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South Holland Local Plan - Adopted July 2006
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Chapter 1
About the Local Plan
This Local Plan
1.1 This document is the South Holland Local Plan which was adopted by the Council on the 18th July 2006.  It is a comprehensive statement of our planning policies for the development and use of land in the District until the year 2021.  It replaces the South Holland District Local Plan 1998 and replaces Interim Statements on Rural Housing and Affordable Housing which the Council adopted whilst reviewing that Plan and preparing this one.
1.2 During 2001 we consulted on an Issues Paper and then on the First Deposit Draft version of the Plan (which had a shorter plan period, to 2011).  Following that we undertook some key pieces of work which underpinned the Redeposit version, for example:
  • A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment;
  • A more detailed Urban Capacity Study and improved Housing Land Monitoring;
  • A Settlement Services and Facilities Survey;
  • Interim Statements on Affordable Housing policies.
  Also, the Housing Needs Survey, Retail Study and Open Space Survey were all updated.
1.3 As well as taking on board this new or updated evidence, we considered the representations received on the earlier draft in preparing the Redeposit Local Plan. We also had to respond to changing national, regional and sub-regional policy. This is explained in more detail below.  We undertook formal consultation on the Redeposit Plan during summer 2005.  We considered the representations received and decided to propose Pre-Inquiry Changes to the Plan, which were consulted on in autumn 2005.  During the course of the Public Inquiry which ran from January 2006 to April 2006, we decided to propose further Inquiry Changes.  There was opportunity for interested parties to submit comments on them.  These comments and the Council’s response were placed before the Inspector, so that he could have regard to them when making decisions about the Plan.  The Inspector’s binding report was received in June 2006 and the Council adopted the Plan in July 2006.
1.4 Therefore the Council’s intention is that this Plan should reflect appropriately the national and regional policy in a way that is relevant to the District and which enables it to address those local issues which are priority for the community of South Holland.
1.5 Whilst some policies had little or no change during preparation, many policies were revised and there were also new policies introduced, particularly after the First Deposit Draft. In particular, the core strategy of the Plan is now expressed as policy. We also rearranged the policies within the Plan under new chapter headings.  The Inspector in his binding report recommended deletion or amalgamation of certain policies, so as a consequence of that there are no policies referenced HS5, HS10, EN13 or LT6 in this adopted version of the Plan.
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1.6 The document itself comprises this Written Statement together with a Proposals Map (including Inset Maps) in a separate folder. Policies appear in this document in bold type and each has a reference number, title and associated text which provides reasoned justification for the policy. The Written Statement also contains a number of appendices including a glossary of terms and abbreviations. Information shown on the Inset Maps is not repeated on the Proposals Map. Each inset map includes a linear scale and north-point. Various policy boundaries are shown on the maps.  To avoid confusion the actual line of the boundary runs along its inner edge.  If any discrepancies arise between the policies of the Plan and the proposals map or inset maps then the written policies will always take precedence.
1.7 It is important to read the whole document to understand all the policies and guidance that will apply to proposals for development. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST ALL OF THE POLICIES CONTAINED IN THIS DISTRICT LOCAL PLAN AS APPLICABLE. They will also be assessed against relevant policies contained in other documents which are part of the Development Plan, on which further information is given below.
The Development Plan System
1.8 The town and country planning system is designed to regulate the development and use of land in the public interest.  Development Plans are a vital part of the framework for regulating development and the Local Plan is part of the Development Plan.  They are prepared following a statutory process of public consultation and debate.  Such plans provide the primary means of reconciling conflicts between the need for development, including the need for infrastructure, and the need to protect and enhance the built and natural environment.  Although their provisions are not prescriptive, they are intended to provide a firm basis for rational and consistent decisions on planning applications and appeals.  Statutorily approved and adopted plans provide all concerned with development in a locality - residents and amenity bodies, developers and other business interests and those providing infrastructure - with a measure of certainty about what types of development will and will not be permitted and in which location.
1.9 The key legislation is contained in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991 and the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The fundamental requirement of the legislation is that development may not be undertaken without first obtaining planning permission from the local planning authority. National land use planning objectives are to be realised through a plan led system.  Under the 1991 Act, the status of development plans was greatly enhanced.  The Act expressly required planning decisions to be made in accordance with the Development Plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise. The 2004 Act has formally set as an overarching objective for the planning system that it should contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. This reflects emphasis within Government policy and programmes on sustainable communities. We undertook a Sustainability Appraisal of the Local Plan during its preparation.  This helped inform preparation of the policies. The most recent appraisal is available as a background paper.
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1.10 In order to secure consistency of approach to planning decisions, the Government, through national and regional policy, sets a broad strategic framework for land use and development which needs to be considered in the preparation of development plans.  National policy is in Planning Policy Guidance notes (PPGs) which are being updated and replaced by Planning Policy Statements (PPSs). At the regional level, policy was expressed in Regional Planning Guidance for the East Midlands (RPG8), now replaced by Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS8).
1.11 At the sub-regional level, Lincolnshire County Council prepares the Lincolnshire Structure Plan. The Local Plan is set within the higher level strategic framework provided by the Structure Plan and is required to be in general conformity with it. The First Deposit Draft Local Plan was found by Lincolnshire County Council to be in general conformity with its structure plan, including the then emerging replacement Structure Plan where appropriate.
1.12 However, after publication of the First Deposit Draft Local Plan in 2001, much has changed in terms of the national, regional and sub-regional context in which we had to prepare the Local Plan:
  • RPG8 was published in 2002 (covering the period to 2021) and, most significantly, it reduced the strategic housing requirement for Lincolnshire;
  • The then emerging replacement Lincolnshire Structure Plan (to 2011) did not conform to RPG8 and was withdrawn;
  • A partial review of RPG8 was undertaken, being finalised and published early in 2005 as RSS8, although the strategic housing requirement was not part of the review;
  • Work on a new Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS8) for the East Midlands, with a plan period to 2026, began during 2005.  This review will include housing figures down to the District level.  Options were consulted on late on in 2005 and a draft RSS is expected to be issued for consultation during September 2006;
  • The County Council began preparing a new Structure Plan (to 2021) to conform with RSS8 including the reduced strategic housing requirement, publishing a Deposit Draft in 2004 and Proposed Changes in 2005.  The EIP into the Structure Plan was held during Summer 2005 and Proposed Modifications published in February 2006.  Adoption is anticipated in Autumn 2006;
  • The County Council also began preparing the Lincolnshire Waste Local Plan, publishing a Deposit Draft in 2004 and a Revised Deposit draft in 2005, an inquiry being held in January 2006 and the Plan being adopted in May 2006;
  • Government has revised some PPGs and updated and replaced some others with new-style PPSs;
  • The Development Plan system itself has been changed by the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
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1.13 The main features of the new Development Plan system are:
  • Regional Planning Guidance to be replaced by Regional Spatial Strategies, which will become part of the Development Plan;
  • Structure Plans to be abolished but County Councils still to prepare Minerals and Waste Plans;
  • Local Plans to be replaced by Local Development Framework (LDFs) closely related to Community Strategies and prepared by District Councils.
The Development Plan For South Holland
1.14 The current adopted/ approved Development Plan for South Holland comprises the South Holland District Local Plan 2006, Lincolnshire Structure Plan 1981 together with its Alteration No.1 1990, and Alteration No.2 1994, the Lincolnshire Waste Local Plan 2006, the Lincolnshire Minerals Local Plan 1991 and the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands 2005 (RSS8).  However, as noted above, the adoption of a replacement Structure Plan is imminent and a replacement RSS8 is being prepared.  Therefore the drafts of the emerging documents will also be a material consideration in making planning decisions, and we have had regard to emerging documents where possible in preparing this Local Plan.
1.15 Properly prepared Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.  A number of SPGs have been prepared by the Council enlarging upon the requirements of policies contained in the plan. As part of the new system, SPGs are being replaced by Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) and further SPDs will be prepared as necessary.
1.16 Work on a new Regional Spatial Strategy for the East Midlands commenced during 2005. This review will be fully compliant with the requirements of the new system, which means for example that it will include district-level strategic housing requirements.
1.17 Under transitional arrangements set out by Government, work on the new Lincolnshire Structure Plan and this new South Holland Local Plan has been able to continue through to adoption. There were revised procedures to be followed and these are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Transitional Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2004.
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1.18 We have taken this opportunity to extend the period covered by this Local Plan to 2021, which reflects RSS8 and the emerging Structure Plan. The Local Plan will be ‘saved’ as part of the Development Plan for a period of three years from the date of its adoption. During that period, we will be expected to prepare our new-style Local Development Framework documents under the new system of plan-making. Hence, whilst this Local Plan has a plan period to 2021, there will be opportunity for community involvement in the early review of its policies and proposals as part of the new process soon after their adoption.
1.19 The key stages of preparation for this Local Plan were :
Public consultation on issues Spring 2001 Tick
Publication of first deposit draft Winter 2001 Tick
Consideration of objections to the first deposit draft Tick
Publication of re-deposit draft (this document) Spring 2005 Tick
Consideration of objections to the re-deposit draft Tick
Public inquiry into objections by independent inspector Early 2006 Tick
Receipt of binding inspector’s report Tick
Make inspector’s changes to Plan (if any) and adopt Summer 2006 Tick
1.20 Due to a number of circumstances, that have already been outlined, progression of the Local Plan took significantly longer then was originally anticipated.  Progression of the Local Plan to adoption though provides greater certainty in decision making and helps us to achieve its aims.  We achieved adoption of the Plan before 22 July 2006.  That meant that the requirement under the new system to undertake an environmental assessment of it in accordance with the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (European Union ‘Strategic Environmental Assessment- SEA- Directive’) did not apply. However, as has already been stated, we did undertake a Sustainability Appraisal of the Local Plan.
The Local Development Scheme
1.21 A requirement of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 is that each local planning authority prepares a Local Development Scheme (LDS), which is a three year project plan indicating what plan documents they intend to produce and when. South Holland District Council prepared its first LDS and submitted it to Government for assessment early in 2005.  It was subsequently agreed and brought into effect.  We reported on progress in achieving the milestones set out in the LDS in our Annual Monitoring Report submitted to Government in December 2005.  This led to the First Revision of our LDS in June 2006. The LDS is published on our website and a copy is available to view at the Council Offices.  Our LDS sets out the Council’s intentions to produce, for example, Core Strategy, Site Specific Allocations and Development Control Policies DPDs (Development Plan Documents), an AAP (Area Action Plan) for Spalding and a number of SPDs (Supplementary Planning Documents).
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