Sites and Policies Plan Consultation Draft

Delivering Strong and Inclusive Communities

DM 31

High quality design and place making 

Core Strategy Policies

CS12 Achieving High Quality Design and Place-Making

CS5 Landscape and Historic Environment.

Replacement Local Plan Policies

GDP3: Promoting good design and sustainable construction

Policy Intentions:

  • Set out the criteria to be taken into account to ensure quality, distinctive, and functional design.
  • Ensure developments are well suited to the existing context reinforcing local character and a sense of local identity. To avoid homogenous design that does not contribute to the local townscape/environment within which it sits.
  • Ensure that through the Design and Access Statement and Statement of Community Involvement that a thorough assessment has been made of the site, surroundings and community aspirations and ensure this has been incorporated into a final design solution. 

Background

Expands on Core Strategy CS12 and incorporates the principles of GDP/3 of the Replacement Local Plan. 

 

Picture 016

Policy DM 31: High quality design and place making

The design of new development should contribute to the creation of high quality, distinctive, functional and sustainable places.

Based on a detailed appraisal of the existing physical, social, economic, and environmental context, the design and planning of development proposals should demonstrate sensitivity to the local character and/or setting, and seek to enhance the area based on specific opportunities present. Design solutions should seek to enhance local distinctiveness and contribute to the creation of a sense of place and identity.

Proposals that reflect community aspirations and values will be encouraged. Proposals which cause unacceptable harm to the character and/or appearance of the area particularly within a Conservation Area will not be permitted.

In determining whether the design is acceptable account will be taken of whether:

  • the siting, landscaping, levels, density, form, scale, height, massing, detailing, colour and materials are appropriate and respect the characteristics of the site and surroundings and are appropriate to its use and position within the landscape and/or townscape;
  • the site integrates with the surrounding fabric including streets, paths and cycle ways, continuing successful local development patterns and creating an interconnected public realm;
  • the design and layout should not prejudice the living conditions for the occupiers of the proposal or that of adjoining occupiers through loss of privacy, overlooking, overshadowing or overbearing impact;
  • the design helps to reduce water and energy consumption, and
  • the design facilitates inclusive access to all.

The following will also apply as appropriate:

  • where part of a wider proposed development, the design should take into account the future development potential of adjoining sites that are identified for development and not prejudice the comprehensive and coordinated development of a larger site of which it forms part;
  • on major developments (100+ dwellings), the layout should use landmarks, focal points, views, clear routes, lighting, public art and signage in order to assist people to navigate throughout the proposed development. This will be supported by the production of masterplans and design coding;
  • the proposal should not prejudice the retention of adequate private amenity space and include adequate private amenity space for any new separately occupied dwelling;
  • private areas should create defensible spaces, allowing exclusive access providing areas for personal use and storage;
  • account is taken of potential adverse weather conditions particularly in relation to the likely impacts of future climate change;
  • provision is made for the storage of waste and recycling materials in locations that would not harm local amenity and that enable collection from the public highway;
  • management plans should be submitted for all shared private spaces and facilities;
  • proposals for lighting schemes should not be obtrusive. They should not have a demonstrably harmful impact on the living conditions of neighbours, significantly increase sky glow, cause glare or light trespass or impact on biodiversity; and
  • development proposed at the identified 'Key Design Locations' within the Weston Villages Supplementary Planning Document shall be supported by the production of Design Codes to facilitate high quality design.

Where relevant development proposals should have regard to the design and other related features set out in Supplementary Planning Documents and other guidance.

DM 32

Inclusive access to non-residential buildings and spaces

 

Core Strategy Policies

CS12: Achieving High Quality Design and Place-making

CS15: Mixed and Balanced Communities

CS2: Delivering Sustainable Design and Construction

Other Documents:

"Planning and Access for Disabled People: A Good Practice Guide"

Replacement Local Plan Policy

Policy GDP/3

Policy Intention:

  • To ensure that disabled and able-bodied people have equal access to the same buildings and spaces. 

Background

New stand alone policy which is explicit about ensuring the needs of disabled people is fully incorporated into new design. Expands on part of GDP/3. 

Policy DM 32: Inclusive access to non-residential buildings and spaces

The design of buildings and spaces must provide access for everyone who may wish to use a building, facility or area of open space on an inclusive basis. Designs should make no physical distinction between the people who are able to use them.

Where there are genuine barriers to designs incorporating a group of people's needs specific alternatives must be put in place. Alternatives must maintain an equal standard of service in a dignified and appropriate manner.

Applicants will be required to demonstrate in supporting documents such as the Design and Access Statement that inclusive access arrangements have been taken into account and included in the design solution. This should include:

  • the siting, layout, design and orientation, of the proposal;
  • the movement around the site or building(s); and
  • the access and egress from any buildings - including any necessary changes to the nearby public realm.

DM 33

Settlement boundaries

 

Core Strategy Policies

CS14 Distribution of new housing

CS28 Weston-super-Mare

CS30 Weston Villages

CS31 Clevedon, Nailsea and Portishead

CS33 Smaller settlements and Countryside

Replacement Local Plan Policies

GPP/1 Preferred locations for development

H/1 Residential Development strategy

H/7 Residential development within settlement boundaries

Policy Intentions:

  • To ensure that development is located in sustainable communities.
  • To prevent urban sprawl.
  • To protect the countryside. 

Background

Settlement boundaries are a well establish planning tool for directing development to the towns and other settlements. The settlement boundaries in North Somerset have been well established through a succession of planning documents. The Core Strategy deleted some of the settlement boundaries of the villages. The remaining boundaries are largely unchanged with the exception at Weston-super-Mare which are needed to accommodate the new Weston Villages. 

Policy DM 33: Settlement boundaries

DM33 settlement boundariesThe extent of Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead, service and infill villages is shown on the Proposals Map. The boundaries define the area within which development may be acceptable in principle subject to the detailed policies of the Core Strategy, this plan or any Neighbourhood Plans. Land outside of these boundaries is regarded for planning policy purposes as countryside.

Note: List of Settlement boundary changes.

Banwell: Minor amendment to settlement limit at 'Country View, Goding Lane'.

Bleadon: An adjustment to the settlement boundary at Bleadon Quarry.

Sandford: Minor amendment at Thatchers. The settlement boundary did go across the site, but the limits now exclude the whole site.

Yatton/Claverham: A break between the settlements has been identified to reflect the different policy approach in the Service and Infill village.

Weston-super-Mare:

The Weston-super-Mare Settlement boundary remains unchanged from that defined in the North Somerset Replacement Local Plan apart from:

  • an extension to include the land at Winterstoke Village;
  • an additional settlement boundary to include Parklands Village (there may be potential for the creation of a separate new Parish to be created for Parklands Village);
  • a slight contraction of the settlement limits to reflect the proposed deletion of the existing Replacement Local Plan employment site E9, Lynx Crescent, Weston. This deletion is proposed since much of that site is flood zone 3b so the highest risk category and not appropriate for allocation for employment use;
  • boundary has been extended towards Hutton near Totterdown Farm; and
  • the settlement boundary around the Tropicana follows the existing footprint of the building as opposed to the boundary in the Replacement Local Plan which included a larger boundary based on a previous planning permission.

N.B. A settlement boundary alteration would be required if the north-west Nailsea allocation is confirmed.

DM 34

Housing allocations

 

Core Strategy Policies

CS13 Scale of new housing

CS14 Distribution of new housing

CS15 Mixed and balanced Communities

Replacement Local Plan Policies

GDP/1 Preferred locations for Development

H/1 Residential development Strategy

H/2 Proposed sites for residential development

 

Policy Intentions:

  • Set out in a schedule the details of housing sites which will meet the Core Strategy requirement to deliver a minimum of 14,000 dwellings by 2026
  • To steer housing development towards these sites which have been allocated in line with the Core Strategy development strategy. 

Background

The schedule of housing allocations set out in this plan are derived from the strategic allocations at Weston Villages, allocations rolled forward from the Replacement Local Plan, unimplemented planning permissions, and suitable sites derived from the call for sites.Schedule 1 sets out the proposed sites for residential and Schedule 3 the proposed sites for mixed use development.

Housing capacity position

The Core Strategy identifies the housing requirement for the district over the plan period 2006-2026. This target is 14,000 dwellings. Between 2006 and 2012, 5,465 dwelling completions have been recorded, leaving a residual requirement of 8,535 dwellings to be delivered between now and 2026. In order to provide a range and mix of housing sites, and maintain a rolling five year land supply, the schedule to policy DM34 identifies allocations totalling 9,786 dwellings.

Core Strategy requirement 14,000

Completions 2006-2012 5,465

______

Residual requirement 8,535

Dwellings identified in schedule 9,786

If all of the sites identified were delivered at the anticipated capacity, this would provide an oversupply on the target of 1,251 dwellings. This is considered to be a reasonable buffer at this stage in the plan preparation process to allow for any non-delivery, reduction in proposed capacities or time delays delivering sites.

 

Policy DM 34: Housing allocations

Residential sites (of 10 or more units) are shown on the Proposal Map and set out in the Schedule of proposed sites for residential development (Schedule 1) and the Schedule of proposed sites for mixed use development (Schedule 3). The requirements in the schedules should be met, together with any other relevant policy requirements. Affordable housing will be sought on appropriate sites in accordance with Policy CS16 of the Core Strategy.

DM 35

Housing type and mix

 

Core Strategy Policy

CS15 Mixed and Balanced Communities

Replacement Local Plan Policy

H/3 Residential Densities

Policy Intentions:

  • Ensure that a range and choice of new housing types are available.
  • That small scale builders, individually designed homes and self build schemes are not excluded from the strategic or major housing allocations.
  • Ensure that at the major allocations at Weston-super-Mare the emphasis is on family housing.
  • Support aspirational housing at Weston-super-Mare. 

Background

Policy seeks to set out what is meant by the term 'mixed and balanced community' within the North Somerset context. Introduces the concept of 'aspirational homes'. A Government Action Plan recently announced to promote self-build. Considers new ways of working, including live/work units.

See glossary for a definition of aspirational housing. 

 

Policy DM 35: Housing type and mix

The council will require that the type and mix of housing proposed on a specific site redress any imbalance in the existing local housing stock, meet the needs of local residents, and in Weston-super-Mare support employment-led regeneration (Policies WSM 19 and 20).

The council will require proposals on the housing sites of over 100 units to include a range of building types and tenures, supporting those proposals which include small-scale builders, individually designed homes and self-build schemes.

The emphasis at Weston Villages should be on family housing to meet the needs of those working in the town, although a range of accommodation is required to meet all ages, household sizes, choices and tenures.

Aspirational housing will be supported throughout Weston-super-Mare and as part of regeneration schemes, in order to attract business leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals and encourage households with greater spending power to the town. Ideally this should be in locations which help create an attractive image and establish a high quality status for the town.

Proposals for live/work units are encouraged throughout the district but particularly as part of any proposals in the service and infill villages in order to help limit the amount of out-commuting and support local employment opportunities.

Retirement accommodation and supported independent housing aimed at older people will be required to comply with Policy DM40 (Retirement accommodation and supported independent living for older and vulnerable people).

Gated developments are not normally supported in the interest of establishing well integrated communities.

Within some of the more deprived areas, initiatives to increase the range and the quality of housing will be prioritised.

The proposed housing mix should be justified through the planning application e.g. the Design and Access Statement or similar documents and demonstrate how the proposed development will redress any imbalance in the existing local housing stock, meet the needs of local residents and contribute positively to the promotion of sustainable and inclusive communities and in Weston-super-Mare employment led regeneration.

DM 36

 

Residential densities

Core Strategy Policy

Policy CS14: Distribution of New Housing

Replacement Local Plan Policy

Policy H/3 Residential Densities

 

Policy Intention:

  • Aim to encourage a range of densities appropriate to its context.
  • Encourage higher densities at accessible locations.
  • Respect lower densities particularly in rural locations and other sensitive areas. 

Background

Minimum density levels are no longer specified in national planning policy. However, the Core Strategy aims to achieve a target density across North Somerset of 40 dwelling per hectare. Whilst individual site densities will need to be determined according to the characteristics of the site and location the NPPF is clear that development should optimise the potential of the site to accommodate development. This in turn minimises the need to allocate further, possibly greenfield sites for development. 

Policy DM 36: Residential densities

DM36 residential densities

Residential development should optimise the potential of the site to accommodate development whilst protecting or enhancing the distinctiveness and character of the area.

In determining the appropriate density for a particular site, particular attention will be given to:

  • the physical characteristics of the site;
  • the character of the locality and neighbouring buildings;
  • the proximity to public transport opportunities, transport corridors, cycle routes and pedestrian linkages;
  • the mix of dwellings and the development's contribution to forming balanced communities;
  • the proximity to community facilities;
  • the proximity to employment opportunities; and
  • adequate parking arrangements.

DM 37

Residential development within settlement boundaries in existing residential areas and on garden land

Core Strategy Policy

CS12 Achieving High Quality Design and Place-Making

Replacement Local Plan Policies

GDP3: Promoting good design and sustainable construction

H/7 Residential Development within settlement boundaries

Policy Intentions:

  • To ensure new residential development is not squeezed into inappropriate locations or gardens.
  • Ensure new development is in keeping with the character of the surrounding area.

Background

New policy responding to the concern over 'garden grabbing'.

Policy DM37: Residential development within settlement boundaries in existing residential areas and on garden land

Any proposal for new dwellings on infill, backland plots, garden land or other sites within predominantly residential areas will only be permitted if it maintains the character of the area and complies with other policies.

Proposals will be permitted provided:

  • the siting of the building(s) on the new plot(s) and layout respects the existing street scene;
  • the plot sizes of both the new and existing property are in keeping with nearby properties;
  • gardens are suitable and an appropriate size for the household; and
  • the design, form, scale and building materials are in keeping with the area;
  • parking standards can be met for both the existing and proposed properties;
  • it would not harm the street scene and /or local area. This includes the loss of characteristic boundary features, original estate layout landscaping or visually important trees; and
  • would not prejudice the living conditions of the occupiers and adjoining properties.

A separate evidence paper has been produced on garden land development. The document can be viewed here.

DM 38

Extensions to dwellings

Core Strategy Policy

CS12 Achieving High Quality Design and Place-Making

Replacement Local Plan Policy

H/7 Residential Development within settlement boundaries

Policy Intensions:

Provide the criteria for judging the appropriateness of residential extensions, to include:

  • The effect of the proposal on the existing house.
  • The impact on the setting, street scene and local area.
  • The effect on the quality of life for the occupiers and neighbours.

Background

New policy aimed specifically at residential extensions. Residential annexes are dealt with in policy DM 43. For proposals to extend dwellings which are in the Green Belt the above policy needs to be read in conjunction with policy DM 13 (development within the Green Belt). Proposals involving listed buildings or within conservation areas will also need to comply with Policies DM 3 - 8 (heritage). 

 

Policy DM 38: Extensions to dwellings

Proposals to extend existing residential properties will be permitted provided;

  • it respects the massing, scale, proportions, material and overall design and character of the existing property. Proposals should not be disproportionate to the existing building;
  • it does not harm the street scene and /or local area. This includes the loss of characteristic boundary features, original estate layout landscaping or visually important trees; and
  • it would not prejudice the living conditions of occupiers and adjoining properties and ensures the retention of adequate private amenity space, and complies with the parking standards.

DM 39

Conversions and subdivisions to residential use outside the Areas of Restricted Subdivision

 

Core Strategy Policy

CS15: Mixed and Balanced Communities

Replacement Local Plan Policy

H/6: Flats, conversions and housing in multiple occupation

Policy Intention:

  • To ensure that conversions and subdivisions provide appropriate living conditions for the resident(s) and neighbours.
  • Do not harm the character of the area.
  • Do not result in an unacceptable change in the balance of types of properties in one street or area.

Background

Rolled forward and amended H/6. Changes in legislation relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have been introduced since the Replacement Plan was adopted. This changed the requirement to obtain planning permission for a change of use between a dwelling and some forms of HMO. Nevertheless the policy approach is to avoid the further clustering of HMOs which require planning permission where this would cause an unacceptable change in the balance of types of properties in that area.

The subdivision of previously converted rural buildings will also be subject to Policies DM 46, (The conversion of rural buildings to residential use) and policy DM 62 (Conversion and reuse of rural buildings for tourist accommodation). 

Policy DM 39:Conversions and subdivisions to residential use outside the Areas of Restricted Subdivision

16-18 Locking Road 3

Outside of the Areas of Restricted Subdivision (Policy WSM 22) the conversion of dwellings and other buildings, including extensions and outbuildings to form self contained accommodation and Houses in Multiple Occupation will be permitted provided that:

  • the proposals will not have a harmful effect on the character and living conditions of the property, adjoining properties and local area;
  • a satisfactory standard of accommodation and living conditions are provided and that the proposal does not create an over-intensive use of the site;
  • the development will not singularly or cumulatively contribute to an unacceptable change in the balance of types of properties in one street or area; and
  • appropriate car parking (in accordance with the parking standards) and refuse and recycling storage can be provided.