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Cabinet will consider two reports in relation to a draft strategy for the Local Development Plan (LDP) from 2020 to 2030 – which set out proposals relating to the nature of its required review and timescales for its delivery. 

On Thursday, October 17, Cabinet will discuss an LDP Review Report, and a subsequent report outlining a Draft Delivery Agreement. The current LDP, covering 2006-2021, was adopted in March 2011 and is monitored regularly.

The LDP sets out the aims, visions and objectives for the County Borough, implementing a development strategy and land use framework – therefore forming the basis for decisions on new developments in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The Review Report analyses the evidence gathered by monitoring the LDP, and highlights key matters contained in the latest Annual Monitoring Report.

For example, the report states that projections and trends on which housing requirement figures were based have not materialised – so there is a need to revisit these population and household projections to identify a more suitable requirement for new housing. Housing needs have also evolved over the plan period, and therefore housing policies also need to be re-evaluated.

The report also says national legislation and policy changes have been made since the LDP was adopted, with emphasis placed on matters such as climate change and low carbon economy, green infrastructure and other Wellbeing of Future Generations considerations – which also need to be revisited.

The report recommends a full review of the LDP in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which would follow an extensive consultation with all key stakeholders.

The Draft Delivery Agreement consists of two parts – a delivery timetable up until the LDP’s adoption in November 2023, and a Community Involvement Scheme to ensure full engagement of stakeholders in the LDP’s preparation.

On Thursday, Cabinet could agree to approve both the Review Report and the Draft Delivery Agreement, supporting their conclusions. Members could also agree for both reports to be sent to key stakeholders and, through a delegated decision authorised by the relevant Cabinet Member, amendments be made to both documents before they are considered by Full Council in due course.

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “In June 2019, Cabinet Members agreed to undertake a review of the Local Development Plan for Rhondda Cynon Taf – and officers have since worked to publish a Review Report based on monitoring of the LDP over the past eight years. Based on several factors, the report concludes that a full review of the LDP is needed.

“The Review Report has been published alongside a Draft Delivery Agreement, which sets out a number of key milestones for the proposed delivery of the LDP over the next three-and-a-half years. This would start by sharing both documents with key stakeholders such as Natural Resources Wales and the Planning Inspectorate Wales. It also sets out a proposed method of engagement and consultation over this draft strategy.

“The LDP is such an important process, affecting the very shape of the County Borough for the next 10 years and beyond. For example, more than 6,000 houses have been built within the current LDP period, with 13,000 properties granted planning permission during that time. This highlights why a thorough and proper review of the LDP is so important.

“On Thursday, Cabinet will consider the two reports, and could agree for both to be sent to key stakeholders as the first stage in the LDP delivery process.

“As this process progresses, Cabinet will be keen to ensure that the maximum opportunity is provided for communities to share their views in the development of this future plan.”

Posted on Thursday 10th October 2019

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