Adur Local Plan is backed by the government inspector
Released: Wednesday, 04 October 2017
Homes and workspaces of the future will be delivered without damaging the individual identity of towns and villages in Adur - that's the message from the government inspector after he backed the Adur Local Plan.
Adur District Council leaders believe the document, which will guide development in the Local Plan area until 2032, gives the area a strong base to provide properties and jobs while protecting the unique environment of the area.
Despite the Plan not fully meeting housing demand in the area, planning inspector David Hogger has informed officials he was happy with the blueprint - adding “the Council's approach is justified and in all other respects sound” due to “significant constraints of building” in an area buffered by the sea and the South Downs.
Key headlines in the document include:
- Delivering a minimum of 3,718 properties up until 2032 - more than half the housing need of 6,825;
- Delivering a minimum of 41,000 square metres of commercial space across three main sites - Shoreham Airport, Shoreham Harbour and New Monks Farm;
- All developments of ten or more homes required to provide 30% affordable housing;
- preserving a “local green gap” to ensure individual settlements like Shoreham and Lancing retain their individual identities;
- Inclusion of New Monks Farm in Lancing, Shoreham Harbour Arm and land at West Sompting as areas to be redeveloped.
Adur District Council began work on the document several years ago; since then significant changes have been made to the national planning system.
After extensive consultation with hundreds of residents, businesses and other stakeholders, the final document was submitted to the Inspectorate in October 2016 for examination.
Mr Hogger has now replied to say he finds the Plan sound, subject to the Council making 'Main Modifications', which were key changes consulted on earlier this year.
The Plan, which will be used as a base for considering planning applications, will need to be officially adopted at a meeting of Full Council in December.
Councillor Brian Boggis, Adur District Council's Executive Member for Regeneration, said:
“This has been a long time in the making so I'm pleased that we have received the backing of the national inspector.”
“Adur is a unique and very special place made up of a number of very distinct communities. This Plan will protect that and make sure that we preserve those identities. But it also gives us a strong base in which to move forward in providing the homes and workplaces of tomorrow while protecting our environment for generations to come.”
As part of national guidelines, the Plan will be reviewed within five years.
The Adur Local Plan does not cover all of the district as it excludes the parts which are in the South Downs National Park. Below are some extracts on some of the key points:
The housing need for the area was defined as 325 properties a year, meaning 6,825 homes would need be delivered up until 2032 to meet demand. However, after noting “there are a number of significant constraints to development within the broader area” and the Council had been “thorough” in trying to meet this demand, the Inspector has accepted a delivery target of a minimum of 177 a year (3,718 up until 2032).
The Inspector also praised the Council for trying to work with neighbouring authorities in trying to ensure that the demand for homes was met in other areas, which do not have the same pressures on land.
The Inspector did rule out a proposal for an affordable housing sliding scale. This would have required all new developments to provide a contribution towards affordable housing. This approach reflects the fact most sites in the area are small plots. The approach had been viability tested. But the Inspector ruled this proposal did not meet national guidelines, instead enforcing a cap that only those sites of ten or more properties would be required to supply 30% affordable housing.
Local Green Gap
When drawing up the plan, the Council placed great emphasis on ensuring that the individual communities of places such as Lancing, Southwick and Shoreham retained their character. This meant that the Local Plan seeks to protect the “green gaps” between these areas - an approach supported by the Inspector. He said:
“On the basis that it is important for communities to retain their independent character and qualities I agree with the Council that the identification of local green gaps is a justified and necessary approach. Such gaps serve a legitimate planning purpose in preventing settlements merging together.”
The Inspector supporter the council's overall approach and backed up the omission of a number of key sites, which include:
- Mill Hill, Shoreham
- The Inspector claimed ”no evidence was submitted that clearly demonstrates that an appropriate scheme could be delivered without significant harm to the appearance, function and character of this elevated site”.
- Steyning Road (Shoreham Gateway site)
- The land is next to the River Adur on the entrance to Shoreham
- Inspector noted building on the land would risk “the value of the heritage assets in Old Shoreham being diminished”.
- The Inspector also admitted there were concerns over flooding, which meant properties on this site would need to be at least three storeys high . The Inspector said while it is important that the potential of sites should be optimised, that should not be at the expense of visual quality and appropriate design.
- New Salts Farm, Lancing
- The Inspector said there are two issues that are of particular significance with regard to this site - impact on the local green gap and flood risk.
- Old Salts Farm, Lancing
- Inspector: Although I consider that the development of this site would not have significant consequences in terms of the local green gap, the issue of flood risk has not been adequately addressed.
Contact Public Relations & Communications
Public Relations & Communications,
Adur & Worthing Councils,
Worthing Town Hall,