In the absence of upto date Local Plans – Canvey Green Belt should not be the Scape Goat!

In the light of  the Jotmans Farm, Glebelands Appeals and the “timely” Persimmons Application for development on the Canvey Dutch Village fields, no doubt the state of the Castle Point Local Plan will face close scrutiny!

Nero fiddles, while Rome burns.

Nero fiddles, while Rome burns.

The Adopted Castle point Local Plan dates back to 1998 and is therefore considered out of date. Hopefully the resumption of the Task and Finish group work on the Consultation Responses (?) will be enough to convince Planning Inspectors that a new Local Plan is progressing.

An issue arising from the 1998 Local Plan is that Housing Need is not covered, and would be truly out of date if it were. The obvious issue during Appeals will be what the housing need number is and where best should it be sited.

I would assume that our MP’s performance during the last General Election would have been noted  and accordingly her status raised at government level. In mind is the response from the Government Minister regarding clarification of the Green Belt protection.

Whilst development is decided by the Secretary of State perhaps we can expect no change from the usual approach, unless new evidence is produced at Appeal.

Therefore Canvey Island residents must be mindful that the CPBC Development Committee, and those considering altering Green Belt Boundaries through the Local Plan process, do not alter their approach towards development applications when dealing with the East of Canvey Road Dutch Village development!

To assist those Development committee members and those considering  relaxing the Canvey Green Belt Boundaries we bring to your attention some guidance taken from the NPPF Impact Assessment;

In the absence of up-to-date Local Plans, the National Planning Policy Framework provides a clear policy steer for investors and planning decisions, so that some of the benefits of reducing delays and uncertainty may be realised even if an up-to-date plan were not to be adopted by a council.

The Framework provides explicit policy support for sustainable development. The policies in the Framework will encourage communities to plan positively for locally appropriate sustainable development.

The emphasis on up-to-date Local Plans as the basis for decisions is expected to bring about more positive attitudes towards sustainable development as communities realise they can help determine what form sustainable development takes, giving local people greater reason to engage with the planning system.

The Framework will promote sustainable development. For development to be sustainable, any risk of localised flooding will need to be avoided or mitigated. As well as damage to property,flooding can also result in loss of habitat, and the location of development is therefore critical in flood mitigation.

Where locations are identified as being of high flood risk, appropriate mitigation measures must put in place e.g. layout, flood resistant and resilient design, flood defences, robust infrastructure/drainage and utility provision. Local councils also have a duty to ensure that new development does not increase flood risk elsewhere.

The Flood WaterManagement Act 2010 sets out new legal requirements for surface water drainage to ensurethat Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems are used in new developments and redevelopments wherever reasonably possible and that these operate effectively once they are built.

The Flood Risk Regulations 2009 places a duty on the Environment Agency and lead local flood authorities to take steps to identify and prepare for significant flood risk.


One response to “In the absence of upto date Local Plans – Canvey Green Belt should not be the Scape Goat!

  1. We all need to look out for these Policy changes identified within the NPPF Impact Assessment

    “Core Green Belt protection will remain in place. Four minor changes to the detail of current policy are proposed in order to resolve technical issues relating to current policy.
    These changes do not harm the key purpose of the Green Belt, as in all cases the test to preserve the openness and purposes of including land in the Green Belt will be maintained.
    These changes are:
    i. Development on previously-developed Green Belt land is already permissible if the site is identified in the Local Plan as a major developed site – it is proposed to extend this policy to similar previously-developed sites not already identified in a Local Plan;
    ii. Park and Ride schemes are already permissible – it is proposed to extend this to a wider range of local transport infrastructure;
    iii. Community Right to Build schemes will be permissible if backed by the local community.
    iv. The alteration or replacement of dwellings is already permissible – it is proposed to extend this to include all buildings.
    Problem under consideration/rationale for intervention
    In a few technical instances current policy is restrictive, which has made it difficult for councils to consider development opportunities that could bring social, economic and environmental benefits to their communities, even if they cause no harm to the purpose of the Green Belt.
    i. Current policy restricts the infill/redevelopment of major developed sites to those only identified in the Local Plan. This makes it difficult for the redevelopment of previously developed sites in the Green Belt, which are not identified in the Local Plan, to come forward.
    This can lead to the loss of potential economic, environmental and social benefits.
    The decision-making process in this type of case clearly has to be weighed up, taking account of the need to protect the openness and purposes of Green Belt land.
    The change proposed would allow the infilling/redevelopment of previously-developed sites to be considered without the need for the site to be identified in the Local Plan.
    The rationale for allowing the consideration of development on previously-developed sites is that the sites, by definition, have already been developed and the impact on the openness and purposes of the Green Belt has already been established. By allowing development which does not create a greater impact than the existing development, there could be additional economic,
    social and environmental benefits, including housing, transport, commercial, employment and decontaminating land without damaging the principles or protection of the Green Belt.”

    This effectively means that previously granted inappropriate development or incremental development on green belt will put at risk green belt sites.
    Alternatively it could allow for the opportunity to select a site that would protect preferred sites or make inappropriately selected sites on flood risk locations to be no longer justified on the basis of need.

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