Wales

Mark Harris
HBF
Planning & Policy Advisor for Wales

 

 

Planning in Wales is devolved to the National Assembly for Wales and as a result, the planning system is different from that operating in England.  The most notable differences are in National Guidance, Planning Policy Wales 10 (PPW),  the Technical advice notes (TANs) and the development plan system (LDPs).

A further key difference is the two tier system of governance as in Wales all authorities are unitary.  There are 22 unitary authorities and 3 National Parks.

As a major stakeholder the HBF represents the house building industry on a number of national and local fora producing policy, guidance and good practice advice. The HBF also works with a number of fellow trade federations including the FMB and RTPI and other professional organisations in order to represent the interests of the industry.

Current issues of concern to the house building industry in Wales are, development viability, slow progress of development plans and their reviews and the lack of five year land supplies. More information can be found in the HBF Housing Delivery and the Plan-Led System paper published in July 2017.

The Planning (Wales) Bill received Royal Consent on the 6th July 2015 making it the first time Wales has had its own Planning Act.  Various pieces of the secondary legislation has now been enacted, including the requirement for pre application consultation and production of a Pre-application Consultation Report [PAC] report.

The Welsh Government’s recently consultation on the Temporary dis-application of paragraph 6.2 of Technical Advice Note (TAN1) which stated that ‘considerable weight’ to the lack of a five year land supply when dealing with planning applications provided that the development would otherwise comply with development plan and national planning policies.’  The HBF made a strong submission against the proposal, however, the Minister Lesley Griffiths dis-applied the paragraph on the 18th July for an un specified period.

A further consultation WG Delivery of housing through the planning system – Call for evidence was issued recently and HBF submitted a response in October 2019.  WG have not indicated how long it will take before we see any recommendations.

Five Year Land Supply Data

Table showing the current 5 year land supplies approved for 2018

LPA

5 yr land supply 2018

Anglesey & Gwynedd

6.3

Blaenau Gwent

1.28

Bridgend

3.4

Caerphilly

2.3

Cardiff

3.5

Carmarthenshire

3.8

Ceredigion

2.2

Conwy

3.1

Denbighshire

1.65

Flintshire

No study as no LDP

Merthyr

1.1

Monmouthshire

3.9

Neath Port Talbot

5

Newport

5.6

Pembrokeshire

 

Pembrokeshire Coast NP

1.4

Powys

No study this year

RCT

1.4

Snowdonia NP

2.8 

Swansea

No study as no LDP

Torfaen

3.9

Vale of Glamorgan

5.6

Wrexham

No study as no LDP

*unable to carry out a 5 year land supply calculation as no adopted plan in place.

Appeals 

Appeal Ref: APP/T6905/A/17/3188913

Site address: Land at the corner of Pentywyn Road and Marl Lane, Deganwy

The appeal is made by Mr M Roberts Beech Developments (NW) Ltd against the decision of Conwy County Borough Council.

The development proposed is residential development comprising 110 no dwellings and associated works including roads, sewers, public open space and landscaping.

The need to provide a 5-year supply of housing land against the housing requirement is a key government policy as set out in paragraph 2.1 of TAN 1. The magnitude of the shortfall here is significant - 1357 units. The shortfall has been in place for several years and will not be rectified until the adoption of the LDP review which is an indicative date of 2021. The Council has produced DGN 1 to steer development outside the settlement boundary to sites that are best ranked as the next available site as identified by BP/21. The site was dropped as a contingency site because it was not numerically required at that time. It was regarded as the next best available site in the settlement for the LDP review process, however, the site is numerically required now and the LDP review is some way off. The Council seeks to down play the importance of DGN 1 and BP/21 but these are the only mechanisms which are in place to bring forward sites in the light of a significant shortfall. The proposal would contribute significantly towards making up the shortfall in a way that no allocated site within the boundary of the settlement or smaller windfall sites would achieve.

Taking these matters together I therefore attach significant weight to the need to increase housing land supply as a material planning consideration.

Interested parties are critical of the method of calculating housing land supply and that the dis-application of paragraph 6.2 of TAN 1 means that housing land supply should not be a material consideration. I have taken into account fully the representations on this matter but conclude that to adopt a different methodology to TAN 1 for calculating housing land supply would be unsound.

 

Appeal Ref: APP/L6940/A/18/3210592

Site address: Blake Street, Maerdy, Ferndale CF43 4AH

The appeal is made by Warton and Evans against the decision of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.

The development is Proposed residential development of up to 29 dwellings.

The Council cannot demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply. The latest Joint Housing Land Availability Study concludes that the Council could demonstrate only a 1.4 year housing land supply. Following the dis-application of paragraph 6.2 of Appeal Decision APP/L6940/A/18/3210592 5 Technical Advice Note 1 ‘Joint Housing Land Availability Studies’, it is now a matter for decision makers to determine the weight to be attributed to the need to increase housing land supply where a shortfall exists, provided that LDP and national policies are met. As stated above that is not the case here. Nonetheless, given the extent of the shortfall I attach considerable weight to the benefit of the proposal in contributing up to 29 units to the County Borough’s housing land supply. This weighs heavily in favour of development provided this could proceed without causing material harm to the strategic objectives underpinning the LDP.

The 1.4 year housing land supply is substantially below what should be provided and the appeal scheme would provide much needed private and affordable housing in a locality which has seen extremely limited provision in recent years. In my view, the proposal would satisfy the objectives of PPW Edition 10 to secure sustainable development by ensuring that local communities have sufficient housing and affordable housing for their needs and directing development to sustainable locations. I consider that it would also be consistent with the goals of the WBFG Act, in particular the Welsh Ministers’ well-being objective of supporting safe, cohesive and resilient communities.

I attach considerable weight to the benefits of the proposal in contributing materially to the housing land supply of the County Borough and to providing a limited number of affordable homes in Maerdy. I also attach moderate weight to the proposal’s contribution to economic activity in the locality, including via an employment and skills plan. The other obligations offered in the Section 106 agreement are intended to mitigate the effects of the proposal and they therefore have a neutral impact.

 

Help to Buy Wales

The current scheme is due to finish in 2021. The latest Help to Buy Figures (April 2019) show 8,731 properties purchased since its introduction in January 2014 with 76% of them being first time buyers.  HBF are currently working with WG to secure a further two year extension as in England.

Housing Pact Wales

The Housing Pact Wales was launch by Lesley Griffiths Housing Minister and HBF Wales on the 21st September 2017 at the Barry Waterfront.  Representative of four National House builders, including three who are building on the site, attended and were able to accompany Lesley on a brief tour of the new housing.  The Launch received reasonable media coverage and subsequently has been raised during First Minister question time.

9 Sep, 2019 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning Meeting

3 Jun, 2019 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning Meeting

28 Jan, 2019 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning Meeting

10 Sep, 2018 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning Meeting

14 May, 2018 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning Meeting

22 Jan, 2018 (1 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning Meeting

18 Sep, 2017 (12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning

Rezidor Park Inn Cardiff North, Circle Way East, Llanedyrn, Cardiff CF23 9XF
15 May, 2017 (12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning

Rezidor Park Inn Cardiff North, Circle Way East, Llanedyrn, Cardiff CF23 9XF
23 Jan, 2017 (12:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.)

Wales Planning

Rezidor Park Inn Cardiff North, Circle Way East, Llanedyrn, Cardiff CF23 9XF
26 Sep, 2016 (11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Wales Planning Meeting

Park Inn Cardiff North, Circle Way East, Llanedyrn, Cardiff CF23 9XF
16 May, 2016 (11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Wales Planning Meeting

Park Inn Cardiff North, Circle Way East, Llanedyrn, Cardiff CF23 9XF