Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 9th October 2008
Title of Item/Report
Local Development Framework: Planning the Future of Rural Villages in Stockton on Tees Borough
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on Local Development Framework - Planning the Future of Rural Villages in Stockton on Tees Borough. The report informed Members of the completion of the ‘Planning the Future of Rural Villages'. The study would form part of the evidence base for the Local Development Framework (LDF).

A study of the rural villages within Stockton-on-Tees Borough had been undertaken, to underpin and support policy development within the Local Development Framework (LDF) and to give clarity in the implementation of Core Strategy Policy 1 (CS1) point 5; ‘In catering for rural housing needs, priority will be given to the provision of affordable housing in sustainable locations, to meet identified need. This will be provided through a rural exception site policy'.

In order to establish the levels of facilities available within the Borough's rural villages, an audit was carried out followed by extensive consultation in all villages included in the study and included an LDF training event for Ward Members and Parish Councillors and Clerks.

Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development (2005) stated that "planning authorities should seek to provide improved access for all to jobs, health, education, shops, leisure and facilities on foot, bicycle or public transport rather than having to rely on access by car, whilst recognising that this may be more difficult in rural areas".

A traffic light scoring system was used to rank each village in terms of their sustainability under the following categories:

• Employment
• Health
• Education
• Shops
• Leisure
• Ancillary facilities
• Access

From the results of the traffic light scoring system a village hierarchy was established. The purpose of the assessment was to spark debate about the villages and obtain information regarding services and facilities available to villages which had not been yet been recorded. Through the response questionnaire residents were also asked a number of questions regarding future policy considerations, such as the limits of development.

The findings of the village's facilities audit and the sustainability study had been compiled into one report in order to give a clear representation of the villages within the borough. An Executive Summary of the report and a copy the full report was attached to the report. The recommendations were summarised as follows:-


The facilities audit for each village had been updated to reflect the current position and the traffic light scoring system used within the consultation session had been replaced by a points based scoring system. This had provided a clear hierarchy of sustainability amongst the villages.


RESOLVED that:-

1. The following recommendations of the study outlined be endorsed:-

I. Development limits to be maintained around all villages.
II. Infill development will be appropriate within Tiers 1 and 2. However, it will not be supported in Tiers 3 and 4 where residents have a greater reliance on the private car to access facilities. Infill development should respect the rural character and density of development in the villages.
III. Emerging policy should promote the development of shopping facilities and additional amenities as infill development to meet the needs of the villages.
IV. Where a need for affordable housing has been identified through the rural exceptions policy it will be essential that these are located in areas where facilities are present or can be accessed by sustainable means, this will allow occupants of affordable housing to be able to access the services and facilities they require to live and not become marginalised.
V. Development limits to be placed around Wynyard in order to define the boundary of the village and create a policy stance in accordance with Hartlepool Borough Council (which has a limits of development in place around the section of Wynyard which lies within the Borough). As Wynyard lies within tier 4 further housing infill development would not be supported until services and facilities were in place to rate the village within tiers 1 or 2 and thus reducing reliance on the private car.
VI. An update of the facilities and services audit will be undertaken every two years in conjunction with Parish Councils in order to reassess the hierarchy of villages and direct development away from the least sustainable locations.

2. The study as part of the evidence base for the Local Development Framework be accepted.
Reasons for the Decision
Local planning authorities must prepare a Local Development Framework (LDF) which comprised a folder of Local Development Documents (LDDs) for delivering the spatial strategy for the area (as opposed to the old single plan covering the whole of the authority's area). LDDs comprise Development Plan Documents and Supplementary Planning Documents, which expanded polices set out in development plan documents or provide additional detail.

The documents produced as part of the LDF must be founded on a robust and credible evidence base. The Rural Villages Study was part of the evidence base to underpin and support policy development within the Local Development Framework (LDF). It would also gave clarity in the implementation of Core Strategy Policy 1 (CS1) point 5; ‘In catering for rural housing needs, priority will be given to the provision of affordable housing in sustainable locations, to meet identified need. This will be provided through a rural exception site policy'.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Mrs Beaumont declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of this item as she was a member of Kirklevington and Castle Leavington Parish Council.
Details of any Dispensations
Not Applicable
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Not later than Midnight on Friday, 17th October 2008
Attachment

Date of Publication: 13 October 2008


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