Bridgend County Borough Council,Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB

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Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) Biodiversity and Development: A Green Infrastructure Approach Sustainable Energy Affordable Housing

Review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs)

 

This consultation has now closed

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Consultation Documents

Please click here for the final report.

Introduction

This consultation is about three Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) documents: (1) Biodiversity and Development: A Green Infrastructure Approach; (2) Sustainable Energy; and (3) Affordable Housing. All of these documents have been prepared to give potential developers in Bridgend County Borough further detailed guidance on various policies contained within the Council's Local Development Plan (LDP).

The consultation also seeks your views on a draft report which details the comprehensive review of Bridgend’s Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC’s).

Background to the Proposals

Biodiversity and Development: A Green Infrastructure Approach SPG
Review of Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs)

There is an increasing awareness of the need to protect the natural environment for the services that it provides to us from a social, economic and environmental perspective. In addition however, there is an increasing demand for development, which provides the population with housing, employment and educational facilities etc. In the past these objectives have been viewed as competing with one another with a view that protecting the environment can stifle development and development has an adverse impact on the environment. In this respect the aim of the SPG is two-fold:

In the first instance the SPG provides detailed guidance on biodiversity issues. This enables developers to be aware, at an early stage in the development process, what the Council will expect from them in terms of protecting and enhancing the green infrastructure that exists in the County Borough.

Secondly, the SPG also aims to do however is show how green infrastructure can be viewed as an asset which, if protected and enhanced can have social and economic benefits as well as the obvious environmental benefits, leaving behind this historic conflict that exists between development and the environment.

This SPG is the first of its kind to be produced in Wales and it is our hope that it will represent good practice in introducing the green infrastructure concept into the planning and development processes, making a valued contribution towards the sustainable development agenda.

The Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) Reviewis intrinsically linked to the Biodiversity SPG recognising them as one of the ‘key’ green infrastructure assets that exist within the County Borough. Developments affecting locally designated sites of importance for nature conservation (SINC’s), together with regional sites such as local nature reserves are subject to and protected by Policy ENV4 of the LDP.

The SINC Review is a factual document which contains detailed information on the ecological value of each site with a data sheet and boundary map for each. The report also includes recommendations for further work and guidance on how future SINC habitats should be managed.

The Biodiversity and Development SPG provides detailed guidance on the consideration of protected sites (including SINC’s) when designing development proposals in the County Borough.

Sustainable Energy SPG

The Council is also seeking ways in which it can facilitate the construction of sustainable homes and buildings across the County Borough which are efficient in their use of natural resources and energy consumption as well as further meeting the energy requirements of these buildings from renewable or low carbon energy systems.

The planning system will be one of the key delivery vehicles to achieving this and there are specific policy requirements in place within the Bridgend Local Development Plan (LDP) that will help ensure that new development proposals are as sustainably constructed as is viably possible. This, in conjunction with progressive changes in Building Regulations requirements will help to achieve the Welsh Government’s target for all new buildings to be built to zero carbon (and nearly zero energy) standards by 2021.

The Council has produced draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG), Sustainable Energy, which expands upon policies in the LDP that require consideration be given to these issues when developers are preparing their planning applications for new development. The SPG comprises:

  • A Design Guide which gives advice on how all new developments can be sustainably designed and constructed as well as minimising natural resource and energy consumption;
  • An Energy Opportunities Plan which provides spatial information on the renewable energy resources available within the County Borough. A high resolution version of the Energy Opportunities Plan is available to download separately below;
  • Technology Guidance on selecting the most appropriate renewable / low carbon energy system for development proposals; and
  • An Energy Assessment Guide which assistance to developers on submitting energy assessment with major applications. These assessments are a specific requirement under Policy ENV17 of the LDP.

Affordable Housing SPG

The delivery of Affordable Housing through the planning system is one of the key objectives of the Bridgend Local Development Plan. The main purpose of the SPG is to provide advice to developers on the circumstances in which the Council will expect the provision of an element of affordable housing on proposed residential developments.

 In summary the SPG provides:

  • The Council’s affordable housing target in relation to the LDP evidence base and local need.
  • A process for consideration of development proposals where the financial viability of providing affordable housing may be an issue.
  • The Council’s preferred methodology for the provision of affordable housing including the circumstances in which off site provision or payment of a commuted sum may be considered an acceptable alternative to on site provision.
  • A mechanism for calculating a suitable commuted sum and examples of projects/initiatives that could be funded by such contributions.
  • Encouragement for developers to engage in pre application discussions with the Council to discuss in more detail the impact of the SPG on their development proposals; and
  • Up to date Acceptable Cost Guidance (ACG) figures from the Welsh Government.

Consultation Methods

We want to ensure that we get your views on the Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and supporting documents before they are finalised and published.

You can read and print off the guidance documents and representations forms online below and they are also available for you to view at the Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend and at every library in the County Borough.

How do you make your views known?

Send us your views by either

  • Emailing your comments directly to developmentplanning@bridgend.gov.uk
  • Send your comments to Mr David Llewellyn, Group Manager – Development, Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend, CF31 4WB.
  • Fax your comments to 01656 643190

A representation form is available for you to complete. This is our preferred way to receive your views.

Representation forms and comments must be received by 12:00 noon on Thursday 6th February 2014. Unfortunately, any comments received after this deadline will not be accepted.

Consultation Period

This consultation period is Thursday 19th December 2013 to Thursday 6th February 2014.

What are the Next Steps?

Once the consultation period has ended, each response / comment will be reported back to the Development Control Committee with a response from the Council recommending any proposed changes considered appropriate in light of the comment received.

The SPGs will then be adopted by the Council and will become a material consideration in the determination of relevant planning applications.

Contact Details

If you require further information on this consultation, please contact the Development Planning team on 01656 643168, email: developmentplanning@bridgend.gov.uk

 

This consultation has now closed

Last Updated: 19/11/2014
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