Torfaen Replacement Local Development Plan: Candidate Sites

Draft Candidate Sites Assessment Reports (February / March 2020) Consultation

The Draft Candidate Site Assessment Reports listed below detail the staged assessment process to date and form part of the Council’s consultation on the RLDP Preferred Strategy. The Council was expecting to consult between March - April 2020, however, the change in circumstances relating to the Coronavirus resulted in the consultation being postponed. As such, the Council decided to make the Draft Candidate Sites Assessment Reports available to view for information only. A Second Revised Delivery Agreement (October 2020) has now been agreed, which details a Community Involvement Scheme that meets the Council and Welsh Government guidelines for engaging whilst maintaining appropriate social distancing measures. The Council is now therefore in a position to proceed with the RLDP Preferred Strategy consultation and alongside it, the consultation on the Draft Candidate Sites Assessment Report (February/March 2020).

Please note that all documents dated March 2020 were finalised prior to the Coronavirus restrictions and therefore any reference to publicity arrangements and timescales has inevitably been superseded. All documents are available to view by appointment at Civic Centre, Pontypool and can be borrowed by prior arrangement for a short period of time from the Councils three libraries using their ‘Request and Collect Service’ by phoning 01633 647676 or by emailing cwmbran.library@torfaen.gov.uk. The postponed consultation period has commenced on 23rd November 2020 and will end at 23:59 12th February 2021.

The Updated Candidate Sites Register identifies the sites 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:

Draft Candidate Site Assessment Report (CSAR): Documents and Representation Forms

The Draft Candidate Sites Assessment Report (February/March 2020) consultation will run from Monday 23rd November 2020 to the end of Friday 12th February 2021. The consultation documents are available electronically to view below.

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

Electronic representation forms to make comments are available as follows:

Completed forms should be emailed to ldp@torfaen.gov.uk by the end of the consultation period, 23:59 Friday 12th February 2021. Any representations received after this time and date may not be considered.

Further information, advice and paper copies (a printing / postage & administration charge may apply in some instances) of these documents / comments forms can be obtained from the Planning Policy & Implementation Team by email (ldp@torfaen.gov.uk) or telephone (01633 648039 / 648805); and subject to any Covid-19 restrictions, the documents can be viewed by appointment at Civic Centre, Pontypool, and also currently can be borrowed by appointment for a short period of time from the Councils three libraries using their ‘Request and Collect Service’ by phoning 01633 647676 or by emailing cwmbran.library@torfaen.gov.uk.

Please note that all submitted comments will be published in a Candidate Sites Report of Consultation and will therefore be publicly available. Personal details will be dealt with in accordance with the RLDP GDPR Privacy Notice (March 2020).

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

In conjunction with the above consultation, the Council is also undertaking an eight week Second Call for Candidate Sites and Submission of Additional Information period commencing Monday 23rd November 2020 and ending 23:59 Friday 22nd January 2021.

For those proposers of sites that are already submitted and identified within the Updated Candidate Sites Register (March 2020), there is an opportunity to review the Council’s assessment of your site and provide any additional or outstanding information to support your proposal. The Council’s assessment of your site is contained in the four Draft Candidate Sites Assessments Reports above.

The Council strongly suggests that you review the draft Candidate Site Assessment Report documents in respect of your site and the assessment methodology before submitting additional supporting information.

Additional information should include whatever evidence is felt necessary to address the draft assessment conclusions plus all of the following that have not yet been provided:

  • Ecological Survey as per the Council’s Guidance Note
  • Green Infrastructure Assessment
  • Copy of Deeds of Ownership / Option Agreement / Landowners Agreement (if more than one)
  • Viability Assessment / Data as per the Council’s Guidance Note
  • Sustainability Appraisal as per the Council’s Guidance Note
  • Four page Concept Masterplan as detailed within the Council’s Development Brief / Masterplan Guidance

The Council will review any additional information received and update the Candidate Sites Assessment Report accordingly. The provision of additional information is optional and may or may not change the Council’s conclusion regarding the likelihood of a site being included within the Deposit Replacement Local Development Plan. Those sites that have already been identified as being more suitable are being pursued by the Council to ensure that all required data is provided. Please note that the submission of additional information regarding an existing Candidate Site does not imply that it will be accepted and allocated for development within the Deposit RLDP.

Second Call for Candidate Sites: Additional Information Relating to Existing Candidate Sites: Guidance Notes and Forms

The Council has produced Guidance Notes to assist site promoters with their submission as follows:

Associated Forms comprise:

The Second Call for Sites: Self Completion Form (Additional Information Relating to Existing Candidate Sites) (November 2020) (English) specifically relates to the submission of additional supporting information relating to an existing candidate site and may be used by site proposers to update and provide further information to the Council following the publishing of the Draft Candidate Sites Assessment Report (March 2020). The Council will also accept additional information in formats other than the proposed form as long as the Candidate Site to which the information relates is clearly identifiable.

All completed forms and accompanying documents must either be emailed to: ldp@torfaen.gov.uk or sent by post to:

Planning Policy and Implementation, Torfaen County Borough Council, Civic Centre, Pontypool, Torfaen NP4 6YB

Any submission received after the date and time that the consultation period closes, 23:59 Friday 22nd January 2021, will not be accepted by the Council.

Second Call for Sites (New Candidate Sites) November 2020

The Council’s Second Call for Candidate Sites (New Candidate Sites) commences on Monday 23rd November 2020 and closes at 23:59 on Friday 22nd January 2021.

The Council’s strategy, taking into account the key issues, challenges and drivers detailed in the Preferred Strategy (November 2020), focuses on the following considerations:

  • Historical imbalance of housing and employment opportunities (leading to limited suitable employment sites for current market requirements)
  • High level of out-commuting with only 55% self containment for Torfaen
  • Viability gap for provision of serviced employment sites
  • Ongoing need for affordable housing
  • Climate change agenda seeking to reduce commuting, reduce use of private vehicles and improve air quality

The Preferred Strategy therefore proposes a medium level of growth, with residential led sites providing cross investment in accompanying employment land to ensure that housing and employment opportunities are delivered in tandem. It is envisioned that this approach will deliver serviced employment sites that are ready for occupation alongside a locally resident workforce, thereby reducing the requirement for out-commuting, traffic congestion and harmful emissions.

Whilst new candidate sites proposing a variety of uses in line with the RLDP Preferred Strategy are welcome; with regards housing sites, only those sites which provide for associated employment development or 100% affordable housing development are likely to be considered suitable for potential inclusion in the Deposit RLDP (subject to the Council’s assessment). Please note that sites suitable for 100% affordable housing are likely to be relatively limited in size so as not to undermine the social mix of community in a locality.

Second Call for Candidate Sites (New Candidate Sites): Guidance Notes and Forms

The Council has produced a suite of Guidance Notes to assist site promoters with their submission as follows:

Associated Forms comprise:

The Second Call for Sites: Self Completion Form (New Candidate Sites) specifically relates to the submission of a new candidate site and is for site proposers to complete in full to enable the Council to undertake the Candidate Site Assessment and inform the Deposit RLDP in time to meet the timescale set out in the Second Revised Delivery Agreement (October 2020). Any submission that is not sufficiently complete or accompanied by the required supporting evidence will not be considered for inclusion in the Draft RLDP.

A separate form should be completed for each site and must be accompanied by an Ordnance Survey base map which clearly identifies the land in question by outlining the site in red. Please ensure that all supporting documents are fully referenced and attached to the form.

Please note that the submission of a Candidate Site does not imply that it will be accepted and allocated for development within the RLDP.

All completed forms and accompanying documents must either be emailed to: ldp@torfaen.gov.uk or sent by post to:

Planning Policy and Implementation, Torfaen County Borough Council, Civic Centre, Pontypool, Torfaen NP4 6YB.

Any submission received after the date and time that the consultation period closes, 23:59 Friday 22nd January 2021, will not be accepted by the Council.

Development Viability Model (DVM)

National planning guidance in Planning Policy Wales 10th Edition, December 2018 (PPW10) 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 SchemesSchemes

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).

Second Call for Candidate Sites: Candidate Sites Support Service

To support the Second Call for Candidate Sites, the Council is offering an optional, fee based, support service to assist site promoters in submitting the required information to enable a proposed Candidate Site to be properly considered for potential inclusion in the Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) 2018-2033.

Please refer to the Candidate Sites Support Service Guidance Note (November 2020) for further information on this service, including fees and details of how to apply. The Candidate Sites Support Service Request form is available to download below.

Finally, if you have not done so already, and wish to be notified of future stages of the RLDP, please fill in and return our ’Registration Form’ found in the ‘Get Involved’ section of our ‘Replacement Torfaen Local Development Plan’ webpage.

Last Modified: 21/12/2020
For more information contact:

Planning Policy and Implementation

Tel: 01633 648039 / 648140

Email: ldp@torfaen.gov.uk

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