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PROPOSED SUBMISSION LOCAL PLAN 2006-2028 - Aug 12

Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Infrastructure Delivery

4.105 The growth planned in the Local Plan needs to be supported by infrastructure, community facilities and services that ensure the development of sustainable places. If infrastructure and the needs of the community are not achieved alongside growth there will be unacceptable impacts on local areas and residents and the quality of the environment will be adversely affected. The local authority is committed to ensuring that this does not happen and has successfully sought and used planning obligations to obtain the necessary resources to assist in the delivery of this vital infrastructure.

4.106 Planning Obligations are currently delivered by Section 106 Agreements which are legally binding agreements between local authorities and applicants/landowners which can form part of planning applications. Through their use, proper provision can be made to ensure that new development meets, or contributes to meeting, the infrastructure requirements necessary to enable the development to go ahead.

4.107 The requirements of a planning obligation must meet the following tests:

  • be necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms;
  • be directly related to the development; and
  • be fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.[1]

4.108 In order to find out the requirements for infrastructure to support the growth proposed, the Council has commissioned an Infrastructure Plan (IP)[2] which sets out the likely infrastructure required to ensure sustainable development. This report is based on the scales of growth for individual settlements proposed after the Draft Core Strategy 2010 but prior to the finalisation of growth provision in this Proposed Submission Plan. However, the changes in growth now proposed are not significantly different in terms of the likely need for further infrastructure.

4.109 The Report on Infrastructure Planning in South Somerset is published in conjunction with the Proposed Submission Local Plan. The IP and database bring together infrastructure requirements identified by partner public and private sector service providers as being needed to support the growth proposed in the Local Plan to 2028. The report covers the existing status of infrastructure in individual settlements in terms of capacity for growth, the nature of additional infrastructure shown as needed to accommodate additional growth proposed, the likely costs of providing such infrastructure and any funding sources where known. The growth proposed in the Local Plan must be capable of being deliverable in the timescales or phases indicated and the Infrastructure Plan is a main tool in demonstrating deliverability of the strategy’s proposals.

4.110 The Council will also need to continue working in co-operation with other infrastructure providers to ensure timely delivery of services.

4.111 In addition to setting out services requirements, the Infrastructure Plan functions as a focus for long term decision making over financial spending on infrastructure and its coordination.

4.112 Three tiers of infrastructure have been identified:-

  • critical - that needed to enable development to proceed at all;
  • necessary at some point to support new development but not at the outset;
  • desirable to ensure sustainable development.

4.113 In addition, the database has identified, where possible, those infrastructure elements which are expected to be provided for as part of new development proposals and which the developer will be expected to continue to pay for through S106 agreements. Other infrastructure provision of a strategic nature, not associated with an “on-site” development proposal, will need to be funded by other means.

4.114 In April 2010 the Government Introduced new legislation under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations[3] (as amended) which will affect the way in which strategic infrastructure can be funded in the future and modified the way in which planning obligations under Section 106 can be used. It is the intention to adopt a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) alongside the Local Plan to assist with the provision of strategic infrastructure. This will sit alongside on-site mitigation of infrastructure requirements through continued use of Section 106 planning obligations.

4.115 From the Infrastructure Report, it is evident that there are no overriding infrastructure issues associated with any of the proposed scale or locations of growth although there are differing cost implications particularly associated with infrastructure for Yeovil’s urban extension and the strategic allocation for Chard Eastern Development Area (CEDA).

4.116 In terms of development in the first 5 years of the Local Plan it is clear from the Infrastructure Report that most of this funding, certainly on critical infrastructure, has been secured from existing section 106 agreements, is part of public utilities mainstream investment or is a reasonable call on the developer. It will be necessary for the Council to focus on Yeovil and Chard where there are specific infrastructure issues which may require additional funding.

4.117 Once a CIL Charging Schedule is adopted, funding for strategic infrastructure (as identified by the Council under Regulation 123[4]) will be subject to the standard charges set out in that Charging Schedule. For infrastructure projects which are not to be funded through CIL and which are required as part of a planning application to mitigate site specific issues, planning obligations under Section 106 will continue to be required.

4.118 The viability of a proposed development will continue to be carefully considered. In the case of enabling development, or where the development is unable to deliver all the policy requirements for reasons of viability, taking into account CIL as well, an open book approach to viability will be required to accompany any planning application and planning obligations will be reviewed in the context of such an approach and in line with adopted Council procedures.[5] Where the Council are required to seek independent financial advice to assess the viability issues, this will be funded by the developer or promoter of the scheme.

4.119 Where a site forms part of a wider site on which planning obligations will be sought, the Council will seek to apportion the necessary planning obligations to ensure that the cumulative impact of such proposals are properly mitigated and to avoid piecemeal development.

1. S.I. 2010/948 Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations [back]
2. Report on Infrastructure Planning in South Somerset January 2012, Roger Tym and Partners/Baker Associates [back]
3. S.I. 2010/948 Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations, S.I. 2011/987 CIL Amendment Regulations, 2012 [back]
4. S.I. 2010/948 Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations , Regulation 123 requires the Council to publish a list of those types or individual infrastructure projects that will be funded or part funded b through CIL [back]
5. The current Council procedure is set out in the ‘Development Control Protocol for identifying and prioritising planning Contributions’ adopted 15 June 2006 [back]
Policy SS6: Infrastructure Delivery

The Council will secure the provision of (or financial contributions towards) affordable housing, social, physical and environmental infrastructure and community benefits which the council considers necessary to enable the development to proceed. Proposals that form part of potentially wider sites will be assessed in terms of the capacity of the site as a whole and such requirements sought on a pro rata basis.

Planning Obligations (through S106 legal agreements) will be used to cover those matters which would otherwise result in planning permission being refused for an individual development and will be negotiated on a site by site basis.

The Council, in line with current practice within this and other Councils, will obtain payment from developers for legal and monitoring fees in association with Section 106 Agreements.

Affordable housing and infrastructure required as a result of a site specific planning obligation will normally be expected to be provided for on site where appropriate and delivered in timely manner alongside growth but may, exceptionally, be provided nearby or through financial contribution.

The types of infrastructure required will be considered on a site by site basis and may include the following, where appropriate and not otherwise funded in full or part through CIL (not exhaustive):

  • Affordable housing;
  • Renewable and low carbon energy;
  • Provision and enhancement of open space, sports facilities and play areas;
  • Providing for and improving accessibility by a variety of modes of sustainable transport;
  • Improvements to biodiversity assets and green infrastructure;
  • Road and highway improvements;
  • Community facilities.
The level of developer contribution will be proportionate to the nature, scale and viability of the project having regard to the:
  • Scale and form of development;
  • Capacity of existing infrastructure; and
  • Potential impact of the development upon the surrounding area and its facilities.
Where viability of a scheme is contested the Council will adopt an open book approach to negotiations in line with adopted Council procedures.

A Community Infrastructure Levy will be charged throughout the District in accordance with the adopted Charging Schedule for the provision of infrastructure in the area.

The Council will work in partnership with other authorities and infrastructure providers to ensure coordination of infrastructure delivery to support growth.

 
Delivery

4.120 The following delivery bodies will be key in implementing Policy SS6:

  • South Somerset District Council;
  • Town and Parish Councils;
  • Developers and Landowners.
 
Monitoring Indicators    Target   
Achievement of identified infrastructure required with development Delivery of identified infrastructure
CIL Payments Collection of due payments