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Holbrook Parish Council

Well Cottage, The Street, Wherstead

IP9 2AJ

clerk@holbrook.suffolk.gov.uk

01473 319457

Development Survey Update

The Development Survey has been completed and a Report on the findings has been produced. The Report can be accessed here.  The Report will be sent to Babergh District Council Planning Team and will help the Parish Council consider their response to any future planning applications received for housing in the village.  All Planning Applications are discussed at the monthly Parish Council meetings but any large scale application may require a separate meeting.  Details of any meetings will be published on Council Noticeboards around the village.

 

 

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT PROPOSALS IN HOLBROOK – THE SITUATION

As many villagers will know Taylor Wimpey are proposing a housing development on land to the east of Ipswich Road.  This is the first of what could be a series of similar proposals for sites in and around the village.  The Parish Council has sought advice and clarification from Babergh District Council on the status of the land in respect to it being a designated development site and which planning policies are likely to be used when considering any formal planning applications by any developer or individual.  It has become apparent that there have been some changes in national and then local planning policies which effectively mean that whereas previously land that was “outside the boundary/village envelope” and was protected from development can now be looked at as being potentially developed for housing.  The key to being able to influence or impact on any future planning applications is to have solid local evidence to back up any position the local community wants to take either in favour of or in opposition to any such development.  It is for this reason that the Parish Council are undertaking a survey that all Holbrook residents can complete to gauge the feeling of the village so that any future developments can be dealt with according to the views of the local community.  It is critical that as many Holbrook residents as possible complete the survey which will be in Parish Papers and online.

The full transcript of the Babergh District Council statement is set out below:

The site was included in the 2011 Update of the SHLAA.  It was identified as site SB263 and I am attaching a copy of the SHLAA plan for Holbrook and a copy of the worksheet for this particular site. 

The SHLAA is an evidence document, required by Government policy, to show that sufficient housing land can be provided for a 15-year period. It does not select sites for development or make decisions about future housing allocations. These decisions are made by Development Plans and through planning applications.

The current planning policy context for Babergh District is changing for a number of reasons.

Although the current Development Plan for the Babergh District is the Local Plan adopted in 2006, it is now becoming out of date, particularly since the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework in March 2012. The Local Plan will soon be replaced by the Core Strategy which has recently been subject to public examination.  In the Core Strategy Holbrook is identified as a Core Village. The Core Strategy provides for 1050 additional dwellings to be located in Core and Hinterland Villages.  Policy CS6 of the Core Strategy relates to Core and Hinterland Villages and states:

“Proposals for development for Core Villages will be approved on sites allocated in the Site Allocations DPD, and elsewhere where proposals score positively when assessed against Policy CS10 and the following matters are addressed to the satisfaction of the local planning authority (or other decision maker) where relevant and appropriate to the scale and location of the proposal:

 

  • site location and sequential approach to site selection;
  • Locally identified need - housing and employment, and specific local needs such as affordable housing:
  • Locally identified community needs; and
  • Cumulative impact of development in the area.

 This policy therefore allows sites to be brought forward in Core Villages which are outside the Built Up Area boundary and not allocated in the Site Allocations Document

The Council has also recently received an appeal decision on a site in Capel St Mary which found that the Council does not have a five-year supply of housing land.  In the absence of a five year supply of housing land it will be necessary for the Council to make decisions on housing proposals based on the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which states at paragraph 49:

“Housing applications should be considered in the context of the presumption in  favour of sustainable development.  Relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up-to-date if the local planning authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites.”

Therefore although the saved policies of the Babergh Local Plan (alteration No.2) which was adopted in 2006 still comprise the development plan for the area they cannot carry full weight because the authority does not have a five-year supply of housing land.  Housing proposals will now need to be considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.  Paragraph 14 of the NPPF advises that for decision taking this means:

“Granting permission unless any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the Framework taken as a whole”.

This means that the polices in the Adopted Local Plan such as CR01, HS02 and HS03 against which housing proposals have been assessed to date now carry less weight than the presumption in favour of sustainable development. 

Against this background the Council is receiving a number of approaches from developers with sites in Core Villages seeking to bring them forward in the context of the NPPF and Core Strategy Policy CS6.  The land at Ipswich Road, Holbrook is one such site.

The Council will therefore need to carefully consider these proposals in the context of the NPPF and the emerging Core Strategy, taking into account the views of the local community in which they are located.

 

In answer to a direct question which policy takes precedence we received this response:

The NPPF will take precedence over the 2006 Local Plan.  The emerging Core Strategy can, however, be given significant weight and when/if it is found to be sound and adopted it will carry equal weight to the NPPF as it will be compliant with it.

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