Supplementary Planning Guidance

What is Supplementary Planning Guidance?

Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) are documents produced by the Council to give guidance to the public, applicants and developers when making planning applications. SPG provides supplementary information in respect of the policies in the local Development Plan. It is a means of setting out more detailed thematic or site specific guidance on how these policies will be applied in particular circumstances or areas. SPGs are one of the 'material considerations' taken into account when determining planning applications.

SPG can take the following forms:

  • Topical guidance such as shop front design or biodiversity
  • Site specific guidance such as development frameworks or development briefs; and
  • Numerical guidelines or thresholds which may change during the plan period, such as car parking standards, so as to avoid the current plan becoming too quickly updated. This does not however include where these targets are key policy such as targets for future housing provision

Public Consultation 31st January 2022 until 14th March 2022

The Council is now consulting on two draft Supplementary Planning Guidance documents.

A new Householder Extensions & Alterations SPG provides a clear set of guidelines of how changes to residential properties (mainly extensions and roof alterations) should be designed to enhance environmental quality and avoid unacceptable harm to the living conditions of neighbouring residents.

Revised Planning Obligations SPG, which has been largely driven by the Welsh Government change in approach to Acceptable Cost Guidance figures which, from April 2022, will not include the value of land and therefore a new methodology for calculating affordable housing obligations is required. The Council, with the input of Torfaen’s Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), has compiled a tariff based system for the value that RSLs will pay developers for the social rented affordable properties. Other changes include all affordable housing will now be required to contribute towards any ongoing site maintenance charges and a new process to allow an RSL to use WG social housing grant to make up the affordable housing percentage on a site (as specified by LDP Policy H4), if it cannot be provided by the developer on viability grounds. These changes are set out in Annex 1.

Given that these changes in policy require consultation, the opportunity has been taken to update a number of other elements of the SPG. Within Part One, reference to the Development Appraisal Toolkit (DAT) has been replaced with details of the Development Viability Model as the Council’s preferred method of assessing development viability. Within Annex 3 the Council’s approach to calculating the available capacity of a school has been clarified with additional detail. The area requirement per pupil has been amended from net to the gross area to take into account required supporting facilities additional to classrooms. The definition of costs has been widened to now include furniture, fittings, equipment, ICT and any abnormal costs with the source of the costs data changed from BCIS to the Torfaen Property Construction Group and evidenced by up-to-date information on current and recent school construction projects.  The SPG has also been subject to minor wording improvements and changes to reflect the increased national policy / guidance emphasis on reducing the need to travel, active travel modes and placemaking. This Consultation Draft Revised Planning Obligations SPG is now subject to a six-week public consultation period before being re-considered by Council in due course. We are not consulting on Annex 5 (Biodiversity and Geodiversity) and Annex 6 (Recreation and Public Open Space), which remain unchanged.

For convenience, the Annexes are also available separately here:

To provide your comments on the documents, please email or make them in writing to the Planning Policy & Implementation Team, Civic Centre, Pontypool, Torfaen, NP4 6YB.

If you require further assistance, wish to view the documents by appointment at the Civic Centre, Pontypool or require paper copies (for a charge), please contact the Planning Policy Team on 01633 648039, by emailing or by writing to us at the above address.

We look forward to receiving your comments by 5pm on the 14th March 2022.

The purpose of the consultations is to receive written comments on the published draft SPGs from a wide range of individuals, community groups, organisations and companies.  Each response received will be acknowledged and assessed by officers in a ‘Report of Consultation’ which will be considered by Council before the SPGs are adopted; noting that Council has resolved to use them, in the interim, as ’material considerations’ for assessing planning applications.  As such, please note that, as appropriate, each respondent’s individual name, or company name(s), or agent / client(s) names, along with their comments (either in full or summarised) will be made public.  Contact details will be kept confidential in line with the GDPR Privacy Notice for the Replacement Local Development Plan

Finally, if you haven’t already requested to be notified of updates regarding the RLDP and wish to be, please complete the LDP Consultation Database form, and return it to us; we will then add you to the Council’s ‘consultation database’.  Similarly, if you wish to be removed from the ‘consultation database’ and no longer be informed about the Replacement LDP or associated documents, please let us know in writing.

The Updated Planning Obligations SPG (December 2021)

New development inevitably has an impact on its surrounding area and community. The planning system aims to address any negative impacts and where possible deliver community and / or environmental benefits through planning obligations. The Council have produced Supplementary Planning Guidance to explain how planning obligations are used and set out expectations from new development. This latest update relates only to factual changes and has therefore not been subject to a period of public consultation. The key changes relate to the insertion of updated national planning policy and guidance; updated tenure split informed by the Torfaen Local Housing Market Assessment 2020 (LHMA) and updated Welsh Government Acceptable Cost Guidance (ACG) for affordable housing; updated education yield figures from housing sites, with 6th Form pupils being separated from Secondary pupils and Nursery pupils being separated from Primary pupils to reflect the new education structure in Torfaen and updated costings; the introduction of a separate Local Equipped Area of Play costing for recreation provision and the update of both capital and maintenance costings for all other types of recreation provision to reflect current prices.

The SPG refers to a wide range of matters that may be the subject of planning obligations. Not all of these matters will be relevant to every planning application. The Council will consider the issues that are relevant on a case by case basis, taking into account the nature of the development proposal, the site and the local context. It does not replace the negotiation of planning obligations as each application will continue to be considered on its individual merits.

The Planning Obligations SPG in its entirety (including individual annexes) is available to download here. For ease of use, the individual annexes are also available to download at the links below:

Further documents available to download in relation to this Planning Obligations SPG are as follows:

Administration and Monitoring Fee for S106 Agreements / Service Level Standards

The Council on 28 June 2011 has resolved to introduce a separate fee system applicable to planning applications which require the processing and monitoring of a Section 106 legal agreement, and publish its associated Service Level Standards. The fee charged will contribute towards the administrative and professional resources required within the Planning Department to provide the planning service. The Administration and Monitoring Fee for S106 Agreements document and S106 Service Level Standards are available to download.

Other adopted SPG documents

Further documents adopted by the Council as Supplementary Planning Guidance are available to download below and / or available to purchase in hard copy by contacting the Forward Planning team:

Blaenavon Industrial Landscape World Heritage Site Design Guide (April 2011)
Cost for hard copy (in colour): £14.00 (including postage and packaging)

Clarence Corner Development Brief (2003) (only available to purchase in hard copy)
Cost for hard copy: £6.50 (including postage and packaging)

Development and its Incorporation within the Landscape: A Guide for Developers (2000)
Cost for hard copy: £6.50 (including postage and packaging)

Henllys Policy Statement
Cost for hard copy: £6.50 (including postage and packaging)

Replacement Dwellings in the Countryside (2004)
Cost for hard copy: £6.50 (including postage and packaging)

South Sebastopol Adopted Development Framework (2004)
Cost for hard copy: £26.50 (including postage and packaging)

Trevethin Community School Development Brief (2011)  

TCBC/CSS Wales: Wales Parking Standards (2014)
Cost for hard copy: £5.00 (including postage and packing)

Other Documents

Cwmavon Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan (April 2011)

Inspector’s Report on the Local Plan for the County Borough of Torfaen (1999) 
Cost for hard copy: £30

Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal Conservation Area Appraisal & Management Proposals

Blaenavon Conservation Area Appraisal and Management Plan (October 2017)

Further Information

Further information regarding SPG can be obtained by contacting the Forward Planning or Development Management teams within Torfaen.

Last Modified: 31/01/2022
For more information contact:

Planning Policy and Implementation

Tel: 01633 648039


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