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PART 2

CHAPTER CH - ENSURING SOCIAL PROGRESS THAT RECOGNISES THE NEEDS OF EVERYONE

 

HOUSING

GENERAL HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

DWELLINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

SECOND HOMES

DEMOLITION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF DWELLINGS AND ADAPTING BUILDINGS FOR RESIDENTIAL USE

FLATS

GYPSIES

RESIDING IN A CARAVAN, CHALET OR CABIN

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE

COMMUNICATIONS

INTEGRATED TRANSPORT NETWORKS

 

IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY

ACCESSIBILITY OF DEVELOPMENTS

MORE SUSTAINABLE MODES OF TRANSPORT

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

NEW PARKING FACILITIES

 

EDUCATION, HEALTH AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES

PROVIDING NEW FACILITIES

 

SPORTS AND LEISURE

SPORTS FACILITIES

OUTDOOR SPORTS AND RECREATION

MARITIME SPORTS AND RECREATION

 

MONITORING

 

5.1 INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND

5.1.1         All local authorities have a responsibility to ensure that local residents have an acceptable and fair standard of living. Strategic policies in the Unitary Development Plan have been formulated to assist in the work of fulfilling the needs of local communities and to maintain, safeguard and improve existing social facilities and services. Land use planning should promote social progress that reflects everyone’s needs.

5.1.2         The Council will aim to ensure appropriate provision for housing; educational resources; health and social services; community facilities and services; leisure opportunities and enjoyment of the countryside, and will seek to improve access to these services. The aim is to reduce the deprivation seen in parts of Gwynedd and the harm to the individual’s health caused by poverty, poor housing, unemployment and pollution, by sharing prosperity more equitably and fairly. Attempts will be made to remove the barriers that cause this deprivation, and provide opportunities to improve all the County’s residents’ quality of life.

5.1.3         The following paragraphs contain a short introduction on the main land use matters, which contribute to the aim of social progress that recognises the needs of everyone.  

HOUSING

5.1.4         One of the Unitary Development Plan’s main responsibilities is to make certain that provision is made for new homes for the additional families which will be formed during the Plan period. The Plan directs most new houses to meet general needs to the main Service Centres and to areas where there is a lack of suitable housing stock. Emphasis is placed on fulfilling local needs in the Local Centres and Villages. Maintaining and strengthening indigenous communities mean it is necessary, in some circumstances, to give priority to those with a genuine local need. Another objective is to ensure the provision of affordable housing in areas where a proven need exists and to facilitate the full use of the existing housing stock through improvement and renewal programmes.

5.1.5        Safeguarding and strengthening the character and culture of indigenous communities is one of the Plan’s main objectives. The interests of the Welsh language have been a fundamental consideration in drafting all Plan policies and proposals and will be an important consideration when dealing with applications for new development in the area.  

5.1.6        Population forecasts show that 4,400 new households are expected to be formed in Gwynedd during the Plan period. The existing commitments (planning consents) will make a significant contribution towards the new dwelling units which will be required and contributions will also be made through the conversion of buildings into residential units and housing on small sites and windfall sites. Sites will need to be allocated specifically for housing to make provision for the remaining new residential units which will be required during the Plan period.

5.1.7         The Unitary Plan plays an important role in the use of the existing housing stock and the provision of new housing through its policies and proposals. Thereby, Plans provide an element of certainty for developers, public and private bodies, associations and the public as to how applications for residential units will be considered, providing certainty regarding the location of the main housing developments of the future.

5.1.8         The Unitary Plan’s area of influence is very significant with regard to new housing. With the exception of units which are existing commitments (i.e. those with planning permission) the Plan will control and give guidance on new residential units to be created in the area in future. This will include new build, converting buildings into houses and the change of use of buildings into flats. The planning process also has a role in managing the use of existing stock as planning permission is needed for some alterations, extensions and change of use of units.

5.1.9         The Council accepts this responsibility and it constitutes part of its main aims. But, in accordance with the emphasis placed on sustainability and safeguarding the environment in the Plan, the Council is also eager to see the best use being made of the existing housing stock.

5.1.10The Council’s Housing Department, housing associations and Registered Social Landlords also have a key role to play in the process of providing new houses or improving the County’s housing stock as well as providing affordable housing. This can be achieved by building on the foundations of the Plan and close co-operation. The Council’s other strategies are also important, e.g. the Local Housing Strategy, Affordable Housing Scheme and Empty Properties Strategy play an important role in providing housing in the County.

5.1.11          Gwynedd population, households and dwelling projections - In planning the provision for new housing account must be taken of population projections. The population projections can then be used to prepare household and dwelling projections.

5.1.12  The Plan’s population, household and dwelling projections are informed by work that was undertaken on behalf of the North Wales Planning Authorities by consultants specialising in this field - The London Research Centre. The projections were accepted by the North Wales Officers Group (Regional Policy and Transportation Planning Group) as a basis for preparing the North Wales Regional Plan and the individual authorities’ Unitary Development Plans. The table below shows the relevant information for the whole of Gwynedd:

Year

Population

Number of households

Number of dwellings

1996

117,795

49,632

56,078

2001

118,234

50,836

57,451

2006

119,579

52,541

59,386

2011

120,737

53,833

60,857

2016

121,806

55,252

62,475

 

Table 1 – Population, Households and Dwellings Projections for the whole of Gwynedd

5.1.13       It must be emphasised that the population projections are based on assumptions about past fertility rates, death rates and migration and the table shows the population levels if the assumptions were to be realized in full.

5.1.14       The projections for the whole of Gwynedd during the lifetime of the Plan (2001 – 2016) predict:

5.1.15         The provision of new housing – a number of factors and assumptions were considered when deciding how to meet the need for the 5024 housing units identified for the whole of Gwynedd:

5.1.16       The Wales Spatial Plan, ‘People, Places, Futures’ (National Assembly for Wales) highlights the fact that some specific areas in Gwynedd could lead to economic and social improvements across the whole Plan area.

5.1.17The Plan area includes two specific regions which the Spatial Plan focuses on – Snowdonia and Anglesey as well as Mid Wales. The importance of the Menai Area (between Caernarfon and Bangor) is highlighted in that it offers the greatest possible potential to enhance the entire Snowdonia and Anglesey area both economically and socially. Prosperity can be spread outwards from here to other areas without compromising the region’s environmental and cultural identity.

5.1.18The Spatial Plan identified Bangor and Caernarfon as key centres within the Snowdonia and Anglesey region, and ensuring they achieve their maximum potential in this role is a key priority.  Bangor and Caernarfon (as well as Llangefni, which lies outside the Plan area) are seen to form a strong network of complementary functions with the potential to stimulate growth in the region. The Spatial Plan also notes that the vision for Mid Wales overlaps with the vision for the Snowdonia and Anglesey region. As a result prosperity in the Menai Hub will also have a positive economic and social effect on those part of the Plan area located within the Mid Wales region. 

Having considered the factors listed above the following policy scenarios are proposed:

  1. that the Bangor DCA receives 20% more than its share of the current population
  2. that the Caernarfon DCA receives 10% more than its share of the current population
  3. that the Ffestiniog DCA  receives 30% less than its share of the current population
  4. that the remaining DCAs receive approximately 13.5% less than their share of the current population

5.1.20Having established the housing requirement of each DCA, the number of units that are required on new ‘allocated’ sites in the Plan area, i.e. the residual requirement, was calculated by subtracting the number of housing units on sites with planning permission and those on small sites and windfall sites in the Snowdonia National Park area from the total housing units required for each DCA. The following table presents a ’balance sheet’ that shows the calculation.

Col. 1

Col. 2

Col. 3

Col.4

Col. 5

Col. 6

Col. 7

Col. 8

Dependency Catchment Area

Dwellings based on Policy

Commitments in Plan area

Commitments in SNP

Small and windfall sites – Plan area

Small and windfall sites in SNP area

Dwelling requirement – Plan area

Allocations in Plan area

Bangor

1456

293

0

359

2

802

802

Caernarfon

1384

236

2

529

11

606

606

Llŷn

653

211

0

212

0

230

230

Porthmadog

536

76

93

206

69

92

92

Ffestiniog

192

4

59

33

28

68

68

Dol/Abermaw

387

73

279

7

76

-48

0

Bala

160

11

85

6

49

9

9

Tywyn/Mach

257

87

109

30

58

-27

0

Gwynedd

5024

991

627

1380

293

1732

1807

 

Table 2 – Provision for required housing

Notes on the contents of table 2 above:

Column 1 - Plan Dependency Catchment Area.
Column 2 - The number of housing units needed to satisfy the projected growth distributed by Dependency Catchment Areas in accordance with the Strategy (see paragraphs above)
Column 3 - Number of housing units on sites with planning permission within the Plan area but not including the housing units on sites not actually available (namely on sites in category 3 (ii) of the Joint Housing Land Availability Study 2001)
Column 4 - Number of housing units on sites with planning permission within the Snowdonia National Park area but not including housing units on sites actually available (namely on sites in category 3 (ii) of the Joint Housing Land Availability Study 2001)
Column 5 - Number of units on small sites, windfall sites and units actually provided as a result of conversions and change of use in the Plan area. These figures are based on an estimate of the average number of new units built annually between 1997 and 2001. On average 92 new units were built in the Plan area: 92 x 15 = 1,380. These units are distributed amongst every Dependency Catchment Area in accordance with the size, form and the existence of physical or other restrictions in the Villages and Centres including the number of Rural Villages.
Column 6 - Source – Snowdonia National Park Authority.
Column 7 - Number in  col 7 = col 2 - col 3 - col 4 - col 5 - col 6.
Column 8 - New housing units that will have to be provided on sites allocated for open market housing, i.e. private houses for sale or rented housing where the price is set on the open market with no control over their ownership. The figures are the same for column 7 except where a negative number is converted to ‘0’. Negative figures show over-provision of land for housing in some Dependency Catchment Areas.

5.1.21The following table summarises how the new housing units that are required in the Plan area will be provided:

Number of housing units to be provided on sites with current planning permission i.e. commitments (column 3 in Table 2 above)

991

Number of housing units to be provided on small sites, windfall sites including those available through conversion and change of use (column 5 in Table 2 above)

1380

Number of units to be provided on sites that are allocated for the general housing market, i.e. the residual requirement (column 8 in Table 2 above)

1807

Total new housing units required in the Plan area

4178

 

5.1.22The residual requirement of 1807 housing units required on allocated sites is distributed across the Plan area in accordance with the Plan’s settlement hierarchy and the role of each settlement within the individual Dependency Catchment Areas. The priority in terms of selecting which settlements the housing allocations should be located in was based on the table below. Priority reduces with  descent down the hierarchy.

Housing Priority

5.1.23The distribution of new housing units in this way means that development is guided to the settlements best able to cope with such growth. Locating the majority of the new housing units in the Sub-regional Centre or the Urban Centre in each DCA, as far as possible having regard to the current physical and environmental constraints, will be advantageous both socially and in terms of the environment. As these settlements contain numerous services, facilities and employment opportunities, they are best able to absorb further development. This also minimises the need to travel and increases accessibility by modes other than the private car within the Plan area. As well as being beneficial from an environmental standpoint, this also promotes social inclusion.

5.1.24However certain factors affect the way in which this hierarchy operates, one of these being the physical constraints within certain Centres. Although priority is given to allocating land in the Centres, it has not always been possible to do this on the scale desired. The topography as well as the existence of floodplains account for the fact that there is a lack of suitable land for housing allocation purposes in some Centres e.g. Pwllheli and Porthmadog. As a result it has been necessary to allocate some of the housing which would otherwise have been allocated in these Centres to Local Centres and strategically located Villages located within the same DCA.

5.1.25As the Plan aims to respond to the needs of the DCAs and the communities within them thus promoting sustainable rural communites, land has also been allocated in some Villages rather that divert the residual requirement to a Centre in another DCA, which could in turn promote more long distance commuting by private car or promote new car journeys. The Villages that have been selected to receive some housing allocations have sustainable functional links with Centres and can accommodate development without detriment to their social make-up. They also have relatively good links with the main Centre within the relevant Dependency Catchement Area by non-car modes, so that excessive use of cars is not promoted. For the most part these allocations are smaller in scale than those in the Urban Centres and the Sub-regional Centre.                             

5.1.26The following table shows how the Plan has distributed the housing allocations.

Settlement status 

Number of houses allocated 

Percentage of total houses allocated 

Sub-regional Centre

697

35%

Urban Centres

433

22%

Local Centres

335

17%

SUB-TOTAL

1465

74%

Villages 

521

26%

TOTAL NUMBER OF HOUSES ALLOCATED

1986

-

 

5.1.27As shown,  the majority of new housing units (i.e. 74%) required are guided to sites within Centres. This therefore complies with the concept of seeking to guide developments that promote vehicle use to Centres.    

5.1.28A general development density of 30 units per hectare has been applied to each allocated site, regardless of location, topography, and physical constraints of the allocated sites, or the general character of its surroundings. The development density for each site (identified in Appendix 3) is therefore approximate. The approved density, i.e. after planning consent has been given, will reflect the aforementioned factors. This approach means that the residual requirement of 1807 is increased by 10% (179 units), which will allow for a possible slippage in the development of some allocated sites or committed sites, thus enabling the Council to continue to meet the identified need for housing in the Plan area.

5.1.29Phasing development - It is considered that some of the allocated sites should be developed rationally and gradually. The relevant sites are marked with the letter ‘G’ on the Proposals Maps. The Local Planning Authority will negotiate the details of phasing with developers at the planning application stage, thus allowing the actual pace of development to reflect the prevailing circumstances at that time while protecting interests of acknowledged importance.

5.1.30Another advantage of this technique is that the Plan can be adapted to reflect a change in circumstances if needed. For instance, during preparation of the Plan, it was impossible to foresee the rate of economic development and what affect this would have on the area. A 5-year supply of land for general housing will be maintained in accordance with the requirements of Planning Policy Wales.

5.1.31Centres, Villages and Rural Villages - The provision for new general market housing (i.e. housing for general need and the open market) will be distributed between each Dependency Catchment Area according to the strategy and strategic policies in Part 1 of the Plan. Within the Catchment Areas the largest sites allocated for new housing will be in the Centres.

5.1.32Centres:

The Centres are identified in Part 1 of the Plan. The complete list is seen below:

Sub-regional Centre

Bangor

Urban Centres

Caernarfon, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Porthmadog, Pwllheli

Local Centres

Abermaw, Bethesda, Criccieth, Llanberis, Nefyn, Penrhyndeudraeth, Penygroes, Tywyn

 

5.1.33Villages:

For the purpose of the Plan, the area’s remaining settlements will be defined as either Villages or Rural Villages. In order to decide whether settlements were to be termed Villages or Rural Villages the facilities and services available were considered. It was decided that all settlements which had three or more of the following services or facilities would be considered as Villages: post office, village shop/store, doctor’s surgery, primary school, library, hall, playing field, public house, garage, café/restaurant, good public transport service. Below is a list of the Plan area’s Villages based on this information:

Villages in Arfon Bethel, Brynrefail, Bontnewydd, Caeathro, Carmel, Cwm y Glo, Deiniolen and Clwt y Bont, Dinas Dinlle, Dinas, Groeslon, Llandwrog,  Llanllyfni, Llanrug, Llanwnda, Nantlle, Penisarwaun,  Rachub, Rhiwlas, Rhosgadfan, Rhostryfan, Talysarn, Tregarth, Waunfawr, Y Felinheli
Villages in Dwyfor

 

Aberdaron, Abererch, Abersoch, Borth y Gest, Botwnnog, Chwilog, Clynnog Fawr, Edern, Efailnewydd, Garndolbenmaen, Llanaelhaearn, Llanbedrog, Llanengan, Llanystumdwy, Llithfaen, Morfa Bychan, Morfa Nefyn, Mynytho, Pentrefelin, Pontllyfni, Rhoshirwaun, Rhydyclafdy, Sarn Mellteyrn, Trefor, Tremadog, Tudweiliog, Y Ffôr
Villages inMeirionnydd Corris, Fairbourne, Llandderfel, Minffordd, Y Garreg – Llanfrothen 

 

5.1.34       A development boundary will be shown on the Proposals Map for each Centre and Village in the Plan. In most cases, only a limited number of sites for general market housing will be allocated in the Villages. There will be no allocations for general market housing in some Villages - on social, linguistic or environmental grounds or a combination of these matters. However, sites suitable for some new housing will be included within the development boundary.

5.1.35Rural Villages:

Planning Policy Wales (as amended by MIPPS 01/2006) refers to groups of dwellings where sensitive infilling or minor extensions may be suitable. It is noted that much depends on the character of the area, the development pattern and the ability to reach Centres and Villages easily. The Rural Villages in the Plan are selected on the basis of this national planning policy advice. Generally speaking, Rural Villages are small settlements within rural areas. The population is low and the communities have a sensitive character. Rural Villages contain limited facilities and services. However, the selected Rural Villages have sustainable functional links with other settlements and are accessible by foot, cycle and public transport services to nearby Villages or Centres. For social and environmental reasons only limited development that will satisfy a community local need for affordable housing will be permitted in these villages in order to help to sustain the local rural community and economy. Based on past building rates it is anticipated that each Rural Village could yield around 2 units, which equates to 82 units in total.

5.1.36No development boundary has been prepared for Rural Villages. Instead of this, the buildings that are considered to form the core of the Rural Village are highlighted on each map. A specific policy has been also been included in the Plan and applications will have to accord fully with this policy as well as all other relevant policies in the Plan.

5.1.37For the purposes of this Plan, the Council has determined that the following settlements will be considered as Rural Villages on the basis of the existence of a compact, adequate, and coherent group of houses as well as:  

  1. a regular bus service and at least one community facility or service;
  2. a regular bus service, and within reasonable walking distance of a nearby Centre or Village where services and facilities are available;
  3. occasional bus service available, at least one community facility or service and within  reasonable walking distance of a nearby Centre or Village where services and facilities are available;
  4. occasional bus service and at least one community facility.

5.1.38It is considered that applying this methodology and the related policies will help to sustain generally small rural settlements with a specific function within the immediate rural hinterland. Applying this methodology and related policies will also promote a sustainable development pattern, while respecting local diversity and protecting the character and cultural identity of rural communities. It is also considered that applying this methodology in order to identify settlements means that clusters of dwellings that are merely located on a highway are discounted. In identifying Rural Villages, the Local Planning Authority has also considered whether further development would have a detrimental impact on any statutorily designated area, e.g. Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or conservation area and the existing development pattern or appearance of the settlement.

Rural Villages in
Arfon

Aberpwll, Bethesda Bach/ Ty’n Lôn, Dinorwig, Dolydd/ Maen Coch, Gallt y Foel, Glasinfryn, Groeslon Waunfawr,  Llanfaglan, Llanllechid, Mynydd Llandygái, Nebo, Pentir, Rhos Isaf, Saron, Talybont, Tan y Coed, Y Fron

Rural Villages in
Dwyfor

Boduan, Bryncir, Bryncroes, Bwlchtocyn, Dinas, Llanarmon, Llangian, Llangybi, Llaniestyn, Llannor, Llwynhudol, Pantglas, Pencaenewydd, Penmorfa,  Penrhos, Pentreuchaf, Pistyll,  Rhiw, Rhosfawr, Sarn Bach

Rural Villages in
Meirionnydd

Aberllefenni, Corris Uchaf, Glanrafon, Llanfor

 

5.1.39The Countryside

The remainder of the area will be considered as open countryside. New housing in the countryside will be strictly controlled in order to maintain and protect the countryside and rural landscape, and special justification will be required in every case based on a demonstrable need for a remote location. The importance of safeguarding the countryside from development, except where strictly necessary, is emphasised in Planning Policy Wales.

5.1.40Allocating specific sites for new housing – When deciding how to distribute the allocated number of general housing between the individual towns and villages in each Dependency Catchment Area, the Plan’s strategy and the important factors listed below were taken into consideration:

5.1.41In order to simplify the Plan, it was decided that only sites for 5 units or more would be allocated. In accordance with guidance issued by the Assembly Government, housing built on allocated sites will be available for the open market without any occupancy restrictions.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

5.1.42A number of basic services are required in order to maintain and promote development for the future. An adequate supply of public services such as electricity, gas and water supplies, sewerage and waste disposal are essential to the daily lives of the area’s residents. The Plan aims to ensure that any necessary development is located so as to make the best use of land, buildings, materials, services and facilities. The Plan’s proposals reinforce this by guiding most developments to the towns and larger villages where the best provision of infrastructure is to be found.                                       

5.1.43In a rural area, effective transport systems and links are important as regards to reducing social exclusion and promoting the development of the economy. On the other hand, however, there are environmental and social arguments for reducing dependence on cars. Safeguarding and strengthening transport links between Gwynedd and the remainder of Wales, the UK and Europe is vitally important.

5.1.44National transport policy emphasises the regulation of demand for roads and their use, rather than on building new roads. The Local Transport Plan notes the need to secure investment for a limited package of road improvement schemes that will assist economic regeneration, road safety, and ensure environmental improvements. The package of measures includes improvements to the bus service and facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.         

5.1.45The train service in Gwynedd is an important mode of transport for long journeys within and outside the area, but only a comparatively small percentage of journeys within the area are made by train. There are opportunities to improve train services and the Council is co-operating with others in order to ensure improvements to the railway network and infrastructure, improve accessibility etc. within the stations and to improve the service itself.    

 

INCREASING ACCESSIBILITY

5.1.46Accessibility is a measure of how convenient it is to reach a destination from a specific starting point. Accessible facilities and services are key to the creation of sustainable communities. The Plan aims to improve the ability of every member of the community to take advantage of any facilities and services available. Although 30% of Gwynedd families do not own a car, and many do not have use of a car at certain times during the day, the trend in the past has been to place too much emphasis on providing facilities and services that gave priority to the private car.

5.1.47In a rural area, individuals usually have to travel a certain distance to reach workplaces, services etc. However, apart from peak times, traffic in general can move quite freely between villages, towns and the countryside in the Plan area.                                 

5.1.48Some villages are not within easy reach of the main public transport corridors that offer an adequate service. Over the years, a number of essential day-to-day services and facilities have been lost from Villages and Service Centres in the Plan area. At present, the use of private cars is essential in areas like this. The objective of the land use policies in the Plan will be to create a development pattern that will reduce the need to travel further.                       

5.1.49Within the main towns of the area and nearby villages a close distribution of houses, workplaces, schools, shops, other services and facilities can be found.  Many more of the journeys in these locations could be made on foot, on a bicycle or by using public transport. The Local Transport Plan refers to proposals that will tackle these matters. Policies in the Unitary Development Plan will support and reiterate those proposals. The Plan has considered the dependence on the private car and how, bearing in mind the local and global environmental concerns, it can be reconciled with the aim of encouraging the provision of facilities and services accessible to everyone.              

    

EDUCATION, HEALTH AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES

5.1.50There has been a recent tendency to locate major social services and facilities, like other activities, in the main Centres for economic reasons. Unfortunately, this has led to the loss of small local services that were a means of sustaining communities, and has created hardship for some people who find it difficult to travel. Also, the general trend towards centralisation has increased the number of journeys made and created more environmental pollution. Gwynedd Council is keen to ensure that there is an effective provision of services and facilities available to the County’s residents on as local a level as possible.

5.1.51The Council is keen to ensure that a wide range of facilities and services (education; health; cemeteries and chapels of rest; homes for the elderly and nursing homes; day centres and community centres) are available to meet the local demand, and are within easy reach of residents in the area. The provision of these services is essential to ensure the welfare of the local community.               

 

SPORTS AND LEISURE 

5.1.52Leisure activities can be split into formal activities (i.e. requiring covered facilities or purpose-built open air activities e.g. football, squash, golf, sailing, climbing) or informal activities (i.e. not requiring specific facilities and which can be enjoyed occasionally e.g. enjoying the countryside). In the context of the Unitary Development Plan, ‘sports and leisure’ policies will be used  to deal with proposals that refer specifically to meeting the leisure needs of communities in Gwynedd. Leisure proposals aimed mainly at the tourism market will be considered in accordance with the relevant tourism policies of the Plan.  

5.1.53Sports and leisure have a key role to play as regards to the health of the population and improving quality of life. One of the main considerations for the future will be to ensure that there are opportunities for everyone, including children and young people, older people, and those with disabilities, to take part in formal and informal sports and leisure activities.   

5.1.54The wealth of Gwynedd’s natural resources mean that the area is very popular for outdoor pursuits. Many of the visitors who come to Gwynedd are attracted by the standard of the natural environment and the resulting opportunities for leisure. With the growth in the popularity of sports and leisure, the challenge for the Plan will be to promote and nurture a wide range of leisure activities and make responsible use of the environment in accordance with the principles of sustainable development.                                                

 

OBJECTIVES

BASED ON THE AIM OF ENSURING SOCIAL PROGRESS THAT RECOGNISES THE NEEDS OF EVERYONE, THE OBJECTIVES OF THE UNITARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN WILL BE:

 

STRATEGIC POLICIES

5.1.56The Strategic Policies establish a framework and reflect the Council’s commitment, through its land use planning powers, to ensure social progress which recognises the needs of everyone. The following strategic policies are vital to the Plan’s efforts to achieve this.

 

HOMES -STRATEGIC POLICY 10

The need for housing in the Plan area during the period of the Plan will be met through:

 

ACCESSIBILITY – STRATEGIC POLICY 11

Development proposals accessible to all through a variety of transport modes due to their location, will be permitted providing the appropriate infrastructure, including highways, cycle routes and facilities and footways, is in place, or is to be provided; and that they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

 

TRANSPORT - STRATEGIC POLICY 12

Transport schemes that form part of the strategic and integrated transport network identified in the Key Diagram, extend the choice of travel modes, facilitate access for local people and show clear benefits as regards network safety and efficiency, will be approved, providing they do not lead to an unacceptable increase in the need to travel and do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of local residents.

 

COMMUNITY FACILITIES AND SERVICES - STRATEGIC POLICY 13

Development proposals that maintain or improve the existing provision of community services and facilities or amenity space within the community will be approved provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

 

SPORTS AND LEISURE - STRATEGIC POLICY 14

Development proposals which maintain or improve existing sports and leisure facilities or for new quality sports and leisure activities will be approved provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

 

HOUSING

Introduction

5.2.1The planning system has an important role to play in facilitating sustainable residential environments and providing an adequate supply of land to satisfy the need for housing, including affordable housing. Whilst Policies CH1 – CH17 provide guidance on land use planning matters related to providing land for housing and converting buildings into homes, it is important to emphasise that these policies should not be read in isolation. Prospective developers should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of the issues related to the proposed development. The table below provides crossreferences to other policies that are closely related to a particular policy. (The list is not exhaustive and does not include other more general policies or development control type policies for each policy.)

Policy

Key policy considerations

CH1 & CH3

B23 – Amenities

CH3 & CH6

A2 – Linguistic impact assessment; CH28 – Impact of development on journeys; CH37 – Educational, health and community facilities; CH43 – Provision of  open space of recreational value in new housing development

CH4 & CH7

A2 – Linguistic impact assessment; B22 – Design of buildings; B23 – Amenities; B25 – Building materials; CH33 – Safety on highways and roads

CH5 & CH9

B22 – Design of buildings; B23 – Amenities; B25 – Building materials; CH33 – Safety on highways and roads

CH11& CH12

B20 – Protected species and their habitats; C4 – Adapting  buildings for re-use

CH13

B20 – Protected species and their habitats

 

GENERAL HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS

POLICY CH1 - NEW HOUSES ON ALLOCATED SITES

Proposals to build houses on sites allocated for housing use, as noted in the table contained in Appendix 3 to the Plan and indicated on the Proposals Map, will be approved provided all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the specific sites indicated on the Proposals Map by the letter ‘G’ are developed in phases during the Plan period;
  2. that the development is one that demonstrates quality in terms of the type, size and affordability of housing, and in terms of its quality, design and form in accordance with the relevant development brief prepared by the Council or an agreed master plan.

5.2.2        Explanation - The sites allocated in the Plan have been carefully selected in order to provide a source of new homes for general need during the Plan period. By assessing and consulting, the Council has attempted to ensure that these sites are suitable for housing, that there are no obvious barriers to their development and that they are actually ’available’. 

5.2.3         The Council has used a density of 30 houses per hectare as a standard in order to calculate the number of houses for each site. This will vary slightly depending on the characteristics of the site, the surrounding area and the nature of the proposed housing development. It is also intended to phase the release of some of the larger house building sites in order to control development on the sites. The development brief will contain further details of the reasons leading to the need for phased development. The Local Planning Authority will negotiate the details of phasing with developers at the planning application stage, which will allow the actual pace of development to reflect the prevailing circumstances whilst protecting interests of acknowledged importance.

5.2.4     New development must conform to the relevant development brief prepared for each allocated housing site. The proposal must be suitable for the site as regards basic planning considerations and accord with the relevant policies. Applications that do not conform with these considerations and policies will be refused. 

 

POLICY CH2 – SUPPLY OF LAND FOR HOUSING

The Council will ensure, through the process of monitoring and reviewing the Plan, that a minimum of 5 years supply of land is actually available in the Plan area.

5.2.5            Explanation - The Council has a responsibility to ensure that sites are actually available to meet the housing needs of the Plan area. The Joint Housing Land Availability Study, which is undertaken by the Department for the Economy and Transport (Welsh Assembly Government), the House Builders Federation, the Council and other interested parties provides a method of assessing land availability. Technical Advice Note 1: Joint Housing Land Availability Studies provides guidance on this process. If this study exposes weaknesses, essential measures will be taken by the Council to rectify the weakness, which could be sufficient to instigate a review of the whole Plan.

 

POLICY CH3 - NEW HOUSES ON UNALLOCATED SITES WITHIN THE DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARIES OF THE SUB-REGIONAL CENTRE AND URBAN CENTRES

In principle, proposals to build houses on suitable unallocated sites within the development boundaries of the Sub-regional Centre (Bangor) and the Urban Centres (Caernarfon, Pwllheli, Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog) will be approved.

5.2.6            Explanation - These will mainly be infill sites, but some sites also become available unexpectedly, for example as a consequence of redevelopment or relocating another use. However, it must be ensured that the development will not result in the over development of the site or lead to the loss of open spaces. If it is proposed to build 5 units or more on sites of this type, the application will be expected to conform to Policy CH6, which relates to affordable housing.

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Context:

5.2.7As a consequence of the substantial and sudden increase in house prices in recent years1 compared with the low average income levels for the area, the inability of a large proportion of the local population to buy houses locally has drawn much attention. It is an issue common to many counties in Wales and England and consequently a wide range of responses and schemes have been prepared in order to respond to the situation.

1 Housing Research Papers, Planning Department, Gwynedd Council. 2003

 

5.2.8         The concept of affordability is generally defined as the ability of households or potential households to purchase or rent property that satisfies the needs of households without subsidy. In order to obtain a broad measure for defining affordability, the majority of building societies establish the total mortgage on the basis of 3.5 of the income of one buyer and a 5% deposit or 2.75 of the income of two persons and a 5% deposit.

5.2.9         In order to be considered as ‘affordable housing’ there must be secure mechanisms in place to ensure developments are accessible to those who cannot afford market housing, both on first occupation and for subsequent occupiers. Affordable housing includes:

5.2.10       In order to determine the local need for affordable housing, the Council commissioned a Housing Needs Survey which identified a need for 130 affordable units per year within Gwynedd as a whole. This equates to 105 units per year in the Plan area. Despite this, further information will be required in order to update and/or confirm the situation at a community level. Therefore, in special circumstances work carried out by the Council or independent work led by, or undertaken with the help of the Council or a Registered Social Landlord, can be used as justification for proving a specified area’s requirement, on a village or community level for instance where a specific need exists that is not highlighted by the Survey.

5.2.11       The conclusions of the continuous research work contained in the Council’s Research Unit’s ‘Housing Research Papers’ (October 2004) are key to the subject - setting out house prices and the patterns identified in the housing market. This work shows a shortage of affordable housing and notes that the majority of affordable homes consist of terraced housing in post-industrial areas. The high number of terraced housing within Gwynedd reduces average house prices within the County and conceals the fact that a higher percentage of detached and semi-detached houses are more expensive in Gwynedd than in other adjoining authorities. The Research Papers display a serious shortage of suitable housing within the financial reach of a large number of the local population across the County.

What makes a house affordable?

5.2.12       It is essential that the affordable housing that is approved, either as intermediate or social rented housing, remains ‘affordable’ in perpetuity. Such applications should consider the future and contribute to the need of the community as a whole – it should not be a personal decision in order to meet a transient need, i.e. the property should be suitable to meet future needs as well as the first occupier’s needs. Confirmation will be required from the developer (individual or construction company) that the dwelling(s) will be built at an affordable price. Affordability will be ensured through using a formula for the price based on wages and house prices in the area.

5.2.13       It is certain that the type, size and design of the house will affect its ‘affordability’ for the first occupier as well as future occupiers. Further details regarding what will be acceptable in terms of size and type are provided in a Supplementary Planning Guidance prepared by the Council.

5.2.14The Local Planning Authority will manage extensions to affordable houses in order to ensure that new houses remain affordable in the future by removing the relevant Permitted Development Rights in order to prevent the construction of extensions without approval. Reference is also made to the relationship between the size of the dwelling and its affordability in guidelines used by Housing Associations to assess size/number of bedrooms.

Conforming to the policies: The relation between the ability to prove NEED, conforming to the definition of LOCAL and qualifying for an AFFORDABLE DWELLNG:

5.2.15       In order to conform to these policies, the applicant must be able to prove the NEED for an AFFORDABLE DWELLING and, in Local Centres, Villages and Rural Villages, that he/she is LOCAL and must conform with all the relevant criteria. In order to assess these criteria the Council will prepare questionnaires relating to: proving need (as well as the type of need), complying with the definition of local (where applicable), and the level of affordability i.e. local house prices compared with local wages.  

5.2.16        Applicants must prove that they are (where applicable) local, that they cannot afford a dwelling on the open market, that they are living in an unacceptable situation such as an overcrowded house and are in need of other accommodation. It is possible that financial evidence should be provided and, where there is an alleged need on medical grounds or similar, evidence from a qualified/professional person in the relevant field will also be needed to support the application. In this sense, the ability to differentiate between demand/desire and need is essential and this will be the main purpose of the questionnaire. It is possible that the genuine need will be much lower than the demand from those who ‘desire’ a new house without a genuine justification for such a dwelling.

The main terms are defined below:

 

Need:

5.2.17       In order to fully comply with one of the following categories of ‘need’ it must be proved that the applicants do not have the financial capability (through equity or savings) to better their living situation and that sufficient financial evidence can be provided to substantiate this. For the purposes of the policies, genuine ‘need’ is defined as pertaining to one of the following categories:

  1. people who do not own a house and who are establishing a new home e.g. marriage, cohabitation etc;
  2. people who do not own a house and who are leaving rented accommodation where they have being living for at least two years (less than two years is considered too transitory);
  3. people who own a house but require a new dwelling to meet genuine need, e.g.
  • because the house is too small for the family, or
  • the dwelling is deemed by the Council to be in sub-standard condition, or
  • the dwelling is unsuitable due to requirements associated with a disability, long term illness or other long term physical difficulties
    and where it can be proven that the present home cannot be converted in an acceptable way, or suitably upgraded, to meet those needs and the owners cannot purchase a suitable house from the existing stock;
  1. ‘key workers’ with a permanent  job offer in the Plan area and who need to live in the Sub-Regional Centre or Urban Centres but are unable to take advantage of the offer because they themselves cannot afford to buy or rent a home on the open market.

5.2.18        When assessing need, in order to avoid misuse of the policy, consideration will be given to any property that the intended occupant(s) of the new accommodation have sold or disposed of. Also, owning a site is not in itself evidence of need – merely an opportunity. A site might not be suitable for development although the owners of the site are able to demonstrate evidence of need.

5.2.19      For the purpose of this Plan ‘key workers’ are defined as:

Persons who need to live in the Gwynedd Local Planning Authority area in order to take up a full time permanent job (37 hours or more):

  1. teacher in a school or further education establishment or a tertiary college
  2. nurse or another member of staff employed by the National Health Service
  3. police officer
  4. probationary services officer
  5. social worker
  6. educational psychologist
  7. occupational therapist employed by the local authority
  8. emergency services officers
  9. other jobs proven to be vital to the Plan area’s economy

Local:

5.2.20       For the purpose of the Plan two degrees of ‘local’, have been defined: namely general local’ and community local’. Applicants must be able to provide sufficient evidence to prove that they conform to the definition of ‘local’ (the Council will note the type of evidence that will need to be gathered and presented in a Supplementary Planning Guidance).

general local (relevant to Local Centres and Villages):

  • people who have lived or worked in the Dependency Catchment Area (see the Plan strategy) in question or within a Community Council adjoining the Dependency Catchment Area for a continuous period of ten years immediately before submitting the application/occupying the property in question;
  • people who reside outside the Dependency Catchment Area but have lived within it for a continuous period of ten years or more in the past;
  • people who reside outside the Dependency Catchment Area but have lived there in the past for a total period of ten years including a continuous period of five years or more within a period of twenty years.

5.2.21       The second definition of ‘local’ is more limited and has been formed for Rural Villages which have a more sensitive character, socially, culturally, linguistically and/or physically.

community local (relevant to Rural Villages & conversion of buildings in the countryside):

  • people who have lived in the Community Council area for a continuous period of ten years immediately before submitting the application/occupying the property in question;
  • people who have lived within the Community Council area for a continuous period of ten years or more in the past;
  • people who have lived or worked for a continuous period of ten years or more within 4 miles ‘as the crow flies’ of the ‘heart’ of the Rural Village (namely, the location of the coloured buildings) where the application site lies.

Occupancy restriction:

5.2.22       In the case of dwellings for purchase or rent at a reasonable price a Section 106 agreement will be attached to the planning permission restricting the occupancy of the dwelling to local inhabitants in need of an affordable dwelling as defined above. This will be operative in the case of individuals, groups and Registered Social Landlords. Furthermore, in the case of dwellings in private ownership it will need to be ensured that the dwelling will always be used as the principal residence of a local person that is in need of an affordable dwelling.

5.2.23  In the case of dwellings intended for part ownership, Registered Social Landlords will retain possession of part of the property. If the owner desires to leave, he/she will release his/her share of the property and the dwelling will be offered at the same terms to others qualified to occupy such a property.

5.2.24       In the case of Policies CH4 – CH7, it will be necessary to ensure that the Policy is not misused and consequently undermined, especially by a speculative development, detrimentally affecting the supply of affordable dwellings. In the case of the ‘Rural Villages’ policy (CH5), one method of reducing this possibility, facilitating monitoring and ensuring that dwellings approved under such a policy are developed in order to meet existing need at a specific time, is to restrict the duration of the consent to 3 years rather than 5 years (in accordance with Section 91 of the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act). If there is genuine need for such a property, it is argued that the property will be built soon after it is approved.

The value of the property and future occupants

5.2.25       In simple terms, the value of property subject to any type of planning obligation will be less than the value of property on the open market. A dwelling restricted to a specific market e.g. affordable/local, may be more difficult to sell, making it impossible to recover invested funds. In this sense, it must be clear that any investment in such property – be it to build a new dwelling or to purchase a dwelling – is made in order to own a house and to remain in a specific area rather than as a financial and/or short-term decision.

5.2.26       The value of land subject to any kind of planning agreement/ obligation that involves managing the affordability of the house/houses built on it will be less than its value as building land on the open market.

5.2.27        When selling the property on to other persons that meet the criteria, the property must be marketed at an affordable price defined in the Section 106 Planning Agreement that is relevant to the property in question. Marketing must be undertaken in accordance with arrangements included in the Agreement. Arrangements to sell the property will reflect the principles included in TAN 2 Planning and Affordable Housing (1996) or an amendment of this document and the Supplementary Planning Guidance prepared by the Council.

5.2.28               Supplementary Planning Guidance – Affordable Housing The Council places considerable emphasis on using its powers and influences to satisfy local need for affordable housing. In order to attain this objective the Council has set up the Affordable Housing Scheme, which includes a series of measures to facilitate access for local people to the housing market in Gwynedd. These measures include undertaking thorough research that will provide a sound basis for providing clear guidance to everyone interested in the issue about definitions of ‘affordable housing’, for example, how to measure ‘affordability’, design guidance on affordable housing etc. The Council is also one of the partners involved in the Gwynedd Rural Housing Enabler Scheme, which will add value to the Affordable Housing Scheme. The results of this research will be incorporated into aSupplementary Planning Guidance. In its final form, the Guidance will provide details on the way in which the Unitary Development Plan’s policies will be applied.

 

POLICY CH4 - NEW DWELLINGS ON UNALLOCATED SITES WITHIN THE DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARIES OF LOCAL CENTRES AND VILLAGES

In principle, proposals to build dwellings on unallocated sites within the development boundaries of Local Centres and Villages will be approved provided they conform to all the relevant policies of the Plan and all the following criteria:

  1. that a proportion of the units (which will vary from site to site) on all sites are affordable dwellings that satisfy an identified general local need for affordable housing, unless it can be proven to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority, having considered all the relevant factors, that it would be inappropriate to provide affordable housing on the site;
  2. the size, layout, design and materials of an affordable dwelling, including the number of bedrooms, reflects the specific need for an affordable dwelling;
  3. that secure mechanisms are in place to restrict the occupancy of any affordable housing on the site, both on first occupation and for subsequent occupiers in perpetuity, to those who can prove a general local need for affordable housing.

When development is approved a planning condition will be used to control Permitted Development Rights in order to ensure that an extension or alteration would not increase the value of the property beyond the value of an affordable dwelling that meets an identified need.

5.2.29       Explanation - Proposals to build new housing units on sites that have not been designated for any specific use and that lie within the boundaries of the Local Centres (Llanberis, Abermaw, Tywyn, Bethesda, Penygroes, Nefyn, Penrhyndeudraeth, Criccieth) and Villages (too numerous to name) of the area must conform with  the above policy. The policy will be a means of maintaining local communities, in accordance with the Strategy of the Plan, by facilitating development that contributes to the development of socially mixed communities. These sites will mainly be individual infill sites, but some larger sites may also become available unexpectedly, for example as a consequence of redevelopment or relocation. 

5.2.30       Prospective developers will be required to provide evidence to demonstrate and justify how they have decided on the specific type of housing on the site and how this contributes to creating socially mixed communities. The Local Planning Authority will discuss the indicative targets and negotiate with developers to include an element of affordable housing on sites that are the subject of this policy. The factors listed below will be considered during the negotiations:

  • the site’s suitability
  • economics of the provision (type of dwellings, density, number of units proposed)
  • specific costs relating to the development of the site
  • whether provision of affordable housing would prevent the realisation of other planning objectives

5.2.31    If, following negotiations with developers, affordable housing is possible on the site, planning permission will only be given if secure measures are in place to ensure that the house(s) is kept as an affordable dwelling to fulfil an identified general local need in perpetuity. Agreements with a Registered Landlord, legal agreements (which include restrictive covenants and/or 106 Planning Agreement) are examples of how housing occupancy can be restricted in perpetuity to those who can prove a general local need for an affordable home. Further guidance is given regarding these matters in the Supplementary Planning Guidance Affordable Housing and in the Affordable Housing section of the Gwynedd Design Guide.

5.2.32            Because of the nature of some of the Villages, the Local Planning Authority will pay detailed attention to the location, scale, density and nature of the development as well as the materials, design and landscaping. The Council is eager to ensure that developments are in keeping with the site, location and character of the Villages especially those within the Llŷn AONB and in conservation areas.

POLICY CH5 - NEW DWELLINGS IN RURAL VILLAGES

In the Rural Villages only proposals for residential development that include one or two units will be permitted. The proposals must conform with all the following criteria:

  1. local community need for an affordable dwelling has been proven;
  2. the site is an infill site between buildings coloured on the relevant Inset Map, or is a site directly adjacent to a coloured building;
  3. the proposal would not create an intrusive feature in the countryside, and would not introduce a fragmented development pattern, nor create a ribbon development contrary to the general development pattern of the settlement;
  4. the size of the property reflects the specific need for an affordable dwelling in terms of the size of the house in general and the number of bedrooms;
  5. because of the more sensitive rural location, the development must utilize the natural features of the site in the best way and retain any natural features present at the peripheries of the site or on its boundary that are worth retaining;
  6. that secure mechanisms are in place to restrict the occupancy of the dwelling both on first occupation and in perpetuity to those who have a local community need for an affordable dwelling. 

When a development is permitted a planning condition will be used to control Permitted Development Rights in order to prevent the construction of an extension or alterations that would increase the value of the property beyond the value of an affordable dwelling that meets local community need. Also, a planning condition will be used to ensure that the limited number of consents granted will be brought forward expeditiously to meet a community local need for affordable housing.

5.2.33        Explanation - Rural Villages are characterised by an extremely sensitive social character and environment as well as a limited level of services and facilities. In accordance with the intention of the Plan to maintain and strengthen local indigenous communities, this policy permits only a limited number of new dwellings to meet a local need for affordable housing (as defined) only on suitable sites. By restricting the number of sites where planning permission could be granted the number of houses to be built is limited to ensure that the rate of construction will not detrimentally affect the sensitive character (environmental and social) of the Rural Villages.

5.2.34       For the purposes of the Policy an infill site is defined as ’a small gap in a continuous line of built development’. In some circumstances, where terraced housing or semi-detached dwellings are common, two applicants could develop semi-detached houses jointly in order to save construction and services costs.

5.2.35       The restriction on the size of a dwelling will control its affordability. Section 91 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides local planning authorities with a means of limiting the life of a planning consent in specific circumstances. It is considered that the extremely sensitive social and environmental character of the Rural Villages and the limited level of services and facilities available in them justify the use of a condition to restrict the duration of the permission - if there is genuine need for such a property, it is argued that the property will be built soon after it is approved.

5.2.36 On account of the sensitive and rural nature of Rural Villages, the Council will pay detailed attention to the location, scale, density and nature of the development as well as to the materials, design and landscaping. The Council is eager to ensure that developments are in keeping with the site, location and character of the Rural Villages especially those within the Llŷn AONB and in conservation areas.

 

POLICY CH6 - AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON ALL ALLOCATED SITES IN THE PLAN AREA AND ON UNALLOCATED SITES WITHIN THE DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARIES THE SUB-REGIONAL CENTRE AND THE URBAN CENTRES

Proposals to develop housing units on sites or parts of sites allocated for a specific number of houses in the Plan area or other sites that become available unexpectedly in Bangor, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Pwllheli for housing developments (windfall) which may in their entirety accommodate 5 or more housing units, will be refused unless all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that a percentage (which will vary from site to site) of the units provided as part of the scheme
  1. on any site in Bangor, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Pwllheli satisfy a need for affordable housing
  2. on sites allocated for housing in the Local Centres and Villages satisfy a general local need for affordable housing

unless it can be proven to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority that after considering all the relevant factors it would be inappropriate to provide affordable housing on the site;

  1. that secure mechanisms are in place to restrict the occupancy of the affordable dwelling(s) provided both on first occupation and in perpetuity to those who can prove a need for affordable housing in Bangor, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Pwllheli or to those who can prove a general local need for an affordable dwelling in the Local Centres and Villages.

5.2.37        Explanation - The Housing Needs Survey notes that a minimum of 105 affordable units per year are required in the Plan area. A percentage of the new living units must be affordable units due to  the inability of local people to compete in the local housing market (purchase and rent). By using a combination of thresholds on the basis of site capacity and specific indicative targets, it is foreseen that about 656 new affordable homes can be provided in the Plan area on sites allocated for housing. Other sites that become available unexpectedly in Bangor, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Pwllheli will also be expected to contribute to satisfying this demand and the site capacity-based threshold will provide developers with guidance as to when it will be necessary to discuss the provision of affordable housing with the Local Planning Authority. All this will be in addition to the number of affordable homes coming forward on un-allocated sites in Local Centres, Villages, Rural Villages, rural exception sites and affordable houses coming forward by means of converting buildings.  

5.2.38       The inability to compete in the local housing market is a symptom of low incomes and a weak economy and this manifests itself in the competition from inward migrants for houses throughout the County. In the past, competition from inward migrants for houses was concentrated on the popular coastal areas but now, as a consequence of changes in working practice, early retirement, information technology as well as higher wages and improved opportunities in the towns and cities, the pressure has extended throughout the whole County and the affordability gap has widened.

5.2.39       In order to assess the need for affordable housing in a specific area, the Council will consider the information contained in the latest Housing Needs Survey and any other local survey completed and approved by the Council. The policy will be relevant to sites allocated for a specific number of homes in the Plan area and other individual sites that become available in Bangor, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Pwllheli which would be able to accommodate 5 units or more. The policy would also apply to a development site that forms part of a more substantial site which would in its totality be above the site threshold capacity of 5 units or more. After considering the results of the 2000 Housing Needs Survey and any other survey approved by the Council, an indicative affordable housing target of 10% to 50% has been set for every allocated site. Details of these indicative targets are available in the tables in Appendix 3 to the Plan and in the development briefs that are available separately from this Plan. The indicative targets are based on a desk survey into the need for affordable housing and the factors listed below:

  • the site’s suitability
  • economics of the provision (type of dwellings, density, number of units proposed)
  • specific costs relating to the development of the site
  • whether  the provision of affordable housing would prevent the realisation of other planning objectives

5.2.40The Planning Authority will discuss the indicative targets and negotiate with developers to include an element of affordable housing on sites that are the subject of this policy. Prospective developers will be required to provide evidence to demonstrate and justify how they have decided on the specific type of housing on the site and how this contributes to creating mixed communities.

 

RURAL EXCEPTIONS SITES

5.2.41       In addition, it is also possible to develop rural exceptions sites on the outskirts of Villages and Local Centres where housing would not normally be allocated in the Plan. These would provide a small additional source of affordable housing in rural areas to meet local need. Generally, a local housing association or a private company jointly with a Registered Social Landlord develop sites of this type but there are also examples of the community leading such schemes with a Registered Social Landlord managing the scheme or a percentage being transferred to the Council. Rural exceptions sites will mean affordable housing for local need that could include housing for sale at a low price, housing with a part ownership arrangement or housing for rent.

5.2.42       The scale of the affordable housing provision on land that would not otherwise receive planning consent for housing should not detrimentally affect the settlement pattern of the area nor contravene other planning policies. The houses must be of an affordable design and size and constructed with affordable materials so that the ‘affordability’ is consistent and permanent from one owner to the next.

5.2.43                Development Plans cannot allocate such sites and proposals will be assessed on the basis of the suitability of the site, proven need, local requirements and affordability. It must be possible to develop the selected site in a way that contributes positively to the area and does not have a detrimental effect on the area and it must also be affordable. The density, setting, design, materials, landscaping etc. must protect and maintain the existing character of the village or area.

 

POLICY CH7 - AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON RURAL EXCEPTION SITES DIRECTLY ADJOINING THE BOUNDARIES OF VILLAGES AND LOCAL CENTRES

Proposals for affordable dwellings on suitable rural sites directly adjoining the development boundaries of Villages and Local Centres will be approved as an exception to usual housing policies provided they conform with all the following criteria:

  1. general local need for affordable dwellings has been proven;
  2. the development will form a reasonable extension to the Village or Local Centre;
  3. that the development would not form an unacceptable intrusion into the countryside or create a fragmented development pattern;
  4. that satisfactory arrangements are in place to restrict the occupation of an affordable house/ houses on first occupation and in perpetuity to those who can prove general local need for an affordable house.

5.2.44        Explanation - When the Housing Needs Survey or independent surveys that have received guidance or support from the Local Planning Authority or a registered social landlord, demonstrate a shortage of affordable housing in a rural area, the Council, as an exception to usual planning policies, will be willing to release sites outside the Local Centre and Village boundaries (not Rural Villages) for an affordable housing scheme provided the scheme conforms to the criteria in the above policy. Consideration will only be given to proposals for individual houses if such a development would be in keeping with the site and the character of the nearby Village or Local Centre and would promote a sustainable pattern of development.

5.2.45       Strict criteria have been set in order to ensure that unsuitable developments that would detrimentally affect the rural environment will be refused. The aim is to supply affordable housing in the Centres on sites allocated for housing or other sites that become available unexpectedly.

5.2.46       The purpose of the rural exception policy is to release sites on the periphery of Villages and Local Centres for affordable housing where housing would not usually be approved. Consequently, the land for the development must be released at a reduced price that would be advantageous in order to provide the affordable dwellings. This will be higher than the agricultural value of the land but substantially lower than the value of land located within development boundaries.

5.2.47  The Local Planning Authority will require a legal obligation through a 106 Agreement restricting the occupancy of dwellings on sites of this type to local inhabitants in need of affordable dwellings as defined at the head of these policies. This will be operative even in the case of Registered Social Landlords due to the exceptional nature of approving a housing development contrary to usual planning guidance.

 

POLICY CH8 – EXTENSIONS AND ADAPTATIONS TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND NEW HOUSES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

Extensions and adaptations to affordable housing and new houses in the countryside will be permitted provided that the size and scale of the house after the extension or adaptation reflects the intention to ensure that the benefits of affordable housing and new houses in the countryside continue forever and that the proposal is in keeping with the original house and the local area.

5.2.48       Explanation - This policy is relevant to dwellings which have been granted permission as they provide an important source of affordable housing in the area or are dwellings which are granted permission because they fulfil a proven functional need in connection with agriculture or another special functional need. When planning permission was granted to construct the dwelling, the Planning Authority ensured that the size of the dwelling was in proportion to the need for an affordable house or in proportion to the functional requirement of an established scheme. In order to control the situation in future, planning conditions were used to make it a requirement to submit a planning application for every extension or adaptation to these types of dwellings. In addition to considering issues involving the appearance of the extension and its impact on the local area (and further guidance is given on this in Policy B23 of the Plan and in the Gwynedd Design Guide), the Planning Authority will consider whether the adaptation/extension is likely to make the property inappropriate or unaffordable to another person who will need such a dwelling in future. Further guidance is available regarding this in the Gwynedd Council Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Guidance.

 

DWELLINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

5.2.49 The Unitary Plan aims to protect the countryside and prevent unnecessary and unacceptable developments as such developments would be contrary to the principles of sustainability,   the Assembly’s planning guidance and the objectives of the Council. Therefore this type of application will only be approved when it can be proven to the satisfaction of the Council that special justification exists for approving a new dwelling in the countryside.

 

POLICY CH9 - NEW DWELLINGS IN OPEN COUNTRYSIDE

Proposals to build new dwellings in the countryside will be refused unless they conform to all the following criteria:

  1. the dwelling is required as a home for:
  1. full time worker mainly employed in agriculture, forestry or another rural land based industry,
  2. a person who earns their living through a full time activity that provides an essential service to the agricultural or forestry sector within the County;
  1. the person who requires the dwelling must live on the site and the dwelling is necessary to manage and run the existing activities of the unit or agricultural or forestry unit or enterprise or, in the case of 1b), that the nature of the business means that it is essential to live on such a site;
  2. that the business is well established;
  3. there is no existing dwelling on, or near, the unit that could be used nor suitable buildings nearby that could be converted into a dwelling;
  4. in the case of 1a) that the site is in a suitable location to accommodate the named working need and relates well  to the existing buildings on the unit and is acceptable to the Planning Authority and, in the case of 1a) and 1b), that the Local Planning Authority are of the opinion that the location is suitable and that the justification for the location is acceptable;
  5. the size and type of dwelling proposed is consistent with the requirements of the existing business or enterprise and it can be maintained;
  6. that satisfactory arrangements are in place to restrict the occupancy of the house to those who make a full time living or who are mainly employed from 1a) or 1b).

When a development is approved a planning condition is used to control Permitted Development Rights in order to prevent an extension or alteration that would increase the value of the property beyond the means of a person earning their living full time or mainly from the work outlined in 1a) or 1b).

5.2.50        Explanation - Because of the need to maintain and protect the countryside, special justification is necessary in order to approve the construction of new dwellings there. Therefore, new dwellings in the countryside will only be approved in extraordinary circumstances as outlined in the policy above. For the purpose of the Plan ’rural land-based industries’ refer to non-agricultural land-based enterprises and enterprises that diversify the income streams on individual farms where an employee must live on the spot rather than in a nearby settlement. TAN 6 will be considered when assessing applications of this type.

5.2.51       In order to prove genuine need for a new dwelling it will have to be demonstrated that a worker must be easily available at nearly all times. It must also be proven that the enterprise is economically viable and financial evidence to this end must be provided. If sufficient and firm proof of the above matters is not forthcoming, or in the case of a new enterprise, it will be appropriate for the Council to give temporary consent for a caravan or a timber structure for a period of three years in order to evaluate the enterprise.

5.2.52        When planning consent is given as a result of this policy, a condition will be attached restricting the occupancy of the property to people who earn their living by means of the circumstances outlined in 1a) or 1b). In addition the Local Planning Authority is entitled to place an occupancy restriction on another dwelling or dwellings on the agricultural unit or to bind the farmhouse to the holding or agricultural buildings. In situations where areas of land have been sold separately from a holding there is no guarantee permission will be given for a new dwelling.

 

SECOND HOMES

5.2.53        Gwynedd Council believes that second homes or summer residences can adversely affect the character and social fabric of an area or village. The dwellings are empty for long periods during the year, especially during the winter, and owners do not contribute greatly to the economy nor the community. 

5.2.54        Usually, the owners of dwellings used as second homes do not speak Welsh, and as a result this adversely affects the interests of the language in one of the Welsh language’s strongholds. It is appropriate, according to Technical Advice Note (Wales) 20 – The Welsh Language –  ‘The land use planning system should take account of the needs and interests of the Welsh language and in so doing can contribute to its wellbeing’. This is one of the aims of this policy.

5.2.55 In addition, dwellings that are second homes are lost from the housing stock available for permanent occupancy and there is a tendency for property prices to increase thus limiting the choice of houses for local people.

 

POLICY CH10 - SECOND HOMES

Proposals for new dwelling(s) that would lead to an increase in the number of second homes in a community where they already form a high proportion of the housing stock will be refused.

5.2.56        Explanation – The Council will implement the above policy where 10% or more of the housing stock in the City/Town/ Community Council area are second homes. In 2001 the average in Gwynedd (including the National Park) was 7.8% but a substantial variation existed in different areas. In general, the average is higher in rural and costal areas while low in the main towns. For example, in 2001 the percentage was 0.3 in Bangor and Caernarfon, and 33.3 in Llanengan.  

5.2.57 Second homes, holiday homes or summer residences are all regarded as the same. Second homes are defined for Census purposes as follows: ’company flats, holiday houses, weekend cottages, etc in permanent buildings which are... the second residences of people who had a more permanent address elsewhere’.

 

DEMOLITION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF DWELLINGS AND ADAPTING BUILDINGS FOR RESIDENTIAL USE

5.2.58       The Council is eager to see the re-use of buildings whenever this is consistent with the environmental, economic and social objectives of the Unitary Plan.

5.2.59       The standard of housing in Gwynedd is low because a very high percentage of the dwellings in the area were built before 1919 (47%) and a high percentage of the area’s dwellings are also defined as being unfit for habitation (10.5%). The results of the 2000 Housing Needs Survey also confirms the problems associated with the existing stock. Therefore, although the emphasis in this Plan is on using existing resources, the Council acknowledges that demolishing a house or houses in poor condition or of poor construction and rebuilding is more appropriate in some circumstances. In certain circumstances, where the stock is old and sub-standard, demolishing a number of houses and building new dwellings at a lower density in order to improve the general environment as well as the standard of the housing stock could be acceptable. 

5.2.60       As well as demolishing and redeveloping, the conversion of buildings can contribute to the housing stock. The conversion of buildings into dwellings within the development boundary can reduce the pressure to release greenfield sites and in general such conversions are considered favourably. Because the situation is more sensitive outside development boundaries, priority is given to the conversion of buildings that would not require many external alterations and where proposals would benefit the local economy. Therefore, approving a conversion to residential use outside the development boundaries will only be considered when an economic use of the building is not possible.

 

POLICY CH11 - CONVERSION OF BUILDINGS WITHIN DEVELOPMENT BOUNDARIES OF LOCAL CENTRES OR VILLAGES FOR RESIDENTIAL USE

Proposals to convert buildings for residential use within development boundaries will be approved provided they conform to all the following criteria:

  1. if the building is located in one of the Local Centres or one of the Villages, a proportion of the units (which will vary from site to site) on all sites are affordable dwellings that satisfy an identified general local need for affordable housing, unless it can be proven to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority, having considered all the relevant factors, that it would be inappropriate to provide affordable housing on the site;
  2. the proposal will not lead to the loss of serviced holiday accommodation in one of the main holiday centres listed in the explanation below, unless firm evidence has been submitted to the Council demonstrating that the property has been marketed unsuccessfully as holiday accommodation for sale for a reasonable price for a continuous period of 12 months;
  3. the proposal will not lead to the loss of a community resource or service unless, where relevant, firm evidence has been submitted to the Council demonstrating that the property has been marketed unsuccessfully as a business for sale for a continuous period of 12 months.

When conversion of a building is approved in accordance with this policy in one of the Local Centres or Villages, a suitable mechanism must be in place to restrict the occupancy of the house on first occupation and in perpetuity to people with a general local need for affordable housing. In suitable cases there will be a condition abolishing general permitted development rights in order to ensure full planning control over developments concerning the building in question and its surrounding curtilage.

5.2.61        Explanation - By approving the conversion of suitable buildings into houses or flats in Local Centres and Villages, the Local Planning Authority will reduce the pressure to develop on greenfield sites. There are many buildings suitable for conversion for residential use including old chapels and churches, offices and banks. There will be a presumption against converting a building that is used to provide a community resource or service in any Local Centre or Village, or when such a conversion would lead to the loss of holiday accommodation in the main holiday centres, defined for the purpose of the policy as:  Aberdaron, Abermaw, Abersoch, Criccieth, Llanberis and Tywyn.

 

POLICY CH12  - CONVERSION OF BUILDINGS IN RURAL VILLAGES AND OPEN COUNTRYSIDE FOR RESIDENTIAL USE

In rural villages and the countryside conversions of buildings to residential use will not be permitted without first providing proof that a suitable economic use cannot be secured for the building. Planning permission to convert the building to a residential use will be subject to meeting all the criteria set out below:

  1. local community need for an affordable house has been proven;
  2. the proposal will not lead to the creation of a substantial number of new dwelling units that would have a detrimental affect on the structure and character of the village and/or community of which it is part;
  3. the proposal will not lead to the loss of a community resource or service unless, where relevant, firm evidence has been submitted to the Council demonstrating that the property has been marketed unsuccessfully as its relevant use for sale or for rent for a continuous period of 12 months;
  4. that suitable mechanisms are in place that will restrict the occupancy of the dwelling on first occupation and in perpetuity to those with a local community need for an affordable dwelling.

In suitable cases when permission is granted for a development, a planning condition will be used to control Permitted Development Rights in order to ensure full planning control over developments concerning the building in question and its curtilage.

5.2.62        Explanation - In accordance with Assembly advice and given that economic development and increasing employment are Council priorities, proposals to convert vacant buildings for residential use will not be approved unless prior efforts have been made to find a suitable economic use for the building or that the conversion of the building will lead to a concentration of similar uses, such as self-catering holiday lets, thus leading to a negative effect on the local area. See Policy D10 on converting buildings for industrial/employment use and policies D14 and D15 on converting buildings for holiday accommodation. If there is evidence that such efforts have failed, the Local Planning Authority will be willing to approve conversion for residential use when the proposal fully conforms to the above policy and policy C4 that relates to the re-use of buildings. In some cases, where the building is in a prominent location, the Local Planning Authority will manage Permitted Development Rights in order to ensure full planning control over developments relating to the building in question and its surrounding curtilage.

 

POLICY CH13 - DEMOLITION AND RECONSTRUCTION OF DWELLINGS IN RURAL VILLAGES AND IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

Proposals to demolish a dwelling or dwellings that are in poor condition in Rural Villages or in the countryside and to develop new living units on the site will be approved provided they conform to all the following criteria:

  1. the existing building(s) is/are a dwelling house/dwelling houses according to planning law;
  2. there is no reasonable possibility of repairing, converting or extending the existing building(s) without total or substantial rebuilding. A structural report might be necessary to support the application;
  3. the new unit(s) is/are located on the site of the original unit(s) or as near as is practically possible;
  4. the density of the new development is the same as that of the original or there are exceptional circumstances to support a lower density;
  5. the new building would not result in a disproportionate building, compared to the original, as a consequence of its size, scale or design provided it supports or enriches the character of the local area.

Planning consent will be granted subject to a condition ensuring that the original property and any related buildings that interfere with the objectives of the policy will be demolished and that Permitted Development Rights are abolished.

5.2.63        Explanation - Occasionally demolishing a house or dwelling houses in a Rural Village or in the countryside, when it can be proven that they could not be converted, can be justified in order to improve the poor standard and quality of the building. To qualify for consideration under this policy the dwelling(s) in question must have an existing legal residential use as defined by the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act (i.e. the residential rights have not been lost), for example, a ruin would not qualify. Also, the Local Planning Authority will not consider prefabricated houses or other structures intended for seasonal or temporary use such as caravans and chalets as ’existing dwellings’.

5.2.64       This policy is not relevant to sites within development boundaries since the Council does not object in principle to the redevelopment of brownfield sites, improving the use of land not used to its full potential, or developing new dwellings on sites within the development boundaries. The Council sees this as an opportunity to demolish poor quality housing and to rebuild more suitable houses of a higher standard on the same site. Redeveloping in this way in order to improve the area’s housing stock is a resource that is not used to its full potential. In such circumstances, detached dwellings, semi-detached dwellings or terraced housing that have deteriorated and require substantial expenditure could be suitable for demolition, if they are not of conservational or historical value. This would provide an opportunity for redevelopment and the provision of new housing that would meet modern requirements and contribute to the number of units in the housing stock.

 

FLATS

5.2.65  The Housing Needs Survey 2000 clearly shows a reduction in the size of the average household. The main reasons for this are fewer children per family, more single parents and more people choosing to separate or live on their own. Therefore flats are an effective way of satisfying an existing need for homes for smaller households.

 

POLICY CH14 - CONVERSION OF DWELLINGS INTO FLATS, BED-SITS OR MULTIPLE OCCUPANCY DWELLINGS

Proposals to change the use of dwellings or other residential buildings into flats, bed-sits or multiple occupancy units will be approved provided they conform to the following criterion:

  1. the development will not result in the overprovision of this type of accommodation in a specific street or area where the accumulative effect has, or is likely to have, a negative impact on the social or environmental character of the street or area.

5.2.66        Explanation - This policy is applicable when considering applications for the change of use of dwellings into flats and the use of dwellings as bed-sits or multiple occupancy accommodation (where more than five unrelated individuals reside together). Ideally, these types of development would be a method of using buildings to their full potential and reducing the need to build new living units.

5.2.67       The accumulative effect or overprovision of this type of accommodation can affect the social character of an area and lower its environmental quality, thus detrimentally affecting the standard of living of other inhabitants. The situation can further worsen as families move out in order to seek a better living environment. The Council does not wish to see this happen (or continue in some areas) and therefore it will object to the conversion of houses into flats or the use of houses as multiple occupancy accommodation unless proposals conform in full to the policy.  

5.2.68  The pressure for this type of development, as well as its consequences, can be clearly seen in Bangor and pressure also exists in other parts of the County where there are large houses e.g. Pwllheli, Abermaw and Caernarfon. The situation is manifest in Bangor, since this type of accommodation is ideal as student accommodation and consequently whole streets of houses are used in this way. Very often these buildings suffer from lack of maintenance and they do not contribute positively to the appearance of the street or area.

 

POLICY CH15 - CONVERSION OF FLOORS ABOVE SHOPS AND COMMERCIAL UNITS INTO FLATS OR RESIDENTIAL UNITS

Proposals to convert and use floors above shops and other commercial units for residential use (when planning permission is required) will be approved.

5.2.69        Explanation - Floors above shops and commercial units that are vacant or not fully used offer an opportunity to provide homes for some groups in the community. The use of floors above shops and commercial units will also be a means of securing mixed uses and will promote the vitality of the area. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 already provides the right for one flat above a shop or commercial unit (use category A1 or A2) subject to conditions listed in the Order, therefore the policy is only relevant when planning permission is required to create a second unit or more.

5.2.70        When assessing the effect of a proposal on adjacent property or inhabitants, the Council will consider the noise and disturbance levels as well as the provision for storage and collection of residential waste. A planning application to alter a shop front or for change of use of a shop or commercial unit must retain a separate access to the floors above, unless there is a safe and convenient access at the rear or side of the building, or a new access is proposed as part of the application.

 

GYPSIES

5.2.71            Planning Authorities are required to consider the accommodation needs of gypsies in their Unitary Plans. Although gypsies do not need accommodation in the usual sense of the term, it is important that sites are available where they can park their caravans. When preparing the Plan there was sufficient provision for the needs of gypsies on the Llandygái site near Bangor but applications for additional sites could be submitted to the Council.

 

POLICY CH16 - GYPSY SITES

Proposals for Gypsy sites in the Plan area will be approved provided there is evidence of genuine need for the development.

5.2.72        Explanation - For the purpose of this policy Gypsies are defined as people who move and travel as part of their livelihood and this does not include people who drift from place to place unrelated to earning a living, namely those known as New Age Travellers.

5.2.73       A site specifically for Gypsies is located at Llandygái near Bangor. Before an additional site is approved the Authority must be satisfied that genuine need for the new site exists. As in the case of other developments, sites that would have an unacceptable impact on the landscape, coast or wildlife as a consequence of their location or site layout will not be approved. Because of activities that could be related to Gypsy sites such as scrap dealing and tarmacing and noise deriving from such activities, proposals that would affect the amenities of nearby inhabitants or highway safety will not be approved.

 

RESIDING IN A CARAVAN, CHALET OR CABIN

5.2.74  The Council does not support approving permanent residency in caravans, chalets or cabins. Long and wet winters with strong winds are characteristic of the area and periods of snow and ice are also common. In such circumstances as these, the health and safety of inhabitants residing in caravans, chalets or cabins could be at risk.

 

POLICY CH17 - PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN CARAVANS, CHALETS AND CABINS

Proposals to use static caravans, chalets or cabins for permanent residential use will be refused except in the case of a unit for the warden on an existing caravan site or for a temporary period during the construction of a residential unit, renovation of a residential unit or relating to an application to build a new residential unit connected to agriculture as permitted under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order (1995).

5.2.75            Explanation - For reasons pertaining to the management of the housing stock and health and safety, the Council will only approve permanent residency in static caravans, chalets or cabins in the circumstances noted in the above policy. In these worthy cases, planning conditions will be imposed to limit the period that units are occupied in order to ensure that the occupancy remains temporary.

 

INFRASTRUCTURE

Introduction

5.3.1        Policies CH18 – CH27 provide land use planning guidance on the requirement to secure adequate infrastructure prior to approving development. They also provide guidance on development that involves the provision of some form of infrastructure, whether private or public. It should however be emphasised that these policies should not be read in isolation. Prospective developers should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of the issues related to the proposed development. The table below provides a list of cross-references to other policies which are closely related to a particular policy within this section of the Plan (This list is not exhaustive and does not include more general policies. A list of cross-references has not been provided for every policy).

Policies

Key policy considerations

CH20

B8 – The Llŷn and Anglesey Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); B10 – Protecting and enhancing Landscape Conservation Areas

CH21

B26 – Shop fronts and commercial units in the town centre

CH22

CH30 – Access for all

CH26

CH25 – New roads and road improvements

CH27

B15 – Protection of international nature conservation sites; B16 – Protecting nationally important conservation sites; B17 – Protecting sites of regional or local significance; B20 -  Species and their habitats that are internationally, and nationally important

 

PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE

POLICY CH18 - AVAILABILITY OF INFRASTRUCTURE

Development proposals will be refused unless there is an adequate provision of necessary infrastructure for the development, i.e. power and water supply, means of disposing of water and sewage, means of disposal of surface water, and other essential services, unless one of the following criteria can be met:

  1. appropriate arrangements are made in order to ensure adequate provision, or  
  2. the development takes place in phases in order to accord with any proposed scheme to provide additional infrastructure.   

When a development is approved, planning conditions will be imposed in order to ensure that adequate arrangements are made for the provision of the required facilities and, where appropriate, planning conditions or a planning obligation will be used to ensure that the developer contributes towards the cost of the additional provision and provides for the long term maintenance of the facilities.

5.3.2        Explanation - Adequate provision of infrastructure is necessary to enable a development to proceed. Where there is inadequate infrastructure, development will not be permitted unless the situation can be rectified satisfactorily. In such cases, the Local Planning Authority will consult with Welsh Water and the Environment Agency. Private sewage disposal arrangements will not be acceptable in areas with main sewers (’sewered areas’).  

5.3.3           Where connecting with the mains sewerage is not feasible from the point of view of cost and/or viability, consideration will be given to private sewage disposal systems. Developers must show that such a system is acceptable and conforms with the criteria listed in Circular 10/99 ’Planning Requirement in respect of the Use of Non-Mains Sewerage incorporating Septic Tanks in New Development’ (The Welsh Office). The criteria relate to safeguarding the environment, amenity and public health.

5.3.4         It is very important that the provision of infrastructure for a development site is located and designed in such a way as to minimise the impact on the natural and built environment. The amenities of local residents should also be protected. 

 

POLICY CH19 - PROVISION OF NEW INFRASTRUCTURE OR PUBLIC SERVICES

Proposals to provide infrastructure or public services, including water supply, drainage, sewers, gas, electricity, combined power and heat, and other relevant services will be approved provided that all following criteria can be met:

  1. that the scale and design of the proposed development is suitable for the location and site;
  2. that the development will not cause significant harm to the landscape, the coast, biodiversity, or a historic area/ feature, particularly within or near designated areas;
  3. that the development will not cause significant harm to the amenities of neighbouring residents or to nearby sensitive uses;
  4. that the development is acceptable in terms of parking, traffic and road safety.

5.3.5            Explanation - It is necessary for the Plan to facilitate adequate provision of infrastructure. Therefore the Local Planning Authority will pay attention to the operational needs and investment plans of infrastructure providers. The above policy will ensure that necessary developments do not cause significant harm to the local environment, public amenities or public safety.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

POLICY CH20 - TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT

Proposals for telecommunications equipment requiring planning consent will be approved provided that all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the development utilises appropriate existing structures (including other telecommunications equipment) or buildings unless it can be clearly proven that this would not be feasible and appropriate;
  2. that the scale, location, design and prominence of the development will not cause significant harm to the landscape, the coast, biodiversity or historic areas/ features, particularly within or near designated areas/buildings;
  3. that the development is certified to conform to the ICNIRP guidelines; 
  4. that if the telecommunications equipment is no longer needed, it will be removed from the site and appropriate restoration work undertaken.

5.3.6            Explanation - This policy acknowledges the need to facilitate a sufficient provision of telecommunication equipment so that the industry contributes towards the economic regeneration of the area, whilst noting the need to give full consideration to matters relating to location, design and landscaping. The Planning Authority acknowledges the restrictions regarding the need for a specific location, and the technical and operational requirements of the equipment, together with the development’s role as part of a national network, and all proposals will be considered within these parameters. More recently, concerns have been expressed regarding the effect of structures on public health. In determining a planning application or an application for prior approval, the Local Planning Authority will pay attention to guidelines issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

 

POLICY CH21 - SIGNS

Proposals for signs will be approved provided all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the development does not cause significant harm to the landscape, townscape, the coast, or specific building(s), particularly within or near designated areas/buildings;
  2. that the development does not cause significant harm to the cultural and linguistic character of the area or the amenities of neighbouring residents;
  3. that the development, due to its design or location, does not have an unacceptable impact on road safety;
  4. that the proposal will not lead to a proliferation of signs on one specific site.

5.3.7        Explanation - Signs can have a detrimental impact on the amenities of an area. Care should be taken especially with regard to conservation areas, Listed Buildings, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and open countryside since these are particularly sensitive to the detrimental visual effects of signage.

The use of the Welsh language in Gwynedd is amongst the highest in Wales. Technical Advice Note 20 – The Welsh Language indicates that “The land use planning system should take account of the needs and interests of the Welsh language and in so doing can contribute to its wellbeing”. It is considered that signs that are in Welsh only or include bilingual text (giving priority to Welsh) provide a means of promoting the future use of the language thus reinforcing the area’s distinct linguistic identity. Therefore, in accordance with TAN 20, the Local Planning Authority will promote the provision of signage that is at least bilingual.

 

INTEGRATED TRANSPORT NETWORKS

POLICY CH22 - CYCLING NETWORK, PATHS AND RIGHTS OF WAY

All parts of the cycling network, paths and public rights of way (including footpaths, public footpaths, bridle paths and byways) will be safeguarded and promoted by:

  1. assessing any proposal that would infringe upon a cycle route, path or public right of way with the aim of ensuring that the cycle route, path or public right of way is satisfactorily incorporated within the development and if this cannot be achieved that:
  1. appropriate provision is made to divert the route, or
  2. an alternative new route is provided which safely and attractively maintains or improves the local network

 

  1. refusing any proposal which is likely to prohibit plans to extend the existing cycling network, paths and public rights of way unless an alternative path can be provided which is just as safe, attractive and accessible. 

5.3.9        Explanation - It is important that the existing and proposed network of cycle paths (Lonydd Glas) and the network of footpaths and other public rights of way are protected from development. These paths play an important part in the public’s enjoyment of the countryside and greatly assist in attracting visitors into the area, whilst offering an alternative mode of travel other than the car.

5.3.10   In the case of proposals which aim to divert paths in order to enable development to proceed, the Local Planning Authority will have no objection in principle provided the proposed diversion will not affect the public’s enjoyment of the path in question.

POLICY CH23 - PROTECTING THE ROUTES OF FORMER RAILWAYS

The routes of former railways will be safeguarded from development that would:

  1. prohibit their use in the future as cycling/walking tracks (Lonydd Glas)
  2. prohibit their reopening as light or heavy railways 
  3. have a harmful and unacceptable effect on the function of the former railway as a wildlife corridor

The tracks of the former Welsh Highland Railway and Corris Railway (shown on the Proposals map) will be safeguarded so that they can be reopened as light railways.     

5.3.11.                 Explanation - There are sections of former railways within the Plan area that are suitable to be protected for use as sustainable travel routes. The Local Planning Authority is eager to protect these from developments that could destroy their potential as feasible travel paths. The Gwynedd Cycling Strategy has already noted that some are suitable for use as cycle routes/ footpaths. Where there is fair possibility that they can be re-used for transport purposes in the future, the Local Planning Authority will safeguard old railways and disused or derelict railway cuttings from development. The Council will continue to consider the possibility of reopening the railway from Bangor to Caernarfon and from Caernarfon to Llanberis. Very often these disused railways have an important function as wildlife corridors. Any new development will be required to be designed in such a way as to have the least possible impact on the natural environment.

 

POLICY CH24 - THE RAILWAY NETWORK

Proposals for improvements to passenger and business services and facilities at existing railway stations and along railways which contribute to an integrated travel network will be approved provided all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the scale and design of the proposed development is acceptable in terms of location and site;
  2. that the development will not cause significant harm to the landscape, the coast, biodiversity, or historic areas/ features, particularly within or near designated areas;
  3. that the development is acceptable in terms of parking, traffic and road safety.

5.3.12        Explanation - The Local Planning Authority will encourage railway infrastructure providers and companies that provide the railway service to invest in the rail network by carrying out more improvements to services and facilities. Favourable consideration will be given to plans that will:

  • improve services for travellers
  • facilitate the transportation of goods on the railways
  • provide connections between the railway and other modes of travel

5.3.13            Gwynedd Council is willing to work in partnerships in order to improve the railway infrastructure.

 

POLICY CH25 - NEW ROADS AND ROAD IMPROVEMENTS

Proposals for improvements to existing roads and for new sections of roads will be approved provided there is sufficient justification for the development on economic and public safety grounds and that there will be no unacceptable environmental effects. Developers must prove that other options have been considered and that the scheme with the least environmental impact has been chosen and that all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the improvement/new road scheme reflects the road’s status in the defined road hierarchy;
  2. that the design reduces the danger of accidents for road users;
  3. that the design incorporates measures that encourages journeys by public transport and reflects the needs of cyclists and pedestrians;
  4. that the scheme is acceptable in terms of its impact on the community;
  5. that the scale and design of the proposed development is suitable for the location;
  6. that every practical effort is made to ensure that the development will not cause significant harm to the landscape, the coast, biodiversity, or historic areas/ features, particularly within or near designated areas;
  7. that appropriate measures are included to reduce the risk of injury or death as a result of collisions between vehicles and wildlife;
  8. that the development will not cause significant harm to the amenities of neighbouring residents or sensitive uses;
  9. that the proposal incorporates adequate measures to mitigate the effects of the scheme.

5.3.14        Explanation - A modern and vibrant community needs an effective and sustainable transport network. The Council will manage the road network in the most effective way. Consultation with Transport Wales (formerly the Assembly’s Highways Directorate), the police, emergency services and other bodies (as appropriate) and the public will be a key part of ensuring this. It is important that the transport network provides for the requirements of essential vehicles. Essential vehicles are defined as follows:

  • vehicles that offer an alternative means of transport to the private car
  • vehicles that are essential to meet the needs of businesses and trades, such as vans and lorries
  • emergency vehicles e.g. ambulances, fire engines  

5.3.15       By defining the road hierarchy, essential vehicles can be guided to the roads that are best able to cope with traffic. This is in accordance with the Local Transport Plan (2000). The hierarchy of roads is shown on Map 2 in Part 1 of this Plan and includes:

  1. ‘A’ Roads     
  2. ‘B’ Roads     

5.3.16      It is important to ensure that the necessary changes/improvements to the highway network seek to reduce the environmental effect of the scheme, especially within sensitive areas such as the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, nature conservation sites of international, national and local importance, Landscape Conservation Areas, conservation areas and sites which help reduce the number of animals killed or wounded on roads. The findings of the LANDMAP study, Natur Gwynedd (Gwynedd Local Biodiversity Action Plan) (2004) and the Gwynedd Design Guide will be important considerations when assessing the impact of proposals for road improvements.

POLICY CH26 - SAFEGUARDING PROPOSED ROAD ROUTES

Land shown on the Proposals Map, which is required for road improvements will be safeguarded from other development:

  1. the A487 Porthmadog, Minffordd and Tremadog Bypass
  2. upgrading the A470 from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Cancoed (only the section that is outside the Snowdonia National Park is shown on the Proposals Map)
  3. upgrading the A499 between Aberdesach and Llanaelhaearn
  4. the Penygroes southern route

5.3.17             Explanation - The provision of a by-pass for Porthmadog which will run from Tremadog to the outskirts of Penrhyndeudraeth and the work of upgrading part of the A470 from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Cancoed are included in Transport Wales’ (Welsh Assembly Government) road improvement programme. Porthmadog suffers from traffic congestion and other associated problems, especially during the summer months. A traffic study in Porthmadog (’Porthmadog Transportation Study’) recommended that the construction of a by-pass was one way of solving the traffic problems. The proposed route of the A487 Porthmadog, Minffordd and Tremadog bypass is shown on the Porthmadog Catchment Area proposals map and the Porthmadog, Minffordd, Tremadog and Penrhyndeudraeth inset maps, and is based on information made available to the Council in 2008. However in order to ensure that specific proposals do not affect the proposed route of this road, prospective developers are advised to also refer to the official Welsh Assembly Government (‘Transport and Strategic Regeneration’) plan for this scheme. The Assembly Government’s Highways Directorate (now ‘Transport Wales’), in its document ’The Trunk Road Forward Programme 2002’ notes its intention to look into the possibility of solving the traffic problems along the A487 through Caernarfon and Bontnewydd. It is not foreseen that this scheme will commence before April 2010 and as a result Transport Wales has placed the scheme in its long term plan category. Improvements to the A499 and the A497 are included on Gwynedd Council’s road improvement programme. An assessment of the highway access associated with mineral workings in Nantlle and the surrounding area has identified the need to safeguard the former railway track bed from King’s Road to Water Street, Penygroes. A further assessment has examined the possibility of providing a link road to the north of Penygroes, from the quarries to the A487(T). The roads listed in the Policy are important routes through the Plan area, connecting towns and villages and it is believed that they are vital to the economic future of the area.

 

POLICY CH27 - CAERNARFON AIRFIELD

Proposals which would be likely to have a harmful effect on the ability of Caernarfon Airfield to operate safely and effectively will be refused.

 

Proposals for improving the facilities that already exist for users of Caernarfon Airfield will be permitted if they can conform with all the following criteria:

  1. that the scale and design of the proposed development is suitable for the location;
  2. that the development will, where feasible, make use of suitable unused buildings;
  3. that the development will cause no significant harm to the landscape, the coast or biodiversity;
  4. that the development will cause no significant harm to the amenities of neighbouring residents through noise and nuisance;
  5. that the development is acceptable in terms of parking, traffic and road safety.

5.3.18     Explanation - Caernarfon Airfield is the only operative civil airfield within the Plan area. It provides commercial and leisure services. It is necessary to control the location and scale of any development close to flight paths in order to avoid physical obstruction or distraction. It is believed that reasonable proposals to increase the existing facilities at the airfield should be supported. Due to the open nature of the site close to the coast, developments could have a harmful visual impact on a wider area. Careful consideration will have to be given to the effect of any increase in the use of the airfield as a result of new development on neighbouring sites, which are locally, nationally or internationally important nature conservation sites. Consideration will also have to be given to the suitability of nearby roads in relation to any increase in traffic flow due to a new development at the airfield.

 

IMPROVING ACCESSIBILITY

Introduction

5.4.1        Whilst Policies in other sections of the Plan provide guidance regarding specific types of land uses, for example, residential development, shops, workshops, etc, it should be emphasised that those policies should not be read in isolation. A prospective developer should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of matters linked to the proposed development. The Policies included in this part of the Plan could be pertinent key policy considerations in relation to a number of types of development, and it will be necessary to thoroughly consider them when preparing and determining a planning application. The table below includes a cross-reference to another policy which is closely related to a particular policy within this section of the Plan. (This list is not exhaustive and does not include more general policies. A list of cross-references has not been provided for every policy).

Policy

Key policy considerations

CH29

CH30 – Access for all

 

ACCESSIBILITY OF DEVELOPMENTS

POLICY CH28 - IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT ON JOURNEYS

Proposals for large scale developments that substantially increase the number of journeys made by private vehicles will be refused unless they include measures to reduce the environmental impact as part of a Transport Assessment and/or a Travel Plan. The Local Planning Authority will favour developments that are planned and designed in a manner that promotes the most sustainable and environmentally acceptable modes of transport.

 

When a development is permitted, planning conditions or planning obligations will be used in order to ensure that the measures specified in the Transport Assessment and/or the Travel Plan to deal with any possible harmful effect are implemented.

5.4.2        Explanation - In order to manage the need to travel and the impact of travelling, developers that are responsible for a development that exceeds a specific threshold (see Appendix 4) will be required to submit a Transport Assessment (TA) and/or a Travel Plan with the planning application. The Local Planning Authority may require a TA and/or a Travel Plan for development proposals below the specific threshold if it is considered that the development could have a harmful impact on travel patterns and modes, for example, a development on a site in a sensitive area (i.e. a conservation area, an area characterised by narrow roads, etc.) or a small development which, due to its nature, is likely to cause a substantial increase in traffic (e.g. a take-away establishment). The results of a TA and the contents of a Travel Plan will enable the Local Planning Authority to evaluate the demand for travel as a result of the proposed development and its effect.

5.4.3         In accordance with guidance from the Government and the Welsh Assembly Government, the Local Planning Authority will favour developments that are planned and designed in a manner that facilitate the most sustainable and environmentally acceptable modes of transport. For this purpose a hierarchy of specific users has been defined:

  1. pedestrians
  2. individuals with mobility problems 
  3. cyclists
  4. public transport users       
  5. traffic that service businesses and homes         
  6. motor cycles
  7. visitors in private coaches 
  8. shoppers in a car
  9. visitors in a car
  10. individuals travelling to work in a car   

5.4.4        Apart from developments such as petrol stations, which provide a service specifically for car borne customers, planning proposals will be required to pay attention to the hierarchy of users. Development that gives priority to users at the bottom of the list will be refused.

 

MORE SUSTAINABLE MODES OF TRANSPORT

POLICY CH29 - SAFEGUARDING AND IMPROVING LINKS FOR PEDESTRIANS

Proposals within Centres and Villages that fail to provide safe, attractive and direct links for pedestrians across and out of the site, wherever there are clear opportunities to make such provision, will be refused. From a planning point of view, special emphasis will be placed on the provision of footpaths from a development site to:

  1. a bus stop or station or a bus or train exchange point
  2. community services and facilities in the area e.g. school, village shop, children’s play area
  3. existing cycle networks, paths and public rights of way

When a development is permitted, planning conditions or planning obligations will be used in order to ensure that any pedestrian link is safeguarded or provided in accordance with the permitted details.

5.4.5        Explanation - The Assembly Government’s Walking and Cycling Strategy for Wales emphasises the need to promote walking. By giving priority to the needs of pedestrians in new developments, the Plan aims to increase the percentage of short journeys made on foot. In this context, ’walking’ and ’pedestrians’ include individuals with mobility problems. Whilst improvements to footpaths and their maintenance goes beyond the remit of the UDP, there is some scope to facilitate high quality and safe pedestrians links between residential areas and workplaces, shops, other facilities and services, as well as with the countryside. This will promote the programme of improvements identified in the Local Transport Plan (2000) e.g. Safe Routes to Schools.

5.4.6                Developers will be required to provide footpaths across the development site and also provide direct links to existing footpaths leading to areas beyond the site. New networks should follow the most direct and/or most attractive route between two points.      

    

POLICY CH30 - ACCESS FOR ALL

Proposals for residential units, business/industrial units, or buildings/ facilities for public use, will be refused unless it can be shown that thorough consideration has been given to the need to provide appropriate access for the widest possible range of individuals.      

5.4.7        Explanation - Provision of access to developments for the widest range of individuals, especially facilities available to the public, such as shops, parks, libraries, leisure facilities and public toilets, is a vital part of a more accessible and inclusive public environment. Prompt and more detailed consideration should be given to the needs of every sector of society, including individuals with disabilities, parents with young children, children and the elderly.                                                                                                                                                                                                     

5.4.8    By giving full and detailed consideration to legislation (i.e. Disabled Persons Act 1986, Disability Discrimination Act 1996, Part M of the Building Regulations) and any relevant guidance, and by working jointly with local disability groups, the Local Planning Authority aims to ensure that the design of new development, alterations, extensions, areas open to the public and proposals to change the use of buildings, will fully consider the needs of everyone.

 

POLICY CH31 - PROVIDING FOR CYCLISTS

Development proposals will be refused unless they provide the following, wherever there are clear opportunities to do so:

  1. clear and safe access into the site for cyclists
  2. attractive, direct and safe cycle routes across the site
  3. clear and safe links to the existing or proposed cycle network
  4. safe and convenient parking facilities for bicycles
  5. facilities for showering and changing (if more than 20 people are employed on the site)

When a development is approved, planning conditions or planning obligations will be used in order to ensure that any cycle link is safeguarded or provided in accordance with the permitted details.

5.4.9        Explanation - The National Cycling Strategy, published in 1996, identified a target of doubling the number of journeys made using bicycles (based on 1996 figures) by 2002 and to double it again by 2012. The Assembly Government’s ‘Walking and Cycling Strategy for Wales’ emphasises the need to promote cycling. The Council adopted the Gwynedd Cycling Strategy in 2001 as part of the process of preparing the Local Transport Plan with the aim of helping to achieve this national target.

5.4.10  As part of its commitment to increase the number of people who cycle, the Local Planning Authority will expect developers to consider the needs of cyclists, wherever this is practicable, when designing developments. People will be more likely to use the bicycle as a mode of transport to work, the cinema, theatre, leisure facilities and shopping if the bicycle can be parked safely at the end of the journey. More details are provided about the type and minimum provision required in the Parking Standards (Appendix 5). In order to encourage more people to travel to work on a bicycle, employers must create an environment where cycling is a feasible option for its employees. In addition to providing parking facilities for bicycles, it is considered that the provision of shower and changing facilities are vital in this context.

 

POLICY CH32 - INCREASING ACCESSIBILITY BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Proposals that are likely to lead to a substantial increase in journeys involving private motor vehicles will be refused unless all the following criteria can be met:

  1. an adequate public transport service is in place or there is a clear possibility that the development will be effectively serviced by public transport in the future;
  2. the use of public transport services has been considered and provided for in the layout and design of the development wherever there is a clear opportunity for this to be done.

In appropriate cases, developers will be expected to include financing measures, or to provide finance, for the implementation of any improvements necessary to the public transport service. When a proposal is approved, planning conditions or planning obligations will be used in order to ensure the provision of any measures or improvements necessary to promote the use of public transport services. 

5.4.11            Explanation - The layout and location of a new development that is likely to create a substantial number of journeys (e.g. large housing estates, supermarkets, cinemas, employment sites etc) are vital considerations if dependence on the private car is to be reduced and the use of public transport increased. Each development will be assessed to determine the site’s accessibility in terms of the public transport network. Developers must demonstrate that full consideration is given to public transport requirements early on within the planning stage of the development. In appropriate cases, it will be a necessity that those requirements are reflected in the plan of the site, by showing a clear intention to promote a change in modes of travel. A large development will be expected to provide a means for buses to travel through or close by the site, or to provide good links for pedestrians to the bus or train networks.

 

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT

POLICY CH33 - SAFETY ON ROADS AND STREETS

Development proposals will be approved only if they conform with all the following criteria:

  1. that provision will be made for vehicular access to the site, which is safe and in keeping with the local surroundings;
  2. that the existing road network is of sufficient standard to deal with the flow of traffic that is likely to result from the new development or that adequate improvements can be made which are consistent with the function of the road within the defined roads hierarchy and that the improvements are in keeping with the local area;  
  3. that appropriate traffic calming measures are provided in connection with any development that is likely to lead to a substantial increase in traffic.

5.4.12        Explanation - Reducing the number of accidents on the roads is one of the Council’s priorities. One way of achieving this is to ensure that road safety issues are given detailed attention in new development schemes. As well as considering the layout of a new development and access to it, the Planning Authority will assess the proposal in order to ensure that it is in the most convenient location in relation to the roads network and the nature and level of traffic it is likely to create.       

5.4.13       Traffic calming methods can reduce the number of accidents and contribute towards improving the quality of the environment for people who reside in or use new developments. Examples of locations where traffic calming measures can be used include development involving housing, retail, employment, schools and community facilities. The Local Transport Plan notes the intention to continue with traffic calming schemes. A housing developer will be expected to give full consideration to a ’homezone’ design for new development, which are streets where pedestrians and cyclists are given priority over cars.

 

POLICY CH34 - RURAL LANES

Development proposals will be refused if they create an unacceptable increase in traffic on Rural Lanes where pedestrians, cyclists or horse riders are expected to be the main users.

5.4.14        Explanation - The safety of pedestrians and cyclists in rural areas is a matter which requires considerable attention especially as more and more people are being encouraged to walk and cycle in rural areas in the evenings, at weekends and during holiday periods for differing reasons (a more sustainable mode of travel, individuals with more leisure time, the need to keep fit and a growth in ’sustainable tourism’).

5.4.15  The Gwynedd Transport Plan 2000 notes the Council’s intention to examine the possibility of re-addressing the priority of use on some roads in Gwynedd. These will be rural roads where the traffic flow is not heavy and they are more attractive for use by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. The Council, in co-operation with Visit Wales, has already established and is promoting a network of cycling routes on the Llŷn Peninsula, using mainly rural roads. Most of these could be designated as Rural Lanes. It will be vital to ensure that a new development will not cause significant harm to anyone using a road denoted by the Council as part of the Rural Lanes network. The 2000 Traffic Act makes provision for designating and managing Quiet Roads/ Lanes in Wales and England. In accordance with this Act and any relevant Regulations by the Assembly Government, local authorities can designate Quiet Lanes/ Roads within their own areas and control the use that is made of them and traffic speed along them. Quiet Lanes/ Roads will be a different formal category of road but it is possible that sections of the network of Rural Lanes will be designated as Quiet Lanes/ Roads should the Highway Authority consider that there is a need to manage their use.

 

NEW PARKING FACILITIES

POLICY CH35 - PUBLIC PARKING FACILITIES

Proposals that provide public parking facilities will be approved provided all the following criteria are met:

  1. that the development satisfies a clear deficiency in the present provision;
  2. that the scale and design of the proposed development is appropriate for the location and the site under consideration;
  3. that the development will not cause significant harm to the landscape, the coast, biodiversity, or historic areas/ features, particularly within or near to designated areas;
  4. that the development will not cause significant harm to neighbouring uses;
  5. that safe and convenient parking spaces are provided for bicycles;
  6. that the development is acceptable in terms of traffic and road safety.

5.4.16            Explanation - A significant percentage of people use cars to travel to and from work and for other frequent journeys. This causes congestion during peak periods and has a negative impact on the economy and the environment. A high percentage of visitors to Snowdonia arrive by private car. The Snowdonia Green Key Consortium has been set up in order to achieve sustainable rural development in Northern Snowdonia. As part of the Consortium’s Strategy, it is proposed that a series of gateways will be provided at strategic points on the public transport network which will give tourists the opportunity to leave their cars and use the public transport service e.g. the Snowdon Sherpa, or to proceed by bicycle. Provision of parking facilities at strategic points on the public transport route in other parts of the Plan area could be a strong incentive for individuals to use public transport, share cars, cycle or walk the rest of the journey.

 

POLICY CH36 - PRIVATE CAR PARKING FACILITIES

Proposals for new development, extensions to existing development or change of use will be refused unless off-street parking is provided, either on the development site or adjacent to it, in accordance with the Council’s existing parking guidance. The following factors will also be taken into consideration:

  1. the accessibility to the public transport service from the proposed development site;
  2. the ease with which travel to and from the proposed development site can be made on foot or bicycle;
  3. the proximity of the proposed development site to a public car park.

The Council’s parking standards are ‘maximum’ figures, and no provision will be permitted which exceeds this number of parking spaces.

 

In circumstances where there is an assessed need for off-street parking and when the developer does not offer parking facilities on the site, or where it is not possible to take advantage of the existing parking provisions, the proposals will be approved provided the developer contributes to the cost of:

  1. improving the accessibility of the site through improvements to public transport or improved access for pedestrians and cyclists, or         
  2. providing the number of parking spaces necessary to operate the development on another site nearby.  

5.4.17            Explanation - Gwynedd Council published guidance on parking provision in 1996 and these were adopted as a Supplementary Planning Guidance Note. The aim of the parking guidance is to ensure that parking places are provided in a manner consistent with the type, location, setting and size of the development. In the interests of efficient development and a safe road network, but whilst recognising that controlling car parking spaces can be a means of reducing car journeys, the aim is to ensure a sufficient number of parking spaces and room to turn and service a car on the site. Planning Policy Wales notes that parking standards should be set as the maximum number of parking places rather than the minimum. In assessing the number of parking places required for a proposed development, consideration will be given to the location of the development and the accessibility and availability of a public car park, along with the feasibility of using public transport, walking or cycling. In some areas, for example town centres, where there is a wide choice of facilities, services and other effective modes of transport apart from private cars, there could be an opportunity to restrict the number of parking places.

 

EDUCATION, HEALTH AND COMMUNITY
FACILITIES

Introduction

5.5.1        An adequate and effective supply of educational, health and community facilities is essential for social sustainability. The planning system has an important role to play in terms of protecting existing facilities and facilitating the provision of new ones. Whilst Policies CH37 – CH41 provide land use planning guidance on matters relating to such facilities (provide and safeguard land for educational, health and community facilities and convert buildings for such facilities), it is important to emphasise that these policies should not be read in isolation. The prospective developer should read the Plan as a whole in order to gain a full understanding of the issues linked to the proposed development. The table below provides a list of cross-references to other policies which are closely related to particular policies within this section of the Plan. (This list is not exhaustive and does not include more general policies. A list of cross-references has not been provided for every policy).

Policy

Key policy considerations

CH37

CH28 – Impact of development on journeys 

CH38

CH11 –  Conversion of buildings within development boundaries for residential use; D25 – Hot food take-away developments; D26 – Shops in residential areas within the development boundaries of Centres   

 

PROVIDING NEW FACILITIES

POLICY CH37 - EDUCATION, HEALTH AND COMMUNITY SERVICES

Development proposals for new educational, health or community facilities or extensions to existing facilities will be permitted provided that all the following criteria can be met:

  1. the development will be located within a development boundary or will make use of:
  1. a suitable existing building outside a development boundary or
  2. a previously used site close to a development boundary
  1. the site is easily accessible for different modes of transport, which means that people using the facilities and the staff can reach the site without having to rely on private cars;
  2. the development is acceptable in terms of parking, traffic and road safety;
  3. the design of a new school offers an opportunity for sharing the facilities with the local community;
  4. the development will not undermine the attractiveness, viability and vitality of an identified town centre.

When a new residential development is permitted which means that the educational needs of the children living in the new dwellings cannot be met at the existing school, or that the development is not adequately supported by other community services, planning conditions or a planning obligation will be used in order to ensure that the developer provides, or contributes towards, the necessary facility to meet those needs.

 

The site shown on the Proposals Map for Bangor is safeguarded for the provision of an emergency services centre.

5.5.2            Explanation - This policy refers to facilities such as schools, hospitals, medical and dental surgeries, nurseries, village halls etc. The Local Planning Authority aims to ensure the best possible provision of education, health and community services close to homes and workplaces. This will reduce the need for travel and ensure that those individuals who do not own a car can use the facilities with ease. In order to emphasise the social element of educational establishments, the dual use of school facilities outside of school hours will be supported. A number of schools in the Plan area are either full or overcrowded. Additional dwellings within the catchment area of these schools could lead to a need to extend their facilities or to provide a new school during the Plan’s lifetime. The level of contribution and what will be required in order to ensure the provision of appropriate facilities will be the subject of negotiation and this will be secured by a legal agreement. The School Organisation Plan and the Education Strategic Plan, which are statutory documents required by the Assembly Government, will be very relevant when considering specific requirements and appropriate contributions.

 

POLICY CH38 - SAFEGUARDING EXISTING FACILITIES

Proposals to change the use of buildings used as educational, health or community facilities for other purposes will be refused unless all the following criteria can be met:

  1. there is clear firm evidence available that indicates that there is no significant demand for the existing facility from the local community;
  2. that a similar facility is available within a reasonable walking distance, a bike or bus ride or that a similar facility can be provided within the new development;
  3. that the existing facility is not viable and cannot be made viable through making dual use of the building;
  4. that the new use will not cause a significant harm to the environment or the amenities of local residents.

5.5.3            Explanation - It is important to ensure that educational, health and community facilities and services are maintained and improved and are not lost through commercial pressure. Therefore development will not be permitted if it leads to the loss of a facility, especially if it is the only community facility of its kind in the area, unless it can be shown to the satisfaction of the Planning Authority that the existing facility is no longer attractive to use and that no steps can be undertaken to revive it, or that there is a similar facility available at a location convenient for all. In cases where the proposal to change the use of a building affects a community resource that is run as a business, strong evidence will have to be presented to the Local Planning Authority to show that the property has been unsuccessfully marketed as a business at a fair and reasonable price for a continuous period of 12 months.

 

POLICY CH39 - FURTHER AND HIGHER EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT

Proposals for new facilities or extensions to existing buildings for academic and support purposes; for student residential accommodation; or for ancillary social, cultural or leisure activities at a further or higher education site will be permitted providing all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the development will not have a significant harm on the character or the amenities of the local area;
  2. that the development is acceptable in terms of parking, traffic and road safety;
  3. that the site is truly accessible by different modes of transport, which means that users of the facilities and staff can reach the site without being dependent on a private car.

5.5.4            Explanation – Some of the Bangor University’s campuses are located at Bangor and near Aber. Coleg Menai has campuses in Bangor and Caernarfon and Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor has campuses in Pwllheli and Glynllifon near Llandwrog. These further and higher education institutions make a valuable contribution to the local economy e.g. by employing a large number of people, spending by students in the locality. Some of the facilities available to students are also available for use by the local community e.g. Maes Glas, Ffriddoedd Site, Bangor University. The Council is anxious to promote the further development and expansion of this sector.

 

POLICY CH40 - CEMETERIES 

Proposals for new cemeteries as well as extensions to existing cemeteries will be permitted provided all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the development is acceptable in terms of parking, traffic and road safety;  
  2. that the development will have no harmful effect on the landscape, coast, biodiversity, or a historical area/feature, especially within or near a designated area;
  3. that the site is actually accessible by using different modes of transport;
  4. that the site is as close as is practically possible to the existing cemetery;
  5. that the development will not adversely impact upon surface water or groundwater.

Cae Phillips in Caernarfon has been identified as a possible suitable site for development of a burial ground when the Llanbeblig Public Cemetery is full.

5.5.5            Explanation - It is important that there is a sufficient provision of cemeteries in order to meet the requirement of the local population. Outside the Sub-regional Centre and the Urban Centres, the individual chapels and churches and community councils are responsible for the provision of burial facilities. It is likely that an extension will be required to the cemetery at Llanbeblig in Caernarfon during the lifetime of the Plan. Cae Phillips, lies alongside the original cemetery and is within easy walking distance of the existing cemetery that is located on the main road into Caernarfon. Cae Phillips is presently being used as a community play area. Until such a time as a decision is made to use the site as a burial ground, the public will continue to be able to use the site as an informal play area. It is envisaged that the existing playing equipment on the site will be transferred to an adjoining field known as Cae Top at an appropriate time.

 

POLICY CH41 - RESIDENTIAL HOMES AND NURSING HOMES

Proposals for new residential homes or nursing homes (new build, conversion and alteration of existing buildings) will be approved provided all the following criteria can be met: 

  1. that the site or building is within a development boundary;
  2. that the site is actually accessible by different modes of transport, which means that residents, visitors and staff can reach the site without being dependent on a private car;
  3. that the development would not cause significant harm to the landscape, the coast, biodiversity or historic areas/ features, particularly within or near designated areas;
  4. that the development is acceptable in terms of parking, traffic and road safety;
  5. that the development would not lead to a concentration of this type of establishment within a specific area thus causing significant harm to the predominant character of the local area. 

In exceptional circumstances, proposals to adapt and change the use of a building outside a development boundary to a nursing home will be approved provided that criteria 2 – 5 can be met.

5.5.6                Explanation - Although there is increasing emphasis on care in the home, it is important that there is a sufficient provision of care homes available to meet the requirements of the local population. The Local Planning Authority aims to ensure that residential homes are provided in areas that are conveniently located for retail, health and social facilities. This can be ensured by locating them in town centres, villages or in an area located on a popular public transport route. Since residents of nursing homes are not likely to be able to take advantage of the local facilities, the Local Planning Authority is willing to support proposals for adapting/changing the use of buildings that are located outside development boundaries to provide nursing homes.

 

SPORTS AND LEISURE

Background

5.6.1         The majority of the Plan area’s main leisure facilities are located in urban areas, with municipal leisure facilities available in Bangor, Caernarfon, Pwllheli, Porthmadog, Abermaw, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Tywyn, Bethesda and Penygroes. Additionally, most of the area’s towns and villages have some level of leisure facilities, either as open spaces or playing fields, tennis courts, bowling greens and/or community centres.

5.6.2        According to the Sports Council for Wales’s analysis, Gwynedd has a relatively good provision of most kinds of purpose-built sports facilities. Additionally, on the whole the Local Authority is satisfied with the current level and framework of provision of leisure centres throughout the County. However, this does not necessarily mean that all the area’s recreational needs are satisfied. The dispersed pattern of the area’s towns and villages means that it is not easy to satisfy all leisure needs. One way of overcoming any deficiencies in facilities within urban communities and rural villages is through the dual use of school and community facilities for leisure purposes.

5.6.3Whilst Policies CH42 – CH48 provide the land use planning guidance in respect of sports and leisure development, it is important to note that these policies should not be read in isolation. Prospective developers should read the Plan as a whole in order to to gain a full understanding of the issues related to the proposed development. The table below provides a list of cross-references to other policies which are closely related to particular policies within this section of the Plan. (This list is not exhaustive and does not include more general policies.)

Policy

Key policy considerations

CH42

B11 - Open spaces between or in villages or towns

CH45

CH28 – Impact of development on journeys; C2 – Adopting the sequential approach

CH46

B8 – The Llŷn and Anglesey Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB); B10 – Protecting and enhancing Landscape Conservation Areas; CH28 – Impact of development on journeys

CH47

B15 – Protection of international nature conservation sites

CH48

B13 – Protecting the open coastline

 

SPORTS FACILITIES

POLICY CH42 - SAFEGUARDING OPEN SPACES OF RECREATIONAL VALUE

Proposals that will lead to the loss of existing open spaces of recreational value including any associated facilities will be refused, unless it can be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority that:

  1. the facility is no longer needed by the local community, or that the remaining provision is sufficient to satisfy that need, or
  2. alternative provision which is at least of the same standard is being offered in an area equally accessible to the local community in question, or
  3. developing a small part of the site would be the best way of ensuring the future and improvement of that facility;
  4. additional sports related development is required to enhance the range and quality of the existing sporting provision on the site;
  5. the site in question is not important to biodiversity and not important in terms of landscape quality and visual amenities.

5.6.4        Explanation - Open spaces of recreational value (i.e. play areas with formal play equipment, play areas, informal open spaces, urban parks and allotments) play an important part in satisfying the recreational needs of local communities and are an invaluable amenity resource. This Policy applies to those areas shown on the Proposals Map (i.e. those within development boundaries) as well as those outside the built form of towns and villages. The aim of the Plan is to protect such resources from development. 

5.6.5            However, the policy will allow re-development in appropriate circumstances provided that specific criteria can be met. Due to the special significance of playing fields and green areas, proposals which offer the provision of synthetic facilities or intensive use surfaces will not be a sufficient reason to justify the release of such areas for other purposes.

 

POLICY CH43 - PROVISION OF OPEN SPACES OF RECREATIONAL VALUE IN NEW HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

New housing developments of 10 or more dwellings, in areas where existing recreational open space cannot meet the needs of the proposed housing development, will be expected to provide suitable open spaces of recreational value in line with the National Playing Fields Association (NPFA) standards¹ as an integral part of the development.

 

In exceptional circumstances, where it is not possible to provide outdoor playing spaces as an integral part of the new housing development, the developer will be required to:

  1. provide suitable off site provision which is close to and accessible to the development, or, where this is not feasible/practical;
  2. contribute financially towards new or improved facilities including equipment elsewhere.

Appropriate arrangements (e.g. condition or obligation) will be required to be in place prior to the release of planning permission for the long term after-care and subsequent maintenance of open spaces and outdoor playing spaces (including equipment) provided in accordance with this policy.

5.6.6        Explanation - The provision of open space and outdoor playing spaces (i.e. facilities for outdoor sport or outdoor equipped playgrounds for children of whatever age) are an important part of creating an attractive and appealing neighbourhood where residents and children can have safe and convenient access to outdoor playing areas. This policy aims to ensure that well designed and suitably equipped play areas are normally provided in significant housing developments in future. This policy will only be relaxed where it can be demonstrated that there is adequate suitable open space provision and outdoor playing spaces (i.e. in accordance with NPFA standards) within close proximity to the development site. The need to provide an element of affordable housing as part of a development will not be sufficient reason for the relaxation of this policy.

5.6.7        Whilst the NPFA standards will be used as a guide the level of provision will vary according to the nature of the development, the physical characteristics of the site and the proximity to existing accessible outdoor playing space.

¹ The National Playing Fields Association recommends a minimum standard for outdoor playing space of 2.4 hectares (6 acres) per 1000 population and that the minimum standard for children's playing space and outdoor sport should be met for all new developments.

 

POLICY CH44 - PROVISION OF COMMUNITY SPORTS OR RECREATIONAL FACILITIES

Proposals for the provision of new sports and/or recreational facilities, or improvements to existing facilities, to meet the needs of the local community will be approved provided all the following criteria can be met:

  1. that the development is appropriately located within or adjacent to a development boundary, or the built up form of a Rural Village and its purpose is to serve the needs of the local community;
  2. in the case of new provision, that the local community need can not be satisfied through the dual use of existing facilities or the conversion of existing buildings;
  3. that the scale and type of development is in keeping with the appearance, character and setting of the settlement.

5.6.8        Explanation - The aim of this policy is to ensure that any recognised local deficiency in the current provision of community based purpose-built sports and leisure facilities are satisfied (i.e. playing fields, synthetic facilities or intensive surface areas, indoor facilities or the dual use of existing indoor facilities).

5.6.9   It is considered, on the whole, that provision of playing fields is relatively satisfactory. However, there may be deficiencies in the provision within some communities that will need to be satisfied during the lifespan of the Plan. The National Playing Fields Association Playing Areas standards that are supported by the Sports Council for Wales will be used to assess the adequacy of local provision.

 

POLICY CH45 - MAJOR COMMERCIAL LEISURE DEVELOPMENTS

Proposals for large scale commercial leisure developments will be refused unless they are located within the development boundary of Bangor (i.e. Sub-Regional Centre) or Caernarfon, Pwllheli, Porthmadog, Blaenau Ffestiniog (i.e. Urban Centres) and that the site is acceptable in terms of the ‘sequential approach’.

5.6.10        Explanation - Commercial developments such as theatres, multi-screen cinemas, bingo halls and bowling alleys can bring a number of leisure, economic and tourism benefits to town centres. However, pressures for such developments tend to be on sites on the fringe of existing Centres, which can have a direct impact on the attractiveness, viability and vitality of town centres. Therefore, as part of the planning application it will be necessary for the applicant to satisfy the Local Planning Authority that the ‘sequential approach’ to site selection has been used.

 

OUTDOOR SPORTS AND RECREATION

5.6.11 The quality and variety of Gwynedd’s rural landscape provides the opportunity for a wide range of recreational activities, some of which need purpose-built facilities (e.g. golf, riding centres) whilst others are totally dependent on making use of the area’s natural resources (e.g. climbing, walking, cycling, fishing). All outdoor sports and recreational activities, in one form or another, have an impact on the natural environment. While there is a need to promote appropriate outdoor activities, it is equally important to protect the quality and diversity of the area’s natural environment (i.e. biodiversity and visual). The countryside is also important to a number of various other interests, which include agriculture, forestry and rural businesses. It is therefore necessary to strike a balance between the use of the countryside for recreational activities and for other rural uses.

 

POLICY CH46 - SPORTS AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

Proposals for sports and recreational facilities in the countryside which genuinely require a rural location will be approved provided all the following criteria can be met:

 

  1. that the scale and nature of the proposed development is appropriate to its rural setting;
  2. where new buildings are proposed, that the facility cannot be accommodated through the conversion or re-use of an existing building;
  3. that any new buildings are sited as close as possible to existing buildings and are in keeping with the character and appearance of the surrounding landscape in terms of design, materials and layout;
  4. in the case of riding/pony trekking centres, the proposal would have safe access to suitable bridleways and would not result in their over use.

5.6.12        Explanation - The aim of the policy is to ensure a balance between the need to promote a wide variety of sports activities in the countryside whilst at the same time ensuring that they will not have a detrimental impact on the rural nature of the countryside. In cases where planning permission is required for an activity, it will be necessary for the applicant to satisfy the Local Planning Authority that the type and nature of the proposed activity genuinely requires a rural location.

5.6.13       Not all rural sites will be suitable for recreational activities. The suitability of the site will be assessed in accordance with the above criteria and other policies of this Plan together with Natur Gwynedd - the Local Biodiversity Action Plan, the Landscape Design Guide and the Gwynedd Design Guide. 

 

MARITIME SPORTS AND RECREATION

5.6.14        Maritime sports and recreational activities such as water skiing, sailing, wind surfing, canoeing etc. have become increasingly popular in Gwynedd. Gwynedd’s diverse coastline and coastal waters are amongst the best in Europe for sailing. Maritime activities are extremely important to the tourism industry and to the local economy in Gwynedd. The aim is to develop such activities and to optimise their economic benefit, whilst ensuring a balance between other environmental and social considerations.

5.6.15 Within the Plan area, Plas Menai has been established as the National Water Sports Centre, whilst the ‘Hafan’ in Pwllheli is recognised as a ‘European Centre for Sailing’. Additionally, there are recreational boating facilities in Caernarfon, Y Felinheli and Porthmadog, and there are mooring facilities in Abersoch, Abermaw and a number of other places.

 

POLICY CH47 - MARITIME ACTIVITIES

Proposals for development that will:

  1. improve and extend the variety of maritime facilities within existing marinas1, including an increase in the number of pontoon anchorage facilities at the Hafan, Pwllheli and Victoria Dock, Caernarfon, or
  2. improve the quality of boating provision or upgrade facilities within existing harbours2

will be approved provided that the scale and design (including hard and soft landscaping) of the proposed development is of the highest standard and is suitable for the site and location under consideration.

5.6.16        Explanation - Legislation confines the control of the planning system to developments which are above the low water marks and as such a great number of maritime activities do not require planning permission. However, planning permission is needed for any associated developments on shore (e.g. boat launching, pontoons, upgrading existing facilities etc.). This policy aims to establish a framework where proposals for new maritime sport and recreational facilities and to expand and upgrade existing facilities are facilitated whilst at the same time protecting the open coastline from harmful developments. This policy is consistent with the Marina Strategy for North West Wales (Final Report - 16/12/2002)

5.6.17In the case of applications that are likely to have a substantial effect on the landscape, seascape or biodiversity, the appropriateness of the design of any on shore construction work when compared to their setting will be an important consideration. Additionally, Natur Gwynedd - the Gwynedd Local Biodiversity Action Plan, the Landscape Design Guide and the Gwynedd Design Guide will be important considerations whilst assessing applications.

1 A marina is defined as a facility providing secure pontoon berths and associated facilities. Ideally it offers access to the sea or other substantial waterway at all states of the tide. (Marina Strategy for North West Wales – Final Report - 16/12/2002)

2 A harbour, is defined as an area of sheltered water where swing or trot moorings are available that can require boat owners to use a small craft to gain access to them. Harbours can still have commercial fishing and shipping associated with them and sometimes offers limited facilities to leisure boat owners (Marina Strategy for North West Wales – Final Report - 16/12/2002).

 

POLICY CH48 - BOAT STORAGE FACILITIES

Proposals for boat storage facilities will be approved provided all the following criteria are met:

  1. the boats are stored within existing buildings, or
  2. in circumstances where there are no existing buildings available, the boats are stored in unobtrusive locations.

5.6.18  Explanation - In a coastal area like Gwynedd the use of sailing boats, motor boats, jet skis etc. has become an important recreational activity. It is envisaged that there will be an increased demand for boat storage facilities, especially those that are linked to existing static and touring caravan sites. The aim of the policy is to establish a context and give clear advice as to what proposals will be acceptable. 

5.6.19                Providing boat storage facilities can require the erection of purpose built safety/security measures (e.g. fencing, cameras, floodlights) and it is vital to ensure that these will not impair visual amenities and the amenities of nearby residents. Additionally, Natur Gwynedd - the Local Biodiversity Action Plan, the Landscape Design Guide and the Gwynedd Design Guide will be important considerations in assessing applications.

 

MONITORING

Sustainability Principle: Ensuring social progress which recognises the needs of everyone

Topic: Housing

Strategic Aim:

 

To make provision for additional households in the future, including those needing affordable housing, and giving priority to those with genuine local needs in some circumstances and to facilitate making full use of the existing housing stock by means of improvements and renovation.            

 

Strategic Polices:

 

Strategic Policy 10

 

The need for housing in the Plan area during the period of the Plan will be met through:

 

  • making provision for a total of 4178 housing units, including provision of 1807 housing units on allocated sites; 1380 housing units on small and windfall sites, and residential conversion of existing buildings; and 991 on sites with planning permission;
  • making provision for meeting local need for affordable housing;
  • distributing the housing units across the Plan area in accordance with the Plan’s settlement strategy.

 

List of Part 2 Policies: CH1 – CH17

Policy performance indicators:

 

Total number of houses built on allocated sites for new housing in (a) the Plan area and (b) in each Dependency Catchment Area

 

% of affordable houses built on sites of 5 or more houses

 

Total number of general local need affordable houses built on unallocated sites in Local Centres and Villages

 

Total number of community local need affordable houses built on sites in Rural Villages

 

Total number of additional housing units provided by converting existing buildings

Target:

Facilitate the provision of 1807 new houses on allocated sites in the Plan area by 2016

 

Facilitate the provision of the identified need for new housing (see Table 2 in the UDP) on allocated sites in each Dependency Catchment Area

 

Ensure that at least 10% of the houses built on sites of 5 or more units are affordable houses

 

Facilitate the provision of general local need affordable housing in Local Centres and Villages.

 

Facilitate the provision of community local need affordable housing in Rural Villages. 

 

Facilitate the provision of additional housing units in the Plan area by adapting and converting existing buildings

Key Partners:

 

  1. Gwynedd Council
  2. Adjoining authorities
  3. Department for Enterprise and Transport, Welsh Assembly Government
  4. Private developers
  5. Housing Associations
  6. Community Councils

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Housing Land Availability Survey
  2. County Housing Needs Survey
  3. Local Housing Needs Surveys
  4. House Price Survey
  5. House transfer information

 

Sustainability Principle: Ensuring social progress which recognises the needs of everyone

Topic: Infrastructure

 

Strategic Aim:

 

To promote investment and improvements to the infrastructure to meet the needs of the present and the future without affecting the quality of the environment.            

Strategic Polices:

 

List of Part 2 Policies: CH18 – CH27
 

Indicators of policy performance:

 

Applications for telecommunication masts

 

Number of kilometres of cycle routes available

 

Number of kilometres of footpaths available

 

Number of kilometres of train routes available

 

Applications for car parks 

Target:

 

Ensure the provision of an adequate supply of telecommunications facilities without harming the environment

 

Maintain or extend the existing cycling, footpath and railway routes, compared to the situation in 2001

 

Facilitate the provision of car parks in locations that are linked to the rail, bus and footpath networks

Key Partners:

 

  1. Gwynedd Council
  2. Rail operators
  3. Public utility companies
  4. Telecommunication operators
  5. Private sector
  6. Environment Agency
  7. The Snowdonia Green Key Partnership
  8. Sustrans
  9. National Assembly for Wales
  10. Cycling Partnership

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Implement the Gwynedd Transport Plan
  2. Implement the Gwynedd Cycling Strategy
  3. Complete the parts of the national Cycling Network that are located in Gwynedd
  4. Adequate maintanence work on key pedestrian paths
  5. Traffic Calming schemes
  6. Pedestrian surveys in the main urban areas
  7. Implement the Rights of Way Improvement Plan

 

Sustainability Principle: Ensuring social progress which recognises the needs of everyone

Topic: Accessibility

Strategic Aim:

 

Ensuring that all new developments contribute to the creation and maintenance of an effective integrated transport and traffic system, that reduces the impact on the environment, and where everyday facilities and services will be accessible to everyone, including those who do not have a car.

 

Strategic Polices:

 

Strategic Policy 11 – Development proposals accessible to all through a variety of transport modes due to their location, will be permitted providing the appropriate infrastructure, including highways, cycle routes and facilities and footways, is in place, or is to be provided; and that they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

List of Part 2 Policies: CH28 – CH36
 

Indicators of policy performance:

 

Applications for transport interchange facilities permitted

% of new developments conveniently located to a bus service

 

% of new developments employing more than 50 people that have adopted a Travel Plan

 

% of proposals for residential development (5 or more units), industrial development, etc. that give priority to pedestrians and cyclists in their layout

 

 

Target:

 

Increase the provision of transport interchanges - bus/ train, bicycle/train, bicycle/ bus, car/ train, car/ bus

 

Ensure that new development is accessible to at least an hourly bus service

 

Ensure that companies that form part of a large new development adopt a Travel Plan

 

Increase in the number of new developments that give priority to pedestrians and cyclists

Key Partners:

  1. Gwynedd Council
  2. Bus operators
  3. Railway operators
  4. Private sector
  5. Department for Enterprise and Transport, Welsh Assembly Government
  6. Snowdonia Green Key Partnership
  7. Cycling partnership
  8. National Assembly for Wales
  9. Sustrans

Supplementary/ supporting actions

  1. Implement plans such as Safe Route to Schools, ‘Home Zones’ and Train Station Schemes
  2. Maintain and add to the awareness raising programme
  3. Implement Gwynedd Council’s Green Travel Plan
  4. Implement the Snowdonia Green Key Strategy
  5. Develop the Road Safety scheme
  6. Expand the Quality Partnerships
  7. Prepare and implement the Walking Strategy

 

Sustainability Principle: Ensuring social progress which recognises the needs of everyone

Topic: Health, education and community facilities

Strategic Aim:

 

To promote opportunities for improving or increasing the provision of effective community facilities and services available to the local population.

 

Strategic Polices:

 

Strategic Policy 13 – Development proposals that maintain or improve the existing provision of community services and facilities or amenity space within the community will be approved provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

List of Part 2 Policies: CH37 – CH41
 

Indicators of policy performance:

 

Applications for new health/ educational/ community facilities approved

Applications to change the use of an existing building used to provide a health/ educational/ community facility that are approved

Target:

 

Facilitate additional local health/ education/ community facilities

 

No loss of health/ education/ community facilities

Key Partners:

 

  1. Gwynedd Council
  2. Private sector
  3. North West Wales Health Trust
  4. Gwynedd Local Health Group
  5. North Gwynedd and Meirionnydd Community Health Councils
  6. Bangor University
  7. Community Councils
  8. Local churches and chapels

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Implementing Gwynedd Council’s Education Policies
  2. Implementing Gwynedd Council’s Care in the Community scheme

 

Sustainability Principle: Ensuring social progress which recognises the needs of everyone

Topic: Leisure and sports

Strategic Aim:

 

To promote opportunities for the provision of a wide range of leisure and sports facilities of a high standard, especially all weather facilities.

Strategic Polices:

 

Strategic Policy 14 – Development proposals which maintain or improve existing sports and leisure facilities or for new quality sports and leisure activities will be approved provided they do not significantly harm the environment or the amenities of nearby residents.

List of Part 2 Policies: CH42 – CH48
 

Indicators of policy performance:

 

Applications for sports and leisure facilities approved

 

Applications to change the use of playing fields and open spaces of recreational value approved

 

Applications for new sports fields

 

% of applications for residential development (10 or more units) that provide outdoor children’s play areas

 

Target:

 

Maintain and increase the number of sports and leisure facilities

Key Partners:

 

  1. Gwynedd Council
  2. Sports Council for Wales
  3. Countryside Council for Wales
  4. Private sector
  5. Specific sport associations
  6. Local sports clubs

Supplementary/ supporting actions

 

  1. Implement the Gwynedd Cycling Strategy
  2. Implement the Gwynedd Sports and Recreation Strategy
  3. Undertake a survey of play areas
  4. Implement the provisions of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000

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