Torfaen Replacement Local Development Plan: Candidate Sites

2018 Call for Sites

In accordance with the Local Development Plan Regulations, the Council undertook a Call for Candidate Sites exercise from 6th August to 1st October 2018.  Submissions were invited from interested parties who wished to have land considered for inclusion within the RLDP, either for development, re-development or protection from development.  94 sites were submitted for development or re-development; and a further 15 sites were submitted to be considered for protection in the Council’s Green Infrastructure Assessment. The submitted Candidate Sites were compiled into a Candidate Site Register and published for information in December 2018.  A further six sites were included within the assessment process and the Updated Candidate Site Register (March 2020) published accordingly.

The Updated Candidate Sites Register (March 2020)

The Updated Candidate Sites Register identifies the submitted sites, in an index along with a location plan, that have been subject to the assessment process as follows. Given the file size the Updated Register has been split into four documents and can be accessed using the links below:

IMPORTANT: Sites included in the Register are only part of the Replacement LDP information gathering process; and their inclusion should NOT be interpreted as a commitment from the Council that they are developable OR that they will be taken forward into the Replacement LDP.

2020 Second Call for Candidate Sites / Additional Information Relating to an Existing Candidate Site

The Council undertook a ‘Second Call for Candidate Sites’ exercise from 23rd November 2020 to 22nd January 2021; which included giving any existing site proposer the opportunity to submit further supporting information with regard to their site.  Now that the Second Call for sites has formally closed, no further candidate sites are being sought or will be accepted by the Council.

Candidate Site Assessments

Following on from the publication of the Candidate Sites Register, the Council undertook a draft Candidate Sites Assessment for each site as follows:

  • The Stage 1 Assessment comprised a high-level review of each site to establish any sites that were subject to ‘insurmountable constraints’; and 42 such sites were rejected at Stage 1 with no further consideration by the Council.  The 58 sites that were determined to be suitable for detailed assessment proceeded to Stage 2A.
  • The Stage 2A Assessment involved a more thorough consideration of each site by internal Officers (comprising Planning, Highways, Ecology, Landscape, Environmental Health, Conservation, Drainage and Education) resulting in an overall conclusion based upon the principles of sustainable placemaking, the nature and degree of any constraints and the likelihood of deliverability.
  • The same 58 sites were subject to the Stage 2B Assessment against the RLDP Objectives; and 26 sites were then assessed against the Integrated Sustainability Appraisal Themes / Objectives.
  • These documents are available electronically to view below:

Draft Candidate Sites Assessment Reports (February / March 2020) (draft CSAR)

An Executive Summary of the Draft Candidate Site Assessment Reports is also available.

Consultation on the draft CSAR - The Council consulted on the draft CSAR, alongside the Torfaen RLDP Preferred Strategy and associated documents, between 23rd November 2020 and 30th April 2021.  The Council is grateful to those who made comments on the candidate sites; however, no further comments will now be accepted.

Next Stages - The Council will analyse and respond to all the ‘duly made’ comments on the draft CSAR; which will be detailed and addressed in the Initial Candidate Sites Consultation Report to be considered by Council alongside the Deposit Torfaen RLDP later this year.

The Candidates Sites Register will also be updated and will assess any new candidates sites and fully review any supporting information provided for existing candidates sites received during the recent ‘call for further sites / supporting evidence’ exercise.  The Stage 1, 2A and 2B Assessments will be produced or updated accordingly

In addition, within the final Candidates Sites Register, the candidate site assessment process will, for all of the most promising sites, include a new a Stage 2C Assessment involving external consultation with relevant statutory agencies (such as Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water, other utility companies, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru / Natural Resources Wales, Cadw, Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust Ltd., The Coal Authority, Welsh Government Roads, Health and Safety Executive, etc.).  A new Stage 2D Assessment will then involve a viability assessment of the sites that have been identified as realistic and achievable.  Finally, a new Stage 3 Assessment will consider the degree to which the site is in accordance with the RLDP Strategy.

The Council will then formally consult upon the final Candidates Sites Register alongside the Deposit Torfaen RLDP later this year; at which time you will have the opportunity to comment again.

Guidance Notes

For information, the Council produced Guidance Notes to assist site promoters with their submissions as follows:

These remain available for information and use as required.

Development Viability Model (DVM)

National planning guidance in Planning Policy Wales 11th Edition, February 2021 (PPW11) makes it very clear that the deliverability of sites, including the financial viability of the proposal, should be demonstrated at the Candidate Site stage of LDP preparation. This approach is reinforced by the Development Plans Manual, March 2020 (DPM) which states in paragraph 3.30 that "to maximise involvement and the effectiveness of all stages of plan preparation, as much evidence as possible should be provided at the candidate site stage, including a financial viability assessment. This applies to all candidate sites."

Candidate sites will be assessed for financial viability using a Development Viability Model (DVM) produced by Burrows-Hutchinson Ltd Chartered Surveyors who have worked with a number of Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) across Wales. Using this model ensures consistency for developers and LPAs regarding viability matters. The DVM is recognised by Torfaen Council as a suitable means of undertaking a financial viability appraisal ("FVA") relating to a proposed development / Candidate Site.

Subject to payment of a standardised fee, the Council will make a site-specific copy of the DVM available for site proposers / developers. The copy will be tied to a specific site although the model can be used to run numerous scenarios upon the identified site.

Development Viability Model (DVM)
Residential SchemesCommercial Schemes

1-9 dwellings

£195

less than 0.4ha

£195

10-50 dwellings

£345

0.4ha to <2.0ha

£345

51-100 dwellings

£495

2.0ha to <4.0ha

£495

Over 100 dwellings

£ to be agreed with Council depending on size /  complexity of proposal

Over 4ha

£ to be agreed with Council depending on size /  complexity / type of proposal

More information regarding the Council’s approach to viability appraisal and the DVM can be found in the Draft Viability Assessment Guidance Note (December 2020)

Last Modified: 12/05/2021
For more information contact:

Planning Policy and Implementation

Tel: 01633 648039 / 648140

Email: ldp@torfaen.gov.uk

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