13.1 The Local Plan sets out a framework for development within the Borough over the period of the Plan i.e. to the year 2011. The levels of development and the particular policies and proposals are very much a product of national, regional and Structure Plan guidance being interpreted and defined at the local level. The Borough’s Green Belt location and the continuing identification of the area as one of restraint on development in the Replacement Structure Plan Countywide Strategy means that there are no major developments, proposed or envisaged. The policies and proposals of the Brentwood Replacement Local Plan are, in the main, directed at ensuring that the location, scale, type and design of development is appropriate in order to protect and conserve the character of the Borough and the amenities of those living, working and visiting the Borough.
13.2 Effective implementation of the Plan’s policies is not wholly within the control or the responsibility of the local planning authority, but requires the co-operation and input from other public authorities and private organisations. The current financial limits upon Local Government dictate that, in general, development will be reliant upon the private sector and implementation will generally, therefore, be managed through the development control process. Effective on-going consultation will be necessary with the service and utility providers to ensure that as far as possible their investment programmes provide for the development needs of the Borough.
13.3 Apart from the development control process, the Council will also implement the Local Plan through its other corporate programmes and strategies, either existing or in the course of preparation. These include:
- The Community Plan
- The Housing Strategy
- The Local Agenda 21 Strategy
- The Sports and Recreation Strategy
- The Cultural Strategy
- The Transportation Strategy (as part of the Local transport Plan)
- The Road Safety Strategy
- The Cycling Strategy
- The Economic Development Strategy
- The Crime and Disorder Reduction Strategy
- The Community Safety Strategy
- The Waste Management Strategy
- The Recycling Strategy
13.4 In addition, during the course of the Plan, further work will be undertaken to bring forward detailed programmes of works for consideration and prioritisation to achieve, for example, environmental improvement and landscaping schemes and, subject to Highway Authority agreement and funding, proposals in furtherance of the concepts of “Home Zones” and “Quiet Lanes”.
13.5 The uncertainties of the economy, private investment and business confidence, site availability and infrastructure capacity, together with Central Government restraints on public spending make it difficult to anticipate timing with any degree of confidence. Where appropriate, the Council will endeavour to aid early implementation of proposals through partnership with the private sector and other agencies. In general the Council will seek to achieve through its own programmes, and through encouragement of the private sector and other public bodies, a steady and managed implementation of development to meet the needs of the Borough over the whole of the Plan period and will monitor the Plan to ensure that this is achieved.
The Government Requirement for Plan Monitoring
13.6 The Government is committed to a plan-led system of development control. This is given statutory force by section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. Where an adopted or approved development plan contains relevant policies, Section 38(6) requires that an application for planning permission or an appeal shall be determined in accordance with the plan, unless material planning considerations indicate otherwise. Conversely, applications that are not in accordance with the relevant Plan policies should not be allowed unless material planning considerations justify granting planning permission.
13.7 These statutory requirements are repeated in PPS1 and PPS12, which also add that the plan-led system can only be successful and command public confidence if plans are in place and kept up to date. Part II of the 2004 Act requires local planning authorities to keep all matters under review that are expected to affect the development of the area, or the planning of its development. PPS12 also states that, as far as possible, policies and proposals of all development should be expressed in a form that will facilitate monitoring and review and that the reasoned justification should include an indication of how monitoring and review are to be carried out, emphasising the critical features upon which the plan is based.
13.8 Specific reference to the need for monitoring is set out in PPG3 “Housing”, which encourages the “plan, monitor and manage approach” to the provision of future housing. The guidance advises that housing requirements and the means by which they are met need to be kept under constant review, and, as appropriate, policies and proposals amended to reflect any changes in circumstances. This principle can be applied to other policies and proposals in the plan.
13.9 Government advice provides further guidance on the approach to be taken to monitoring and review and states that local planning authorities should publish regular monitoring reports. The government publication “Development Plans – A Good Practice Guide” (DETR 1992) provides examples of good practice.
Monitoring of the Replacement Local Plan
13.10 The Replacement Local Plan, therefore, must be part of a process that ensures that it is responsive to change and continues to be up to date and thereby remains effective, relevant and realistic.
13.11 The plan itself needs to show how the aims, objectives and policies are measured and evaluated throughout the plan period in order to assess the successful achievement of the intended outcomes. To this end, where considered appropriate, a set of output indicators and targets are identified for the Plan’s policies. These targets and indicators are set out in full at the end of this chapter and are all relevant to the assessment of the Plan’s progress in achieving Sustainable Development (and are set out in the Sustainability Appraisal Report against the main sustainability principles appropriate to each target).
13.12 Whilst monitoring these “performance” targets and indicators is a continual process, it is intended that the results of the monitoring will be published annually in a formal report. This report will also enable the targets and indicators themselves to be monitored and reviewed in relation to their usefulness and appropriateness, such that they, themselves, may be amended over the period of the Plan. Many policies are not set targets either because they are not appropriate or the means of effective monitoring is not available. Greater development of information technology in the monitoring process may improve on the Council’s ability to assess the performance of some of the Plan’s policies and, therefore, future monitoring reports may add to the list of targets and indicators. As with implementation, achievement of the plan’s targets requires a partnership of action between all of the various organisations and bodies, public and private, involved in the sustainable social, economic and environmental development of the Borough.
13.13 Monitoring the Replacement Local Plan will not only involve an assessment of the plan’s policies and proposals but also changes to external factors affecting the Plan.
13.14 The Replacement Local Plan is set within the context of a hierarchy of Development Plan policies as detailed in:
(i) National planning policy – Acts of Parliament, Statutory Regulations, Government Circulars, Planning Policy Guidance Notes and Planning Policy Statements,
(ii) Regional Planning Guidance, and
(iii) Structure Plan policies.
These documents are the subject of periodic review and update and, therefore, require monitoring to ensure that the Local Plan remains up to date in terms of its conformity with such plans and policy guidance. As set out in the Planning Green Paper “Planning – Delivering a Fundamental Change” the government has undertaken a radical review of the current Development Plan arrangements with the replacement of the Structure Plan/UDP/Local Plan system with a new Local Development Framework and is reviewing and replacing Planning Policy Guidance Notes with Planning Policy Statements. Likewise new regional planning guidance, now to become the Regional Spatial Strategy, is currently being prepared for the East of England (RSS14).
13.15 Other bodies and agencies responsible for the provision of public services, transport and community services publish their own programmes for future investment, which may be revised in relation to availability of funding, priorities, scale and timing. Such changes may have implications for development proposals in the Replacement Local Plan.
13.16 There is much information available on future social and economic trends and forecasts that are published by a variety of sources, including government departments and agencies, charitable organisations and academic institutions. Information that will become available with the publication of the 2001 Census on demographic and social patterns will, in particular, need to be assessed. Such changes have a direct effect on housing and public services. Shifts in employment, recreation and retail patterns lead to demands for new facilities and others becoming redundant.
13.17 The Council will also continue to carry out its own surveys on, for example, urban capacity, residential land availability, the occupiers on the main employment areas and the availability of vacant industrial, warehousing, office and shop premises.
13.18 In addition, policies may lose public or political support over time. It is important, therefore, to continually involve the public in the on-going process of monitoring and reviewing the Plan in order that it can take account of, and respond as necessary, to any changes in the views of the public. Feedback from the public through elected representatives and through questionnaires and the Best Value process will enable the Council to monitor changing needs and attitudes.
13.19 Whilst it is not envisaged at this time that there will be any requirement for a fundamental change to the adopted Replacement Local Plan during the period of the Plan, the continuous monitoring of the Plan will be used to inform decisions on the need, scope and timing of a Plan review. Such a review would be carried out in accordance with the statutory procedures.
13.20 As referred to previously, an Annual Monitoring Report will be produced and the Local Plan will be reviewed as deemed necessary, and a full review will be undertaken at least every 5 years.
13.21 The Plan’s policies will be monitored in detail against the following Targets and Indicators:
DETAILED POLICY TARGETS AND INDICATORS
|Policy||CP1(vi) Retention of Existing Residential Accommodation|
|Target||No overall net loss in the number of existing residential units|
|Indicator||Planning permissions for change of use/redevelopment involving existing residential properties|
|Policy||H1 Residential Provision 1996-2011|
|Target||Net dwelling stock increase of 1450 dwellings being achieved by 2011|
|Indicator||Net Dwelling stock increase since April 1996 |
Number of dwellings with unimplemented planning permission
Dwelling capacity of sites without planning permission likely to be developed by 2011 from Urban Capacity Study
|Policy||H5 Changes of Use of Upper Floors|
|Target||Year on year increase in the number of residential units above commercial premises in the Borough’s main shopping areas|
|Indicator||Residential completions as a result of change of use above commercial premises|
|Policy||H6 Small Unit Accommodation|
|Target||At least 50% of units on relevant sites being 1 or 2 bedroom properties|
|Indicator||Mix of residential unit sizes in planning permissions for residential development|
|Policy||H9 Affordable Housing on Larger Sites|
|Target||At least 35% Affordable Housing on all suitable sites|
|Indicator||Affordable Housing numbers granted planning permission as a proportion of total site provision|
|Policy||H14 Housing Density|
|Target||Densities of not less than 65 dwellings per hectare in central areas or other location with good public transport accessibility, and not less than 30 dwellings per hectare elsewhere.|
|Indicator||Percentage of planning permissions for residential development meeting the target|
|Policy||E1 Areas Allocated for General Employment|
|Target||Wider choice of employment opportunities through the provision of additional B1(c), B2 and B8 uses|
|Indicator||Net change in floor space for B1(a), B1(b), B1(c), B2 and B8 as a result of Planning Permissions, including changes of use.|
|Policy||E4 Sites for Additional Employment Land|
|Target||1 hectare of net additional employment land being achieved by 2011 within the Borough|
|Indicator||Net change in employment land provision as a result of Planning Permissions for B1, B2 and B8 purposes|
|Policy||T1 Travel Plans|
|Target||To promote the adoption of Travel Plans|
|Indicator||Number of Travel Plans agreed each year|
|Target||To improve cycle facilities|
|Indicator||Length of additional cycle ways provided each year|
Green Belt and the Countryside
|Policy||GB1 New Development|
|Target||To restrict inappropriate development in the Green Belt|
|Indicator||Number of permissions granted for development in the Green Belt not in accordance with Green Belt policy|
|Policy||GB3 Settlements Excluded from the Green Belt|
|Target||At least 90% of all new housing development to be located on previously developed land or through the conversion of existing buildings|
|Indicator||Permissions for new housing on previously developed land or through the conversion of existing buildings|
|Policy||GB5 Extensions to Dwellings|
|Target||To restrict the size of residential extensions in the Green Belt to 37 sq.m above the original habitable floor space|
|Indicator||The number of permissions for residential extensions above the 37 sq.m limit|
|Policy||GB6 Replacement Dwellings|
|Target||To restrict the size of replacement dwellings in the Green Belt to 37 sq.m above the original habitable floor space|
|Indicator||The number of permissions for replacement dwellings that exceed the 37 sq.m limit|
|Policy||GB16 Residential Conversions|
|Target||To restrict the re-use of rural buildings for residential purposes|
|Indicator||Number of planning permissions for residential re-use of rural buildings|
|Policy||GB27 Access to the Countryside|
|Target||To enhance and extend the Borough’s rural public rights of way|
|Indicator||Length of improved and new rural public rights of way|
|Target||To increase tree and hedge cover year on year|
|Indicator||Area of new tree plantings and length of new hedgerows|
Sports & Leisure, Tourism and Community Services
|Policy||LT2 Development of Existing Urban Open Spaces|
|Target||To restrict the loss of Urban Open Space|
|Indicator||Number of permissions for development involving the loss Urban Open Space |
Net amount of Urban Open Space lost as a result of development
|Policy||LT3 Areas Deficient in Open Space|
|Target||To reduce deficiencies in formal and informal open space, play areas and play equipment|
|Indicator||Net increase in formal and informal open space, play areas and play equipment|
|Policy||LT11 Retention of Existing Local Community Facilities|
|Target||To restrict the loss of local community facilities|
|Indicator||Number of permissions for redevelopment or change of use resulting in the loss of existing local community facilities|
|Policy||LT14 Recreational Routes|
|Target||To develop a network of Recreational Routes|
|Indicator||Length of new Recreational Routes provided year on year|
Conservation and Protection of the Environment
|Policy||C1 Sites of Special Scientific Interest|
|Target||To prevent harm to Sites of Special Scientific Interest|
|Indicator||Number of permissions for development adversely affecting Sites of Special Scientific Interest|
|Policy||C3 County Wildlife Sites, Local Nature Reserves and Other Habitats and Natural Features of Local Value|
|Target||To prevent harm to protected flora, fauna and their habitats and to sites of nature conservation value|
|Indicator||Number of permissions for development adversely affecting species and habitats covered by the Essex or Brentwood Biodiversity Action Plans |
Number of permissions for development adversely affecting a County Wildlife Site or Local Nature Reserve
|Policy||C7 Development Affecting Preserved Trees, Ancient Woodlands and Trees in Conservation Areas|
|Target||To prevent the loss of preserved trees|
|Indicator||Number of preserved trees lost through development proposals|
|Policy||C15 Demolition, Alterations or Extensions|
|Target||To maintain the Borough’s listed buildings|
|Indicator||Number of consents for demolition of a listed building|
Infrastructure and Resources
|Policy||IR3 Protecting The Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land|
|Target||To restrict the loss of the Best and Most Versatile Agricultural Land|
|Indicator||Number of permissions for development on Grade 2 and 3a Agricultural Land|
|Policy||TC4 Use of Upper Floors above Commercial Properties|
|Target||To provide further residential accommodation above commercial premises within the town centre|
|Indicator||Number of permissions for residential accommodation above commercial premises within the town centre|
|Policy||TC5 Type of Accommodation|
|Target||All new residential accommodation in the town centre to be one or two person properties|
|Indicator||Percentage of permissions involving residential accommodation within the town centre that are one or two person properties|
|Policy||TC7 Non-Retail Uses|
|Target||To retain an appropriate balance of retail units within the town centre shopping areas|
|Indicator||Number of permissions granted for non retail uses beyond the thresholds|