Surrey Heath Draft Local Plan Issues Options/Preferred Options, 2018

2 Context for Preparing a Local Plan

2.1 At all stages in preparing a Local Plan the Council has to have regard to national, regional and other local plans and strategies which relate to the future development of Surrey Heath. The Council also has to have regard to evidence base documents that support the approach taken in the Local Plan.

These plans, strategies and evidence base include the following:

  • National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), 2012, the Draft NPPF, 2018, and Planning Practice Guidance (PPG)
  • Saved Regional Guidance (Policy NRM6 Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area)
  • Draft 25 Year Environment Plan
  • Enterprise M3 Strategic Economic Plan
  • Local Plans and Strategies, e.g. The current Core Strategy, Camberley Town Centre Area Action Plan, and the Sustainable Community Strategy for Surrey Heath 2009
  • The Council's Five Year Strategy of Place, Prosperity, Performance and People
  • The Council's Economic Strategy
  • Cross boundary studies e.g. the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and the Employment Land Review(ELR)
  • Strategic Land Availability Assessment (SLAA)
  • Sustainability Appraisal
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment

Links to these are provided throughout the document.

 

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), 2012, the Draft NPPF, 2018, and the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG)

2.2 These documents set out the framework and provide guidance on what a Local Plan should have regard to. The Local Plan must be in conformity with the advice set out in these documents and this will be tested by an Inspector during the Local Plan Examination in Public.

2.3 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), 2012 sets out that Local Planning Authorities should include strategic priorities for the area in the Local Plan, including polices to deliver homes and jobs in the area. In March 2018, the Government published a consultation on a draft revised NPPF, which incorporates policy proposals previously consulted on in the Housing White Paper and the Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places Consultation. The draft revised version of the NPPF carries forward the standardised methodology for calculating Local Authorities' housing needs. The Issues and Options Local Plan consultation has been produced having regard to the Draft NPPF.

 

Saved Regional Guidance

2.4 The South East Plan set out regional polices for the South East of England. In March 2013 the South East Plan was revoked by Government. Only one policy of the South East Plan was saved. This is Policy NRM6 which relates to the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. The Thames Basin Heaths cover most of the heathland areas within the Borough and the whole of Surrey Heath is within 5km of the SPA. Therefore this policy needs to be considered in producing a new Local Plan.

View the saved regional policy NRM6 from the now revoked South East Plan, located on the Government's national archives webpages.

 

Local Plans and Strategies

2.5 The current Local Plan for Surrey Heath is the Core Strategy and Development Management Policies 2001-2028 and the Camberley Town Centre Area Action Plan 2011-2028. In producing the new Local Plan consideration will be given to what polices in these Plans should be carried forward in the new Local Plan.

View the Core Strategy and the Camberley Town Centre Area Action Plan, located on the Council's website.

2.6 The Borough's Five Year Strategy sets out four themes of Place, Prosperity, Performance and People. The new Local Plan can help deliver the priorities set out in these themes.

View the full version of the Surrey Heath Five Year Strategy, located on the Council's website.

 

Neighbourhood Plans

2.7 Windlesham Parish Council, Chobham Parish Council and Deepcut Neighbourhood Forum are in the process of producing Neighbourhood Plans. Neighbourhood Plans must be in general conformity with the strategic policies set out in a Local Plan and once adopted become part of the Development Plan framework, particularly in respect of determining planning applications. Neighbourhood Plans can plan for more growth than set out in the Local Plan's but must provide evidence of deliverability. A Neighbourhood Plan can also identify a specific local approach.

View further information on Neighbourhood Planning within Surrey Heath, located at the Neighbourhood Planning section of Surrey Heath's website.

 

Cross Boundary Studies

2.8 In producing a Local Plan there are a number of issues that are relevant to adjoining local authorities and other agencies. In particular the NPPF (2012) expects Councils to identify the Housing Market Area and Functional Economic Area that Surrey Heath is situated in. In both cases Surrey Heath is situated in the Housing Market Area and Functional Economic Area comprising Surrey Heath, Hart and Rushmoor. This has enabled Surrey Heath to undertake a joint Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), 2016, which looks at the number of new homes required in the housing market area and an Employment Land Review (ELR) which considers the employment needs of the functional economic area.

View the SHMA on the Council's website.

View the ELR document, located within the evidence base section of the Council's website.

2.9 The Council has also engaged in ongoing Duty to Co-operate with other local authorities and agencies on potential Local Plan cross boundary issues. Duty to Co-operate is an ongoing process and this document will be amended accordingly through the Local Plan making process to show how outcomes have been reached.

View the Duty to Co-operate Report, located within the evidence base section of the Council's website.

Sustainability Appraisal

2.10 The Local Plan must be considered and assessed to ensure that it will contribute to sustainable development. This is by undertaking a Sustainability Appraisal. Each option and possible policy approach must be tested against a number of social, economic and environmental objectives to identify which option is the most sustainable. The first part of this process was a consultation on the Scoping Report which sets out the baseline for undertaking the Sustainability Appraisal. A draft Sustainability Appraisal has been produced to assess the different options and has helped inform the preferred option put forward. The Sustainability Appraisal is subject to a six week consultation alongside the Issues and Options/Preferred Options version of the Local Plan.

You can view the Sustainability Appraisal as part of this consultation.

Habitats Regulation Assessment

2.11 AECOM on behalf of the Council has produced a draft Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA) to support this stage of the Local Plan. The aim of the HRA is to identify any areas of the Issues and Options/Preferred Options version of the Local Plan that have the potential to cause any adverse effect on Natura 2000 or European Sites (Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Ramsar Sites), either in isolation or in combination with other plans or projects. This includes air quality. Where such effects are identified mitigation strategies will need to be devised. The whole of Surrey Heath is within 5km of the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area (SPA) and therefore the Local Plan needs to be subject to HRA.

View the draft Habitats Regulations Assessment, located within the evidence base section of the Council's website.