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Executive Summary

Introduction

View Comments (3) 1.1 The Isle of Anglesey County Council and Gwynedd Council (the Councils) are required, by law, to prepare local development plans. The Councils have decided to work together to prepare the Anglesey and Gwynedd Joint Local Development Plan (the Plan). This Plan sets out the land use planning policy framework over a 15 years period (2011 - 2026). It covers the Anglesey and the Gwynedd Local Planning Authority areas (the Plan area) - see map 1 in Chapter 2.

View Comments (4) 1.2 Once the Plan is adopted it will provide the starting point for when the Isle of Anglesey County Council and Gwynedd Council (the Councils) consider planning applications. The Plan sets out how the Councils will provide for homes, jobs, the environment, and infrastructure. As a snapshot, the Plan sets out:

  • How the Councils will support centres, villages and clusters (of housing) by distributing development across the Plan area;
  • How the Councils will seek to promote development that incorporate sustainable development principles;
  • How the Councils will alleviate and adapt to the effects of climate change;
  • How the Councils will promote economic growth, employment and enterprise;
  • How the Councils will promote the Plan area's tourism potential;
  • How the Councils will ensure our town centres are kept vibrant;
  • How much land the Councils consider is needed to meet the needs for employment development i.e. new businesses and the expansion of existing businesses, including the requirements associated with constructing Wylfa Newydd;
  • How many homes the Councils consider are needed to meet the needs of the Plan area, over the Plan period 2011 - 2026;
  • How many affordable homes the Councils consider can be delivered by applying the affordable housing policies included in the Plan;
  • How the Councils will deal with making provision for Gypsy and Traveller accommodation;
  • How the Councils will protect and enhance the natural and historic environments that make the Plan area so special.

View Comments (3) 1.3 The Plan has undergone previous rounds of public engagement and consultation and throughout the process it has been adjusted based on comments and background evidence and assessments which have been prepared to ensure that the Plan is 'sound'.

The Plan Preparation Process

View Comments (1) 1.4 The next figure sets out the Plan preparation process:

Figure 1: Plan Preparation Process

(for illustation purposes)

What's happening now?

View Comments (1) 1.5 The Councils are seeking your views on the soundness of the Deposit Plan. This is a full draft of the Joint Local Development Plan.

No Comments 1.6 The Deposit Plan is made up of two documents, which together will provide the framework for managing development and addressing the main planning issues in the Plan area to 2026. This consultation is on:

i. Written Statement - the main document of the Deposit Plan, identifying how much and what type of development will occur in different towns, villages and clusters, as well as providing strategic and detailed planning policies that will be used to make decisions on planning applications.

ii. Proposals Maps Documents - allocates specific sites for development (e.g. housing, retail, or employment) or protection (e.g. open space) that will help to deliver the policies in the Written Statement. All sites are shown on General Proposals Map or on Inset Maps. An online Constraints Map shows the geographic location and extent of designated areas created by legislation or processes outside the development plan process (e.g. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

No Comments 1.7 Following this consultation and consideration of the comments, the Plan will be finalised and will be submitted to the Welsh Government for a public Examination by an independent Planning Inspector. Providing the Planning Inspector finds that the Plan is 'sound' the Councils can adopt it and it will be used to help determine planning applications.

How to comment

No Comments 1.8 This executive summary is intended to give you an overview of the policies that are included in the Plan. However, in order for your comments to be accepted you must relate them to the full Plan document.

View Comments (1) 1.9 At this stage it is really important that comments:

i. are set out clearly;
ii. are supported by evidence;
iii. state why the Deposit Plan isn't 'sound'.

No Comments 1.10 Please ensure that your comments are submitted through either the online consultation portal or on a Deposit Plan comment form by 5pm on 31st March 2015.

View Comments (1) 1.11 You must complete a separate representation form for each separate representation.

No Comments 1.12 Any comments submitted in a different format or received after the consultation period will not be considered.

View Comments (3) 1.13 You can make comments either online, by email or post. The quickest way to send comments is to use our online consultation portal.

No Comments 1.14 If you think a change should be made to the Plan you should make it clear specifically what this change should be, having regard to the issues of soundness. You should support your comments by evidence showing why the Plan should be changed. It will be helpful if you also say as precisely as possible how you think the Plan should be changed.

No Comments 1.15 You may suggest alternative sites or boundaries to be considered ('site allocation representation). These would need to fit in with the proposed strategy in the Plan and be tested by you using the Sustainability Appraisal Framework.

No Comments 1.16 The Councils will consider all of the comments submitted through the online consultation portal or the Deposit Plan comments form. Your comments will be passed to the Inspector to consider at Examination to allow them to make a decision as to whether the Plan is 'sound'.

What is 'soundness'?

View Comments (2) 1.17 The Examination ensures that the Plan is based on sound information and thinking and that the views of those with concerns about the Plan have been considered. There are 10 criteria for assessing soundness which fall into three categories: procedural, consistency, coherence and effectiveness). They are:

Procedural Tests
P1: it has been prepared in accordance with the Delivery Agreement including the Community Involvement Strategy


P2: the plan and its policies have been subjected to sustainability appraisal including strategic environmental assessment


Consistency Tests
C1: it is a land use plan which has regard to other relevant plans, policies and strategies relating to the area or to adjoining areas

C2: it has regard to national policy

C3: it has regard to the Wales Spatial Plan

C4: it has regard to the relevant community strategy/ies

Coherence & Effectiveness Tests
CE1: the plan sets out a coherent strategy from which its policies and allocations logically flow and, where cross boundary issues are relevant, it is compatible with the development plans prepared by neighbouring authorities


CE2: the strategy, policies and allocations are realistic and appropriate having considered the relevant alternatives and are founded on a robust evidence base

CE3: there are clear mechanisms for implementation and monitoring

CE4: it is reasonably flexible to enable it to deal with changing circumstances

Where to view the Plan and make comments

No Comments 1.18 Here's a list of places where you can view the Plan:

  1. Come along to a Plan Consultation event to find out more and fill in a comment form;
  2. Visit www.gwynedd.gov.uk/ldp or www.anglesey.gov.uk/ldp to view the Plan and use the online consultation portal to make comments or fill out a form;
  3. Visit your local public library in Gwynedd or Anglesey; Siop Gwynedd (Caernarfon, Dolgellau, Pwllheli); Joint Planning Policy Unit (1st Floor Bangor City Council Offices, Ffordd Gwynedd, Bangor LL57 1DT); Isle of Anglesey County Council Offices, Planning Department, Llangefni to view the Plan and pick up a comment form.

No Comments 1.19 Hard copies of the Plan can be provided on request for a fee (to cover printing and postage costs) and CDs are available free of charge.

The Written Statement

View Comments (1) 1.20 The Written Statement sets out the main issues in the Plan area that the land use planning system can influence. For example, it identifies that new homes are required to meet the requirements of a growing local population; affordable housing is needed for those that cannot afford to purchase or rent a home on the open market; residents require good access to services and facilities; there is a need to support and encourage the growth of businesses in towns and villages as well as in the countryside in response to opportunities linked to constructing Wylfa Newydd as well as other sectors that can thrive in the Plan area; there is a need to facilitate development that will contribute to maintaining and strengthening the Welsh language and culture; and, it is important to protect the Plan area's high quality landscape.

No Comments 1.21 It also sets out a Vision for how the Plan area will look by 2026 and includes concise place statements outlining how the larger Centres will have changed as well as the supporting Centres and villages in the Plan area. From the Vision, the Plan sets out a series of Strategic Objectives under 5 Themes, which help provide a direction to the series of Strategic and Detailed Policies. These Policies will be used to guide new development and determine planning applications. The policies are set out in Chapter 7 of the Written Statement.

The Proposals Map Document

View Comments (1) 1.22 The second part of the Plan is the Proposals Map Document, which is set out over two volumes. One covers the Isle of Anglesey, whilst the second covers the Gwynedd Local Planning Authority area. This document shows (allocated or safeguarded) sites that we are proposing or safeguarding for future development and sites that should be protected from development. Inset Maps are used to provide more detail at a settlement level. No housing allocations are proposed in the Local/ Rural/ Coastal Villages and Clusters, but an Inset Map has been prepared for each one to show the proposed development limit, using a development boundary or by highlighting the core of each Cluster, as well as any other relevant designation.

No Comments 1.23 Every site that is allocated for housing has been assessed against a Site Assessment Methodology to identify whether the site might be suitable for development or whether there are any constraints to development (such as flood risk). The Methodology includes a series of questions covering topics such as flood risk, landscape character, infrastructure capacity and biodiversity considerations. The Methodology is aligned with the Sustainability Appraisal Framework and the Welsh Language Impact Assessment of the Plan. These site assessments have meant that the most sustainable sites in a settlement have been identified for allocation. Copies of the assessments and Methodologies are available to view on the Councils' websites.

No Comments 1.24 The Inset Maps also identify the development boundaries and other designations, such as employment sites, town centres, primary shopping areas, that might be relevant in considering new proposals in the Sub-regional Centre, Urban Service Centres, Local Service Centres, Service Villages, Local/ Rural/ Coastal Villages and Clusters.

No Comments 1.25 Other designations are shown on-line on the Constraints Maps. Constraints Maps show the geographical location and extent of constraints to development that are created by legislation or process outside the development plan. For example, it identifies the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and areas at risk of flooding. The Constraints Maps collate information that already exists in documents and /or other websites and it can be readily updated.

The Spatial Strategy

View Comments (6) 1.26 The Spatial Strategy sets out a Settlement Hierarchy, which lists those towns, villages and clusters where most new development will take place. Policies also allow for limited development to occur in the countryside. The Settlement Hierarchy is shown in the following table:

Table 1: The Settlement Hierarchy

CATEGORY

WHICH SETTLEMENTS

(in alphabetical order)

FUNCTION

Sub-Regional Centre

Bangor

The city has a sub-regional role and a role for the Plan area and a more local role. It plays a cross-boundary and local role in terms of employment, education, health and leisure opportunities. It is a retail centre not only for its own population but also for a wider area.

Urban Service Centre

Amlwch, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Caergybi, Llangefni, Porthmadog a Phwllheli

These have a sub-county role in terms of providing a wide range of services and facilities for their own population and parts of the counties. Some, i.e. Holyhead, Llangefni and Caernarfon also have a function for their counties.


Local Service Centre

Abersoch, Abermaw, Bethesda, Biwmares, Benllech, Bodedern, Cemaes, Criccieth, Gaerwen, Llanberis, Llanfairpwll, Llanrug, Porthaethwy, Nefyn, Penrhyndeudraeth, Penygroes, Pentraeth, Rhosneigr, Tywyn, Y Fali.

These are recognized as centres for facilities and services meeting the needs of their own populations and their direct catchment areas. They have some employment and retail opportunities and very good links with either an Urban Service Centre or the Sub-Regional Centre, whichever is nearest.

Service Villages

Bethel, Bontnewydd, Botwnnog, Chwilog, Deiniolen, Gwalchmai, Llannerch-y-medd, Niwbwrch, Rachub, Tremadog, Y Ffôr.

They contain a number of local facilities and services, which include at least one key service or facility. They are obviously able to meet the day to day needs of households within them and in their area.

Local / Rural / Coastal

Villages

Too numerous to list here

see list at beginning of Appendix 3 to the Plan

There are generally fewer services and facilities offered within them, which means they have less influence. Some Coastal Villages have comparatively more services and facilities, but the existence of a higher proportion of holiday homes or second homes means there is a need to control further change in them.

Clusters

Too numerous to list here

see list at beginning of Appendix 3 to the Plan

Settlements with at least 10 housing units in a group that is sufficiently tightly placed to be easily defined and with links to settlements higher up in the settlement hierarchy.

Countryside

Covers all areas outside of the development boundaries of the settlements and built form of clusters listed above.

There is generally a more restrained approach to development in the Countryside, although some forms of development will still be supported. This includes: the conversion of buildings for economic development, tourism, community or residential use; replacement dwellings; affordable housing for local people adjacent to development boundaries; agricultural and rural-based activities; essential infrastructure; energy developments and proposals for sport, recreation, community facilities and tourism facilities.

View Comments (5) 1.27 A policy on housing development identifies the requirement to facilitate the provision of 7,184 new homes by 2026. A 10% slippage allowance has been added to deal with unforeseen circumstances. Of the overall housing requirement (including the 10% slippage allowance) about 50% have either been built since 2011 or already have planning permission (April 2014), which means that an additional 3,907 new homes would need to be provided through the Plan. This will largely be met through the allocation of sites for housing, windfall sites and existing building stock in those settlements identified in the above Settlement Hierarchy (excluding Local/Rural/Coastal Villages and Clusters). In addition, an allowance has been included to recognise that small-scale residential development will take place in the Local/Rural/Coastal Villages, Clusters and Countryside by using windfall sites and existing building stock.

View Comments (2) 1.28 It is proposed to distribute the housing requirement as set out in the table below:

Table 2: Broad Housing Distribution

Type of

Settlements

Number of

Settlements

Percentage of the

Growth

Number of Units

Sub-regional Centre & Urban Service Centres

8

up to 55%

4,346

Local Service Centres

20

at least 20%

1,580

Villages

87

no more than 25%

1,502

Clusters

112

224

Open Countryside

-

250

No Comments 1.29 Section 7.4 of the Plan sets out what this will mean for the Isle of Anglesey County Council and the Gwynedd Local Planning Authority area, separately.

No Comments 1.30 A policy on employment land sets out a need to safeguard and allocate at least 800ha of employment land on industrial or business parks to meet the future needs of businesses.

No Comments 1.31 In relation to retail development it is proposed that the majority of new development will take place in the defined town centres at following settlements: Bangor, Caernarfon, Porthmadog, Pwllheli, Abersoch, Barmouth, Bethesda, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Criccieth, Llanberis, Nefyn, Penrhyndeudraeth, Penygroes, Tywyn, Holyhead, Llangefni, Amlwch, Benllech, Beaumaris, Cemaes, Llanfairpwll, Menai Bridge, Rhosneigr, Valley.

Managing Growth and Development Policies

View Comments (5) 1.32 The Managing Growth and Development Policies section (Chapter 7) of the Plan includes a number of strategic and detailed planning policies that are important to the whole of the Plan area. A snapshot of these policies is set out in the following table:

Table 3: Snapshot of development management policies

Safe, Healthy, Distinctive and Vibrant Communities

Safeguarding and enhancing the Welsh language - by creating the right circumstances that will contribute to maintaining and creating Welsh speaking communities, e.g. facilitating a mixture of housing (tenure and type), employment opportunities, community services and facilities.
Providing infrastructure and facilities - by supporting proposals that enhance the quality and range of services and facilities. New development must include any necessary infrastructure and facilities (such as schools or road improvements). Developer contributions will be sought to meet the need for new infrastructure or facilities.
Supporting community services and facilities - by protecting existing facilities (such as village pubs and shops). The loss of facilities will only be permitted in certain circumstances (e.g. as part of a wider proposal to improve service provision, it is surplus to requirements). Proposals for new or improved community services and facilities will be supported.
Providing public open space for leisure and recreation - by maintaining and enhancing the quality, quantity and accessibility of open spaces. Standards are set out that will ensure new development is serviced by an appropriate quantity and quality of open space. The loss of existing open space will only be permitted in certain circumstances (e.g. it is surplus to requirements).
Enhancing sustainable transport - by minimising congestion, improving safety and making greater use of walking, cycling and public transport networks. This includes guidance for the provision of car parking on developments.

Sustainable Living

Sustainable development principles - by ensuring that new development is consistent with the principles of sustainable development and national planning policy and guidance.
Integrating high quality design - by safeguarding and respecting the diverse character and appearance of the area through the design, layout, construction and use of new development. In addition, proposals will seek to reduce carbon emissions and incorporate local character through their design.
Managing environmental hazards - by ensuring that new development is directed to areas of lowest flood risk, as well as limiting surface water run-off and incorporating sustainable drainage systems. The types of development acceptable in areas near the coast will be limited.
Supporting the energy sector - by supporting development (e.g. nuclear, biomass, solar power and wind development) where any significant adverse impacts (e.g. noise, air quality, traffic and visual impact) have been avoided.
Making the most efficient use of land - by encouraging higher density development where the site has good access to services and facilities and public transport connections. Lower densities would be justified in some locations (e.g. where it maintains the character of the area).

Economy and Regeneration

Supporting the transformation of the Plan area's economy - by protecting a network of existing employment sites, allocations or premises; by providing an element of flexibility to satisfy a requirement for a specific location that can't be accommodated on a safeguarded or allocated industrial estate or business park. Development that provides jobs will be supported on appropriate sites within Centres and Villages.
Encouraging growth and diversification of the rural economy - by supporting employment development in rural areas where it is of an appropriate scale that respects the character of the surrounding landscape. Development will be directed to existing employment sites, involve the re-use of existing buildings, form part of a farm diversification scheme, or have a need to be in a specific location.
Developing and diversifying the visitor economy - by supporting developments (tourist attractions, facilities and accommodation) that strengthen and broaden the tourism offer across the Plan area. Proposals in the countryside should be of an appropriate scale.
Supporting the vitality and viability of centres - by directing retail and other town centre uses to sites within defined Town Centres. Elsewhere shops will be protected where they are important to the day-to-day needs of local communities, unless material planning considerations indicate otherwise.

Supply and Quality of Housing

Creating a mix of housing - by ensuring that new residential developments provide the size and type of housing that is needed in an area, including for the elderly (e.g. through the provision of specialist accommodation), households requiring a home for the first time and households requiring a home in an area described as 'hot spots' in terms of the housing market.
Providing affordable housing - by requiring housing development over specific thresholds in terms of numbers of housing units to include a proportion of affordable housing. The minimum proportion of housing that would need to be affordable varies from 15% to 25% depending on the viability of development in a particular area. Only new affordable housing will be supported in Clusters. 100% new affordable housing is supported where it meets an identified need and is located on the edge of a Centre or a Village, unless, in exceptional circumstances, it can be demonstrated that a minimum number of open market housing is required to improve the site's viability.
Safeguarding the existing housing stock - by promoting alternative forms of accommodation that will satisfy the requirements of transient residents, e.g. large volumes of construction workers, students.
Providing for the needs of Gypsies and Travellers - by safeguarding existing sites and working to identify land to meet the need for 10 new permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers in the Gwynedd Local Planning Authority area and 11 new permanent pitches in Anglesey in locations where there is reasonable access to shops, services and facilities by public transport, on foot or by cycle. In addition the Councils will also be identifying land to meet the need for pitches that will allow Gypsies and Travellers to stop in the Plan area for a short period of time as they travel through the area.

Natural and Built Environment

Promoting a high quality landscape - by sensitively integrating new development into the existing landscape (e.g. protect important open spaces, hedgerows and trees). Important landscape areas, such as the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, various Special Landscape Areas, are recognised and proposals should respect and enhance the character of these areas in accordance with relevant legislation and national and local planning policy.
Valuing our heritage - by putting heritage assets (such as Listed Buildings) to an appropriate, viable and sustainable use. In addition, the views, settings, character and appearance of the heritage assets (e.g. Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, Registered Historic Parks and Gardens, and World Heritage Sites) will be conserved by applying relevant legislation, and local and national planning policy.
Enhancing biodiversity and geodiversity - by protecting designated sites (e.g. Sites of Special Scientific Interest and local Wildlife Sites) by applying relevant legislation, and local and national planning policy.
Supporting a network of waste management facilities - by safeguarding existing sites and facilitating new ones as appropriate.
Safeguarding mineral assets - by safeguarding important mineral deposits from other forms of non-minerals development to ensure that they are not needlessly sterilised.

Monitoring

View Comments (2) 1.33 Legislation requires local planning authorities to keep matters that may affect the planning and development of land and buildings under review. A monitoring framework is included that will be used to undertake the required annual monitoring of the Plan's progress. A full review is required 4 years after adoption, unless the annual monitoring work reveals factors, such as a significant change in external conditions, a significant change in development pressure, significant change that undermines the local economy.

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