The Corporate Director – Communities submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to inform Members of the outcome of the consultation exercise on the draft Educational Facilities and Residential Development Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) document; to seek agreement for the proposed amendments to the draft document and to adopt it as SPG to the Bridgend Local Development Plan.
The Strategic Planning Policy Team Leader, advised that a 6-week period of public consultation was held in respect of the above, between 21st February and 3rd April 2020. The consultation had been advertised by the following methods:
· Statutory notices were placed in the Glamorgan GEMon the 27th February and the 5th March 2020;
· The consultation documents were made available for inspection with representation forms at the reception desk of the Civic Offices, Angel Street, Bridgend;
· Information on the consultation, including all the documentation, representation forms and how to make representations was placed on the Councils website; and
· A copy of the draft SPG was sent to approximately 300 targeted consultees including Community Councils, planning consultants, house builders and housing associations taken from the LDP database.
By the end of the consultation period, he confirmed that seven representations were received on the draft SPG. These representations were summarised in Appendix 1 to the report.
The primary issues raised during the consultation he explained, concerned the justification for the costs and pupil yield rates that were included in the draft SPG and the subsequent impact they would have on development viability. Having reviewed the methodology used at the time, a set of reasoned responses to the each of the comments was also included in Appendix 1 (to the report.)
The Strategic Planning Policy Team Leader advised Members that the main reason for updating the SPG and seeking its adoption at this time , was so it could be taken into account in the viability appraisals BCBC have asked developers to undertake in support of the sites they are promoting through the candidate site process. Whilst the Local Planning Authority were not yet in a position to make any definitive judgements, the initial indications were that the contributions generated by the SPG could be provided without compromising the other infrastructural requirements the sites will need to deliver, such as, highway improvements, provision of open space and affordable housing.
Appendix 1 also set out a reasoned response, a suggested decision and, where appropriate, proposed changes to the SPG, for each representation received.
In summary, the main areas of change in the document arising from the public consultation responses were as follows:
· Clarification that the costs of school construction will be kept under review but only changed as part of a full revision of the SPG;
· Confirmation that the costs of temporary school accommodation will be determined on a case by case basis;
· An explanation as to how the build costs for refurbishing a school have been calculated to be 65% of the build costs of a new school
The Strategic Planning Policy Team Leader felt that the relatively minor nature of the proposed amendments reflects the amount of work that went into the draft SPG in the first place, and in that regard the Strategic Planning Policy Team Leader extended his thanks to the Council’s School Modernisation team for their input and Cllr Amanda Williams for giving up her own time to contribute to that review and to ensure that Members had a voice in the process.
Following questions on the report that were responded to be the Strategic Planning Policy Team Leader, it was decided-
RESOLVED: (1) To approve the suggested reasoned responses and the consequential proposed changes to the draft Educational Facilities and Residential Development Supplementary Planning Guidance contained in Appendix 1 to the report.
(2) To recommend to Council that:
(a) SPG16 – Educational Facilities and Residential Development (as amended by the changes in Appendix 1 and highlighted in paragraph 4.3 of the report) should be adopted as Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) to the adopted Bridgend Local Development Plan.
(b) the SPG, in its adopted form, should be published on the Council’s website.