Draft Local Plan Review
12. Delivery and Monitoring
403. The draft local plan is both aspirational and realistic. It is important to demonstrate that it is deliverable and how to show that the challenges have been addressed.
404. Delivery may be enabled through a number of ways, including (but not limited to):
- Developer Contribution Policy
- Infrastructure Delivery Plan
- Planning Process
- Partnership working, including the West Midlands Combined Authority
- Urban Growth Company
405. In recognising that it cannot deliver the Local Plan strategy alone, the Council will work with public, private and voluntary sector organisations to draw together the necessary resources.
406. New development will be expected to meet its own physical infrastructure needs, such as on-site provision of utilities or a new road junction to access a site. Where new development puts pressure on social or green infrastructure, or creates a need, e.g. for new community facilities or open space, then provision will also have to be made for these. Where necessary and viable, these will be secured through developer contributions. Early consideration of infrastructure needs and integration into the design will reduce the end-costs of provision. It will also be expected that the cost of affordable housing will be met by development.
407. The schedule of housing allocations in the appendix sets out the likely infrastructure requirements for each of the sites the Council has identified. One of the key infrastructure requirements will be to ensure that there is either sufficient capacity at existing schools, or provision is made to increase capacity. Increasing capacity may be in the form of working with existing schools to increase their existing capacity or via the construction of new schools.
408. At this stage detailed planning for school places has not been undertaken, as this will be dependent upon which sites are taken forward into the submission version of the plan; and which sites could potentially accommodate on site provision and when it may be delivered. However from the scale of growth to be accommodated it is anticipated that this is likely to require the construction of four new primary schools. At this stage it is not thought that a new secondary school will be required as it is expected that additional capacity can be provided at existing schools, but further detailed analysis is needed when the final sites are confirmed.
409. Developer contributions may be sought as Section 106 obligations, Section 278 agreements or through the adopted Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule (April 2016). CIL will contribute to the provision of strategic infrastructure and that which arises from a larger number of incremental developments. CIL will also have an important role to play in assisting local communities to fund the infrastructure projects they wish to prioritise. This will be achieved through the proportion of the levy being collected being passed on to the communities concerned.
410. Planning obligations will continue to be used to ensure the site specific mitigation measures required in connection with a proposed development are properly and timely secured.
411. Statutory agencies, such as water companies, are also responsible for meeting their statutory obligations and responding to growth.
412. There will be a need for both public and private sector investment in capital infrastructure and revenue streams to support development. The Council will carry out its statutory duties and work with lead delivery partners to optimise the use of its assets and bid for public sector funding from national, regional, strategic and local grants.
413. Access to broadband is a vital component of infrastructure in today's world. It is key to growing a sustainable local economy, vital for education and home working and an increasingly central part of community cohesion and resilience, particularly in rural areas. In addition, Local Authorities are increasingly reliant on digital infrastructure to provide services and interact with their customers.
414. Local Planning Authorities have a pivotal role to play in encouraging developers to 'future-proof' their developments by installing direct fibre access, wherever possible.
415. In addition to the reputational and wider economic benefits of ensuring that residents are able to access high speed broadband when they move into new developments, there is also the issue of avoiding the costs and frustrations to occupiers of future retrofitting if the infrastructure is not fit for purpose.
416. Enhanced broadband provision also has the potential to reduce the need for road, rail and air travel. Developers are key in determining how projects shape an area; therefore the planning of telecommunications infrastructure in relation to development is vital.
417. This will be complementary to the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Superfast Broadband project which the Council is part of. This is a project that is helping to deliver the broadband initiative, particularly in the rural areas.
Developer Contribution Policy
418. Planning obligations or 'Section 106 agreements' may be entered into by developers as part of the development process. They are used to mitigate the impact of development, to compensate for the loss of or damage to specific features, or to prescribe the form of development and will be:
- Necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms
- Directly related to the development; and
- Fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development
419. Most of the local plan objectives will be delivered through private sector development. The Council will work with the private sector to ensure that development comes forward which fits with the vision and objectives of the local plan and to balance policy requirements with the economics of provision, including particular costs that may threaten the viability of a particular site.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
420. The Council adopted its CIL Charging Schedule in 2016 and relevant planning permissions that are now granted are liable to the levy. As part of the viability work on the submission version of the plan the Council will consider if it is necessary for the CIL charging schedule to be updated.
Policy P21 Developer Contributions and Infrastructure Provision
Development will be expected to provide, or contribute towards provision of:
•Measures to directly mitigate its impact and make it acceptable in planning terms
•Physical, social, green and digital infrastructure to support the needs associated with the development
Infrastructure and mitigation measures will be provided in a timely manner to support the objectives of the Local Plan.
The Council will, where appropriate, seek to secure site-specific measures through planning obligations. The nature and scale of any planning obligations sought will be related to the form of development and its potential impact on the site and surrounding area. The cumulative impact of developments will also be taken into account.
Developer contributions in the form of the Community Infrastructure Levy will contribute towards strategic infrastructure required to support the overall development in the Local Plan
Contributions secured through planning obligations may be pooled to address need or cumulative impacts arising from more than one development proposal.
The Council will work in partnership with infrastructure providers and other delivery agencies in updating the Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
Infrastructure Delivery Plan
421. Planning for infrastructure is an essential element in delivering the local plan. Infrastructure in this sense is not just the physical infrastructure such as roads and pipes, but also the, social, green and digital infrastructure (e.g. health care, open spaces, community facilities etc.) required to enable sustainable development.
422. The 2012 Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) provides a baseline of the existing infrastructure capacity and needs in the Borough, including a gap analysis. The IDP aimed to:
- Set out the existing infrastructure capacity and needs in the Borough with the lead delivery organisations and their partners;
- Assess the impact of the proposed scale and location of development in the Borough over the plan period on infrastructure, where this information is available;
- List the projects which will address existing and future infrastructure needs, where possible; and
- Align the implementation of the IDP with the aims and objectives of other national, regional, local or neighbourhood strategies and plans.
423. While the 2012 IDP's Schedule identified the list of 'essential' or 'desirable' infrastructure, the schedule requires updating to reflect the current infrastructure priorities, based on the anticipated levels of growth and the most relevant information. In consultation with infrastructure providers the 2012 IDP will be updated to reflect the current position and to ensure that the essential infrastructure needed to support the revised Local Plan is identified.
424. As it is anticipated that it will not be possible to fund, and hence deliver all essential infrastructure, particularly major schemes such as strategic transport projects, through developer contributions alone some infrastructure will be delivered via funding secured from other sources, for example that available from the WMCA.
425. The Council has a 'duty to co-operate' and often works in partnership with other bodies and the local communities to determine and deliver these and other services. It has been working with, and will continue to work with other statutory delivery agencies to enable delivery of the Local Plan objectives.
426. Partnership working has involved working with (but not limited to):
- Developers, landowners, business and community interests to secure deliverable development.
- The North Solihull Partnership to support the successful regeneration of the three wards of Chelmsley Wood, Kingshurst & Fordbridge and Smith's Wood.
- Neighbouring authorities
- Local parish councils, communities and neighbourhood forums
- West Midland Combined Authority & GBSLEP
- Environment and Highways Agencies
- Homes and Communities Agency - to access funding including the Affordable Homes Programme 2016-2021. This includes a particular focus on North Solihull and development proposals that provide affordable housing in excess of Policy P4a Meeting Housing Needs, Affordable Housing.
427. Solihull MBC has a pivotal role as service and infrastructure provider. Some of the Council's duties include that as:
- Local Highways Authority
- Local Education Authority
- Local Housing Authority
- Waste and Minerals Authority
- Adult and Children's Social Care
- Lead Local Flood Authority
428. In preparing the Local Plan, the council has considered that requirements of other public service providers. Delivering many of these services will be critical to delivering the Local Plan objectives. The Council will work these service providers in delivering the Local Plan.
429. A key role for the council is as the local planning authority and the determination of planning applications. Planning decisions will be made by the Council in line with the policies in this plan, which reflect the vision and objectives set out in the Local Plan and other supporting documents.
Further policy development (Plan-making)
430. Residential site allocations in the Local Plan have been based on an up-to-date "Strategic Housing & Economic Land Availability Assessment" (SHELAA) for the Borough, which ensures that the sites are 'deliverable' within the proposed phasing periods, i.e. suitable, available and achievable.
431. The Employment Land Review is in the process of being updated and confirms that allocated employment sites are suitable and deliverable over the plan period.
432. For some local plan policies further details may need to be set out in other supporting documents such as Supplementary Planning Documents. Where necessary, the Council will prepare these to provide additional guidance to applicants.
433. Neighbourhood Plans can be produced by Parish Councils or in the absence of a Parish Council by Neighbourhood Forums. They can identify how an area should grow and change. While Neighbourhood Plans provide another opportunity for local people to influence what is built in their area – it should be noted that these need to be in conformity with the strategic policies of the Local Plan and can only provide for equal or additional growth. A neighbourhood plan becomes part of the statutory plan for Solihull, and its policies will be afforded full weight once the neighbourhood plan is adopted.
434. We will proactively work with local communities to bring forward Neighbourhood Plans and Neighbourhood Development Orders.
435. Monitoring is an essential component of an effective planning system. Under the plan-monitor-manage approach, monitoring plays an important role in evaluating policy performance, understanding policy implications and formulating robust policies.
436. The purpose of the local plan monitoring framework is to:
- Assess the performance of the plan in delivering the spatial vision and objectives
- Establish whether policies have unintended consequences
- Identify a need for additional, amended or deletion of policies or supplementary planning documents
- Establish whether targets are being achieved; and establish whether assumptions and objectives behind policies are still relevant; and
- Demonstrate the plan is deliverable in the plan period.
437. The outcome of the monitoring may result in:
- A review or partial review of the local plan (where policies have been identified as not performing); or
- Providing for the preparation of supplementary planning documents or other supporting evidence/documents
Challenges and Objectives Addressed by the Policy
A Reducing inequalities in the Borough
B Meeting housing needs across the Borough, including the Borough's own needs and, where possible, assisting with accommodating the HMA wide shortfall.
C Sustaining the attractiveness of the Borough for people who live, work and invest in Solihull
D Securing sustainable economic growth
E Protecting key gaps between urban areas and settlements
F Climate change
G To maintain a supply of gypsy and traveller sites.
H Increasing accessibility and encouraging sustainable travel
I Providing sufficient waste management facilities and providing for sand and gravel aggregates
J Improving health and well being
K Protecting and enhancing our natural assets
L Water quality and flood risk
M Maximising the economic and social benefits of the High Speed 2 rail link and Interchange
N Mitigating the impacts of High Speed 2 and the growth associated with the Interchange area