for a number of windfall developments in 2016/17.
Throughout the local plan consultation process there will be opportunities to put sites forward, it is always better to become involved as early as possible.
When promoting sites for potential inclusion as a site allocation or as a windfall site, the key to success will be to demonstrate that the site constitutes sustainable development and supports the development needs of an area.
Plainview Planning add value by:
- assessing the credentials of your site in line with emerging local policy and established national policy;
- coordinating your promotion efforts to make sure that the Council is provided with persuasive documentation about your site;
- we ensure that the right groups are lobbied at the right time to maximise chances of inclusion;
- we monitor the status of Local Development Frameworks throughout the country and are well placed to guide you through the administrative and political process;
- we can provide professional expertise and funding to effectively promote your land and our services can be provided on a joint-venture basis.
If you have land which may be suitable for development in the area then contact a member of our land promotion team, who can explore the best route forward. You can learn more here.
You can contact our knowledgeable team via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01242 501003. We look forward to helping you.
Image Source: Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan draft