Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan

5 Strategy and Strategic Policies


5.1 The Role of Sustainability

5.1.1 The UK’s shared framework for Sustainable Development (SD) states that the goal of SD is to: “enable all people throughout the world to satisfy their basic needs and enjoy a better quality of life without compromising the quality of life of future generations”. (Ref: One Future Different Paths – D.E.F.R.A. 2005)

5.1.2 The promotion of SD is enshrined in WG’s constitution, and accordingly it has a statutory duty to develop Wales in ways which contribute sustainably to people’s social, economic and environmental wellbeing. It has been stated by WG that “Sustainable Development is the process by which we reach the goal of sustainability” (Ref: One Wales: One Planet, WAG 2009). Crucially, in terms of land use planning and the LDP, this statement notes that development is not detrimental to sustainability, provided that the development in question adheres to the principles of sustainability. This demonstrates a clear link between land use planning and sustainability, and accordingly, the role of the LDP is not to control and preclude development, but to manage and shape development in accordance with the principles of sustainability.

5.1.3 One Wales: One Planet (May 2009) sets out how WG intends to promote SD in the exercise of its functions. This document confirms the prominent role that the land use planning system has to play in delivering SD at a local, regional and national level. One Wales outlines a vision for sustainable development within Wales and notes how this vision can be achieved, thus:

5.1.4 The vision for a Sustainable Wales is one where Wales:

5.1.5 Sustainability and SD are central to the LDP, its strategic direction and its policies. In realising the importance of tackling the causes and effects of climate change and in delivering a sustainable strategy, the LDP must balance the provision made for economic growth and social equality against the need to protect and enhance the environment. The Strategy aims to ensure that the location, scale and type of development permitted follows the principles of sustainability and contributes towards achieving the vision and objectives of the LDP. The SA/SEA is an important tool for accomplishing this.

5.2 County Context

5.2.1 Carmarthenshire is a diverse County with the agricultural economy and landscape of the rural areas juxtaposed with the urban and industrial south-eastern area. However, as a primarily rural County, the population density is low at 75.7 persons per sq. kilometre, compared with 140 persons per sq. kilometre for Wales as a whole. This scarcity of population is more apparent in rural Carmarthenshire than it is in the south and east of the County where 65% of the population reside on 35% of the land.

5.2.2 The main urban centres of the County include Llanelli, Carmarthen and Ammanford. Carmarthen (due to its central geographic location) typically serves the needs of the County’s rural hinterland. There are a number of settlements varying in size often making notable contributions to the needs and requirements of their community and the surrounding area. A number of rural villages and settlements are self-sufficient in terms of facilities and services, however, other smaller settlements lack services and facilities. The needs of residents in these latter areas are typically met by neighbouring settlements.

5.2.3 The richness of Carmarthenshire’s natural and cultural environment is an important spatial consideration in planning for the future of the County, particularly in terms of the potential for growth and the siting of development. The plan area includes sites designated at the international level to protect and enhance important nature conservation value, as well as striking landscapes and distinctive historic towns and villages. The importance of the County’s built heritage is borne out by the 27 conservation areas, 470 Scheduled Ancient Monuments (ranging from Prehistoric to post- Medieval/Modern features of cultural historic interest) and the large number of listed buildings. There are also a number of designated sites for nature conservation and biodiversity importance, including 7 Special Areas of Conservation, 3 Special Protection Areas, 1 Ramsar site, 82 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (with a further 12 within the Brecon Beacons National Park), 5 National Nature Reserves, 5 Local Nature Reserves and 7 registered landscapes..

5.2.4 Agriculture in Carmarthenshire dominates the rural landscape with the agricultural industry and in particular dairy and sheep farming establishing the County as one of the most important agricultural areas in Wales. Some 203,700 ha of land within Carmarthenshire is classified as agricultural land with the majority classified as grade 3a and 4 with a small tranche of grade 2 land in the south-east of the County.

5.2.5 At the LDP base date (2006) the population for the County was estimated to stand at 178,043 with 78,213 households (2006 WG-based projection). The Welsh Government also published a set of 2008-based population and household projections; however the most recent data in the 2011 Census identified the population of Carmarthenshire at 183,777 with 78,829 households.

5.2.6 Between the 2001 and 2011 Censuses, Carmarthenshire saw an increase of 11,070 in its population, with an increase in households of 5,781 with the housing stock increasing by 6,969 dwellings. The current spread of population and households across the County broadly reflects the current urban form and established communities, which in turn reflects the policy approach identified within the existing UDP and the settlement frameworks within the WSP.

5.2.7 In terms of existing employment land and sites, the largest proportion is located within the defined Growth Areas (Tier 1 settlements) with over half (51%) of the 169 sites surveyed as part of the employment land study located within these areas. The study identified that a further 30% of all sites are situated within the Service Centres (Tier 2 settlements). The distribution of employment sites across rural areas is broad, and although the majority of these sites are small they often serve an important strategic role at the local level.

The Strategy

5.2.8 The Strategy for the LDP emerged from the formulation of the issues, vision and strategic objectives. It sets out how to deliver the vision and strategic objectives, and how the changes within Carmarthenshire over the Plan period will be managed and planned for. Through its policies and proposals the Plan provides for these changes and the respective levels of growth, be they residential, employment etc, and where such growth would be acceptable. This is achieved through identifying sites for specific land uses and through designating areas which are worthy of protection.

5.2.9 The preparation of the Plan was informed by national and regional guidance with plans and strategies at all levels contributing to the development of an evidence and knowledge base which underpins its formulation. Additional evidence had been utilised which either in full or in part (by virtue of relevance) informed the plan making process and was used to develop the strategy and the Plan’s contents.

5.3 Sustainable Development and Climate Change

5.3.1 In planning for a sustainable future for Carmarthenshire, the LDP seeks to reflect and promote the principles of SD. Put simply, SD is a process where the developmental needs of today are met without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same. The planning system in promoting SD seeks to enhance the economic, social and environmental well being of communities. If SD is to be delivered, then the causes and effects of climate change need to be tackled and addressed with the Planning system playing an important role at a national and local level.

5.3.2 In planning ahead to 2021, the Carmarthenshire LDP recognises the potential impacts of climate change by acknowledging the unique qualities of the County and assisting in making it and its communities more sustainable. The LDP looks to tackle the causes and effects of climate change within our communities through the adoption of sustainable principles and development.

5.3.3 The LDP evidence base, including the Plan’s key issues and drivers, confirm that the Plan will need to assist in addressing the causes of climate change and assist in ensuring that the County’s communities are resilient and adaptable to the effects of climate change. Housing (21%), Food (27%) and Transport (21%) all take up a sizable proportion of Carmarthenshire’s ecological footprint. The average ecological footprint per person for Carmarthenshire is 4.39 compared to an average of 4.41 for Wales. Housing (30%) and Transport (28%) take up a sizable proportion of the overall figure for the County’s carbon footprint. These are all issues that the Carmarthenshire LDP seeks to assist in tackling via the promotion of Sustainable Development.

5.3.4 Chapter 4 PPW: Edition 7 (2014) confirms the importance of taking forward a complimentary or ‘twin track’ approach towards tackling climate change through recognising:

(a) the causes of climate change – by acting, and acting urgently, to cut emissions of greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change; and,

(b) the consequences of climate change – the impact of the changes in the climate that are already locked into the climate system which will occur as a result of past emissions. The Carmarthenshire LDP is well placed to assist in addressing the causes and effects of climate change because it is underpinned by the principles of SD.

5.3.5 The LDP will promote the principles of sustainability by:

5.4 Population and Housing

5.4.1 The preparation of the LDP necessitated the formulation of viable options for accommodating change and growth, an important part of which is that associated with the preparation of robust and deliverable population and household projections.

5.4.2 In preparing a development plan, LPAs should use the Welsh Government Local Authority Level Household Projections for Wales as the starting point for assessing housing requirement (PPW Para 9.2.2. Edition 7). However it is for LPAs to consider the appropriateness of the projections for their area, based upon all sources of local evidence. LPAs may deviate from the WG projections if they have robust evidence and a sound policy context. LPAs can also undertake their own policy based projections, but they must justify the reasons for doing so.

5.4.3 The publication of the WG 2006-based population projections saw for the first time projections being produced by WG at Unitary Authority level. This trend-based projection provided an estimate of the size of the future population, and was based on assumptions about births, deaths and migration. The WG 2006-based population projection indicated that the population of Carmarthenshire in 2021 would stand at 199,080. Subsequent WG 2008-based population projections were published based on the revised population and migration estimates provided by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) (May 2010) as part of their long-term programme of work to improve migration and population statistics. The WG 2008-based population projections indicated a slight reduction in the County’s population in 2021 at 198,330. The third population projection which was published during the plan-making process (WG 2011-based population projections), indicated a population of 193,874 in 2021, which represents a significant decrease from earlier projections. The WG 2011-based population projections utilised the most up to date evidence from all available sources, including data from the 2011 Census.

5.4.4 The WG 2006-based household projections was based on the local authority population projections (see above). This was the first time that household projections had been published at Unitary Authority level in Wales. They provided estimates on the future number of households based on assumptions about future population growth and household composition and size. Such assumptions are based on past trends and the projections indicated what may happen should recent trends continue. The WG 2006-based household projections forecasted the number of new households in the County would increase from 78,000 to 95,900 during the plan period. This represented an increase of some 17,900 (23%). This potential requirement equated to some 1,193 households per annum. The WG-2008 based Local Authority household projections, whilst indicating a lower household requirement, still projected a need of some 1,146 households per annum.

5.4.5 February 2014 witnessed the publication of the WG 2011-based Local Authority household projections which indicated a significantly lower household requirement, with only 5,500 estimated as required over the remainder of the Plan period (2011 – 2021). This equates to an average of 550 households per year.

5.4.6 In undertaking to review and reappraise the projections for the County, the Council has identified an opportunity to test the robustness of the WG local authority population and household projections and the assumptions that drive the projections, while also allowing for an assessment to be made of their suitability for the county with its distinctive rural/urban mix.

5.4.7 Based upon the evidence presented through the Population and Household Projections Report (Edge Analytics Ltd: August 2010), the updated Carmarthenshire Demographic Forecasts 2011-2026 (Edge Analytics Ltd: January 2014) and the content of the revised Population and Housing Topic Paper, a revised scenario for population and household change within the County was adopted to inform the LDP. This used the recent evidence to derive the assumptions on future migration streams, but struck a balance between the very high net migration experienced mid-decade, the situation in 2009, which recorded the lowest net-migration to Carmarthenshire since 1993, along with all available and published data sources since the WG 2008-based projections.

5.4.8 As part of the examination into the Plan, consideration was given to the implications of the WG 2011-based Local Authority household projections. In this respect, reference should be made to the Housing Clarification Paper (Examination Document H2P): April 2014 which sought to consider the projected reduction outlined within the 2011-based household projections against the strategic context of the Plan and its objectives.

5.4.9 The evidence in respect of Carmarthenshire’s LDP identified a housing requirement of 15,197 dwellings over the plan period. A detailed breakdown of the population and household projections, and the methodology, are available within the aforementioned paper.

5.4.10 Monitoring of data emerging from the 2011 Census will continue with a particular view to developing an understanding of any changes in population patterns and future demographic trends. Regard has however been had to the emergence of the 2011-based population and household projections in the formulation of the LDP, and through the examination of the Plan. In this regard, due consideration has been given to their implications within the evidence base which responded accordingly.

5.5 Spatial Framework and Settlement Hierarchy

5.5.1 The LDP builds upon the spatial characteristics and diversity of the County and its communities and seeks to consolidate the existing spatial settlement pattern and previous development plan frameworks, whilst continuing to reflect and promote sustainability. It also has regard to the WSP and its settlement frameworks and spatial strategies. It seeks to implement a land use framework which reflects and promotes accessibility to essential services and facilities, thus reducing the need to travel and increasing social inclusion. It represents a plan-led approach based firmly upon the existing spatial context aimed at achieving viable, self-supporting settlements and sustainable rural communities. This allows for the potential consolidation of existing facilities and provides for the support, retention and continued provision of viable facilities, services and employment opportunities at accessible and appropriate locations. It also enables the development of sustainable local economies.

5.5.2 The focus of the current spatial form and resultant distribution of existing housing and employment provision is within the established urban centres of Llanelli, Carmarthen, and the Ammanford/Cross Hands grouping of settlements. The focus on these settlements as identified ‘Growth Areas’ reflects their respective standing and their sustainability and accessibility attributes. The Growth Areas exhibit good accessibility through connections to the strategic highway network and the rail networks as well as public transport.

5.5.3 These three Growth Areas are supplemented within the hierarchy by a range of settlements of differing sizes with their position within the hierarchy determined by virtue of their respective merits in terms of sustainability and the services and facilities they offer. They reflect the current spatial urban distribution and the varying historical influences which have shaped the spatial form of the County. The remainder of settlements (set out within this plan) enjoy varying degrees of accessibility subject to their position within the hierarchy. The hierarchy in reflecting the current settlement pattern sets out to distribute housing and employment land by focusing on areas of higher population and established services and facilities. The LDP continues this spatial focus for growth and development to the most sustainable and accessible settlements with the majority of growth directed to the identified growth areas and the remainder proportionally distributed through the hierarchy. This will contribute to a reduction in the number and length of journeys required to access key facilities and services with the consequential reduction in the release of greenhouse gases. This formed an important element in defining the hierarchy which has also taken into account the sustainability credentials, size, population, location, the availability of services and facilities, capacity and accessibility of each settlement.

5.5.4 The LDP recognises the diversity of the County, its communities and settlements (particularly the rural context) and reflects the need to respect and sustain such areas. A core principle from a spatial context is the recognition of the contribution of smaller identified settlements. Such settlements have, where appropriate, and by virtue of levels of interdependence, been grouped together to form a single “sustainable community” (SC). Such groupings enable development to be allocated within the context of the whole SC, rather than on an individual settlement basis which provides for a more sustainable level of development. In this regard within each SC, land allocations would be identified within the most sustainable settlement or settlements while also taking into account any nearby identified Key Service Centre. The presence of a key service or facility (namely: Post Office, Local Shop, Primary School and Community/Public Hall) within a settlement or group of settlements is a significant consideration in identifying the appropriateness of a given settlement to accommodate market housing allocations (five plus site). In this regard, the absence of all of the above services and facilities would have the consequential result of the settlement not being considered appropriate to receive a market housing allocation (with the exception of those subject to outstanding planning permissions) (see Topic Paper 9: Development Limits).

5.5.5 Strategic Policy SP3 defines the hierarchy and its settlements. The Strategy supports the distribution of growth (or development) which is of a scale and nature appropriate to each tier of the hierarchy. It seeks to provide for growth in a manner consistent with the hierarchy with development apportioned according to the settlement’s ability and suitability to accommodate growth. Settlements within the hierarchy have their built form defined through the use of development limits which provide certainty and clarity on how and where growth will be located (Policy GP2).

5.5.6 Groups of dwellings which have not been identified as settlements are considered to be open countryside and will be subject to relevant area-wide policies.

5.5.7 In employment terms, the LDP recognises the current distribution of employment land with such sites safeguarded to ensure that they are available to contribute to employment needs existing and future. This embraces an emphasis on safeguarding employment sites in accessible locations which are well served by public transport and recognises the contribution of existing sites in satisfying employment requirements across the County particularly in providing range and choice. The Plan also allocates a portfolio of proposed employment sites which, whilst focusing on the sustainability attributes of the Growth Areas, also provides for other settlements within the hierarchy. The distribution of provision reinforces the Strategy, creates opportunity for business start-ups and growth and allows for a degree of flexibility in the amount of land available across the hierarchy. The Plan also makes provision for employment needs within rural areas in a way which is responsive to the characteristics of rural areas and potential business requirements and helps support the rural economy.

5.5.8 The Plan recognises that to facilitate employment growth throughout the County, it is necessary to identify sites at a broad range of locations so that existing and potential businesses are not inhibited by a lack of development opportunity. It seeks to focus on accessible locations within defined settlements and the need for links to alternative modes of transport, albeit, with an acceptance of the challenges presented by the County’s geographical diversity.

5.5.9 In accordance with the principles of sustainability, the LDP seeks to ensure the availability of a wide range of retail and related commercial facilities reasonably accessible to all residents of the County by a choice of transport modes.

5.5.10 The retail strategy recognises that opportunities will continue to reflect a hierarchy of provision ranging from the Growth Areas where the respective retail centres serve wider catchment areas through to the village clusters where village shops provide essential convenience goods for the immediate locality.

5.5.11 The retail strategy of the LDP therefore aims to consolidate the competitiveness and attractiveness of the town centres and ensure their continued vitality and viability. It also seeks to ensure the viability of village facilities which are in a position to take support from the proposed distribution of housing and population growth, and in so doing facilitate the formation of local sustainable communities and economies. The main issues in relation to retail provision in Carmarthenshire therefore relate to:

5.5.12 Such considerations should be viewed against a background of changes in shopping patterns, with increasing pressures for out-of-centre development and greater use of the car resulting in a trend towards centralisation in the larger towns owing to an increased mobility.

5.5.13 The need to develop a plan which optimises the opportunity for the delivery of an efficient, effective, safe and integrated transport system is recognised. In this respect, the Strategy aims to co-ordinate land use to:

5.5.14 The links between transport and employment are clear in terms of ensuring and maximising accessibility. In this regard, it is recognised that improvements to transport linkages between areas of Carmarthenshire and beyond would offer potential benefits in attracting new businesses and employers into the area. The Council recognises the role of the RTP and other regional strategies including those through the City Region (including the forthcoming Local Transport Plan) and will, through an integrated strategic approach, seek to provide for such opportunities over the plan period.

5.6 Areas for Protection

5.6.1 The LDP focuses development in established settlements recognising the need to protect the open countryside, whilst also making appropriate provision for certain uses (including exceptions proposals) where a rural location is considered essential.

5.6.2 The Plan seeks to protect and enhance the nature conservation and biodiversity value of Carmarthenshire, including its rich tapestry of habitats and species. It also seeks to protect and enhance the built and historic environment of the County, those features which contribute to its character and the area’s high quality landscapes.

5.6.3 The Plan also reflects the need to safeguard the distinctiveness and character of areas within the County by maintaining areas of open space and features which contribute to the amenity and essential qualities of localities and settlements.

5.6.4 In conclusion, in allocating sites for development, the LDP recognises the importance of protecting and enhancing the environment, be it the natural environment or the historic built environment. The value of national and international designations is recognised as are those areas of local value. The need to balance the requirements for growth against the need to protect and enhance the environmental qualities is a central challenge and one which the Strategy seeks to address.

5.7 Strategic Sites

5.7.1 In support of the LDP’s Strategy, certain strategic sites have been identified and are set out within Strategic Policy SP4. Such sites have been designated by taking into account issues relating to their scale, nature and strategic location. The definition of what constitutes a strategic site, and the method for determining which sites make an appropriate contribution to the strategy, are set out in the site assessment methodology.

5.7.2 The process of selection and evaluation of all sites allocated in this Plan has been exhaustive. Decisions on allocations gave full consideration to the merits and strategic compatibility of sites and also examined potential constraints, deliverability and appropriateness in planning terms.

5.8 Strategy Components - Summary

5.8.1 Key components of the strategy are summarised below:

Figure 6
Figure 6: Carmarthenshire LDP – Key Diagram

5.9 Strategic Policies

5.9.1 The strategic policies have been formulated with due regard to the Plan’s vision and strategic objectives and are an essential contributor in implementing the strategy. These strategic policies do not comprise the full suite of policies. They only comprise those of a strategic nature and are supplemented by the detailed policies and proposals which are set out in subsequent sections of this Plan.

5.9.2 The strategic policies should be read in conjunction with the specific and detailed policies which follow. In considering the strategic policies, account must be taken of the potential for impact on the European site network and protected species. In the LDP, such potential impacts are mitigated for through the applicable strategic and specific policies. This does not obviate the need for further HRA at lower planning tier level (planning application / project level).

Sustainable Places

5.9.3 The strategy reflects the aspirations and objectives of the Community Strategy and the principles of sustainability. In so doing, it reflects the need to create communities and settlements which are sustainable. To this end, the strategy recognises the requirement to direct growth and development to settlements and locations where services and facilities are available. The contribution that new development can make in ensuring the continued viability of facilities in towns and villages in the County is acknowledged. The Strategy will thereby promote social progress by providing for the building of inclusive communities that have good access to facilities. This will reduce the need to travel and thus secure associated environmental benefits.

5.9.4 Policy SP1 seeks to ensure development proposals reflect the core aspects of the Strategy and that all development proposals have regard to, and contribute to, the delivery of the Plan’s objectives.

5.9.5 The Plan seeks to create safe communities and environments and good design is central to achieving this objective. Reference should be made to policy GP1 in respect of design and development requirements which will be supported and reflected in the SPG on design.

5.9.6 All proposals will be required to satisfy general design principles as outlined in PPW Edition 7: and TAN12: Design. Particular reference should be made to Section 4.11 of PPW which provides guidance on implementing planning for sustainable buildings. SPG will be produced following the adoption of the Plan to assist in the consideration of matters relating to high quality sustainable design. Reference should also be had to policy SP2 and other policies and proposals of this Plan.

SP1 Sustainable Places and Spaces

Proposals for development will be supported where they reflect sustainable development and design principles by:

  1. Distributing development to sustainable locations in accordance with the settlement framework, supporting the roles and functions of the identified settlements;
  2. Promoting, where appropriate, the efficient use of land including previously developed sites;
  3. Integrating with the local community, taking account of character and amenity as well as cultural and linguistic considerations;
  4. Respecting, reflecting and, wherever possible, enhancing local character and distinctiveness;
  5. Creating safe, attractive and accessible environments which contribute to people’s health and wellbeing and adhere to urban design best practice;
  6. Promoting active transport infrastructure and safe and convenient sustainable access particularly through walking and cycling;
  7. Utilising sustainable construction methods where feasible;
  8. Improving social and economic wellbeing;
  9. Protect and enhance the area’s biodiversity value and where appropriate, seek to integrate nature conservation into new development.
Strategic Objectives Supported: SO1, SO2, SO3, SO4, SO7, SO9, SO11, SO13, SO14
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Climate Change

5.9.7 The need to tackle climate change represents a fundamental challenge if sustainable development is to be delivered. Its economic, social and environmental implications will be profound and a failure to address it will render any effort to plan for sustainability unsuccessful (PPW Edition 7: Section 4.2). The changing climate and the impacts for Wales predicted by the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) present the planning system with serious challenges. In addressing them, PPW outlines a series of objectives which should be taken into account during the preparation of a development plan.

5.9.8 The LDP categorises settlements into a hierarchy which reflects their relative sustainability according to the availability of services or facilities, or through general accessibility benefits. The Plan’s aspiration of minimising the need to travel, particularly by private motor car, and its contributory role towards the facilitation of an integrated transport strategy seeks to direct development to appropriate locations which serve to achieve this.

5.9.9 The potential impact of flood risk formed an important consideration in the assessment of the appropriateness of sites for inclusion within the LDP. In this regard, a precautionary approach was adopted in the identification of sites for inclusion in the Plan (Ref: Site Assessment Methodology – Submission Document CSD45). Reference should be made to the LDP evidence base and notably the Strategic Flood Consequences Assessment (SFCA – Submission Documents CSD109 – CSD114).

5.9.10 The consideration of any proposals in respect of flooding have regard to the provisions of PPW: Edition 7 - Chapter 13 and TAN15: Development and Flood Risk which provides guidance on assessing developments at risk from flooding. Proposals affected by flood risk will be required to submit a Flood Consequences Assessment as part of any application and the Council will consult with Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Where a site is in part impacted upon by flood risk, the developer should duly consider the impact of the risk against the developability of the remainder of the site, and where appropriate undertake the necessary evidential work (including a flood consequences assessment and/or topographical survey) to the satisfaction of NRW. Reference should be made to Policy EP3 in relation to Sustainable Drainage.

5.9.11 Developments will be expected to exhibit good design principles to promote the efficient use of resources, including minimising waste and pollution generation, and maximising energy efficiency and the efficient use of other resources. Development proposals will be expected to make full and appropriate use of land. The potential impacts of climate change should be central to the design process, including the contribution that location, density, layout and built form can make towards climate responsive developments.

5.9.12 PPW sets out clear guidance in terms of requirements for climate responsive developments and sustainable buildings. Reference should be made to the Practice Guidance – Planning for Sustainable Buildings (WG, 2014).

5.9.13 Reference should also be made to policies SP1 and GP1, and the other policies and proposals of this Plan.

SP2 Climate Change

Development proposals which respond to, are resilient to, adapt to and minimise for the causes and impacts of climate change will be supported. In particular proposals will be supported where they:

  1. Adhere to the waste hierarchy and in particular the minimisation of waste;
  2. Promote the efficient consumption of resources (including water);
  3. Reflect sustainable transport principles and minimise the need to travel, particularly by private motor car;
  4. Avoid, or where appropriate, minimise the risk of flooding including the incorporation of measures such as SUDS and flood resilient design;
  5. Promote the energy hierarchy by reducing energy demand, promoting energy efficiency and increasing the supply of renewable energy;
  6. Incorporate appropriate climate responsive design solutions including orientation, layout, density and low carbon solutions (including design and construction methods) and utilise sustainable construction methods where feasible.

Proposals for development which are located within areas at risk from flooding will be resisted unless they accord with the provisions of TAN 15.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO1, SO2, SO4, SO5 and SO10
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Settlement Framework

5.9.14 The LDP settlement framework is derived from strategic considerations and recognises the importance attached to sustainability. It acknowledges the potential contribution of identified settlements to the implementation of the strategy according to such factors as size, location and other sustainability credentials particularly the availability of services and facilities (Ref: the Key Diagram). The following policy and its hierarchy of settlements should be read in conjunction with the Strategy and the policies and proposals contained within this Plan.

Growth Areas

5.9.15 The status of the Growth Area settlements reflects their high population levels and the availability of an extensive range of services and facilities in the strategic context. These settlements are well served by those facilities which are vital to supporting the principles of sustainability and are capable of accommodating a proportionally high level of growth. They represent large and established urban areas located on sustainable transport routes which serve areas extending beyond their localised catchments. Their regional or sub-regional status is recognised through the WSP. Reference should be made to Appendix 1 in respect of the role, function and other considerations for the Growth Area settlements.

Service Centres

5.9.16 Service Centre settlements are well located on sustainable transport corridors and demonstrate a broad range of facilities and services which provide for the needs of the settlement and a wider local catchment. Their respective status within the County and their regional contribution is reflected within the WSP. Reference should be made to Appendix 1 in respect of the role, function and other considerations for the Service Centre settlements.

Local Service Centres

5.9.17 These settlements are located on, or near to sustainable transport corridors, and possess facilities and services which have a local community focus, often comprising of basic healthcare provision and local shopping needs. A number of these settlements are also recognised within the WSP. Local Service Centres are set out in Appendix 1 together with a description of their key characteristics, role and function.

Sustainable Communities

5.9.18 A core spatial aspect of the LDP Strategy relates to the contribution of smaller settlements. Such settlements which exhibit levels of interdependence - existing or potential - have been grouped together to form a single “Sustainable Community” (SC). Such groupings enable growth and development prospects to be considered within the context of the whole SC according to its collective function, rather than on an individual settlement basis. Within each SC, land allocations will be identified in the most sustainable settlement or settlements which possess the greater level of essential services and facilities, and where there are suitable opportunities for the release of land for development. Not all settlements are able to be readily grouped (for instance by virtue of their geographical location), in which case they have been identified as stand alone settlements. Where appropriate, a ‘Key Service Centre’ has been identified to further support the sustainability offer of the SC.

SP3 Sustainable Distribution – Settlement Framework

Provision for growth and development will be at sustainable locations in accordance with the following Settlement Framework:

Growth Areas:
(Includes Abergwili, Llangunnor, Johnstown and Trevaughan)
(Includes Llangennech)
Ammanford/Cross Hands
(Includes Tumble, Llandybie, Penygroes, Tycroes, Betws, Blaenau/Caerbryn, Drefach, Capel Hendre, Cefneithin, Gorslas, Saron and Castell y Rhingyll)

Service Centres:
Burry Port/Pembrey
Llandeilo (Includes Ffairfach, Rhosmaen and Nanyrhibo)
Newcastle Emlyn
St Clears (Includes Pwll Trap)

Local Service Centres:

Sustainable Communities:

Sustainable Community (SC)Key Service Settlement (where not in SC)
Cwmfelin Mynach
Glandy Cross
Cwmfelin Boeth
Newcastle Emlyn
Capel Iwan
Cynwyl Elfed
St Clears
Cross Inn
Red Roses
Four Roads
Llanfihangel Ar Arth
New Inn
Ashfield Row
Waunystrad Meurig
Golden Grove
Broad Oak
Felindre (Dryslwyn)
Cwrt Henri
Capel Dewi
Felingwm Uchaf
Felingwm Isaf
Temple Bar
Heol Ddu
Stag And Pheasant
Capel Seion
Ammanford / Cross Hands
Five Roads
Pontyberem / Bancffosfelen
Pontyates / Meinciau / Ponthenri

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO2, SO10, SO11, SO13 and SO14
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Strategic Sites

5.9.19 Certain sites have been identified as making a significant contribution to the delivery of the Strategy. Their identification as Strategic Sites has been undertaken in accordance with the Strategy, the settlement framework and the site assessment methodology. A series of sieves or filters based on sustainability principles and drawing on national planning guidance, have been employed to identify relevant sites.

5.9.20 These sites are deemed important, either individually or cumulatively, to the implementation of the planning and regeneration proposals of the Council, and to meet the strategic, sustainable objectives of the Plan. The development potential for each of the identified strategic sites is set out within Appendix 2 – Strategic Sites.

5.9.21 The strategic sites allow the opportunity for significant new development to take place at important locations to realise the regeneration potential of the Plan, and provide for the consolidation of the Strategy and its commitment to sustainability. Development Briefs in the form of SPG will be prepared to assist the delivery of the strategic sites. Proposals on strategic sites should consider the potential opportunity for incorporating higher sustainable building standards. In this respect, and where appropriate, a development brief will be prepared in relation to a strategic site. The preparation of a brief will afford an opportunity to fully consider matters relating to such sites, providing additional clarity in respect of particular issues, requirements or considerations. It may be appropriate for such briefs to explore design considerations including orientation, configuration and layout, along with sustainable development and building practice (including integrating energy generation and energy saving design features). Briefs may also consider the role of new technologies in moving towards zero carbon developments.

5.9.22 Policy SP17 and EP1 in relation to infrastructure and environmental capacity are important to proposals on strategic sites owing to the potential scale.

5.9.23 In recognising and accounting for the potential for a likely significant effect in relation to the Caeau Mynydd Mawr SAC, the LDP makes appropriate provision through policy EQ7 and the adopted SPG.

SP4 Strategic Sites

Provision is made within Growth Area settlements for the following Strategic Sites which, either individually, or in combination, contribute to the implementation of the strategy and consolidate the Plan’s sustainable principles.

Strategic SiteProposed UseSite Ref
Site 1 – West Carmarthen Mixed Use (Ref: Policy EMP5)GA1/MU1
Site 2 – Pibwrlwyd, Carmarthen Mixed Use (Ref: Policy EMP5)GA1/MU2
Site 3 – South Llanelli Strategic Zone   
Delta Lakes Mixed Use (Ref: Policy EMP5)GA2/MU9
Machynys Residential
Mixed Use (Ref: Policy EMP5)
The Avenue Mixed Use (Ref: Policy EMP5)
North Dock Mixed Use (Ref: Policy EMP5)GA2/MU7
Old Castle Works Mixed Use (Ref: Policy EMP5)GA2/MU1
Site 4 – Dafen, Llanelli EmploymentGA2/E1
Site 5 – Cross Hands Strategic Zone   
Cross Hands West Mixed Use (Ref: Policy EMP5)GA3/MU1
Cross Hands East EmploymentGA3/E7
Cross Hands West Food Park EmploymentGA3/E8

Table 3 – Strategic Site Allocations

Proposals in respect of the strategic sites must have regard to the identified uses (see Appendix 2) and the relevant policies of the Plan.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO2, SO5, SO9 and SO11
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.


5.9.24 In formulating the LDP, regard was had to Planning Policy Wales (PPW), and its considerations in relation to the assessment of housing requirements. Specifically paragraph 9.2.2 of PPW: Edition 7 identifies that the starting point for the assessment of housing requirement within a development plan should be the Welsh Government’s 2006 based population and household projections. These projections were then further supplemented by the 2008 and 2011 based projections and were assessed with a housing requirement of 15,197 dwellings identified for the plan period.

5.9.25 The LDP provides a housing supply of 15,778 residential units which represents an additional 581 dwellings above the housing requirement. This represents 3.7% flexibility over the housing land requirement contained within the Plan. This recognises the need for flexibility and the appropriateness for the Plan to ensure the provision of a deliverable level of growth in the event of changing circumstances and economic conditions.

5.9.26 In addition to the need for the Plan to deliver the identified housing requirement and to incorporate a degree of flexibility necessary to ensure delivery of sustainable growth commensurate with, and in support of the Strategy, the proposed uplift also acknowledges that several settlements experience a relatively high level of sites with planning consent (excluding those pending the signing of a section 106 agreement).

5.9.27 The LDP acknowledges the status of permitted sites which are allocated accordingly (except where clear evidence prescribes otherwise, or where they do not accord with the strategy). These sites are included in the housing land supply set out below.

5.9.28 The distribution of the identified LDP housing requirement is apportioned according to each individual settlement’s position within the hierarchy, which in turn, reflects its capacity for accommodating growth, its relative size and the availability of services and facilities. Factors such as environmental capacity, character, infrastructural constraints, accessibility and employment land provision all contribute to the scale of development appropriate to the settlement. Accordingly, the majority of development will be directed to the three Growth Areas with further development opportunities distributed proportionately to settlements lower down the hierarchy.

5.9.29 Whilst the apportionment within SCs and their respective settlements reflects their character, capacity for change and other aforementioned sustainability criteria it should be noted that a SC in a more urban context generally has the potential to accommodate a greater level of growth than a rural counterpart.

5.9.30 The LDP recognises the importance attached to deliverability whilst also recognising that disproportionate growth inconsistent with the current spatial pattern may result in unnecessary conflicts with the need to protect and enhance the County’s rural and landscape character. The role of ‘previously developed land’ is recognised and wherever practicable and appropriate its contribution will be maximised although in the large number of settlements which are rural in character its availability is limited. The biodiversity value of such sites may also reduce their suitability.

5.9.31 The residential land provision for Carmarthenshire includes the requirement for the part of the County occupied by the National Park. The contribution of the National Park will be subject to continual monitoring and cross border discussion. Regard will continue to be had to the policies and proposals of neighbouring authorities within their LDPs taking into account any cross border implications.

Housing Supply

5.9.32 The following section sets out the housing land supply for the LDP. In doing so, it incorporates the projected household requirement as the basis for the number of units required, together with the aforementioned flexibility (uplift). It also factors in contributions from the windfall allowance. The housing supply is made up of the following elements:

Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan - Housing Supply 2006 – 2021

Housing Allocations 13,352
Windfall Allowance 2,426
Small Site Component (less than 5 dwellings) (1,111)
Windfall Component (5 or more dwellings) (1,315)
Total Housing Supply 15,778
Housing Requirement 15,197
Flexibility 581

Housing Allocations

5.9.33 A key source in meeting the identified housing land requirement is through sites allocated for residential development within the LDP in the form of Housing allocations as identified through policy H1 or as part of a mixed use allocation as set out within Policy EMP5.

5.9.34 The LDP has identified the contributions which committed sites make between the period 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2012. Information on committed sites indicates that there are 5,034 units subject to valid planning permissions across the defined settlements on allocated sites of 5 of more dwellings. Whilst this figure will be the subject of continual monitoring (given that their contribution will vary as permissions are granted and lapse) it provides an informative indication of supply across the County as at 31st March 2012.

5.9.35 Furthermore, the contribution of completions on allocated sites between the 1st April 2007 and 31st March 2012 to the residential housing land requirement is also recognised. Information on completions as derived from the Joint Housing Land Availability Studies (JHLAS), together with site based survey work, has been used to identify the contribution of completions in meeting the overall housing supply figure. It should be noted that in instances where a site is part completed prior to the plan period, the remaining dwellings within that site where they are for 5 or more units have been allocated within the LDP. The following table outlines the contribution from permissions and completions against the overall requirement across the settlement hierarchy.

H1 Allocated Sites
Windfall allowance (sites of under 5 units)
Carmarthen (GA1)
Llanelli (including Llangennech) (GA2)
Ammanford / Cross Hands (GA3)
Total (% of housing allocation within the Growth Areas)
1134 (13.61%)
3110 (37.32%)
5223 (62.68%)
8333 (100%)

Windfall allowance (sites of under 5 units)
Burry Port and Pembrey
Llandeilo (incl. Ffairfach, Rhosmaen, Nantyrhibo)
Newcastle Emlyn
St Clears (Incl. Pwll Trap)
Total (% housing allocation within Service Centres)
274 (20.15%)
579 (42.58%)
781 (57.42%)
1360 (100%)

Windfall allowance (sites of under 5 units)
Pontyates / Ponthenri / Meinciau
Hendy / Fforest
Glanaman / Garnant
Llanybydder / Ty Mawr
Total (% housing allocation within Local Service Centres)
125 (7.5%)
602 (36.13%)
1064 (63.87%)
1666 (100%)

Windfall allowance (sites of under 5 units)
Total (% housing allocation within Sustainable Communities)
342 (17.16%)
743 (37.28%)
1250 (62.72%)
1993 (100%)

Table 4 – Settlement’s Housing Provision


5.9.36 The windfall allowance can be characterised in two ways. The first relates to the potential contribution of sites of less than five dwellings within defined development limits. It is noted that such sites have not previously been monitored within the county, however the number of units completed on such sites will in future be recorded as part of the annual JHLAS and monitored accordingly through the LDP. For the period 2006-2012 the JHLAS has applied an allowance of 77 dwellings per annum which has equated to some 462 units being completed on small sites through to 2012. A recent assessment of the contribution of such small sites in respect of the LDP has been undertaken, and indicates that there is a residual small site contribution of 649 for the remainder of the Plan period through to 2021.

5.9.37 Such sites make an important contribution to the overall housing supply, introducing an important element of choice and flexibility into the housing market, including opportunities for self-build housing. Its contribution is however particularly notable in the smaller settlements where opportunities for plus 5 developments are limited.

5.9.38 With respect to windfall contributions through sites of five or more dwellings, such sites have traditionally made an important contribution to housing delivery within Carmarthenshire. Evidence indicates that for the period 2006 – 2007, 159 windfall units were completed.

5.9.39 In allocating sites for housing within the LDP, the Council sought to provide certainty by allocating the majority of UDP windfall sites (where they accorded with the site assessment methodology) under policy H1 – Housing Allocations. This left only 76 completed windfall dwellings during this period. This figure can be added to the windfall allowance for the period 2007-2013.

5.9.40 In assessing the potential windfall (5 or more) for the remainder of the plan period 2013-2021, the Council has sought to use historic evidence to establish an allowance for this period. Within the period 2007-2013, windfall sites of five or more dwellings contributed between 13.5% and 31.9% of the overall housing completions during the respective years. The Council has considered that a reasonable estimate of 12.5% of all housing supply for the remainder of the plan period could come from windfall sites. This incorporates an allowance for sites of five or more dwellings with planning permission, but which are not subject to an allocation. This equates to 1,029 dwellings for the remaining 8 years of the Plan.

5.9.41 In combining the three elements of windfall (5 or more) as set out in the Council’s Housing Clarification Paper (H2r), the LDP considers a total allowance of 1,315 dwellings to be appropriate.

SP5 Housing

In order to ensure the overall housing land requirement of 15,197 for the plan period 2006-2021 is met, provision is made for 15,778 new dwellings. Sufficient land is allocated (on sites of 5 or more dwellings) to accommodate 13,352 dwellings in accordance with the Settlement Framework.

Number of Dwellings
Growth Areas
Service Centres
Local Service Centres
Sustainable Communities

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO2, SO3, SO7, SO13 and SO14
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Affordable Housing

5.9.42 Affordable Housing represents a key issue in the preparation of the LDP and forms an important component of the LDP particularly in contributing to the development of sustainable and balanced communities. This importance is borne out through its recognition as both a national and local issue.

5.9.43 Affordable Housing is defined as “housing where there are mechanisms in place to ensure that it is accessible to those who cannot afford market housing, both on first occupation and for subsequent occupants” (TAN2: 2006 - Planning and Affordable Housing, Para 5.1). In order to be consistent with the definition of affordable housing, all such housing provided through the planning system must be available to the community in perpetuity and not only to the initial occupier. Affordable housing does not include low cost housing.

5.9.44 In assessing the need for affordable dwellings, the Carmarthenshire Local Housing Market Assessment (LHMA) 2009 identified a shortfall of 743 dwellings per annum for the subsequent five years, for those in need of affordable housing within the county. When compared to the overall housing requirement of 1,013 dwellings per annum identified during the LDP period, the LHMA indicates that 73% of all proposed dwellings would need to be affordable. It is not expected that the planning system alone will, or should, provide for this shortfall. However, the importance of the LDP’s role in meeting affordable housing need is recognised.

5.9.45 The Council has undertaken a viability assessment to identify a target for the proportion of affordable housing that should be sought from any housing developments. The affordable housing target has been set at 30%, 20% and 10% as conveyed within the list of housing allocations in Policy H1. Consequently, the LDP has used the viability targets on all non-committed housing allocations, along with the numbers proposed on committed housing allocations, together with other contributions, to identify an overall affordable housing target for the county through the land use planning system. In identifying these viability targets, consideration has been given to the relationship between the delivery of affordable housing and the delivery of development sites in general.

5.9.46 The affordable housing contributions through exception sites and local needs planning permissions has been relatively low since the base date, and by using current data it is estimated that 30 affordable dwellings on minor exception sites will come forward during the plan period.

5.9.47 In combining all methods of affordable housing contributions, the Plan sets out policies which seek to deliver a target of at least 2,121 affordable homes, which is the minimum number expected to be delivered in the County during the plan period through the planning system. Policies AH1 to AH3 set out the mechanisms which will be used to deliver this target. The mechanisms set out in Policy AH1 provide that residential proposals for 5 or more units within all defined settlements will be expected to contribute to the provision of affordable housing through planning obligations and developer contributions.

5.9.48 The location of affordable housing should be related to identified need and be in accordance with the settlement framework. Reference should also be had to relevant exceptions policies. Proposals should address locational considerations including safe and convenient accessibility to education, employment and other services.

5.9.49 The evidence within the Affordable Housing Topic Paper (Submission Document - CSD78) and the Viability Assessments identifes a significant number of residential developments being granted planning permission on sites which fall below the affordable housing threshold target of 5 or more units. The Plan identifies a role for the use of commuted sums to be made from these smaller sites which will be used to contribute to the provision of affordable housing in other schemes in the county.

5.9.50 The Plan also takes into account the Carmarthenshire Affordable Homes Delivery Statement 2008-2012 which identifies a commitment for 575 affordable homes during 2008-2011. The LDP will make a significant contribution to this figure.

SP6 Affordable Housing

Provision will be made for at least 2,121 affordable homes to be delivered through the LDP. The delivery of affordable homes will contribute to the creation of sustainable communities within the Plan area.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO3, SO7, SO13 and SO14
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.


5.9.51 In undertaking a review of employment and employment needs within the County, an Employment Land Study (ELS) was jointly commissioned within the authority by planning services, economic development and corporate property. Its purpose and role was therefore to inform and assist a number of users. The principal outcome and content of the ELS has been endorsed by the Council’s Executive Board as an informing tool in guiding future decision making across the authority.

5.9.52 The focus of the ELS in respect of the LDP was on providing an understanding of future need and developing a methodology to guide the levels and location of future employment land provision. In so doing the study sought to review current employment land provision and examine potential employment sites to inform site selection for the LDP.

5.9.53 The ELS identified 753.25ha of employment land across 169 sites surveyed in Carmarthenshire. The majority of the employment land surveyed as part of the ELS is located within the Growth Areas (51%) and Service Centres (30%). Notwithstanding this, the Plan recognises that the distribution of employment opportunities throughout the county is crucial in supporting the aims and objectives of the strategy. New sites located outside of the highest tiers of the hierarchy can make a significant contribution to the settlements and communities they serve, especially in rural areas where opportunities for new businesses to establish or existing businesses to expand would be severely constrained in the absence of appropriate sites and premises.

5.9.54 The ELS identified an overall vacancy across the County at 20.6%. However, this figure is contrasted with an occupancy rate of 92.78% within Council stock which indicates a demand for units targeted to meet market need at an appropriate cost.

5.9.55 The ELS calculated that 34.1ha of employment land was required to be delivered in Carmarthenshire by 2031 in order to accommodate the forecasted employment need. The ELS identified 281.23ha of the total surveyed area as having potential for employment development. In collating a portfolio of employment land allocations, the ELS revised this target of 34.1ha to a final amount of employment land allocations with the potential to yield between 237.7 and 242.7ha of developable land. This formed the basis for site selection but was revised to take into account the outcomes of the site selection process and the review of settlements, with the Study’s content forming an important contributory piece of evidence in the consideration of a site’s suitability for inclusion within the LDP.

5.9.56 Although the final employment allocations reflect a larger area than the forecasted need of 34.1ha, the ELS has justified this increase on the basis that a greater choice of sites could accommodate varying needs, especially taking account of the rural nature of parts of the County and the need for accessible sites. It provides an opportunity to replace or replenish lost stock and to react to changing market conditions. Other requirements which are taken into consideration are:

5.9.57 This provides for a range and choice of sites and supports potential employment land needs beyond the Growth Areas. Such an approach is reflective of the Strategy and the aspirations for sustaining rural centres. It also reflects the WSP’s recognition of the important role of rural settlements with many identified as Local Service Centres within this LDP.

5.9.58 The employment land provision offers support to the Strategy and its sustainability objectives through helping to create self-supporting and viable communities and settlements.

5.9.59 In considering the level of employment land allocations in relation to the LDP, further regard has also been had to a range of considerations to ensure that the level of provision is reflective of not only a range of deliverable sites but also that they are based upon a robust understanding of their character and site areas. In this regard the Employment Land Update Paper - June 2013 (Submission Document CSD120), and further evidence as part of the examination process identified a revised employment land allocation of 111.13ha for the Plan area.

5.9.60 The location of allocated sites reflects the importance and status of the Growth Areas with 95.15 ha. The remaining 15.98 ha are distributed across the remaining settlement hierarchy framework. The contribution of the strategic sites (Policy SP4) in meeting employment land needs is highlighted through their overall allocation of 71.66 ha. The emphasis on the Growth Areas not only reflects their sustainability credentials but also their historic legacy. It is also (particularly in relation to Llanelli) indicative of the relatively high unemployment rates and levels of deprivation and of a strong commitment to address the problems.

5.9.61 The following table sets out the employment land provision contained within policy SP7 and identifies completion levels and sites which are committed by virtue of a valid planning permission.

A. LDP Allocation
B. Completed
C. Completed but not forming part of allocated figure.¹
D. Committed
E. Residual Supply

GA1 - Carmarthen
GA2 - Llanelli
GA3 - Ammanford/ Cross Hands
Service Centres
Local Service Centres
Sustainable Communities

Table 5 – Employment Land Provision

1Incorporates those sites which have been completed during the Plan period but were identified as existing as at Deposit LDP and did not form part of employment land figure.

5.9.62 The LDP provides a range of sites for potential inward investment and relocations through the employment land allocations. These provide an appropriate range and choice to meet the needs of a variety of potential employers. This includes potential sites for larger employers as well as sites to accommodate smaller scale uses with the policy framework also providing scope for new and start up businesses.

5.9.63 It should be noted that allocated employment sites and thus the total land provision (as set out within the following policy) includes non-operational land with scope for landscaping, buffer zones and other such uses.

5.9.64 Employment land allocations are set out in Policy SP7 below, and also depicted on the proposals map.

SP7 Employment - Land Allocations

Sufficient land is allocated for the provision of 111.13 hectares of employment land for the plan period 2006 – 2021 in accordance with the Settlement Framework.

LDP Ref Site Name Location Use Class Ha
Growth Areas
GA1/E1 Cillefwr Industrial Estate¹ Carmarthen B1,B2,B8 4.38
GA1/MU1 West Carmarthen Carmarthen B1,B2,B8 5.45
GA1/MU2 Pibwrlwyd Carmarthen B1,B2,B8 15.50
GA2/MU9 Delta Lakes Llanelli B1 9.78
GA2/E1 Dafen¹ Llanelli B1,B2,B8 22.80
GA3/E1 Cross Hands Business Park² Ammanford/ Cross Hands B1,B2,B8 0.79
GA3/E2 Meadows Road, Cross Hands² Ammanford/ Cross Hands B1,B2,B8 1.16
GA3/E3 Parc Menter, Cross Hands² Ammanford/ Cross Hands B1,B2,B8 1.04
GA3/E7 Cross Hands East² Ammanford/ Cross Hands B1,B8 9.22
GA3/E8 Cross Hands West Food Park² Ammanford/ Cross Hands B1,B2,B8 8.91
GA3/E10 Capel Hendre Industrial Estate, Capel Hendre² Ammanford/ Cross Hands B1,B2,B8 4.05
GA3/E11 Parc Hendre, Capel Hendre¹ ² Ammanford/ Cross Hands B1,B2,B8 11.73
GA3/E12 Heol Ddu, Tycroes² Ammanford/ Cross Hands B1,B8 0.34
Total 95.15

LDP Ref Site Name Location Use Class Ha
Tier 2-4 Settlements
T2/1/E1 DyfattyBurry PortB1,B2,B83.28
T2/2/E1 Beechwood Industrial EstateRhosmaen/ LlandeiloB1,B2,B82.33
T2/4/E1 Sunny BankNewcastle EmlynB11
T2/5/E1 Land adjacent Station Yard St Clears B1,B8 0.33
T2/5/E2 Land adjacent A40 St Clears B1,B8 1.23
T2/5/MU1 Old Butter Factory St Clears B1,B8 0.36
T2/6/E1 West Street Whitland B1,B8 0.27
T2/6/E2 Whitland Industrial Estate Whitland B1,B8 1.07
T2/6/E3 Whitland Creamery Whitland B1,B8 1.7
T3/8/E1 Land east of Station Road Glanamman/ Garnant B1 0.7
T3/11/E1 Old Foundry Llanybydder B1,B8 0.51
SC34/E1 Pantyrhodyn Industrial Estate Cilyrychen B1,B2,B8 1.5
SC34/E2 Cilyrychen Industrial Estate (north) Cilyrychen B1,B2,B8 1.7
Total 15.98
Total (all sites)  111.13

Table 6 – Employment Land Allocations

1Sites which offer the potential to accommodate In-Building Waste Management Facilities. A notional total figure of 31.7 ha of land is potentially available on these sites. Added to this figure are the potential capacity available at Nantycaws Waste Management Site, as well as possible land that may become available on existing employment, waste and other non-allocated sites during the Plan period.

2Regard should be had to the provisions of policy EQ7 and the SPG in relation to the Caeau Mynydd Mawr SAC.

Proposals for small scale employment undertakings (not on allocated sites) will be permitted where they are in accordance with Policy EMP2.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO2, SO6 and SO11
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.


5.9.65 Sustainable planning objectives in respect of shopping provision and town-centres generally focus on ensuring the availability of local outlets. These provide essential goods and services which are readily accessible to residents, preferably by a choice of means of transport, whilst also providing the opportunity to access a wide range of other, non-essential goods and services within reasonable distances.

5.9.66 This approach recognises the general pattern of provision in a traditional hierarchy of centres ranging from the small village shop, post office and public house serving essential local needs to the larger centres and providing a greater choice over a wider product range. The larger centres are the location for related activities in the leisure and entertainment sphere including cinemas and restaurants etc. and for commercial office uses including solicitors, accountants and estate agents etc.

5.9.67 In general, local provision represents goods and services required on a day-to-day basis (convenience items) and for which residents may make short journeys frequently, whilst the larger centres not only provide such facilities but also more specialised items (comparison goods) sought less frequently and for which shoppers are prepared to travel further. Traditionally shopping provision has evolved in a hierarchy of centres with overlapping catchments reflecting their size and importance.

5.9.68 It is this pattern of retail provision which characterises Carmarthenshire with the larger centres of Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford serving extensive catchment areas with a broad and specialised range of goods and items. The market towns of, for example, Newcastle Emlyn, Llandeilo and St Clears with their smaller catchments meeting local needs with some specialised provision, and finally the larger villages provide essential items required on a frequent basis. More recently, there has been the growth of out-of-centre shopping in the larger towns with large retail warehouses generally offering bulky goods and with appropriate parking provision, in most cases grouped together in retail parks.

5.9.69 Alongside this pattern of shopping provision, there are outlets associated with petrol stations and farm shops together with the increasing significance of Internet shopping.

5.9.70 The retail strategy of the LDP reflects the social, economic and environmental principles of sustainable development which underpins the Plan. The Strategy seeks to:

  1. Protect and enhance the roles of the principal centres of Carmarthen, Llanelli and Ammanford/Crosshands in serving wide catchment areas for comparison shopping (clothing, footwear, electrical etc.) and specialised items to ensure their continued attractiveness as shopping destinations and maintain their competitiveness and market share in relation to other centres including Swansea and Cardiff;
  2. In other, smaller centres, ensure that local communities have reasonable access to a satisfactory range of high street facilities and services particularly convenience goods (food and other essential day-to-day requirements); and,
  3. In the larger villages, maintain the viability of the village shop and other local facilities.

5.9.71 The Retail Study (2009) for Carmarthenshire examined retail issues across the County and assessed the capacity for growth across the retail sectors and was prepared to inform the LDP. Of particular relevance is the capacity (or projected growth) for additional convenience floorspace and the potential to increase self-containment in accordance with a sustainable retail strategy. This aims to locate available convenience floorspace in smaller stores in selected secondary centres close to the localised sources of growth in consumer expenditure. The intention is for modern food outlets to be more accessible to a greater proportion of the County’s population particularly in the rural communities. It is in accordance with the LDP Strategy in that it seeks to provide the circumstances for communities to become more autonomous and self-supporting in the provision of facilities, thereby enhancing social inclusion and reducing the need to travel with its attendant environmental benefits.

5.9.72 In assessing retailing need within the County, the LDP recognises that there is a limit to the amount of floorspace that projected expenditure growth (as outlined within the Retail Study) can sustain, and it is imperative that this be distributed in accordance with the plan-led strategy. The retail strategy for the LDP reflects a hierarchy of provision ranging from the main towns, where the respective retail centres serve wide catchment areas, through to the SCs, where village shops provide essential convenience goods for the immediate locality.

SP8 Retail

Proposals will be permitted where they maintain and enhance the existing retail provision within the County, and protect and promote the viability and vitality of the defined retail centres. Proposals for small local convenience shopping facilities in rural and urban areas where they accord with the settlement framework will be supported.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO1 and SO11
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.


5.9.73 Carmarthenshire is well positioned on the A40, A477 and A48 trunk roads. Their connections to the west provide links to the Irish ferry ports, which with the M4 forms part of the Trans-European Network. This east-west link is further emphasised by the West Wales railway line which extends from Swansea (and the wider rail network) through to Pembrokeshire via Carmarthen and Llanelli. The West Wales line also forms part of the Trans-European Network linking to and from the Irish Ferry Ports in Pembrokeshire. The Heart of Wales railway line extending from Swansea through eastern parts of the County through to Shrewsbury offers additional transport benefits albeit based on a limited service.

5.9.74 The principal highway network within the Plan area includes the A48 trunk road leading to and from the M4 motorway and its connections through South East Wales and beyond. The A40 and A483 trunk roads offer links through the County to Mid and North Wales as well as to the Midlands and the North of England. Further access to the north of the County and beyond into Central and North Wales is provided via the A484 and the A485. The County is also served by a number of A-roads as well as numerous B-classified roads each representing important components of the highway network.

5.9.75 The following table illustrates the length (Km) of the road network in Carmarthenshire, which in itself represents some 44% of the regional network, and illustrates the amount of the County accessed by B and lower classification roads, which is in part a reflection of the rural extent of the County and emphasises the challenges to delivering a sustainable integrated strategy for the area.

Carmarthenshire Road Network – Road Length (Km)
M4 5
Class A (Trunk) 147
Class A (County) 247
Class B and C 1,579
Minor Surfaced 1,496
Total 3,474

Table 7 - Carmarthenshire Road Network – Road Length

5.9.76 The area is generally well served by public transport through the bus network, albeit with the level and frequency of service subject to variation dependent upon location and destination. In addition, a number of services operate on a ‘Hail-&-Ride’ basis in rural areas and ‘Bwcabus’ in the Teifi Valley, such services offer additional accessibility benefits to such areas.

5.9.77 The LDP Strategy reflects and promotes the principles of sustainability and accessibility to essential services and facilities with the aim of achieving viable, self-supporting settlements and sustainable communities thus increasing social inclusion. The settlement framework directs growth to the higher order settlements where services, jobs, shopping and leisure facilities are located and where there are higher levels of accessibility (including by public transport) either within the settlement or between the settlement and particular service centres. The availability and extent of these services may vary.

5.9.78 Accessibility by public transport routes was taken into consideration in the identification of the settlement hierarchy since it is an important factor in the creation of sustainable places and communities. In turn, the LDP Strategy by distributing development in accordance with the settlement framework, should facilitate and support future public transport provision and the creation of an integrated transport system.

5.9.79 In addition to its strategic significance, the local importance of the rail network is also recognised in the LDP, with settlements situated on, or near rail stops, enjoying enhanced levels of accessibility. Housing and employment allocations take account of this and therefore lend support to the rail network and facilities and to future improvements.

5.9.80 Due to the diversity of the County, accessibility and the aim of reducing the need to travel (and reducing CO2 emissions) remains a challenge for a large part of Carmarthenshire. This challenge is particularly evident when addressing the need to sustain rural areas and ensure that their communities do not suffer social exclusion. This must also relate to a realistic acceptance that the motor car remains an important means of travel in such areas. Minimising travel may also be possible through an integrated transport strategy and the development of self sustaining communities (including the availability of services and facilities) and the availability of alternatives through appropriate initiatives such as ‘Bwcabus’.

5.9.81 The following road schemes are identified within the Regional Transport Plan (RTP) and are expressed through Carmarthenshire Priorities for Transport 2009 – 2014. These schemes are highlighted below and defined on the proposals map:

5.9.82 The following road schemes are identified as requiring further feasibility, design and preparation during 2009 – 2014, and consequently are not identified on the Proposals Map. The LDP whilst not seeking to safeguard or identify these routes recognises their identification as part of a strategic context. However the absence of clear indications of delivery and a defined alignment dictates their recognition only and not their identification as a policy or proposal in the Plan. These routes are identified as follows:

5.9.83 The following schemes, whilst not subject to allocation within the LDP, are also identified within the RTP and expressed through Carmarthenshire Priorities for Transport 2009 – 2014 with a construction start during 2009-2014:

5.9.84 The RTP also identifies additional policies, priorities and component strategies and includes the following projects (those identified are either generic or specific to Carmarthenshire) which passed the prioritisation screening process. Three separate five year programmes are subsequently included and indicate what might be achieved under specific spending profiles. These are set out within the RTP. Regard is however also had to the emerging Local Transport Plan (LTP) in light of the regional transport changes through the City Region. In this respect, the schemes and priorities highlighted through the RTP will be matters for consideration through the emerging LTP, and its strategic relationship with the LDP will be monitored accordingly.

5.9.85 The Trunk Road Forward Programme was published in March 2002, and reprioritised in 2008 with the schemes and projects throughout Wales placed into one of 4 ranked categories (phase 1 being the highest). The following represents a list of identified protected routes within the plan area and their respective ranking:

5.9.86 Proposals for new transport infrastructure should have regard to, and incorporate matters relating to air quality and discharges to water. An ecological assessment should be undertaken to inform design considerations including habitat enhancements. Regard will be had to any air quality management issues and notably the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) in Llandeilo. The implications of development on biodiversity interests requires due consideration particularly in respect of any impacts upon European sites and protected species. Reference should be made to SP14 and paragraph 6.6.20 in this regard.

SP9 Transportation

Provision is made to contribute to the delivery of an efficient, effective, safe and sustainable integrated transport system through:

  1. Reducing the need to travel, particularly by private motor car;
  2. Addressing social inclusion through increased accessibility to employment, services and facilities;
  3. Supporting and where applicable enhancing alternatives to the motor car, such as public transport (including park and ride facilities and encourage the adoption of travel plans), and active transport through cycling and walking;
  4. Re-enforcing the function and role of settlements in accordance with the settlement framework;
  5. Promoting the efficient use of the transport network;
  6. The use of locational considerations for significant trip generating proposals, with design and access solutions within developments to promote accessibility by non car modes of transport.

Transport routes, improvements and associated infrastructural facilities which deliver the objectives and priorities of the Regional Transport Plan for South West Wales will be supported. Furthermore, maintaining and enhancing good traffic flows and the attractiveness and viability of more sustainable transport modes which support the strategy and its sustainable objectives will also be supported. Development proposals which do not prejudice the efficient implementation of any identified improvement or scheme will be permitted.

The following improvements to the highway infrastructure will be safeguarded and the routes identified on the proposals map:

  1. Cross Hands Economic Link Road
  2. Carmarthen West Link Road

The following Welsh Government improvements to the highway infrastructure will be safeguarded:

  1. A483 Llandeilo and Ffairfach Improvement – Phase 3
  2. A40 Llanddewi Velfrey to Penblewin (Formerly St Clears to Haverfordwest) – Phase 3
Strategic Objectives Supported: SO2 and SO10
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Mineral Resources

5.9.87 The LDP should ensure that the County provides mineral resources to meet society’s needs and that such resources, are safeguarded from sterilisation. In doing so, the LDP seeks to ensure that a proper balance is struck between this fundamental requirement, the need to ensure a prudent use of these finite resources, and the protection of existing amenity and the environment.

5.9.88 Carmarthenshire has a wide variety of mineral resources as a result of its complex geology. The main feature in the south of the County is the broad sweep of the Coal Measures outcrop, fringed to the north by Carboniferous Limestone. Limestone quarrying is the largest of the extractive industries in the County. The northern parts of the County are underlain by older rocks of Ordovician and Silurian age, mainly sandstones, shales and slates. The economic significance of these is variable.

5.9.89 The South Wales and North Wales Regional Technical Statement (RTS) 2014 sets out the contribution that each constituent local authority should make towards meeting the regional demand for aggregates (both hard rock and sand and gravel). The LDP Minerals Topic Paper (Submission Document CSD81) establishes that in terms of hard rock, the County’s landbank figure is notably in excess of the minimum requirement of 10 years (maintained throughout the Plan period) set out in Minerals Technical Advice Note (MTAN) 1: Aggregates. The LDP identifies the existing hard rock quarries within the County. Also identified on the Proposals Maps are safeguarding areas for potential high quality hard rock resources. This latter information relates to the Aggregate Safeguarding Map for South West Wales produced by the British Geological Survey (BGS).

5.9.90 Deposits of sand and gravel of varying size and quality are found throughout the County, and in offshore banks in the Bristol Channel. Extensive tracts of blown sand, commonly called ‘burrows’ have formed along parts of the coast such as Pembrey and Pendine. Currently there is limited sand or gravel worked at sites within Carmarthenshire. In terms of meeting the regional need identified in the RTS, there are two sand and gravel sites with planning permission in existence within the County and small quantities of river gravel are produced at one of these locations. Currently, off-shore supplies of marine dredged sand caters for much of the demand, however, with the future drive towards greater reliance on land won aggregates, sand and gravel resources within the County are identified with the safeguarded areas depicted on the Proposals Map.

5.9.91 In accordance with MTAN 2: Coal, the LDP identifies areas of coal resource. The area occupied by the coal measures exceeds 200 square miles and extends from Ystradowen in the east, through the Amman, Loughor and Gwendraeth Valleys, to the coast near Kidwelly. Currently, there are no deep mines within the County, however, there is periodic interest in smaller, shorter-term opencast projects, and one small opencast mine is in current operation.

5.9.92 Proposals for extraction should where appropriate and available utilise alternative transportation methods (including rail) in the removal of bulk minerals from any site.

SP10 Sustainable Mineral Development

Provision will be made for a continuous supply of minerals by:

  1. Maintaining an adequate landbank of permitted aggregate reserves throughout the Plan period;
  2. Encouraging the efficient and appropriate use of minerals;
  3. Encouraging the re-use and recycling of suitable minerals as an alternative to primary won aggregates.

Mineral Safeguarding Areas (Areas of Search) identified on the Proposals Map to safeguard resources of hard rock, sand and gravel, and coal where they could be worked in the future to ensure that such resources are not unnecessarily sterilised by development. Proposals for extraction of the resource would need to accord with all relevant policies of this Plan.

In interpreting this policy, a landbank is a stock of planning permissions for the winning and working of minerals. It is composed of the sum of all permitted reserves at active and inactive sites at any given point in time and for a given area.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO5
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency

5.9.93 Addressing Climate Change is an increasingly important issue in all aspects of policy making. Decisions made at a local level, particularly in relation to energy generation and conservation can influence the impact on climate change. Current government policy and guidance is centred on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in an attempt to slow down climate change. The implementation of an energy hierarchy will be encouraged which will:

  1. Reduce energy demand;
  2. Promote energy efficiency; and,
  3. Increase the supply of renewable energy.

5.9.94 The WG has set specific renewable electricity production targets for Wales, and LDP policies have an important role in assisting to achieve these targets. Producing electricity from renewable energy sources is seen as part of the solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Policies will facilitate the development of all forms of renewable energy and energy efficiency and conservation measures in appropriate locations.

5.9.95 Renewable energy can be defined as sources of energy which are continuously and sustainably available (other than fossil or nuclear fuels). These sources of energy can include wind, water, solar, geothermal and biomass fuels. Encouragement will be given to incorporating renewable energy installations within development proposals along with stand-alone proposals. In assessing applications, the need for the development will be balanced against the need to protect and enhance the County’s environment, and the quality of life and amenity of residents and visitors.

5.9.96 In working towards achieving renewable energy targets, recent emphasis has been placed on onshore wind energy development. TAN8 (2005) identifies the Brechfa Forest area as suitable for major wind farm development (Strategic Search Area G). Part of Strategic Search Area E: Pontardawe straddles the County boundary to the east of the County. Large scale wind farms (over 25MW) will only be supported within the identified Strategic Search Areas. SPG will be produced to support the policies relating to Renewable Energy (SP11, RE1, RE2, RE3).

SP11 Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency

Development proposals which incorporate energy efficiency measures and renewable energy production technologies will be supported in areas where the environmental and cumulative impacts can be addressed satisfactorily. Such developments will not cause demonstrable harm to residential amenity and will be acceptable within the landscape. Each proposal will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Large scale wind farms will only be permitted within Strategic Search Areas.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO1, SO4 and SO5
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Waste Management

5.9.97 The system of waste management and waste planning is undergoing a rapid transition. New legislation introduced by the European Union sets targets for waste minimisation and recycling and will require new methods of managing waste, together with a potential significant increase in the number of facilities to enable these methods to be implemented and targets to be met.

5.9.98 The Council, in line with the Overarching Waste Strategy Document for Wales ‘Towards Zero Waste’ (2010) and PPW: Edition 7 will seek to promote the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste materials. It is required to develop a sustainable approach to the management of waste, including the identification of land appropriate to facilitate an integrated and sustainable network of waste facilities, in accordance with National and European commitments.

5.9.99 Whilst the Regional Waste Plan (RWP) 1st Review (2008) had identified that the Authority would have to provide up to 13.2 hectares of land up to 2013, the revised TAN21: Waste, published in February 2014, no longer sets a requirement to specifically quantify the amount of separate future provision likely to be needed for waste facilities. LDPs will, however, still need to indicate where suitable and appropriate sites exist for the provision of all types of waste management facilities. In this regard, and with new technological advances and changes in legislation, policies and practices, modern in-building waste management facilities now exhibit an external appearance more akin to any other industrial unit, and contain a process of industrial de-manufacturing or energy generation no different to modern industrial processes. The in-principle suitability of B2 industrial sites therefore has become accepted and allows a greater scope of possible sites. Reference should be made to Policy SP7 – Employment – Land Allocations, which identifies those sites with potential to accommodate in-building waste facilities. Of those sites identified in Policy SP7, a notional capacity of 31.37ha is potentially available. Additional capacity is also potentially available at Nantycaws Waste Management Site, as well as possible land that may become available on existing employment sites during the plan period.

5.9.100 The revised TAN21 sets out that collaboration between local planning authorities will be necessary to monitor progress towards establishing an integrated and adequate network for the disposal of waste and recovery of mixed municipal waste. The TAN goes on to state that LPAs, in conjunction with the WG and NRW, should establish voluntary joint arrangements to undertake annual monitoring on a regional basis (North, South West and South East Wales).

5.9.101 In formulating development proposals, consideration should be given to the implications for waste. The location and scale of developments should have regard to the availability and capacity of waste management facilities in the area. In this respect, proposals should not result in an unnecessary trip generation. The Council will continue to seek a net reduction in waste to landfill. Reference should also be made to policies WPP1 and WPP2 in respect of waste management provision.

SP12 Waste Management

Provision will be made to ensure an integrated approach to waste management caters for:

  1. The allocation of adequate appropriate land to provide for an integrated network of waste management facilities;
  2. The adoption of a hierarchy of options for managing waste in the following order: prevention, preparing for re-use, recycling, other recovery (e.g energy recovery); and disposal;
  3. The management and disposal of waste close to where it has been generated, in accordance with the proximity principle; proposals for development should have regard to the location of waste management facilities (and their capacity) in formulating proposals.

In-building waste management operations will be permitted on allocated and safeguarded B2 employment sites where the use could be adequately accommodated and the following:

  1. There would be no significant, adverse impacts upon public health, the environment, local amenity and the local transport network;
  2. The proposal is compatible with existing industrial and commercial activities.
Strategic Objectives Supported: SO2 and SO5
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Protection and Enhancement of the Built and Historic Environment

5.9.102 Carmarthenshire has a rich and diverse historical and cultural built heritage with some 27 designated conservation areas, 7 Landscapes of Outstanding Historic Interest that either fall wholly or in part within Carmarthenshire, 19 Registered Historic Parks and Gardens, 470 Scheduled Ancient Monuments ranging from Prehistoric to post-Medieval/Modern features of cultural historic interest as well as 1,853 listed buildings (as at February 2013). The aims of the LDP in respect of the built environment and historic buildings is, in conjunction with primary legislation, to safeguard the cultural integrity of the historic settlements, features and buildings within the Plan area, and where applicable contribute to the enhancement of the historic and built environment.

5.9.103 The County’s historic buildings, townscape and landscape should be regarded as assets and positively conserved and enhanced for the benefit of residents and visitors alike. The special and often diverse character of the County, with its unspoilt countryside, industrial heritage and wealth of historic towns and villages, reflects the changes experienced through the ages, linking the past to the present and maintaining the area's distinct cultural identity.

5.9.104 The Council will continue to promote the positive enhancement of its existing Conservation Areas and will review the possibility of designating further Conservation Areas as appropriate. It will aim to enhance and preserve their special historic or architectural character. In this regard, the Council will continue to monitor these areas, and will review boundaries and designate when and where considered necessary. Management plans/Appraisal reports setting out the special architectural or historic interest and/or clarification on design parameters will be prepared as appropriate.

5.9.105 Any proposals in respect of conservation areas will be assessed against their effect on the character and appearance of the area, with conservation appraisal reports utilised (where available) in determining any planning applications. New developments should accord with the special architectural and historic interest of the area. The LDP in accordance with guidance will not seek the designation of new conservation areas. Designated conservation areas are as follows (these areas are shown on the Proposals Map):

5.9.106 Clear guidance and legislation in respect of the following is contained within Chapter 6: Conserving the Historic Environment of PPW: Edition 7 with policy SP13 – Protection and Enhancement of the Built and Historic Environment, recognising the importance of such areas and features to the County:

5.9.107 The potential for new development across settlements within the County must be recognised, and as such it is important that a balance be struck between the protection and enhancement of the historic environment and the potential need for new development. The LDP will seek to direct and manage potential growth in a way which respects the importance of the built and historic environment. The broader impacts of development also need to be considered. In this respect, sites at risk from air quality will be monitored utilising the buildings at risk register. The outcomes will inform future requirements from development proposals (over a wider area) towards their repair and maintenance. This reflects the absence of detailed evidence to inform any potential planning obligations with future policy being explored following the outputs of the monitoring. The Council will produce SPG for Archaeology in accordance with the Schedule set out in Appendix 3 – Supplementary Planning Guidance.

SP13 Protection and Enhancement of the Built and Historic Environment

Development proposals should preserve or enhance the built and historic environment of the County, its cultural, townscape and landscape assets (outlined below), and, where appropriate, their setting. Proposals relating to the following will be considered in accordance with national guidance and legislation.

  1. Sites and features of recognised Historical and Cultural Importance;
  2. Listed buildings and their setting;
  3. Conservation Areas and their setting;
  4. Scheduled Ancient Monuments and other sites of recognised archaeological importance.

Proposals will be expected to promote high quality design that reinforces local character and respects and enhances the local setting and the cultural and historic qualities of the plan area.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO1, SO4 and SO7
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Protection and Enhancement of the Natural Environment

5.9.108 The quality of the landscapes and natural environment of the Plan area contributes significantly to the County’s identity, character and distinctiveness. The protection and enhancement of these elements represent an important component of the Strategy reflecting on Strategic Objectives SO1 and SO4. Carmarthenshire has a rich and diverse natural environment with a number of designated sites for nature conservation and biodiversity importance. Reference has been made to the Carmarthenshire Settlements Biodiversity Assessment – 2011 (Submission Document CSD99) in preparing this Plan. The study has assisted in guiding the decision making process (notably in relation to site selection) through the mapping areas of potential biodiversity value in and around identified settlements.

5.9.109 The protection and enhancement of those natural and man-made elements that interact and contribute to the quality of Carmarthenshire’s landscape, natural environment and biodiversity is a key issue for the Plan. Accordingly the potential impact of the plan and its policies and proposals upon the amenity value, nature conservation interest, water/soil/air quality, hydrology, geology and geomorphological regimes have informed the plan-making process (a HRA has been undertaken to assess the impacts of the Plan on designated sites of European Importance for Nature Conservation). Development proposals which have an adverse and significant effect will be resisted. In this respect, attention is drawn to identification within the HRA of the potential for a likely significant effect on the marsh fritillary metapopulation of the Caeau Mynydd Mawr SAC. The HRA proceeds to recommend the inclusion of a strategy to provide an area or network of areas that can be managed to provide good condition habitat for the marsh fritillary butterfly. The following options are identified:

5.9.110 In recognising and accounting for the potential for a likely significant effect in relation to the Caeau Mynydd Mawr SAC, the LDP makes appropriate provision through policy EQ7 – Development within the Caeau Mynydd Mawr SPG Area, and the adopted SPG.

5.9.111 The SPG provides guidance on requirements in terms of mitigation (including the submission of mitigation strategies) and, where appropriate, contributions through planning obligations (linked to policy GP3) with the implications of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) also duly considered.

5.9.112 Whilst the Plan recognises the need for new development for both social and economic purposes, the Council will seek to safeguard Carmarthenshire’s environmental quality by enhancing areas of landscape or nature conservation interest. Policy SP14 seeks to ensure the protection and enhancement of the natural environment, and in doing so, contributes towards moderating the potential adverse effects of other policies that infer physical development. It should also be noted that the policy needs to be able to balance potential constraints with gains arising in other areas of the sustainability agenda, for example the impacts of renewable energy projects upon landscape. The Authority will prepare and publish SPG on Trees, Landscape and Development.

5.9.113 The County contains many areas of high and outstanding landscape quality. In reviewing the previous Special Landscape Areas (SLA), this Plan identifies and defines 18 SLAs. The methodology for their identification accords with Countryside Council for Wales LANDMAP Information Guidance Note 1 (2008). These areas are designated for protection from inappropriate developments. Reference should also be made to policy EQ6 – Special Landscape Areas.

5.9.114 In addition, under section 62 (2) of the Environment Act 1995 all Unitary Authorities have a duty to have regard to the purposes for which National Parks are designated. Due regard should be had to the National Park designation where it may affect the consideration of planning proposals.

5.9.115 Three Welsh Seascapes are relevant for Carmarthenshire:

5.9.116 The area’s rich nature conservation interest is emphasised through the following statutory European and National designations including 7 Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), 3 Special Protection Areas (SPA) and 1 Ramsar site.

Special Areas of Conservation:

Special Protection Areas:


National Nature Reserves:

5.9.117 The County also includes 82 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (with a further 12 falling within that part of Carmarthenshire within the Brecon Beacons National Park), and 5 National Nature Reserves. Such sites receive statutory protection, and consequently proposals that affect such designated sites will be considered in accordance with national policy contained in Chapter 5 of PPW: Edition 7 and TAN 5: Nature Conservation and Planning.

5.9.118 The County also contains 32 Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) and 5 sites are designated as Local Nature Reserves at the following locations: Pembrey Burrows and Saltings, Ashpit Ponds and Pwll Lagoon, North Dock Dunes, Glan yr Afon and Carreg Cennen Woodlands. Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC), Local Nature Reserves (LNR) and Regionally Important Geological/Geomorphological Sites (RIGS) identify areas which are of local importance for nature conservation, and can include sites which contain a variety of habitat types or which support a range of species. Reference should be made to policy EQ3 – Regional and Local Designations. The contribution of locally important sites or features is recognised as making an important contribution to the richness and robustness of our natural environment, and also as a resource for biodiversity, even though they are not subject to statutory protection. The area also contains 7 Registered Landscapes o within Carmarthenshire.

5.9.119 Clear national guidance and legislation in respect of areas and sites with statutory nature conservation designations (SSSIs, Ramsar sites, SPAs and SACs) as well as a species protected under European and UK legislation is contained within Chapter 5: Conserving and Improving the Natural Heritage and the Coast of PPW:
Edition 7 and TAN5. Reference should also be made to PPW in respect of the conservation and enhancement of the countryside (Para. 4.6.4) and the ‘conservation of the best and most versatile agricultural land’ and the conservation of grades 1, 2 and 3a as a finite resource for the future (Para. 4.10.1).

5.9.120 In those areas where Grade 2 and 3 agricultural land is present then a detailed soils assessment should be submitted with any proposal. In such instances proposals should avoid the loss or reduction of the best and most vulnerable agricultural land.

5.9.121 The LDP recognises the potential of encouraging land uses and land management practices that help to secure and protect carbon sinks (including peat) PPW: Edition 7 Para 5.4.5.

5.9.122 Regard should also be had to the provisions of the Natural Environment & Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006, Section 42 List of Species and Habitats of Principal Importance for Conservation of Biological Diversity in Wales. Reference should be made to the provisions of TAN5.

SP14 Protection and Enhancement of the Natural Environment

Development should reflect the need to protect, and wherever possible enhance the County’s natural environment.

All development proposals should be considered in accordance with national guidance/legislation and the policies and proposals of this Plan, with due consideration given to areas of nature conservation value, the countryside, landscapes and coastal areas, including those outlined below:

  1. Statutory designated sites including Ramsar sites, SPAs, SACs, SSSIs and National Nature Reserves;
  2. Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Value, including protected species and habitats of acknowledged importance as well as key connectivitycorridors and pathways; (Policy EQ4 and EQ5)
  3. Regional and Locally important sites (and their features) including Local Nature Reserves and RIGS; (see Policy EQ3)
  4. Areas of identified Landscape and Seascape quality; (including SLAs)
  5. Features which contribute to local distinctiveness, nature conservation value or the landscape; (see Policy EQ5)
  6. The Open Countryside; (see Policy GP2)
  7. The best and most versatile agricultural land; (Grade 2 and 3a)
  8. Natural assets: including air, soil (including high carbon soils) controlled waters and water resources. (See Policies EP1 and EP2)
Strategic Objectives Supported: SO1, SO4, SO5 and SO7
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Tourism and the Visitor Economy

5.9.123 Tourism is important to the Carmarthenshire economy. Marketed as the Garden of Wales, Carmarthenshire is home to a wide range of attractions, including nationally recognised attractions such as the National Botanic Gardens and the Ffos Las Racecourse. The County’s outstanding natural and cultural characteristics provide the basis for further growth in accordance with the strategic regional approaches set out within the South West Wales Regional Tourism Partnership and the WSP Area Action Plans.

5.9.124 The Tourism Vision for Carmarthenshire 2005-2015 highlights the potential social and economic benefits of tourism whilst also confirming the importance of conserving and enhancing the environment. The challenges for tourism include facilitating diversity and augmenting the quality and variety of accommodation and enhancing the County’s “all year round” destination offer. These issues are all important in identifying the standard and nature of tourism-related development that the LDP will seek to contribute towards delivering during the plan period.

5.9.125 Tourism has the potential to assist in broadening the County’s economy and creating and supporting local jobs. The tourism offer within the County is influenced by location with the coastal area being home to key attractions such as Pembrey Country Park and the Millennium Coastal Park offering a different form of attraction from that of more rural areas. Tourism related proposals will be expected to be compatible with, and to take account of their location and the surrounding environment.

5.9.126 Sustainable tourism developments will, where appropriate, be encouraged and supported where they increase quality and viability and contribute towards enhancing the diversity and economic sustainability of the County’s tourism offer.

5.9.127 Proposals should not adversely affect the area’s landscape, nature conservation or built environment qualities and should be consistent with the settlement hierarchy. The scale, size and type of any proposals will be appraised along with siting and impact. Proposals should reflect the character and appearance of the area with appropriate landscaping and screening utilised as required.

5.9.128 The identification and consideration of proposals in accordance with the above locational hierarchy will assist in ensuring that tourism related developments do not increase the need to travel and are accessible by public transport. The Plan will seek to ensure that proposals for new tourism related developments are located in sustainable and accessible locations and that local communities are not adversely affected. In considering the acceptability of proposals, consideration will be given to location, siting, design and scale, access to the primary and core highway network and the impact of any resultant in traffic generation. Furthermore, the extent to which the site is serviceable by public transport, walking and cycling are important considerations. The emphasis should be on delivering economically viable propositions that contribute towards enhancing the diversity, quality and economic sustainability of the County’s tourism offer but they should not materially and adversely impact upon the social, cultural, economic and environmental qualities and characteristics of the site, area and/or County. In interpreting policy SP15 it should be noted that tourism proposals includes new, as well as extensions to existing facilities. Extensions to existing facilities should be subordinate in scale and function to the existing facility and proposals that constitute substantive extensions should be construed as new development.

5.9.129 Proposals for new tourism related development in the open countryside should have regard to the provisions of policy TSM3 – Small Scale Tourism Development in the Open Countryside, whilst proposals for large scale tourism development in the open countryside should have regard to the provisions of policy TSM5 – Major Tourism Proposals in the Open Countryside. Proposals for static caravans and chalet sites should have regard to policy TSM1, whilst proposals for touring caravan and tent sites should have regard to policy TSM2.

SP15 Tourism and the Visitor Economy

Proposals for tourism related developments and for appropriate extensions to existing facilities will be supported where they are in accordance with the locational hierarchy set out in i, ii & iii below and are acceptable in terms of scale, type of development, siting and general impact:

  1. Within the development limits of Growth Areas and Service Centres - major tourism proposals, including high level traffic generators;
  2. Within the development limits of Local Service Centres and Sustainable Communities – smaller scale proposals which reflect the character of the area which are appropriate in terms of size, scale and impact;
  3. Open Countryside – small scale location specific developments that must satisfy policy TSM3, except where they are subject to the provisions of TSM2 and/or TSM5.

Extensions to existing facilities should be subordinate in scale and function to the existing facility and proposals that constitute substantive extensions should be construed as new development.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO2, SO4, SO7, SO8, SO11 and SO12
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

Community Facilities

5.9.130 The LDP seeks to enhance and protect existing community uses. The formulation of the Strategy and the settlement framework takes account of the location and availability of community facilities and consequently reflects their general distribution. It is logical that future provision or expansion of community facilities will accord with the spatial distribution of development as defined within the LDP Strategy and settlement framework. The certainty that the LDP presents in terms of population levels and settlement growth, will inform decisions for new future provision, rationalisation of provision, or redressing deficiencies in current provision.

5.9.131 Community facilities contribute significantly to the quality of life, enjoyment and inclusivity of settlements and communities within the County. In this regard, their potential loss should be carefully considered given consequential impacts in terms of sustainability and community identity. The protection and retention of community facilities should, wherever feasible, be considered and responsive approaches adopted to assist in their retention. The potential for dual use of facilities should be encouraged particularly where the additional activity would assist in broadening service delivery and enhancing viability and usage. Establishing the viability of a facility, within the context of changing demographic characteristics, condition and maintenance and shifting patterns of demand may mean that some facilities no longer meet requirements. In such circumstances, alternative forms of provision and usage may be appropriate. Such a determination should be informed (where appropriate) by local evidence, the facility/service provider and the local community.

5.9.132 The promotion of accessibility to formal and informal recreation and leisure is an important consideration for the LDP. Sports fields, parks and wider natural based amenities such as waterways and woodlands provide opportunities for potential health benefits. They also have potential to mitigate against the causes and effects of climate change, and can provide arenas for social interaction and community cohesion. The Carmarthenshire Greenspace Study audits provision based on national standards. It provides a spatial context in terms of accessibility to informal and formal green space, and is a key tool in promoting sustainable access to facilities in accordance with the settlement hierarchy. Reference should be made to policy REC1 in respect of Recreation and Open Space.

5.9.133 Proposals should be located in a manner consistent with the settlement framework and will only be permitted where they are either within, immediately adjacent to, or directly related to a recognised settlement (with reference to the development limits of settlements defined within policy SP3).

SP16 Community Facilities

The LDP will support the provision of new facilities, along with the protection and enhancement of existing facilities, in accordance with the settlement framework and based upon evidence of need. Proposals for new education and training related developments will be supported where it supports the settlement framework and accords with the policies of this Plan.

Any proposals that will result in the loss of an existing facility will be permitted where it can be clearly demonstrated that the facility is no longer viable and that a suitable alternative is accessible within the settlement or sustainable community (where applicable).

In order to mitigate the impacts of particular developments, and to facilitate the delivery of the Plan’s strategic objectives, community contributions may be sought through planning obligations as and where appropriate.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO1, SO6, SO7, SO8, SO9, SO13 and SO14
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.


5.9.134 The existence of appropriate infrastructure services including water supply, sewerage, land drainage, gas, electricity and telecommunications is vital to ensure the delivery of the Plan’s policies and proposals. In this regard, it should be noted that the Plan’s evidence base highlights that there are no known insurmountable plan level barriers that would preclude the delivery of its policies and proposals within the plan period (including its strategic sites).

5.9.135 Sustainable development is the key theme underpinning the Plan’s policies and proposals which seek to maintain economic growth and achieve social progress balanced against protecting and conserving the environment and natural resources. The existence of appropriate infrastructure has had acknowledged importance in influencing the Plan’s policies and proposals for the location, scale and phasing of development. In seeking to deliver sustainable growth, the Plan recognises infrastructure’s contribution and has regard to future improvements. DCWW are content that sufficient regard has been had to the capability of their infrastructure in the formulation of the Plan and the Council will continue to work closely with them in relation to matters of infrastructural provision. In this regard, it is considered that the proactive and collaborative approach undertaken in the formulation of the Plan (including the development of extensive infrastructure background evidence) provides the required level of comfort in deliverability terms.

5.9.136 This Plan therefore works alongside utility providers’ network improvement plans to ensure that development is co-ordinated and is deliverable. It is considered that the LDP’s Strategy in directing growth to sustainable settlements will provide an opportunity to improve existing service provision, as opposed to possible alternative strategies creating new settlements or significant extensions to settlements which would require significant investment in new infrastructure. In interpreting this policy, reference should also be made to the provisions of Policy GP4 - Infrastructure and New Development. Developer contributions could be sought to facilitate the bringing forward of any necessary improvements to accommodate development. In noting therefore that there are no known plan level barriers to delivery, the Plan also makes provision (notably via policy GP4) for a case by case / site by site approach where individual developments can be brought forward expediently as, and where appropriate.

5.9.137 Where development is proposed which requires infrastructure improvements not already programmed, planning obligations may be used that require contributions from developers to undertake such works. Contributions would be directly related in scale to the benefit derived from the provision. Developments should accord with Welsh Office Circular 10/99 Planning Requirements in respect of the Use of Non-Mains Sewerage and the content of PPW. Reference should be made to the NRW’s policy to not allow private drainage within sewered areas. Further details in respect of planning obligations are set out under policy GP3.

SP17 Infrastructure

Development will be directed to locations where adequate and appropriate infrastructure is available or can be readily provided. The LDP therefore supports the economic provision of infrastructure by allocating sites in identified settlements and in accordance with the Settlement Framework.

Renewable energy generation and associated utility connections will be encouraged, in appropriate locations, subject to other Plan policies.

Proposals for ancillary developments to the utilities infrastructure will be permitted where:

  1. They have regard to their setting;
  2. Incorporate landscaping;
  3. Do not conflict with the areas built, historic, cultural and nature conservation and landscape qualities. (Policy SP13 and SP14)

Planning Obligations relating to developer contributions towards necessary infrastructure improvements may be sought subject to policy GP3.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO5 and SO9
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.

The Welsh Language

5.9.138 The Council will support and promote the Welsh language by ensuring that there are sufficient and proportionate employment and housing opportunities to retain Welsh-speakers throughout Carmarthenshire.

5.9.139 The Welsh language plays an important role in the social, cultural and economic life of Carmarthenshire’s residents and visitors. The policy requirements as set out in policy SP18 - The Welsh Language apply across the whole County and are not restricted to specific areas unless stated otherwise within the policy.

5.9.140 A list of communities where 60% or more of the population are able to speak Welsh is taken from 2011 Census data: Gorslas, Llannon, Pencarreg, Pontyberem and Quarter Bach. Where applicable, the phasing of sites shall be set out as a condition to planning permissions.

5.9.141 The LDP provides further guidance on the provision of bilingual advertisements in policy GP5 - Advertisements. In order to promote the cultural identity of the County, the Council will encourage bilingual marketing of new housing and employment developments.

5.9.142 The SPG on the Welsh language will outline the mitigation measures which will be employed to support the aims and objectives of the Plan, and in particular the aims of policy SP18 - The Welsh Language.

SP18 The Welsh Language

The interests of the Welsh language will be safeguarded and promoted. Proposals for residential developments of 5 or more dwellings in Sustainable Communities and 10 or more in Growth Areas, Service Centres, and Local Service Centres, located on sites within communities where 60% or more of the population are able to speak Welsh, will be subject to a requirement for phasing.

Strategic Objectives Supported: SO1, SO3, SO6, SO7 and SO9
This policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies and proposals of this LDP.


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