Torfaen Replacement Local Development Plan: Candidate Sites

Withdrawal of Torfaen Replacement Local Development Plan (RLDP) (2018-2033) and associated Candidate Sites documents

As explained on the main RLDP webpage, the Council has withdrawn the Torfaen RLDP (2018-2033), and in so doing is required to “remove all documents relating to the plan from the public domain”. This includes those documents relating to the Candidates Sites previously submitted, assessed and consulted upon by the Council, i.e. the Candidates Sites Register and the draft Candidate Sites Assessment Reports.  All Candidate Sites consultation responses received to date will no longer be valid, however, wherever possible their substantive content will inform the preparation of a new Plan (2022-2037).

The Council is currently producing a ‘Delivery Agreement’ on how the new Plan will be prepared which is expected to be published late July 2023.  Once the new Plan preparation starts, the Council will almost immediately undertake an 8 weeks Call for Candidate Sites exercise; at which time interested parties can resubmit previous sites and/or submit new sites.

We are therefore pre-publishing the information which we will require at that time to give all interested parties a ‘head-start’ on their candidate site submissions.

Torfaen Replacement Local Development Plan 2022-2037: 2023 Call for Candidate Sites


Following publication of the Delivery Agreement, the initial 8 weeks Call for Candidate Sites exercise is the first formal stage of preparing the RLDP and is an important step in the Council’s evidence gathering process. The submission of detailed evidence upfront and early in the plan making process, as part of the Call for Candidate Sites, is essential to inform the delivery of the RLDP: Preferred Strategy and subsequent plan stages. Site proposers, including landowners and developers will be required to provide suitable evidence to robustly demonstrate the sustainability, deliverability, and financial viability of their sites. 


Once the initial Call for Sites exercise has closed, all proposed sites will be published in a ‘Candidates Sites Register’; which will identify the site proposer, the proposed site area / land use and provide a site location plan.  The Council will then undertake a ‘Stage 1: High Level Assessment’ of all submitted sites.  A ‘Second Call for Sites’ and ‘Call for Additional Supporting Information’ will be undertaken in conjunction with the public consultation on the ‘RLDP Preferred Strategy’ and ‘Candidates Sites Register / Stage 1 Assessment’, expected in May/June 2024 (tbc).  The Candidate Sites Assessment and Register Methodology (May 2023) and Candidate Sites Assessment and Register Methodology (May 2023) - Executive Summary provides more detail regarding the staged Candidate Sites process and the criteria against which they will be assessed.

Online Registration / Submission Software

Torfaen Council has adopted OpusConsult (incorporating OpusMap) to aid with the consultation and engagement elements of the RLDP process which provides responsive forms, associated mapping and the ability to upload accompanying documents to support a Candidate Site submission. You can register to be kept informed of updates, consultations and key stages in the Plan process, including the Call for Candidate Sites, here.


In accepting submissions, the Council makes no guarantee that the candidate site will be included (allocated) in the new Plan. All sites will need to be assessed in accordance with the Candidate Site Assessment Methodology (May 2023).

This webpage will be updated to publicise the commencement of the Call for Candidate Sites and associated workshops / submission service in due course.

What is a candidate site?

A candidate site is a site submitted to the Council by an interested party (e.g. developer or landowner) for potential inclusion as an allocation in the new RLDP.

What types of sites can be submitted?

Landowners/proposers are welcome to submit sites for the range of uses that the Plan makes provision for. This includes, but is not limited to, land for:

Housing; Employment; Retail; Community Facilities; Tourism and Recreation; Renewable Energy; Gypsy and Traveller sites; Transport Infrastructure; Waste; Education; Health, Education and Social Care; Biodiversity; Green infrastructure; Minerals.

Submitting a candidate site

A separate candidate site form must be completed for each site submitted. If alternative uses are proposed for the same site, a separate candidate site form will be required for each use. 

Before submitting a candidate site, site proposers are advised to review the Candidate Site Submission Guidance Note (May 2023) and Candidate Site Submission Guidance Note (May 2023) - Executive Summary, which provides advice on the types of site that are likely to be acceptable and the information that will be required to support the submission of a candidate site.

Financial Viability is a key consideration in the candidate site assessment process. Planning Policy Wales (PPW) Edition 11 states that a viability assessment must be provided for candidate sites to demonstrate whether delivery of the site is viable or not. Please see the Call for Candidate Sites Financial Viability Guidance Note (May 2023) and Call for Candidate Sites Financial Viability Guidance Note (May 2023) - Executive Summary which sets out the Council’s requirements and provides useful supporting information in this respect.

In addition to the above, site proposers should also refer to the following:

  • Ecology Survey Guidance Note (May 2023) and Ecology Survey Guidance Note (May 2023) - Executive Summary which details the baseline standards for ecological survey work required to support each Candidate Site that proceeds to Stage 2 of the Assessment.  We will need this work completed in time for the Second Call for Sites / Supporting Information exercise, expected in May/June 2024 (tbc).  Therefore, site proposers are strongly advised to commence their ecological surveys asap, as at least 1 years’ worth of data is required to provide this assessment;
  • LANDMAP Guidance Note (May 2023) which explains how NRW’s LANDMAP Characterisation mapping can be used to inform and support site assessment and design; and
  • Call for Candidate Sites Edition OpusMap which provides freely accessible mapping containing data sets relating to sustainability, constraints and opportunities to inform a Candidate Site submission.

Help and Guidance

OpusConsult has been adopted by the Council to enable the Call for Candidate Sites and subsequent stages of the RLDP process. It contains a user guide and help function however, if you have any problems completing the candidate site form or uploading any accompanying information, please contact a member of the planning policy team for advice at We would appreciate site proposers using this software to register their interest in the Plan / associated documents and submit sites, but we will also accept paper and email submissions.

Once the Call for Candidate Sites has commenced, the Council will hold at least one workshop event to assist landowners / developers and to provide advice and instruction on submitting Candidate Sites. Details of the workshop(s) and an optional Candidate Site submission service will be publicised as part of the Call for Candidate Sites promotion and on this webpage.


On 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force, placing new restrictions on how organisations can hold and use your personal data and defining your rights with regard to that data. Any personal information disclosed to us will be processed in accordance with our RLDP Privacy Notice.

Development Viability Model (DVM)

The Council has worked in partnership with other Councils across the region, alongside Town Planning and Development consultants Burrows-Hutchinson Ltd, to establish the assessment tool. The DVM has been created as a comprehensive, user-friendly model that can be used by site promoters and decision makers for the purpose of assessing the financial viability of a development proposal. Site promoters must submit a financial viability assessment using the DVM as part of the Stage 2 Candidate Site Assessment process. The fees for the provision of a copy of the DVM are as follows:

Development Viability Model (DVM)
Residential SchemesCommercial Schemes

1-9 dwellings

£195 plus VAT

Less than 0.4ha

£195 plus VAT

10-50 dwellings

£345 plus VAT

0.4ha to <2.0ha

£345 plus VAT

51-100 dwellings

£495 plus VAT

2.0ha to <4.0ha

£495 plus VAT

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

To obtain a site-specific copy of the DVM, together with the user guide and videos, or to discuss any matters relating to the DVM, please contact us on

Last Modified: 22/05/2023
For more information contact:

Planning Policy and Implementation

Tel: 01633 648039 / 648140


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