Vale of Glamorgan Replacement Local Development Plan 2021-2036 Preferred Strategy

Ended on the 14 February 2024
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2.1 In developing its RLDP, the Council is required to have regard to any relevant national, regional, and local policies and strategies, stakeholder engagement and the findings of technical evidence developed to support the plan. Key elements of the context within which the Preferred Strategy has been prepared are set out below.

National Policy and Legislation

2.2 The documents considered in this section are national documents that apply across the whole of Wales.

Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015 (Well-Being Act)

2.3 The Well-being Act sets the framework for improving the well-being of Wales by ensuring that sustainable development is at the heart of government and public bodies. It aims to make a difference to the lives of people in Wales in relation to seven well-being goals:

Circular diagram separated into seven slices: A prosperous Wales, A resilient Wales, A Healthier Wales, A More Equal Wales, A Wales of Cohesive Communities, A Wales of Vibrant Culture and Thriving Welsh Language, A Globally Responsible Wales

Figure 3: Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act Well-being Goals
Source: Planning Policy Wales Edition 11 (February 2021)

2.4 The Well-being Act sets out a 'sustainable development principle' and places a well-being duty on public bodies, including local authorities, to 'act in a manner which seeks to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'. Sustainable development is at the heart of the RLDP and is a fundamental part of the Integrated Sustainability Appraisal (ISA) process.

2.5 The Well-being Act also requires all public bodies to apply the sustainable development principle in decision making through the adoption of 5 ways of working. These are:

  • Taking account of the long term.
  • Helping to prevent problems occurring or getting worse.
  • Taking an integrated approach.
  • Taking a collaborative approach; and
  • Considering and involving people of all ages and diversity.

2.6 The five ways of working have been central to the preparation of the Preferred Strategy and will continue to be intrinsic to the development of later stages of the RLDP preparation process.

Planning (Wales) Act 2015

2.7 The Planning (Wales) Act (Planning Act) came into force in July 2015. It sets out a series of legislative changes to deliver reform of the planning system in Wales, to ensure that it is fair, resilient and enables development.

2.8 The Planning Act also provides the legal framework for the preparation of a National Development Framework (NDF) and Strategic Development Plans (SDPs). Future Wales, the NDF, was published by the Welsh Government in 2021, and is discussed in detail in the next section. SDPs are intended to provide a regional spatial framework for the future development and use of land within a defined region. The South-East Wales Corporate Joint Committee is responsible for the preparation of an SDP for the region. However, formal work on the SDP for South East Wales has yet to commence. The preparation of the RLDP is therefore progressing ahead of the preparation of the SDP, although all efforts will be made to ensure that it is in general conformity with the emerging SDP as it is prepared. Notwithstanding this, a review of the RLDP will be required once the SDP is adopted.

Environment (Wales) Act 2016

2.9 The Environment (Wales) Act (Environment Act) aims to improve the management of the natural resources of Wales in a more proactive, sustainable and joined up way. It includes an enhanced biodiversity duty which requires public authorities to maintain and enhance biodiversity and to promote the resilience of ecosystems.

2.10 The Environment Act also introduced a requirement for Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to produce Area Statements. The Vale of Glamorgan is covered by the South-Central Area Statement, which also includes Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff, and Cardiff.

2.11 The purpose of Area Statements is to provide the framework for the sustainable management of natural resources. The South-Central Area Statement is guided by the following 5 themes:

  • Building resilient ecosystems
  • Connecting people with nature
  • Working with water
  • Improving our health
  • Improving our air quality

Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013

2.12 The Active Travel (Wales) Act (Active Travel Act) aims to promote walking and cycling as a means of transport for short journeys (i.e., to access work, school or shops and services). The Active Travel Act places a legal duty upon local authorities to plan for suitable routes for active travel, produce active travel maps, consider the needs of pedestrians and cyclists and to deliver improvements in active travel routes and facilities.

2.13 To achieve these objectives, the Active Travel Act requires local authorities to identify active travel routes and related facilities through the development of Active Travel Network Maps (ATNM). The ATNM for the Vale of Glamorgan forms part of the evidence base for the RLDP.

A More Equal Wales - The Socio-economic Duty (2021)

2.14 The Socio-economic Duty is a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010 that came into force in Wales on the 31 March 2021. The Socio-economic Duty requires specified public bodies to consider how their decisions might help to reduce the inequalities associated with socio-economic disadvantage when making strategic decisions.

2.15 The Duty requires that public bodies take into account the need to reduce the inequalities of outcomes resulting from socio- economic disadvantage. This includes considering how policies, programmes and services can reduce inequalities and promote social inclusion. As the Duty applies to strategic policy development, it is relevant to the RLDP. The Socio-economic Duty falls within the scope of the ISA undertaken in respect of the RLDP and the findings of the appraisal are set out in the ISA documents.

Public Health (Wales) Act 2017

2.16 Part 6 of The Public Health (Wales) Act places a requirement for public bodies to carry out Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) in specific circumstances. The regulations, when published, shall set out the circumstances in which a public body must carry out a HIA; and the way in which a HIA is to be carried out.

2.17 The purpose of HIA is to ensure that the effects of development on both health and health inequalities are considered and addressed during the planning process and this should be undertaken at an early stage in the development plan so that any relevant health impacts are identified and addressed. In this, in preparing the RLDP the ISA incorporates HIA into the appraisal methodology and includes specific health and well-being measures.

Future Wales - The National Plan 2040 (Welsh Government, February 2021)

2.18 Future Wales – the National Plan 2040is our national development framework, setting the direction for development in Wales to 2040. It is a development plan with a strategy for addressing key national priorities through the planning system, including sustaining and developing a vibrant economy, achieving decarbonisation and climate‑resilience, developing strong ecosystems and improving the health and well‑being of our communities. It is the highest tier of development plan in Wales and is focused on solutions to issues and challenges at a national scale. Future Wales sets out where nationally important growth and infrastructure is needed and how the planning system at a national, regional and local level can deliver it. It provides direction for SDPs and LDPs and supports the determination of Developments of National Significance.

2.19 Future Wales sets out 11 outcomes which collectively are a statement of where the Welsh Government wants Wales to be by 2040. The outcomes are:

A Wales where people live…

  • and work in connected, inclusive and healthy places.
  • in vibrant rural places with access to homes, jobs and services.
  • in distinctive regions that tackle health and socio-economic inequality through sustainable growth.
  • in places with a thriving Welsh Language.
  • and work in towns and cities which are a focus and springboard for sustainable growth.
  • in places where prosperity, innovation and culture are promoted.
  • in places where travel is sustainable.
  • in places with world-class digital infrastructure.
  • in places that sustainably manage their natural resources and reduce pollution.
  • in places with biodiverse, resilient and connected ecosystems.
  • in places which are decarbonised and climate resilient.

2.20 Future Wales sets out 18 national policies that apply across the whole of Wales, and 4 regional policies that apply across the South-East Region. Whilst all the policies will need to be addressed in the RLDP, the following policies have particular importance for the Preferred Strategy:

Policy 1 - Where Wales will Grow
2.21 Policy 1 of Future Wales identifies three National Growth Areas, including South East Wales. The spatial strategy diagram supporting this policy identifies that the Vale of Glamorgan is located within the South East National Growth Area, referred to as 'Cardiff, Newport, and the Valleys'. Policy 1 is supplemented by Policy 33, which specifically relates to the Cardiff, Newport, and the Valleys National Growth

Policy 2 - Shaping Urban Growth and Regeneration - Strategic Placemaking
2.22 Sets out the key placemaking principles that should be considered when determining the location of new development. This includes creating a mix of uses and variety of house types and tenures, building places at a walkable scale with homes, local facilities, and public transport within walking distance and ensuring development is built at appropriate densities with green infrastructure incorporated.

Policy 6 - Town Centre First
2.23 Sets out a town centre first approach to the delivery of significant new commercial, retail, education, health, leisure, and public service facilities which must be located within town and city centres. The supporting text for the policy also indicates that town centres are appropriate locations for new homes.

Policy 7- Delivering Affordable Homes
2.24 Re-affirms Welsh Government's aspiration to deliver significant levels of affordable housing, including through the planning system.

Policy 8 – Flooding
2.25 Supports flood risk management that facilitates sustainable economic and national growth, promoting nature-based solutions and seeking to maximise social, economic and environmental benefits from flood risk management infrastructure.

Policy 9 - Ecological Networks and Green Infrastructure
2.26 Policy 9 requires action toward safeguarding and creating resilient ecological networks and promoting effective green infrastructure through placemaking. It prescribes that existing and potential areas should be included in Development Plans to promote and safeguard the functions and opportunities ecological networks and green infrastructure provide.

Policy 10 - International Connectivity
2.27 A Strategic Gateway being identified at Cardiff Airport to facilitate international connectivity. The LDP will need to support the Strategic Gateways by maximising the benefits they provide to their respective regions and Wales. New development around the Strategic Gateways should be carefully managed to ensure their operation is not constrained or compromised.

Policy 12 - Regional Connectivity
2.28 Sets out that LPAs must maximise opportunities arising from the investment in public transport when planning for growth and regeneration. Planning authorities must integrate site allocations, new development, and infrastructure with active travel networks and, where appropriate, ensure new development contributes towards their expansion and improvement. The Welsh Government's commitment to improving and increasing sustainable transport requires authorities in the national growth area to plan for growth to maximise opportunities arising from investment in public transport.

Policy 15 – National Forest
2.29 The Welsh Government is committed to developing a national forest through the identification of appropriate sites and mechanisms, with a target to increase woodland cover across Wales by at least 2,000 hectares per annum. The national forest will comprise of three strands:

  • Quality environment which comprises connected ecosystems, biodiversity and habitats, restoration of undermanaged woodland and ancient woodland;
  • Productive woodland; and
  • Community woodland.

Policy 16 - Heat Networks
2.30 Specifically identifies Barry town as a location for the consideration of a district heat network.

Policy 33 - National Growth Area – Cardiff, Newport and the Valleys
2.31 The regional spatial diagram for South-East Wales (Figure 4 below) highlights that Cardiff, Newport, and the Valleys, including the Vale of Glamorgan, are part of a national growth area. Strategic and Local Development Plans should recognise the National Growth Area (NGA) as the focus for strategic economic and housing growth, services and facilities; advanced manufacturing; transport and digital infrastructure.

A map showing South East Wales including the national growth area, green belt area for consideration and Cardiff airport

Figure 4: South East Wales Region
Source: Future Wales 2040

2.32 To deliver these regional priorities and aspirations, Future Wales recognises that the 10 authorities within the region do not exist in isolation from each other and that preparing Local Development Plans, planning authorities "will need to consider the interdependence of Cardiff and the wider region, ensuring communities around the Capital are vibrant, prosperous and connected". For the Vale RLDP this will require the plan to consider how the aspirations for the Vale of Glamorgan in terms of housing and economic growth align with and complement the wider regional aspirations, particularly those of neighbouring Cardiff.

Policy 36 – South East Metro
2.33 Provide regional policy basis for the development of the Metro and for Metro focused developments. Planning authorities should plan growth and regeneration to maximise the opportunities arising from better regional connectivity, including identifying opportunities for higher density, mixed‑use and car‑free development around new and improved metro stations.

Wales National Marine Plan (2019)

2.34 The Wales National Marine Plan (WNMP) sets out the Welsh Government policy for the next 20 years for the sustainable use of the seas. The plan contains plans and policies which will support the vision for clean, healthy, safe and diverse seas, guide future sustainable development and support the growth of marine space and natural resources ('blue growth').

2.35 The Plan sets out policies under the categories of:

  • achieving a sustainable marine economy (sustainable economic growth, coexistence)
  • ensuring a strong, health and just society (including access to the marine environment, well-being of coastal communities, landscapes and seascapes, coastal flooding and climate change)
  • Living within environmental limits (resilient marine ecosystems, air and water quality)
  • Promoting good governance (cumulative effects, cross border and plan compatibility)
  • Using sound science responsibly

2.36 The WNMP sector specific supporting policies operate alongside the general policies and set policy for the future development and use of the marine plan area by certain sectors. This includes uses such as inshore and offshore aggregates, aquaculture, dredging, marine renewable energy, ports and shipping, and tourism and recreation.

Planning Policy Wales Edition 11 (2021)

2.37 Edition 11 of Planning Policy Wales (PPW) sets out the land use planning policies and overarching sustainable development goals for Wales, revised to contribute towards the statutory well-being goals of the Well-being of Future Generations Act. PPW sets out a presumption in favour of sustainable development and considers a Plan-led approach to be the most effective means of securing sustainable development through the planning system.

2.38 PPW has a strong focus on promoting placemaking, which is considered instrumental to achieving sustainable places, delivering socially inclusive development and promoting more cohesive communities. Placemaking is deemed to be a holistic approach that 'considers the context, function and relationships between a development site and its wider surroundings'.

2.39 At a strategic level there are four themes which contribute individually to placemaking:

  • Strategic & Spatial Choices;
  • Active & Social Places;
  • Productive & Enterprising Places;
  • Distinctive & Natural Places

2.40 PPW requires development plans to "include a spatial strategy covering the lifetime of the plan which establishes a pattern of development improving social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being", and that "a broad balance between housing, community facilities, services and employment opportunities should be promoted."

Technical Advice Notes (TANs), Circulars and Policy Clarification Letters

2.41 The RLDP will consider the requirements as set out within the series of TANs, Circulars and Policy Clarification Letters, which expand on a range of planning policy issues.

Building Better Places - The Planning System Delivering Resilient and Brighter Futures: Placemaking and the Covid-19 recovery (WG, July 2020)

2.42 Building Better Places sets out the Welsh Government's planning policy priorities to assist in the recovery period after the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. It recognises that the planning system should be central to the consideration of built and natural environment issues that have arisen from the pandemic. The document highlights the key existing planning policies and tools which should be used by all sectors in the environmental, social, cultural and economic recovery of Wales. LDPs should actively embrace the placemaking agenda set out in PPW, identifying its character, strengths and areas which need improving and set out policies on how these areas will be improved.

2.43 The document reinforces the Welsh Government's commitment to better places, placemaking, quality outcomes and good design and identifies policy areas that should be the focus of consideration and action, to act as a catalyst for a recovery. It identifies key issues which bring individual policy areas together to ensure that action is the most effective. The RLDP as a key tool for addressing these issues will play an important role in supporting the post-covid recovery in the Vale of Glamorgan whilst also contributing towards the future resilience of communities.

2.44 The 8 issues are:

  • Staying local: creating neighbourhoods;
  • Active travel: exercise and rediscovered transport methods;
  • Revitalising our town centres;
  • Digital places: the lockdown lifeline;
  • Changing working practices: our future need for employment land;
  • Reawakening Wales' tourism and cultural sectors;
  • Green infrastructure, health and well-being and ecological resilience;
  • Improving air quality and soundscapes for better health and well-being;

Llwybr Newydd: The Welsh Transport Strategy (2021)

2.45 The Welsh Government's Transport Strategy sets out three priorities for the next 5 years:

  • Bring services to people in order to reduce the need to travel.
  • Allow people and goods to move easily from door to door by accessible, sustainable, and efficient transport services and infrastructure.
  • Encourage people to make the change to more sustainable transport.

2.46 The Strategy sets out a sustainable transport hierarchy to inform decisions about new infrastructure:

Sustainable Transport Hierarchy with walking and cycling at the top and other private motor vehicles at the bottom

Figure 5: Sustainable Transport Hierarchy,
Source: Llwybr Newydd

Climate and Nature Emergency Declarations

2.47 In response to growing evidence on the impacts that climate change will have, the Welsh Government declared a 'climate emergency' in April 2019. The announcement was made to draw attention to the magnitude and significance of the evidence continually being presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The declaration was made to send a clear signal that the Welsh Government will not allow the process of leaving the European Union to detract from the challenge of climate change.

2.48 A further declaration was made in June 2021, as the Welsh Government declared a nature emergency. The purpose of this was to ensure parity between actions taken by the Welsh Government to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss. The purpose of this was to set targets for limiting biodiversity loss, similar to those that exist for carbon emissions.

Regional Context

Cardiff Capital Region City Deal

2.49 The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) comprises ten local authorities across the South-East Wales region, including the Vale of Glamorgan. These local authorities are working collaboratively on projects and plans aimed at building on the region's sectoral strengths, its high skill base and three successful universities and accelerate economic growth and productivity through a series of considered targeted investments in skills, infrastructure, innovation-led scalable projects and priority industry sectors and businesses. The CCR City Deal will help boost economic growth by improving transport links, increasing skills, helping people into work and giving businesses the support they need to grow. CCR has funded a number of major investments within the region, including the recent purchase of the former Aberthaw Power Station to facilitate its demolition, remediation and redevelopment as a Green Energy Park.

CCR Regional Economic and Industrial Plan 2023-2028

2.50 Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) seeks to foster a regional economy that is bigger, fairer and greener, generating good growth and creating conditions for shared prosperity across the ten local authorities in the region and the Regional Economic and Industrial Plan has been prepared to support this. The Plan identifies a number of challenges but seeks to achieve the ambition of being "a proud Cardiff Capital Region where everyone is connected locally and globally, enjoying work, business and life opportunities that make us the place to fulfil potential."

2.51 The Plan identifies three areas of focus – Becoming More Competitive, Becoming More Connected and Becoming More Resilient. As part of the Becoming More Competitive theme, specific reference is given to growing the green economy through innovation initiatives centred on green technologies and future skills, with specific reference to the development of a Green Energy Park at Aberthaw. The RLDP will have a role in facilitating land and developing appropriate policies that would support the objectives and projects within the Plan.

South Wales Metro

2.52 The Metro was part of the original CCR City Deal, with over half of the City Deal total funding being ring-fenced for Metro development. Welsh Government, through Transport for Wales (TfW), operate the metro rail services within the region, whilst local authorities are responsible for bus services and active travel. The Metro is an ambitious project aimed at providing an integrated network of active, bus and rail travel that will improve accessibility and make sustainable transport across and throughout the region easier and faster.

2.53 Furthermore, Metro Plus funding for schemes that support the implementation of the South Wales Metro is also available, with the Vale having benefitted from funding for the development of a new interchange at Barry Docks.

2.54 Future Wales sets out the requirement for LDPs to plan for growth that will maximise the benefits of the Metro funding.

Regional Technical Statement for Aggregates (2020)

2.55 The Regional Technical Statement (RTS) has been produced by the South Wales Regional Aggregates Working Party (SWRAWP). Minerals TAN 1 (paragraph 1.45 refers) sets an overarching objective, which seeks to ensure a sustainably managed supply of aggregates essential for construction by striking the balance between environmental, economic and social costs. The RTS has been formulated to help guide individual Local Authorities in South Wales on how to implement these mineral planning policies in the formulation of their individual LDP policies and allocations.

Regional Collaboration

2.56 The Vale of Glamorgan does not exist in isolation to other local authorities and interacts with nearby local authorities regionally on strategic matters including LDP preparation. The Vale of Glamorgan is a member of the South-East Wales Strategic Planning Group (SEWSPG) consisting of the 10 local authorities of the CCR to consider policy issues that affected the region.

2.57 To date the Vale of Glamorgan Council has worked collaboratively with other authorities in respect of joint development of evidence for RLDPs and will continue to work collaboratively on a number of ongoing projects. The completed and ongoing projects include:

  • Agreement of a common methodology on Sustainable Settlement Appraisals
  • Procurement of a consultation database system for the LDP (Caerphilly, Vale of Glamorgan and Rhondda Cynon Taf)
  • Employment Land Survey methodology
  • Regional Strategic Flood Consequences Assessment
  • The development of a development viability model for site-specific and high-level viability assessments (all 10 CCR authorities and local authorities in the Mid and West Wales Regions);
  • Green Belt and Green Wedge Identification Regional Methodology
  • Regional Gypsy and Traveller transit site study
  • Common methodology for the determination of affordable housing transfer values
  • Strategic Transport Assessment utilising South East Wales Regional Transport Model

2.58 Collaboration and liaison with the other local authorities regionally will continue as the RLDP progresses including joint commissioning or collaboration where appropriate.

Local Development Plans and Neighbouring Local Planning Authorities

2.59 The Vale's neighbouring local authorities are Bridgend County Borough Council to the west, Cardiff Council to the east and Rhondda Cynon Taf (RCT) County Borough Council to the north. Test of soundness 1 'Does the plan fit?' requires the Council to demonstrate that it is consistent with the plans of neighbouring authorities.

2.60 Bridgend's RLDP is currently at Examination stage. The Vale and Bridgend have been in close collaboration on cross-boundary issues through the preparation of the Bridgend RDLP, culminating in a Statement of Common Ground, stating that the Vale did not raise any concerns or objections through the formal consultation process regarding the RLDP and its supporting evidence base. The Vale will continue to engage with Bridgend as the Vale RLDP processes.

2.61 The Vale of Glamorgan and neighbouring Cardiff have similar timescales for the preparation of their RLDPs, consequently planning officers from both authorities hold regular informal meetings to discuss each authority's emerging plan particularly in respect of cross boundary matters such as housing, employment and transport. Cardiff published its Preferred Strategy for consultation in July 2023. A background paper has been prepared which explains the relationship between the two adjoining authorities and how both plans are considered to complement rather than compete which each other.

2.62 The Council have also had discussions with RCT on the strategies for their respective plans and any cross-boundary issues, and this collaboration will continue as part of future stages of plan progression.

Local Policy Context

2.63 The following section identifies the key Council documents that have informed the Preferred Strategy. Additionally, key evidence prepared by the Council such as that relating to housing need will also be utilised in the development of policies and reference to this evidence base will be referred to within the Preferred Strategy.

Vale of Glamorgan Well-Being Plan 2023-28

2.64 As part of the requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations Act the Council, together with public sector partners as the Vale of Glamorgan Public Services Board (PSB), has prepared its 2nd Well-being Plan for the Vale, informed by a Well-being Assessment. The Well-being Plan encompasses the 7 well-being goals and provides a framework for all public sector bodies to deliver the Sustainable Development Principle through adopting the 5-ways of working.

2.65 The new Well-being Plan sets out three new Well-being Objectives and the priority areas that the PSB will be focusing on, and Objectives reflect the key issues and key challenges identified by the Vale of Glamorgan Well Being Assessment:

  • A more resilient and greener Vale - by understanding and making the changes necessary as individuals, communities, and organisations in response to the climate and nature emergencies.
  • A more active and healthier Vale – by encouraging and enabling people of all ages to be more active and to promote the benefits of embracing a healthier lifestyle.
  • A more equitable and connected Vale - by tackling the inequities that exist across the Vale, engaging with our communities and providing better opportunities and support to make a lasting difference.

2.66 To deliver these objectives, the Well-being Plan has identified 3 priority workstreams within which collaboration will be focused:

  • Responding to the climate and nature emergencies - The Well-being Assessment sets out some of the key issues for the Vale in terms of the climate and nature emergencies and partners recognise that the changes needed across our organisations and communities can best be achieved by working together. This will include consideration of transport, energy, food, biodiversity and how we use our buildings and land.
  • Working with the people who live in our communities that experience the highest levels of deprivation - The Well-being Assessment has highlighted the differences across the Vale and how these inequalities have been exacerbated by the Covid 19 pandemic. The Well-being Plan will give particular focus on those areas of the Vale of Glamorgan identified as more deprived by the Welsh Index of Multiple deprivation and addressing inequalities in these communities.
  • Becoming an Age Friendly Vale - The proportion of the Vale's population aged 65-84 is projected to increase. The Well-being Plan shall seek to ensure that the Vale is more age friendly and a better place for people to grow old, making it a friendlier place for all and recognise contribution that older people make.

Project Zero- The Vale of Glamorgan Council's Climate Change Challenge Plan 2021-2030

2.67 In February 2020 the Council signed a Climate Emergency Charter with the Vale PSB, setting out the PSB's shared commitment to lead by example, take positive action and to reduce its impact on climate change.

2.68 Project Zero is the Vale of Glamorgan Council's response to the climate change emergency. Project Zero brings together the wide range of work and opportunities available to tackle the climate emergency, reduce the Council's carbon emissions to net zero by 2030 and encourages others to make positive changes. The strategy highlights the role of the adopted LDP in contributing to the climate change commitment through for example securing planning contributions towards sustainable transport schemes and through implementation of policies that encourage renewable energy.

2.69 The RLDP provides the opportunity for the Council to explore ways to take forward the Council's climate change commitments to Wales's transition to a low carbon nation.

The Vale of Glamorgan Corporate Plan 2020-2025

2.70 The Vale of Glamorgan Corporate Plan is the Council's key strategic document and sets out the framework for the various activities the Council undertakes. It seeks to deliver a wide range of outcomes measured against the plan's 4 well-being objectives:

  • To work with and for our communities.
  • To support learning, employment, and sustainable economic growth.
  • To support people at home and in their community.
  • To respect, enhance and enjoy our environment.

2.71 For each objective, the plan sets out the actions that will be taken over the 5-year Corporate Plan period and is supported by an Annual Delivery Plan which identifies further detailed actions. The Corporate Plan includes aspects relevant to land use planning which will influence and direct the focus of the Replacement LDP:

  • Improving well-being, promoting active and sustainable transport;
  • supporting economic growth through working as part of the Capitol City Region, regeneration, improving infrastructure and supporting town centres, tourism, and industry;
  • increasing the supply of good quality affordable housing;
  • reducing carbon emissions and minimising the impact on the environment;
  • ensuring that developments are sustainable, mitigate their impact and integrate with local communities and provide the necessary infrastructure;
  • protect and enhance the natural built environment and cultural heritage;
  • minimise pollution, provide effective waste management and reduce the impact of flooding.

The Vale of Glamorgan Local Transport Plan 2015-2030

2.72 The Council's Local Transport Plan (LTP) seeks to identify the local sustainable transport measures required to ensure the Vale of Glamorgan adheres to requirements set by Welsh Government and current good practice guidance. The LTP sets out several short-term objectives to 2020 and includes medium and longer-term objectives to 2030. The LTP has been informed by proposals within the Council's adopted LDP and is also consistent with the Wales Transport Strategy objectives.

2.73 In identifying schemes, the LTP seeks ways to secure better conditions for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users and to encourage a change in travel choices away from the single occupancy car. The LTP also seeks to tackle traffic congestion by securing improvements to the strategic highway corridors for commuters who may need to travel by car as well as providing better infrastructure for freight. It also seeks to address the key road safety priorities for the Vale. The LTP supports proposals for the Cardiff Metro and will inform future regional transport planning work.

The Vale of Glamorgan Biodiversity Forward Plan (2019)

2.74 The Vale of Glamorgan Biodiversity Forward Plan (BFP) looks at how the Council manages and improves natural resources to ensure that biodiversity and sustainability are considered in all service areas and are core themes in service delivery, becoming an integral part of the decision-making processes throughout the Council. The plan sets out how the Vale of Glamorgan Council shall meet its obligations under section 6 of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 to demonstrate how the Local Authority will "seek to maintain and enhance biodiversity in the proper exercise of their functions and in doing so promote the resilience of ecosystems".

2.75 Part one of the Forward Plan sets out the background (including the legislative context), identifies challenges and opportunities and sets out the actions and targets to be undertaken to achieve these aims. The actions in the BFP are reported on every three years in accordance with statutory requirements and reviewed and updated at the end of each 3-year reporting period. The review of the BFP will coincide with that of the LDP and as such shall provide key background evidence for the replacement LDP and inform the review of policies relating to the biodiversity within the Plan.

The Vale of Glamorgan Housing Strategy 2021-26

2.76 The Housing Strategy sets out the intentions of the Council and its partners to meet a wide range of housing objectives. The strategy includes a long-term vision for housing in the Vale where "All residents in the Vale of Glamorgan have access to good quality, suitable housing and can live happily and independently in vibrant, sustainable communities". The vision is underpinned by four key aims which form the framework within which action will be taken.

  • Aim 1: More Homes, More Choice.
  • Aim 2: Improved homes and communities.
  • Aim 3: Better housing advice and support.
  • Aim 4: Equality of access to housing and housing services.

2.77 The Strategy is accompanied by a delivery plan, which is set over the same period as the strategy. The delivery plan outlines a range of actions developed by the Council and its partners, under each of the 4 aims.

The Vale of Glamorgan Older Persons Strategy

2.78 The Council's Older Persons Housing Strategy 'Creating Homes and Neighbourhoods for Later Life 2022-36' sets out a vision in the Vale of Glamorgan Council which is: 'to secure the best quality of life for older people to live as independently as possible in later life. This means delivering a range of accommodation that enables older people to live fulfilling lives and enjoy good health in attractive homes that meet their needs and allow them to retain their independence as they age".

2.79 The strategy projects that by 2037 there will be a need for some 1,357 specialist age designated housing, retirement housing (for social rent and for sale) and housing with care (extra care housing for social rent and for sale). Highlighting the importance for the Council and its partners to address future housing needs associated with an aging population through the provision of appropriate housing solutions arising from a growing older population. The strategy identifies a range of mechanisms for delivery including the LDP, which is seen to have a key role in encouraging private and social housing providers to develop a range of mainstream housing that is suited and attractive to older people.

Declared Climate and Nature Emergencies

2.80 In July 2019 the Vale of Glamorgan Council joined with Welsh Government and other Councils across the UK in declaring a global 'climate emergency'. The Council made a commitment to:

  • Reduce the Council's carbon emissions to net zero before the Welsh Government target of 2030 and support the implementation of the Welsh Government's new Low Carbon Delivery Plan.
  • Make representations to the Welsh and UK Governments, as appropriate, to provide the necessary powers, resources and technical support to Local Authorities in Wales to help them successfully meet the 2030 target.
  • Continue to work with partners across the region.
  • Work with local stakeholders including Councillors, residents, young people, businesses, and other relevant parties to develop a strategy in line with a target of net zero emissions by 2030 and explore ways to maximise local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as employment, health, agriculture, transport and the economy.

2.81 Closely linked to the declaration of a climate emergency, in July 2021 the Vale of Glamorgan Council declared a 'nature emergency' and committed to a target of no net loss to biodiversity in the Vale of Glamorgan. The Council is committed to working with local, regional and national partners to continue to develop and implement best practice methods that can protect Wales' biodiversity.

The Placemaking Charter and Placemaking Plans

2.82 In May 2023, Cabinet resolved that the Vale of Glamorgan Council should become a signatory to the Placemaking Charter Wales[1]. The Placemaking Charter has been developed by Welsh Government and the Design Commission for Wales in collaboration with the Placemaking Wales Partnership. The Charter builds on the strengthening focus on placemaking in policy and practice in Wales and aims to provide a common understanding of the range of considerations that go into placemaking. Signatories to the Charter agree to promote the following principles in the planning, design and management of new and existing places:

  • People and community
  • Location
  • Movement
  • Mix of uses
  • Public Realm
  • Identity

2.83 Placemaking Plans will be prepared for the four towns within the Vale (Barry, Cowbridge, Penarth and Llantwit Major) reflecting the six principles of the Placemaking Charter. It is important that there is consistency between Placemaking Plans and proposals identified in the adopted LDP and emerging RLDP. However, Placemaking Plans have a wider remit than land use planning matters, covering the other things such as events, activities within places and social well-being. Adopted Placemaking Plans will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

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