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Friday, May 17, 2013

Inspector gives the nod to county's planning blueprint

Another milestone has been reached in the history of the Denbighshire Local Development Plan  (LDP) - with the Inspector's report deeming the document to be 'sound'.

The Local Development Plan allocates land to meet the needs of the County for uses such as housing, including affordable housing, employment, retail and leisure as well as providing protection for our high quality environment and landscape.

Councillors in Denbighshire will discuss the LDP at a Full Council meeting taking place on 4 June.

The Local Development Plan makes provision for 7,500 new homes over the 15 year period 2006 – 2021.  

The council successfully argued that this was the appropriate level of growth for the county in the face of pressure from Welsh Government and the building industry that the figure should be significantly higher.  

Of the 7,500 new homes over 1,400 have already been built and a further 1,750 have planning permission.  The Inspector identified through the examination that additional sites should be put forward to ensure the remaining housing supply could be met.  

The council put forward 21 additional sites which the Inspector has included in the final Plan along with another four sites not put forward by the council.  

All sites included in the final Local Development Plan have been submitted by landowners during the preparation process and consulted upon.

The Key Strategic Site at Bodelwyddan forms an important part of the Local Development Plan strategy and will provide 1,715 new homes, 26 hectares of employment land as well as a new primary school, community facilities and open space.  

There are also significant development sites located in Rhyl, Meliden, Rhuddlan, St Asaph, Denbigh, Ruthin and Corwen.  Smaller development sites to meet local needs have also been allocated across the county.

A new settlement tier for hamlets has been introduced which will allow limited affordable housing development in very rural areas for people with a local connection to the area. 

Affordable housing provision will be required on all sites of 3 or more homes starting at 10% and rising progressively to 30% as house prices rise in the future.  

All permissions for conversions of rural buildings, infill developments and exceptions sites outside of development boundaries will only be permitted as affordable homes to meet local needs.

The re-use of brown field land is promoted through the Plan, along with the regeneration of Rhyl.  A zone protecting and promoting tourism uses has been allocated along the coast and appropriate, sustainable tourism initiatives are encouraged throughout the county.  

In order to protect and enhance the landscape, the redevelopment of caravan parks to reduce density and improve landscaping is encouraged. The development of new static caravan sites will however not be permitted.

The St Asaph business park will continue to provide high quality employment land to boost the local economy along with policies to encourage appropriate employment development in the County’s towns and more rural areas.  Retail development will be concentrated in town centres to assist in regeneration and ensure they remain vibrant and able to meet the needs of the people of Denbighshire now and in the future.

Open spaces are protected; including land on the Park View Estate in Rhyl that has been a key ambition of the local population for many years; and policies are included to ensure that new developments include open space.  

Areas of high landscape value are protected from inappropriate development including the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, the Area of Outstanding Beauty around Cynwyd and Llandrillo and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal World Heritage Site.
Once adopted, the Local Development Plan will be monitored on an annual basis to ensure that the policies are delivering the desired outcomes, and meeting the agreed targets.  

Copies of the Inspectors Report can be found on Denbighshire County Council's website  (www.denbighshire.gov.uk) and at all council libraries, one stop shops and Bodelwyddan Community Centre.  

If the LDP were to be ratified by councillors on 4 June, copies of the full Plan would be available at the same locations.

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