This petition was submitted by Cllr Mike Priestley, having collected 706 signatures online.
Changes in 2015 to Technical Advice Note 1 (TAN1) have resulted in unachievable annual housing targets. This has taken planning decisions away from the local democratic planning process and undermined Adopted Local Development Plans (LDPs) across Wales.
We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to reinstate within TAN1 the use of "past building rates methodology" alongside the "residual methodology". This will ensure that Councils are able to undertake intelligent and credible housing land supply needs assessments. Past housing delivery performance reflects economic conditions and local building industry capacity and resilience.
To ensure credible and deliverable land supply, and to balance the need for housing with the need to protect our environment and heritage, it is essential that economic conditions and local building industry capacity are factored into annual calculations of 5 Year Land Supply for Housing.
Changes to TAN1 have forced Local Councils to allow housing developments in excess of what is considered to be local demand. These developments are often large scale and have a detrimental effect on the green belt and the heritage of our County as urban and rural areas over expand. This in turn puts added demands on already stretched services such as GPs, Hospitals, Social Services and Schools.
The withdrawal in 2015 of the past building rates methodology is causing increasing numbers of Local Authorities to declare a 5 Year Land Supply shortfall. This, in turn, is forcing Local Councils, against their will and better judgement, to approve speculative development applications on locally sensitive Greenfield land, land unallocated within their LDPs and, where local approval to these speculative applications is not granted, local democratic decisions are being overturned on appeal, specifically due to the lack of a 5 Year Land Supply for Housing.
In 2014 Conwy Council had a 7+ Year Land Supply when its LDP was examined and approved by the Planning Inspector. Less than 12 months later the changes to TAN 1 reduced Conwy's Land Supply to less than 5 years. This has reduced with successive annual land supply calculations. In 2017, Conwy's land supply now stands at 3.1 years as a direct result of the changes to TAN1, and the Council is receiving speculative development applications for land unallocated within the LDP despite allocated land being available. If the past building rates methodology was still permitted, Conwy would today have an 8.5 year supply.
WG’s guidance document TAN1 tells Local Councils how to work out their supply of housing land. All Councils should have enough land to meet the need for 5 years of house building. In the previous TAN1 there were two methods of working out how much land was needed:
1. The residual method based on the total housing need from an adopted Plan
2. The past build rates method, using the house building rates from the last 5 years to project forward for the next 5 years.
The Wellbeing and Future Generations Act requires us to be balance our decisions and actions in terms of impact today and impact in the future. Surely, we should apply this thinking to land planning and land use? Current Welsh Government policy is forcing prime Greenfield land to be concreted over and forever become brownfield land. The imposition and restriction to the use of the "residual methodology" was fiercely contested at the consultation stage and beyond, but Local Councils' voices were ignored. Local Councils need to be able to:
• protect heritage and environment and sensitive Greenfield land use and exercise local discretion, judgement and control of where development is needed and where it is allowed.
This petition is currently under consideration by the Petitions Committee.
It was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 21/11/2017.
Assembly Constituency and Region
Business type: Petition
Reason considered: Assembly Business;
First published: 06/11/2017
Decision due: Meeting Date by Petitions Committee