Appendix 1

Draft Pre-Deposit Preferred Strategy – Background

 

The Draft Preferred Strategy consists of a number of key elements effectively reflecting stages in its preparation.  Engagement has, in accordance with the provisions of the Delivery Agreement been an important aspect of the strategy’s preparation, with the deliberations of the Key Stakeholder Forum and other focused groups being instrumental. 

 

In following a sequential approach to its preparation, a series of key issues and drivers were identified and formed the basis for the formulation of the Vision and Strategic Objectives – these underpin the Draft Preferred Strategy.  They reflected not only the feedback and input through evidence gathering, but also sought to incorporate legislative duties such as the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015, and other key Plans and strategies such as the Corporate Strategy and the Swansea Bay City Deal.

 

A key element of the Draft Preferred Strategy is founded on the need for the Plan to make appropriate provision for sustainable and deliverable growth.  In this respect, the Council has sought to challenge the Welsh Government’s 2014-based population and household projections.  The 2014-based projections indicated a requirement of approximately 3,200 homes during the revised LDP period (2018-2033).  In seeking to challenge these projections and deliver a sustainable level of growth for Carmarthenshire regard has been had to a range of indicators including strategies and objectives for the County at a regional and corporate level as well as current rates of housing delivery. 

 

As a consequence of the above a specialist demographic consultancy (Edge Analytics) have been utilised to develop a range of population and household scenarios for the Plan period through to 2033.  Further information is available in the topic paper via the link below.

 

https://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/media/1216736/population-and-household-projections-topic-paper-for-web-version-002.pdf

 

Preferred Growth Scenario - A range of options were considered as part of this research each taking particular trends and migration assumptions into account (see graph below for all scenarios).   However, in order to establish a level of growth which delivers on the Council’s corporate regeneration objectives, and the opportunities presented through the City Deal for the creation of 5,295 new jobs by the end of the Plan period, it was important to measure population change and the creation of new homes against facilitating the delivery of this number of jobs. 

In this respect, two of the demographic scenarios provided for such a level of growth.  The following figure in identifying Carmarthenshire’s Projected Average Annual Employment Growth identifies that the Projected Growth Long Term and Projected Growth Pre-recession scenarios provide for 5,295 and 9,480 jobs respectively for the Plan period. Consequently both scenarios deliver sufficient opportunity to facilitate jobs growth to meet the 5,000 jobs target identified above.

 

 

 

WG – Welsh Government

PG – Population Growth

 

Consequently, and in order to meet this requirement and deliver the economic growth necessary to deliver and support the economic objectives set out within the following strategies and plans it is proposed that a requirement for 9,887 new homes be delivered by 2033:

 

·         The Council’s Strategic Regeneration Plan 2015 – 2030 – Transformations;

·         Swansea Bay City Deal;

·         The New Corporate Strategy 2018 – 2023;

·         Council’s Well-being Objectives; and

·         Moving Forward in Carmarthenshire: the next 5-years.

 

This scenario is based on an overall population increase of 17,567 (9.4%).  This reflects the PG Long Term scenario set out in the graph above.  It should be noted that whilst this number of homes figure (9,887) is above that set out within the WG 2014-based projections, it is also notably below the current LDP which makes provision for 15,197 homes. 

 

Through utilising this strategy for growth through applying the PG Long Term scenario, the revised LDP will therefore seek to facilitate the delivery of a minimum of 5,295 jobs over the Plan period, and this relates and correspond to the jobs growth figures within the Council’s Regeneration Plan.  The LDP will promote and facilitate the development of the economy across Carmarthenshire and will set an appropriate land allocation in support of an ambitious Carmarthenshire which attracts investment and provides opportunities for those living and working in our communities. In respect to job creation, and how this transfers to the amount of employment land site allocations, it should be noted that this will be subject to further evidencing as part of the preparation of the Deposit LDP during 2019. 

 

The proposed growth levels would also seek to challenge and address current demographic patterns particularly the out-migration as evidenced in the 16-19 age group (see https://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/media/1216736/population-and-household-projections-topic-paper-for-web-version-002.pdf ).   It provides opportunities to balance the demographics of the County through the retention of, and in-migration of younger adults (including those returning) to the County, and address some of the issues which could be perceived from an aging population. 

 

In addition, the growth requirement set within the Draft Preferred Strategy will also assist in ensuring sufficient opportunity exists to maximise affordable provision, including linking with:

 

·         the recently established Council Housing Company;

·         Affordable Housing Delivery Plan - with its provision for 1,000 new homes; and

·         Local Housing Market Assessment; and

·         to consider and reflect rural needs and issues, whilst reflecting the emphasis and requirements in respect of sustainable developments.

 

Reference is made to the current build rate within Carmarthenshire which indicates a completion rate of approx. 500 new homes per year over recent years. 

 

Preferred Spatial Strategy - As a mechanism for the distribution and delivery of growth a series of spatial options were identified and considered for the Preferred /strategy and which have been subject to consultation earlier this year.  These included:

 

Option 1 – Current LDP

Option 2 – Infrastructure and Transport Network

Option 3 – Dispersal

Option 4 - Community Led Option

Option 5 – Swansea Bay City/Region Influence Option

Option 6 – Market Led

 

In considering the above the Draft Preferred Strategy identifies a Hybrid which builds on Option 4 and reflects considerations around the rural agenda, City Deal/Regeneration and the need for infrastructure and market conditions to support delivery.  This Option Balanced Community and Sustainable Growth Strategy represents a revision to the approach in the current LDP and one which seeks to address the issues highlighted in the Review Report, as well as reflecting the feedback in the formulation of the strategy.

 

This new spatial strategy will be reflective of the diversity of the County and its communities whilst having regard to sustainability and the emphasis on deliverability.  The strategy does not seek to apportion development spatially within the hierarchy through proportional distribution or quotas, rather, it will seek to distribute the growth in a way which reflects the diversity of the settlement clusters and in a sustainable manner.  It will have regard to the role and function of the settlements but also accepts that some settlements which by virtue of the services and facilities available may not necessarily be the most appropriate options for all the growth.  This may reflect a number of factors, not least environmental constraints, but also historical delivery of growth within such settlements.

 

The approach will avoid any assumption that that every settlement in every tier must contribute towards growth. Rather it will consider the settlements on their merits whilst having regard to their sustainability and position within the framework.  The revised spatial hierarchy and the distribution of growth will therefore be expressed through the appended framework with settlements grouped under respective clusters.

 

Strategic Policies - A series of Strategic Policies have been developed to implement the delivery of the LDP and its strategic objectives.  These policies have been grouped under the following well-being objectives as derived from the PSB Well-being Plan:

 

·         Healthy Habits - People have a good quality of life, and make healthy choices about their lives and environment.

·         Early Intervention - To make sure that people have the right help at the right time; as and when they need it.

·         Strong Connections - Strongly connected people, places and organisations that are able to adapt to change.

·         Prosperous People and Places - To maximise opportunities for people and places in both urban and rural parts of our county.

 

The Policies themes are as follows:

·         Climate Change

·         Well Designed Places and Spaces

·         Strategic Growth

·         Sustainable Distribution – Settlement Framework

·         Providing New Homes

·         Affordable Homes

·         Gypsy and Traveller Provision

·         Strategic Sites

·         Employment and the Economy

·         Transport and Accessibility

·         Infrastructure

·         Retail and Town Centres

·         The Visitor Economy

·         Rural

·         Welsh Language and Culture

·         Mineral Resources

·         Waste Management

·         Protection and Enhancement of the Built and Historic Environment.

·         Protection and Enhancement of the Natural Environment.

 

 

It should be noted that the Draft Preferred Strategy does not include:

 

·           Site specific allocations or development limits/settlement boundaries, for example housing or employment sites. These will be identified in the Deposit LDP; or

·           Detailed or specific planning policies– additional and more specific policies to support the Strategic Policies.  These will be included in the Deposit LDP.