Plan Review Update and Questions for the Distribution Strategy Consultation
The purpose of the meeting was to provide an update to members on the review of the plan and explore key options for the distribution strategy following the Call for sites Consultation, with the intention of a steer from members of the preferred course of action.
Officers confirmed the intention to take a draft consultation document on a future distribution strategy to the November Policy and Resources Committee.
On-going work includes the compilation of the Sustainability Appraisal framework; evidence gathering; the commissioning of technical evidence; and the collation and mapping of sites submitted following the call for sites.
Approximately 279 sites have been submitted for consideration in the plan process. 240 for residential use. Sites are in 58 parishes. 62 sites are at the Market Towns.22 sites to provide for one dwelling. 111 for ten or fewer units. 21 large sites for 100 homes. Some sites have been submitted for 100% affordable housing.
Officers outlined potential options for a future distribution strategy which would form the basis for consultation.
First option –the more explicit growth strategy focussed on towns and Principal Town in particular –the current approach is sustained
Second Option –more consolidated approach to accommodating growth across the towns and villages, including potentially additional villages
Both options are fit the general spatial approach of accommodating development at towns and villages which was considered to be sound.
The merits of both approaches were discussed within the context of LGR, devolution, national changes to the planning system; the delivery of affordable housing and improved build standards.
Officers of the view that the roles of places have not significantly changed since 2012, and that we are not in a position to make step changes to the roles of places given LGR in 2023.
Officers confirmed that the consultation documents would need to identify pros and cons of either approach to help an informed response (based on evidence and changes). The document needs to be clear on what we are trying to achieve in order to inform policy choices e.g. affordable housing delivery, improved environmental standards, development that is within the capacity of infrastructure/infrastructure improvements. Addressing heritage deficits and landscape management were also discussed.
Transport and connectivity, including broadband were considered important within the context of Option 2, together with local services if the trend for working from home increases. The potential for more building by smaller builders/developers who may be more inclined to build to higher environmental standards within this option was also noted.
Officers noted that Option 1 – our existing approach could be difficult to repeat into the future as there is still the existing supply to be built out within this period, and significant delivery beyond this will represent a step-change for Malton and Norton in terms of infrastructure.
The option of a new settlement was raised. It was note that the delivery of a new village is a strategic decision with significant infrastructural requirements. At this stage, on the basis of LGR, this is an option / future decision for the new authority as it prepares the development plan for North Yorkshire. (The new Authority will be expected to prepare a strategic development plan for the area within five years of coming into being).
There was some discussion about the factors that would influence the distribution of development within the towns and how additional villages may be selected as suitable locations for some growth.
The two broad options were considered to be an appropriate basis for the consultation
Level of Development
Level of development to be planned for – minimum of 184 dpa. Extant supply will be taken into account.
The plan will have to provide for a range of affordable housing tenures, including the new First Homes product and self-build. The challenges of affordability and affordable housing delivery were discussed
Cllrs Andrews raised wider matters for the review to cover including the Local Needs Occupancy condition; development limits; capacity of infrastructure; provision for small builders.
Officer confirmed that these matters would be considered as part of the review together with the need to secure improved environmental building standards. Viability assessment will be used to look at the triangulation of CIL, affordable housing, other mandatory requirements and cost to build at differing sustainability standards.
The Development Limits will be naturally adjusted to take account of allocations. The use of a criteria based policy to consider certain types of small scale windfall applications is another option.
The constraints of building in some locations (Helmsley, Staxton and Willerby) were also discussed.