South Worcestershire Development Plan Review – Update April 2019
Some disquiet has been raised around the villages concerning the latest review of the SWDP. Please be assured that there is nothing abnormal about what is going on. Our parishes have had their allotted quota of development for the duration of the present development plan which is in force until 2030. That means that there is no more housing development planned in our area. This does not mean that there may not be the odd windfall site put forward. Windfall sites are such things as when parts of gardens are sold off for a house. This would only apply within the village boundary of Flyford Flavell and there are not that many opportunities left. Policy can not stop speculative proposals being made but as long as Wychavon keeps its five year land supply up to date no speculative development will be allowed outside the agreed development areas. At the moment the Wychavon land supply is seven years so the situation is very robust. Of course things change and the parish council will keep a watchful eye on what is going on. The present review is about what will happen between 2030 and 2041 and it is probable that our parishes will have some development allocated to them. At the moment it looks like it will be around or less than12 houses. Altogether the three Local Authorities making up South Worcestershire have been allocation an extra 14,000 houses in the next plan period.
You can find a link to the SWDP website on our Useful Links page.
The following is from a report that the clerk gave to the parish council on 15th April 2019.
“The SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Allocation Assessment) process as it was called for the present development plan is now SHELAA as it also includes strategic employment land. Central government now requires the local development plans to be revised every five years. The plans have to reflect a presumption for sustainable development.
In order to define sustainability the planning authority has categorised villages depending on the amount of facilities they possess. Flyford Flavell is a category 2 village in the hierarchy of sustainable villages meaning that it is seen as a reasonably sustainable village possessing most village amenities. Grafton Flyford is category 4a which recognises it as a settlement but is not really seen as sustainable in planning terms. North Piddle does not have a rating meaning that it is considered to be open countryside.
In the last SHLAA exercise only 14% of housing development was allocated to the villages. Flyford Flavell was actually allocated 12 houses even though we got 16 plus the windfall sites.
This time the allocation to the villages is expected to be less, meaning that our parish share should be less than 12.
Although the preferred option is to site development round the existing established towns there is now a problem finding suitable sites because they have already been developed. It is not a preferred option though, to transfer this to the villages if at all possible. The preferred option would be to create a new settlement.
Although this is still under discussion (don’t forget we are considering post 2030) there seems to be a developing trend in communication links and this will influence what is considered to be sustainable.
Bus services are on the wane and are likely to diminish over the next few years as subsidies are withdrawn. The preferred option of the Highways Authorities is to site development near railway stations and there is a growing preference to site a new settlement adjacent to Worcester Parkway.
The SWDP team would be open to Neighbourhood Plans as long as they were in line with policy. They would also prefer them to be more than another layer of environment protection and offer allocation sites of their own. SWDP would only count these once and would not impose a larger quota on the basis of counting the offered allocation and then adding the SHELAA quota.
In terms of timescale. Wychavon has received 1000 applications and all the sites have now been visited. The estimate is that nowhere near the number of sites that have been offered will be required to meet the housing requirement between 2030 and 2041. They hope to complete the Level 1 elimination process by the end of May 2019. This will discount any sites which have a capacity of less than 5 houses and have substantial flooding or access problems.
Further work will then be done to create a preferred options report which will be put to the 3 councils (Worcester City, Malvern and Wychavon) in October 2019 and then when this has been approved it will be published for consultation. The full consultation period including workshops run by the planning authority will conclude in October 2020.
It is not expected that any sites within 4a and open countryside will be needed to fulfil the housing need although this is not a promise at this stage.
Wychavon are very keen to ensure what happened in Welland, Drakes Broughton and Honeybourne does not happen again. That is large developer lead housing development. This was because the planning policy of Wychavon was caught off guard with planning policy changes and inspectors drove through planning approvals much against the local authority’s wishes.”