Duty to Cooperate

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Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 22472

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Hallam Land Management Limited

Agent: Marrons Planning

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

The Plan has not taken into account any unmet needs from neighbouring areas in establishing the amount of housing to be planned for (paragraph 60 of the Framework).

No reference is made to co-operation over unmet housing need, and specifically no discussions are referenced in respect of whether Brentwood could accommodate some of the identified need in accordance with Paragraph 137 criteria c of the Framework.

Therefore, the BBDP is currently not sound as matters relating to unmet housing needs have not been dealt with and the Duty to Co-operate has not met the necessary legal tests.

Change suggested by respondent:

The Local Plan must be amended to explain how unmet housing needs within neighbouring areas will be addressed.

Full text:

The Pre-Submission Document (February 2019) (BBDP) makes provision for housing solely to meet the housing needs from within its administrative area. It has therefore not taken into account any unmet needs from neighbouring areas in establishing the amount of housing to be planned for (paragraph 60 of the Framework).

Neighbouring authorities have potential unmet housing needs. For instance, Basildon have stated in its recent Regulation 19 Plan that it has unmet needs of up to 4,000 homes over its plan period. Thurrock have stated that its current housing land supply falls significantly short of its housing needs, at around 15,000 dwellings.

Brentwood Borough also adjoins greater London Authorities. The London Plan is currently under examination and it is possible that unmet housing needs will be established.

The Duty to Co-Operate Position Statement (February 2019) describes engagement with other local authorities, in particular in the South Essex area. However, no reference is made to co-operation over this unmet housing need, and specifically no discussions are referenced in respect of whether Brentwood could accommodate some of the identified need in accordance with Paragraph 137 criteria c of the Framework.

Further, the ASELA Statement of Common Ground (June 2018) does not reflect the latest position on unmet housing need or how it will be addressed. It has therefore not been maintained contrary to paragraph 27 of the Framework.

Therefore, the BBDP is currently not sound as matters relating to unmet housing needs have not been dealt with and the Duty to Co-operate has not met the necessary legal tests.

This approach to plan making has been found unsound elsewhere in similar circumstances. Please see attached the Inspector's Letter of 1st June 2015 to Warwick District Council in respect of its Local Plan following initial hearings. In particular, please note paragraphs 23 to 29.

The duty to co-operate has therefore not been complied with, and as a consequence resulted in an underestimated housing requirement.

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23094

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Basildon Borough Council

Representation:

A major step forward for effective cooperation has been the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock Councils to form the ASELA. The Council has noted Brentwood Council's commitment in paragraph 1.13 to work as a member of ASELA on a process to develop a long-term growth ambition. The Council fundamentally supports this policy approach as meeting the soundness tests of being a) effective and b) in accordance with national policy.

Change suggested by respondent:

No specific amendment proposed

Full text:

This letter serves as the approved response from Basildon Borough Council to the Brentwood Borough Council's Local Plan Regulation 19 public consultation.
Please be advised that for all of the consultation points below, the Council would like to attend the future oral hearings as part of the Plan's Examination in Public.
As a neighbouring authority, a Duty to Cooperate public body and a key partner in the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA), Basildon Borough Council has taken the opportunity to review and consider the potential implications for the Basildon Borough that may arise from Brentwood Borough Council's Local Plan and determine whether it considers it to be compliant with necessary legislation and whether it meets the tests of soundness.
1) Is the Brentwood Borough Local Plan 2016-2033 legally compliant?
The Council has reviewed the Brentwood Borough Local Plan 2016-2033 and supporting documents. It considers that whilst it disagrees with aspects of the Plan from a soundness perspective that it is however legally compliant.
2) Does the Brentwood Borough Local Plan 2016-2033 meet the tests of soundness?
The Council does not believe that the Brentwood Borough Local Plan 2016-2033 meets the tests of soundness in all of its policy areas. It therefore makes the following 1 representation in support of an aspect of the Plan and 17 representations where it considers the Local Plan is unsound and requires modifications to make it sound.
Supporting Representations
Consultation Point: Chapter 1
Soundness - Effectiveness & Compliance with National Policy
Paragraph 26 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) asserts that effective and on-going joint working between strategic policymaking authorities and relevant bodies is integral to the production of a positively prepared and justified strategy. In particular, it considers that joint working should help to determine where additional infrastructure is necessary, and whether development needs that cannot be met wholly within a particular plan area could be met elsewhere. To demonstrate effective and on-going joint working, strategic policy-making authorities should
planning.policy@brentwood.gov.uk
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prepare and maintain one or more Statements of Common Ground, documenting the cross-boundary matters being addressed and progress in cooperating to address these.
A major step forward for effective cooperation has been the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock Councils to form the ASELA. This has ensured that there is now a more coordinated, collective working on a 'place vision' for the sub region, which recognises one of the key delivery tools will be a statutory Joint Strategic Plan (JSP). A Statement of Common Ground has also been agreed between the ASELA to ensure it is embedded into the Local Development Schemes of all the local planning authorities with resources committed to its preparation during 2019/2021. This will ensure it sets the foundations for planning at a broader spatial level, determining how growth and infrastructure can be better coordinated to positively influence place-making in South Essex and provide a more prosperous area for people to live, work, study and visit. The Statement of Common Ground recognises that the planning landscape of South Essex is not perfect and not all authorities can wait for the JSP to be completed before their Local Plans are advanced. It accepts that the JSP will have to be mindful, in particular of Basildon, Brentwood and Castle Point's and the reality that their Local Plans are already too advanced to be paused.
The Council has noted Brentwood Council's commitment in paragraph 1.13 to work as a member of ASELA on a process to develop a long-term growth ambition that would underpin strategic spatial, infrastructure and economic priorities across the wider sub-region. It is acknowledged that this is in accordance with the South Essex JSP Statement of Common Ground - June 2018; of which Basildon and Brentwood Borough Councils are one of the seven joint signatories.
Work on the JSP is at an early stage with Regulation 18 consultation due to take place during 2019, followed by Regulation 19 in 2020, with examination in public and adoption not expected to be until 2020/2021. It will cover a longer plan period extending to 2038; slightly longer than both the Basildon and Brentwood Local Plans. Paragraph 1.38 of the Brentwood Borough Local Plan references that its own allocations can contribute towards some of the delivery of early growth during the JSP plan-period; a position that is also applicable for the soon to be submitted Basildon Borough Local Plan 2014-2034. It is welcomed that the Brentwood Borough Local Plan has mirrored the intent of the Basildon Borough Local Plan in Paragraphs 1.35-1.38 that following the adoption of the JSP, it may be necessary to review the Plan, at least in part, to ensure any opportunities for additional growth and infrastructure provision in the Borough, that may otherwise be additionally identified in the JSP, can be realised. The Council fundamentally supports this policy approach as meeting the soundness tests of being a) effective and b) in accordance with national policy.
The Council considers this to be compatible to its own position and underpins the collective efforts to get an "effective mechanism" in place to address strategic, cross boundary matters in a more holistic and planned manner that has greater potential to realise positive outcomes to South Essex communities. Looking ahead, the Council embraces the opportunity presented by Brentwood Borough Council being part of the ASELA and the JSP, in order to tackle strategic, cross-boundary matters holistically to ensure sustainable growth solutions are achieved that benefit all communities.
Objecting Representations
Consultation Point: Whole Plan
Soundness - Effectiveness, Justified & Compliance with National Policy
Paragraph 26 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) asserts that effective and on-going joint working between strategic policymaking authorities and relevant bodies is integral to the production of a positively prepared and justified strategy. The Council, as a neighbouring Borough and Duty to Cooperate body, has reviewed and considered previous versions of the Local Plan and its preparatory documents and submitted relevant representations under Regulation 18 consultations. The Council formally wishes to express its disappointment that given fundamental
evidence has been 'in development', but not published during much of its preparation. It has been significantly difficult, therefore, to digest the Plan's rationale and approach as it has evolved. This includes the entire Green Belt Review, Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment, Landscape Sensitivity and Capacity Study, Local Plan Viability Assessment and Transport Assessment which were not published until the month before Brentwood Council considered the Publication Local Plan in November 2018. It is accepted that not all evidence can be completed by each consultation stage and much may remain as a continual draft until Regulation 19, however it is considered this has created a lack of transparency during critical plan-making stages and contributed to the scale of representations from Basildon Council for its Regulation 19 response.
During 2017/2018, officers from Basildon, Thurrock and Essex County Councils, facilitated by an officer from Rochford District Council, jointly sought to understand and address with Brentwood Borough Council how the Brentwood Borough Local Plan, in particular the Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV) strategic allocation, could impact on neighbouring authority areas, particularly in terms of infrastructure and service provision. Meetings were held, and correspondence exchanged, in an effort to seek solutions and resolutions to previous Regulation 18 objections/ observations from all three Councils. The intention was to appreciate the evidenced rationale for identifying the DHGV strategic allocation and ensuring neighbouring authorities could engage more effectively to identify and manage cross-boundary impacts. Despite this engagement, it is considered that not all information and assurances sought from Brentwood Borough Council have been provided and this brings into question the soundness of the rationale and choices made in the Brentwood Borough Local Plan.
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As such, all of Basildon Council's previous responses to Regulation 18 consultations are enclosed as supplementary evidence to the Regulation 19 consultation; affirming that many of the comments made in respects this consultation response have been raised previously, but remain unanswered or inadequately addressed. It is uncertain how the Plan has been informed by this previous input. It is considered that this is not a justified approach and has resulted in a Plan which is less effective at tackling strategic, cross-boundary issues.
Consultation Point: SP02: Managing Growth, Paragraphs 4.15-4.16 and Appendix 1
Soundness - Effectiveness, Justified & Compliance with National Policy
It is acknowledged that Brentwood Borough Council commissioned David Couttie Associates (DCA) in 2013 to undertake a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and define its Housing Market Area (HMA). This concluded that Brentwood Borough's administrative area was a self-contained HMA. This is different to the Basildon Borough, which is a sub-area (with Castle Point) of the much larger South Essex HMA, which also incorporates Rochford, Southend on Sea and Thurrock. The Brentwood SHMA, which was most recently updated in November 2018, forms part of the evidence base for identifying the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for housing in Brentwood Borough. However, NPPF/2019 (published after the Publication Local Plan was approved by Brentwood Borough Council in November 2018, in February 2019) now requires housing needs to be calculated in accordance with the Standard Methodology set out in national Planning Practice Guidance.
Basildon Borough Council has acknowledged that this has seen the OAN for Brentwood Borough change three times over the course of the last year as follows:
* In January 2018, the Brentwood SHMA January 2018 identified an OAN for Brentwood of 380. This was calculated using the SHMA Planning Practice Guidance that underpinned the NPPF/2012;
* In July 2018, NPPF/2018 was launched introducing the standard methodology for calculating objectively assessed housing need. The standard methodology requires the use of the most recently published household projections as the starting point. At that time, the 2014-based CLG Household Projections formed that starting point resulting in an OAN for Brentwood of 452 homes per annum; and
* In September 2018, 2016-based ONS Household Projections were published, revising the starting point for the standard method calculation. For Brentwood Borough, these projections showed a reduced rate of household growth going forward, resulting in a reduced housing requirement for Brentwood of 350 homes per annum.
It has been noted by Basildon Council that the Brentwood Borough Local Plan uses this latest 2016 projection to define the minimum OAN target.
The reduced rate of household growth in the 2016-based ONS Household Projections was highlighted as a nation-wide issue driving down the OAN calculations in around two-thirds of authorities, although not Basildon. This resulted in the standard methodology only identifying around 215,000 homes per annum supply for England against a national policy target of 300,000 homes per annum. Consequently, in October 2018 MHCLG launched a consultation on technical changes to the standard methodology, seeking for authorities to continue using the 2014-based CLG Household Projections in the interim. On the 19 February 2019, the Government's response to this consultation was published indicating that the Government will be making clear in national Planning Practice Guidance that the 2016-based ONS Household Projections should not be used for the standard methodology calculation, and the 2014-based CLG Household Projections should be used instead.
The Brentwood Local Plan therefore, which makes provision for 456 homes per annum does meet just over its full OAN for housing, having regard to the standard methodology calculation of need based on the 2014 CLG Household Projections (452 homes per annum), as explained in required by Planning Practice Guidance (Paragraph: 004 Reference ID: 2a-004-20190220 and Paragraph: 005 Reference ID: 2a-005-20190220) that has been adjusted following the Government's response to the technical consultation.
The Brentwood Local Plan, however, as drafted and approved by Brentwood Council in November 2018, sets out in Paragraphs 4.15-4.16 that the housing target for Brentwood is set at 350 homes per annum and it proposes an annual housing supply buffer of 20% taking total supply of 456 homes per annum. This was considered at the time as offering additional flexibility throughout the plan period. This is now not the case as the 2016-based ONS Household Projections must be discounted, as above, with the baseline reverting to the 2014-based projections. This results in a Plan which will now have an insignificant flexibility in its land supply; a component which was considered justified and fundamental to the Plan's strategy when it was approved in November 2018.
When this new position is viewed alongside the variable housing target, it is considered this could cause the plan to be less effective and justified. The initial housing target of 310 homes per annum between 2016 and 2023, should, according to the Plan, increase to 584 homes per annum beyond 2023. It is noted that this increase is substantially reliant on the new Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV) in the Southern Brentwood Growth Corridor, which according to the Housing Trajectory set out in Appendix 1 is expected to commence housing delivery in 2023/24, within the first five years of the Plan. That scheme is expected to deliver at the initial ambitious rate of 100 homes per annum upwards from thereon, reaching 300 homes per annum by 2026. These are considered to be overly optimistic delivery assumptions for such a large scale Green Belt allocation, which whilst mostly in a single land ownership that could facilitate delivery, still requires for the boundaries of the Green Belt to be amended on adoption of the Plan (assuming it is found lawful and sound), detailed masterplanning, essential infrastructure programming on-site and off-site to ensure sustainable development can be achieved. It is not clear from any published evidence how such a delivery rate has been formulated having acknowledged these issues and therefore this is challenged in terms that it is not justified.
Summary: As a result in the change to the NPPF, the Plan also now has very little flexibility within its land supply should anything happen to cause delivery of homes to become delayed during the plan period; which was a fundamental principle to the Plan's strategy approved in November 2018. There is an unjustified over-reliance on DHGV in the Southern Brentwood Growth Corridor to
contribute towards supply at an accelerated rate. The Council therefore objects to Policy SP02, 4.15-4.16 and Appendix 1
Modification: 1) The Local Plan must be adjusted to incorporate previously discounted development sites, particularly in the Central Brentwood Growth Corridor to restore the flexibility in site supply across a broader range of spatial locations, thereby improving the Plan's effectiveness and deliverability. 2) The methodology to the Local Plan's Housing Trajectory needs to be published and open for comment and challenge of its assumptions.
Consultation Point: PC02 and PC03
Soundness - Effectiveness, Justified & Compliance with National Policy
Paragraph 80 of the NPPF establishes that planning policies should help create the conditions in which businesses can invest, expand and adapt. The Council notes the new employment land requirements and job growth needs evidence undertaken by Lichfields in 2018. It is considered the amount of new employment land being provided is broadly sufficient to ensure that the Brentwood Borough meets its overall forecast employment land needs, including forecast new needs and losses from allocations and structural change.
It is considered however that the policy makes the assumption that there are no capacity issues for existing infrastructure, or any needs for supporting infrastructure to be provided and it is considered that this lack of clarity will make the policy ineffective, unjustified and will counteract creating conditions to support business growth which the NPPF seeks. As the Local Plan does with its housing target in Policy SP02 and Appendix 1, PC02 and PC03 should therefore incorporate additional provisions to manage the release and expansion of the locations within the Southern Brentwood Growth Corridor, supported by an Employment Land Trajectory in a new Appendix, to make it more effective, justified and consistent with national policy. The Council therefore objects to Policy PC02 and PC03.
Modifications: PC02 and PC03 should be amended to incorporate a staggered delivery target for new employment land, supported by a new Employment Land Trajectory within the Plan's Appendices, to coordinate the phased release of new and expanded employment land to ensure it can be linked to specific and necessary upgrades to supporting infrastructure. This will minimise the impact growth will have on existing highway routes in particular, which could otherwise impact on cross-boundary issues within the wider South Essex economic corridor.
Specialist Accommodation
Consultation Point: HP07
Soundness - Effectiveness
The Council has noted that the Brentwood Gypsy and Traveller Local Needs Accommodation Assessment 2018 (GTAA) assessed the need for Gypsy and Traveller pitches in Brentwood Borough for the period 2016 to 2033 as being 13 pitches. It acknowledges that there were no Travelling Showpeople identified as living in the Brentwood Borough, so there are no current or future accommodation needs for this community.
The evidence is noted as identifying a requirement of 11 additional Gypsy and Traveller pitches (5 total current need and 6 total future need) to be developed between the period 2016 to 2033 and makes a further 10% allowance for Gypsy and Traveller households whose travelling status was recorded as being "unknown", increasing the need to 12 pitches. It is acknowledged that since the completion of the evidence, one Gypsy and Traveller pitch has been lost through an approved change of use application and to replace this lost pitch, the Plan has added an additional pitch to its target, meaning the total requirement of Gypsy and Traveller pitches is 13 pitches.
Whilst it is noted that Brentwood Council proposes to meet this need through the incorporation of
a minimum 5 Gypsy and Traveller pitches as part of the Dunton Hills Garden Village allocation and through the regularisation of 8 existing pitches elsewhere in the Brentwood Borough. This however implies that 8 pitches will contribute towards meeting current need and only 5 pitches towards future need, when 6 are in fact required. The Council therefore objects to Policy HP07.
Modification: The GTAA identified the need for an additional pitch to meet future needs and therefore whilst the Policy HP07 quotes a minimum of 5 new pitches to be provided within its minimum target, the Plan could be more effective by setting 6 pitches as the target.
Consultation Point: Paragraphs 6.52-6.62
Soundness - Positively Prepared & Effectiveness.
The Council is concerned that there is no acknowledgement in the supporting text to the Brentwood Local Plan as to how it will address any unmet needs arising from Greater Essex authorities for the provision of accommodation for Gypsies, Travellers & Travelling Showpeople should it arise. The Plan should therefore recognise and support the principle of this approach going forward, to ensure that there will be a technical approach in place to support any neighbouring authorities with any potential unmet Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople need. This will ensure that the same process is applied throughout Essex therefore making the plan more positively prepared and effective for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople communities. The Council therefore objects to Paragraphs 6.52-6.62.
Modification: The Essex Planning Officers' Association Protocol for Unmet Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Needs 2018 has been developed collaboratively across Essex under the Duty to Cooperate, including with Brentwood Borough Council. It should be referenced in the supporting text to Policy HP07 - within Paragraphs 6.52-6.62. This will help ensure that the Plan recognises and supports the principle of this approach going forward, underling the technical approach in place to support how any requests from neighbouring authorities with any potential unmet Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling will be considered in the future and then addressed as necessary through the Plan review process.
Consultation Point: Paragraphs 6.52-6.62
Soundness - Effectiveness and consistent with national policy.
Paragraph 9 of the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS) establishes that "...local planning authorities should set pitch targets...which address the likely permanent and transit site accommodation needs of travellers in their area, working collaboratively with neighbouring local planning authorities." There is also no mention however in the Brentwood Local Plan of the strategic and cross-boundary matter of Transit Sites, for which there is a study underway during 2019/2020 by the Essex Planning Officers' Association on behalf of all Greater Essex local planning authorities, including Brentwood Borough. Whilst it has not yet been possible to robustly assess the need for transit sites in Essex due to data inconsistencies across Greater Essex, changes have been made to the unauthorised encampment data collection process and an update to Essex Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Local Needs Accommodation Assessment will follow during 2019/2020 to determine whether any transit sites are needed in Greater Essex to help manage development pressures.
Whilst this cannot be included within Policy HE07 due to uncertainty, given that it is a current strategic matter for the Duty to Cooperate, with work in train to seek a resolution, it is considered more effective, for the Plan as a whole, to indicate how any such needs identified in future updates to the GTAA will be dealt with to make it more effective and consistent with the PPTS. The Council therefore objects to Paragraphs 6.52-6.62.
Modification: The Council considers the Local Plan would be more effective and more consistent with the PPTS if the strategic, cross-boundary issue of transit sites, covered by the Duty to
Cooperate were to be supported by a new paragraph explaining the context behind the issue and that it will be addressed as part of its first review.
Consultation Point: PC08 and Figure 7.7
Soundness - Justified & Effective
The Council notes that Nathaniel Litchfield & Partners prepared a Retail and Commercial Leisure Study (RCLS14) for Brentwood Council in 2014. The study identifies that Brentwood Town Centre as the main shopping centre in Brentwood Borough, with Shenfield, Ingatestone and Warley Hill providing smaller scale District Centres offering more local services, whilst smaller communities are supported by a number of village shops/local parades. The relationship between Brentwood Town Centre and larger competing centres including Basildon Town Centre is also noted, which is consistent with the Council's own evidence set out in the South Essex Retail Study 2017.
It is also acknowledged however that the Local Plan's settlement hierarchy proposes that DHGV Village and West Horndon will incorporate District Centres, similar in scale and role to Shenfield and Ingatestone. Figure 7.7 suggests this will apply to just DHGV, but caveats that this may change as a result of masterplanning or new evidence. Whilst the Council accepts that some form of local centre provision that could provide local shopping, community facilities and healthcare facilities would be a sustainable approach to the planning of any new community, helping to reduce the need to travel to larger centres to meet community needs, the positioning of the Garden Village needs to consider how it could impact on other centres and facilities in the locality, including those outside the Brentwood Borough, which may be closer and higher-order than other Brentwood Borough alternatives.
The Council cannot determine from any of Brentwood's published evidence as to what assessments have been carried out to determine the likely impact of installing new District Centres in West Hordon or DHGV on Basildon Borough's Laindon Town Centre. Assuming a central location within the site, DHGV District Centre would be around 2km to its west and West Hordon is only one stop by rail. Laindon Town Centre is the Basildon Borough's smallest town centre, which is currently undergoing a multi-million pound regeneration by Swan Housing Association to redevelop it into a new mixed use commercial and residential development called Laindon Place. It already provides a health centre, community centre, police station and library, which are all set to remain.
It is not considered acceptable as set out in footnote 10 to Figure 7.7 that the "the designation of the DHGV service centre(s) as a District Shopping Centre and/or Local Centre(s) and any subsequent Primary Shopping Area could be altered further by the South Brentwood Masterplan as this should remain a function of policy and not be delegated. The Council therefore objects to Policy PC08 and Figure 7.7.
Modification: Footnote 10 of Figure 7.7 should be amended to remove reference to the South Brentwood Masterplan as the role and order of the designated centre should be established by policy only. The Plan should have been informed by evidence which has tested cross-boundary impacts of installing new District Centres in close proximity to nearby centres including Laindon Town Centre and what measures will be taken in policy to limit any impact. If this evidence does not exist, the District Centre should be removed from DHGV, retaining some local centre provision to ensure DHGV can be sustainable and to enable the Plan to be effective and justified.
Consultation Point: Chapter 3, Chapter 6, Chapter 7 and Sustainability Appraisal
Soundness - Justified and consistent with national policy.
Paragraph 16 of the NPPF advises amongst other things that Plans should be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development. The Local Plan's Spatial Strategy is termed "Transit-orientated Growth", concentrating growth in the Local Plan in two transit corridors running through the borough. The 'Central Brentwood Growth Corridor', with the
A12, the Great Eastern Main Line to London Liverpool Street Station, and the Elizabeth Line; and the 'Southern Brentwood Growth Corridor', with the A127 and the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway to London Fenchurch Street Station.
The Local Plan states that the site selection process for the housing allocations has been based upon the Spatial Strategy, and a sequential approach to selecting sites for development. It is accepted that this approach is intended to maximise brownfield redevelopment opportunities and support growth within compatible locations.
The Council acknowledges that Brentwood Borough Council has now published much of its previously missing evidence as set out in previous Regulation 18 representations. The Council is not satisfied that the Plan has been adequately informed by its evidence, and it questions whether the Spatial Strategy reached is therefore justified and consistent with national policy.
The Council has noted the two Growth Corridors. It has reflected however that there are fundamental distinctions between them, which do not appear to have influenced site selection choices in a justified way. The Central Brentwood Growth Corridor is the location of nationally and regionally managed and maintained infrastructure - the A12 & M25 (Highways England) and Elizabeth Line (maintained by Network Rail and operated by Transport for London) and East Anglia Line (maintained by Network Rail and operated by Abellio East Anglia), which helps to put this investment into use through the growth locations. The South Brentwood Growth Corridor, whilst at its far west includes the M25, the remainder of the corridor consists the A127 (maintained by Essex County Council) and Essex Thameside Line (maintained by Network Rail and operated by c2c). It is not considered they offer comparable choices in terms of the capacity of these transport connections and the Central Brentwood Growth Corridor, by the presence of nationally and regionally maintained infrastructure.
In reviewing the appropriateness of the Spatial Strategy, an important element of the Plan's Sustainability Appraisal involves appraising 'reasonable alternatives' to inform development of the Plan. Four reasonable site alternatives in the Central Brentwood Corridor have been disregarded (AECOM Sustainability Apprial - Table 5.2), despite having few constraints and being able to tap into the potential for movement capacity offered by this superior corridor. This is considered to be in conflict with sustainable development when sites which have significant constraints to development or delivery have been included within the Plan, at the expense of sites which have fewer constraints. This raises fundamental concerns about the Plan's spatial distribution of growth and whether it has made the most of the capacity in this alternative corridor, before embarking on a new standalone settlement at DHGV in the Southern Brentwood Growth Corridor. The Council has noted that four sites on Table 5.2 of the Sustainability Appraisal have the potential to deliver 2,200 homes through extensions to villages, thereby questioning the need for a new settlement of the scale envisaged to deal with growth in the plan-period, which it considers means the Spatial Strategy is unjustified. The Council therefore objects to Chapter 3, the Sustainability Appraisal and land use allocations in Chapter 6 and 7.
Modification: Using the Sustainability Appraisal and other evidence, the Plan should select sites within the Central Brentwood Growth Corridor that provide opportunity for extensions to towns and villages that can encourage more sustainable travel choices and take advantage of the superior infrastructure available. This should help encourage commuting behaviour to shift away from private car use and therefore make this location a more sustainable and viable option to concentrate growth. Chapter 3 should be modified as a result along with all land use allocations in Chapter 6 and Chapter 7.
Consultation Point: Sustainability Appraisal
Soundness - Justified and consistent with national policy.
Paragraph 16 of the NPPF advises amongst other things that Plans should be prepared with the objective of contribution to the achievement of sustainable development. The Council challenges whether the Sustainability Appraisal has informed the choices made in the Spatial Strategy as
required by national policy, given it states that there was an early intention by Brentwood Council to deliver at least one new large-scale strategic site, which could be judged as artificially limiting the exploration of other plausible and deliverable urban/ village extensions. It is considered that Brentwood Council's lack of a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) between 2011 and 2018 has negatively impacted upon previous Regulation 18 drafts, which could have evolved differently having been informed by such evidence, demonstrating that other suitable, available and deliverable site options were present. This is unjustified, not consistent with the Plan's Strategic Objective SO1 and not in accordance with the NPPF. The Council therefore objects to the Sustainability Appraisal.
Modification: The Sustainability Appraisal should be reviewed to test an alternative strategy which does not include the artificial assumption that at least one new large scale strategic site should be incorporated into the Local Plan and then it should be amended accordingly. The Plan should then be reviewed informed by the outcome.
Consultation Point: BE11 and Paragraphs 5.106
The Council has reviewed the Brentwood Borough Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) accompanying the Local Plan. It is acknowledged that this is intended to be a 'live' working document, much the same as the Basildon Borough IDP.
Paragraph 5.105 acknowledges that in respects of the South Brentwood Growth Corridor "...the provision of sustainable transport in this area is poor". The Council considers that it is surprising therefore that there are no specific highway mitigation measures provided in the Plan, just a statement that "the Council will work proactively with developers, key stakeholder and service providers to implement...new measures which would seek to mitigate transport impacts of sites on the highway infrastructure...". Whilst it is acknowledged within the Plan of the joint working being undertaken by ASELA, and the A127 Task Force for the Route Management Strategies and Joint Strategic Plan, both of which are supported by Basildon Council. The Council does however consider that highway modelling should have been tested to determine impact in development locations in Brentwood Borough, so it can be clear in policy terms how negative impacts are being mitigated and therefore prove that the Plan's spatial choices are reasonable in sustainability terms. It is questionable whether it can be adequately demonstrated by the Brentwood Local Plan that the allocations chosen, represent the most sustainable option without identifying and testing the viability of specific highway mitigation measures that will be necessary to make them deliverable and sustainable. Without this work, Brentwood Borough could find its ability to unlock the capacity to deliver new communities and homes, particularly at an accelerated pace as suggested in Appendix 1, becomes hindered by a lack of infrastructure capacity and outline solutions to overcome them. It is not considered that Policy BE11 is therefore effective at delivering the Plan's Strategic Objectives.
It is noted that Paragraph 5.106-5.107 acknowledges the Lower Thames Crossing and the outline concept of its preferred route and that it is not expected to have a direct impact on Brentwood Borough in terms of land safeguarding. It is however suggested that the Plan also acknowledges that following the engagement of authorities in Essex, including Basildon Borough Council, Highways England has accepted that its impact modelling was deficient in determining how driver behaviour in South Essex and further afield could alter when the scheme opens. This is particularly an issue for this Plan, as its includes land allocations in West Horndon and the DHGV along the A127 corridor, which will be within a reasonable proximity to the Lower Thames Crossing and could therefore be impacted by it. It should be recognised that Highways England are now taking steps to incorporate growth proposals set out in Local Plans in the vicinity to address this point and identify any measures needed to the scheme or nearby routes to mitigate any adverse impacts. The Council therefore objects to Policy BE11 and Paragraphs 5.106.
Modification: 1) BE11 and the land allocations should have been informed by highway modelling that tests highway mitigation solutions to mitigate impact caused by development. This work should be repeated and the Plan amended in light of its findings.
2) Paragraph 5.106 should be amended to include reference that local authorities have secured additional testing within the Lower Thames Crossing modelling being undertaken by Highways England to determine the extent of local impacts on the road network arising from Local Plan growth.
Consultation Point: R01 & HP01
Soundness - Justified
The DHGV is within close proximity of the administrative boundaries with Basildon & Thurrock Boroughs and it is considered that there may be implications for the future geographical extent of both the Brentwood and South Essex Housing Market Areas as the housing markets evolve.
Furthermore, the policy requirements of the Plan are informed by data collected from Brentwood Borough, or its population; the significant majority of which is located away from this area to the north. Consequently, there is a difference in what might be delivered in DHGV compared to what could be delivered just slightly to the east in Basildon Borough; which might distort the housing markets as they adjust to the new development taking place around the boundary. The following table has been prepared using Figure 6.1 from the Plan and the South Essex Strategic Housing Market Assessment that has informed the Basildon Borough Local Plan 2014-2034 and it is considered both these SHMA's should instead be used to inform the housing mix policy for DHGV. The Council therefore objects to Policy R01 and HP01.
Modification: It is considered the stark contrast between the house size requirements for Basildon and Brentwood in DHGV, which is on a boundary location, means it needs to have taken into account the South Essex SHMA in determining the housing mix for DHGV so that it can better sit within the landscape of the strategic context of South Essex, which is not reflective of the wider Brentwood Borough HMA. Policy HP01 and R01 should be amended in light of this.
Consultation Point: R01(D)(h)
Soundness - Justified and consistent with national policy.
The Council has noted that Policy R01(D)(h) has set a target to retain 50% of the strategic allocation for green and blue infrastructure. Given the location is over 259ha, it is agreed that this helps enshrine the Garden Community values within the policies which will guide the masterplan and the site's development. However, the Council questions whether this is intended to be a permanent resource, given it also determines that a further 2,300 homes could be brought forward in the strategic location after 2033; taking its indicative total to around 4,000 homes. It is considered that if it is not explained clearly in any published evidence, as to whether any of the retained space for green and blue infrastructure would need to be used to meet this higher development scale after 2033. The Council's understanding of this, is frustrated by a lack of published evidence on DHGV, which would enable Basildon Borough to effectively understand the nature, extent and potential implications (positive or negative) of its proposals for DHGV. This would make the policy more justified and compliant with national policy. The Council therefore objects to Policy R01(D)(h).
Modification: Clarify within R01 and its supporting text whether the Green Infrastructure proposed to amount to 50% of the land area is a permanent resource or whether the projected growth in the area beyond the plan-period would need to utilise any of the green infrastructure for growth. If the latter, the percentage should be adjusted accordingly.
Consultation Point: SP02, R01 and Paragraph 8.83-8.84
Soundness - Justified
The Council welcomes the publication of the Brentwood Borough Green Belt Study 2018. It is acknowledged that this comprises two parts; Part 1 is a full Green Belt assessment parcelling up the Green Belt and Part 2 as a separate site assessment of individual sites promoted through the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). This is a similar format to the Basildon Borough Green Belt Study.
For Part 1, a scale of high - low was used to assess the contribution 70 separate parcels made to the Green Belt. The DHGV parcel (17) score "Moderate - High". It was one of 21 parcels to score "Moderate - High". 19 parcels scored "High". The remainder scored lower.
In respect of the tests, Parcel 17 was assessed as follows:
* Purpose 1 - to check unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas: Not contained i.e. development would constitute urban sprawl (red)
* Purpose 2 - to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another: Important
countryside gap between settlements (amber)
Purpose 3 - to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment: Functional countryside (red)
Purpose 4 - to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns: Limited relationship with a historic town. (green)
The Council does not consider it to be clear however, from the published methodology, as to why having scored highly in relation to the Purpose 1 and Purpose 3, as to why this parcel is assessed as making a "moderate to high" contribution to Green Belt purposes, when there are other parcels which make high contributions towards two of the purposes have been assessed as making a "high" contribution towards Green Belt purposes; and are therefore valued to a greater degree as serving towards the purpose of Green Belt.
In respects of Part 2 assessment, the DHGV allocation (Site 200) was assessed alongside other HELAA sites. A total of 92 sites were assessed. The DHGV site assessment matches the entire Parcel 17 assessed in Part 1. Five sites were assessed as making a "high" contribution towards Green Belt purposes. A further 18 sites were assessed as making a "moderate to high contribution". Site 200 - 'Entire land east of A128, south of A127' was assessed as making a "moderate to high" contribution. The remaining 69 sites were assessed as making a less significant contribution to Green Belt purposes.
The DHGV site was assessed as follows:
* Purpose 1 - to check unrestricted sprawl of large built up areas: Not contained i.e. development would constitute urban sprawl (red)
* Purpose 2 - to prevent neighbouring towns merging into one another: Would result in significant separation reduction (amber)
* Purpose 3 - to assist in safeguarding the countryside from encroachment: Functional countryside (red)
* Purpose 4 - to preserve the setting and special character of historic towns: Limited relationship with historic town (green)
The outcomes of Part 2 are considered to be consistent with Part 1. However, it is not clear from the methodology as to why given the site scored highly in relation to Purpose 1 and Purpose 3,
this parcel is then assessed as only making a "moderate to high" contribution to Green Belt purposes, when it could potentially have been assessed as making a "high" contribution for those reasons.
The Council recognise that there is now, no longer an issue with missing evidence in this regard, which it had repeatedly raised in previous Regulation 18 consultation responses. However, the Council considers that the issue now is one of how the Green Belt evidence has informed the Plan. It is not clear how the policy judgements arrived at have considered that development in this strategic gap, which helps prevent settlement coalescence can be adequately mitigated. The Council does not believe that when accounting for this evidence that the Plan has reached a justified position in respects of whether the Green Belt evidence has informed the Local Plan policies, to the degree which the proposals in the DHGV area are set out. The Council therefore objects to Policy SP02, R01 and Paragraphs 8.83-8.84.
Modification: The Plan should demonstrate in more detail, through a tool such as a Topic Paper, how its site selection choices have been informed by the Green Belt Study 2018 and should any inconsistencies occurs the Plan's land use allocations and justification should be changed.
Consultation Point: Paragraph 9.36 and R01(II)
Soundness - Justified & Effective
Brentwood Council will be aware from joint Duty to Cooperate meetings with elected members and officers that during 2017, efforts were made by both Basildon and Brentwood Councils to determine whether a West Basildon urban extension could be delivered in the Basildon Borough Local Plan, alongside DHGV, whilst maintaining a sense of visual separation between both developments. To this end, a joint Dunton Area Landscape Corridor Design Options Study was commissioned by both Councils, which I have enclosed as evidence against this representation, to consider how both Council's Green Belt and land management policies, either side of the boundary, could be coordinated in this location going forward. This was to also help determine whether it was possible for DHGV to co-exist with development in West Basildon without causing harm to heritage and environmental assets within Basildon Borough.
The Council has noted that the Plan does now includes specific references that the joint borough boundary needs a degree of landscape and Green Belt treatment to maintain a visual separation with the edge of Basildon Borough, but it does not elaborate as to how this will be achieved. The Council therefore finds its disappointing that this joint study does not form part of the referenced and published evidence base for the Plan, nor do the outcomes from this work appear to have informed Policy R01(II) as sought through the earlier Duty to Cooperate engagement. The Council therefore objects to Policy R01(II) and Paragraph 9.36.
Modification: The measures set out in the Joint Dunton Area Landscape Corridor Design Options 2017 should be acknowledged in Paragraph 9.36 and incorporated into Policy 9.36 to make it more justified and effective at mitigating the impact the development would otherwise have on the Basildon Borough. This would lead to an effective policy outcome identified as being necessary during Duty to Cooperate engagement to manage this cross-boundary issue. It is considered that as a matter of principle, this would help address the Council's previous Regulation 18 objections as to how the boundary would be treated and how the new community could exist side by side the existing smaller settlement of Dunton Wayletts in the Basildon Borough.
Consultation Point: SP04 and R01(I)
Soundness - Effectiveness, Justified & Compliance with National Policy
It is noted that the Plan assumes that all commuters will use West Horndon railway station and other areas in Brentwood Borough to access a means of travelling to other places. It fails however to investigate the possible impacts on Basildon Borough's road and rail infrastructure, as a
neighbouring authority, arising from commuters or other road users choosing to access facilities within the Basildon Borough instead.
The Transport Assessment (PBA, 2018) discusses measures to ensure more effective bus access to and from West Horndon Station - serving an area including the new DHGV, as well as other employment sites within South Brentwood Growth Corridor. It is noted however that the need for new connections into Basildon Borough in terms of walking, cycling, public transport or road do not appear to be mentioned as being necessary to make it sustainable.
The Brentwood Borough IDP states that a new multi-modal interchange will be created at West Horndon Station. This will serve the DHGV, Childerditch, West Horndon and Enterprise Development sites. It also mentions the possibility that this could serve any future northern Thurrock developments. The Plan states that, the proposed DHGV settlement's transport mitigation measures will include potential dedicated bus route(s) connecting the development with West Horndon station and improvements at West Horndon station for vehicular, segregated cycle and public transport access from surrounding developments, as well as cycle storage and a bus interchange facility. The Council is therefore confused that in seeking to mitigate DHGV's impacts on the surrounding areas there is no mention of any impact being evaluated as spilling over into Basildon Borough and needing its own mitigation.
Laindon railway station, with three platforms and starter trains has greater commutable capacity than West Horndon and could become an alternative choice for residents within DHGV, despite a lack of new connections hampering their ability to make that choice easily without driving, via the A127. Whilst the Plan seeks to make provision for a new interchange at West Horndon to capture these movements more locally, should commuters still seek to use alternative stations including those outside of the Brentwood Borough such as Laindon, this will lead to increase demands on those stations' facilities, particularly parking, as well as the routes to get to them. Policy SP04 does set out the approach required by Paragraph 34 of the NPPF, but it does not explicitly mention that it has accounted for the spatial context of DHGV and the existing spatial form of the Brentwood Borough, where its higher-order settlements are further to the north. It does not state that it will support the possibility of developer contributions being used to mitigate this impact outside the Brentwood Borough in higher-order settlements which are closer that Brentwood Borough's own settlements, but outside the Brentwood Borough. This is considered to disregard how new residents living in the DHGV could behave in the future in seeking to access services and how this impact will therefore be adequately mitigated.
It seems that it an effort for the new DHGV to be self-sustaining, as set out in Paragraph 9.14, it has meant the Plan remains unclear, as to how it will relate to its neighbouring areas, particularly in terms of access and connectivity. This is considered a core sustainability principle for new developments and whether in exercising that choice, its residents will use what is to be provided within Brentwood Borough remains to be seen. They could use alternative routes (namely the A127 and West Mayne into Laindon) to access different facilities already available in closer higher order settlements outside Brentwood Borough. Considering that there are existing services that are already shared between the Borough's residents, e.g. schools, it is considered essential for a more practical and pragmatic approach to be adopted should the DHGV be permitted, including the policy reality that until such a time as the critical mass for new homes is established on-site, it is more likely that Basildon Borough's facilities in Laindon will be picking up the demands of new users arising from the neighbouring Brentwood Borough in the short-medium term.
There is no evidence presented by Brentwood Borough Council which indicates that DHGV's growth demands have been evaluated, in combination, with the projected demands arising from the Basildon Borough Local Plan. The Plan should not assume that such growth can just be absorbed by the nearby infrastructure and services in Basildon Borough and investment through developer contributions will be necessary. The infrastructure in the Basildon Borough has been evaluated for its capacity, its ability to grow and the scale of investment necessary to accommodate the growth in the Basildon Borough Local Plan to enable the Basildon growth to occur and there has not been enough information published during Regulation 18 (as set out in previous
representations) to be able to incorporate any testing of Brentwood's growth in as well. The Council therefore objects to Policy SP04 and R01(II).
Modification: The Plan should be modified to recognise that some impacts are likely to be cross-boundary and additional provisions should be incorporated into SP04 and RO1(I) that will support using S106/CIL arising from development in Brentwood Borough to be used for investment outside the Brentwood Borough, where it can be proven that there is reasonable likelihood of a direct or residual impacts otherwise being caused that need to be mitigated. This will make the Plan more effective, justified and in accordance with national policy.
Consultation Point: R01(I) and Appendix 1
Soundness - Justified & Effective
The Council notes the housing trajectory included within the Plan at Appendix 1. With regards to DHGV it is assumed that delivery will commence in 2022/23 (within the next five years) at a rate of 100 homes per annum, climbing to 300 homes per annum by 2026/27. As set out in earlier representations in respects of housing supply, this seems overly optimistic given that the allocation is currently within the extent of the Green Belt, requires masterplanning and will need to go through a planning application and elements of the condition discharge process before development on site can even commence. Development commencement on-site meanwhile, will be reliant on essential utility and infrastructure provision. No evidence is provided alongside the Plan, or within the associated Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA), as to how the housing trajectory in general has been developed. Furthermore, there is no specific evidence published setting out the evidence base, or any form of a development framework/ masterplan for the DHGV that explains how the proposed accelerated rate of delivery will be possible to achieve.
The Council considers that the speed and level of growth in this boundary location may have implications for Basildon Borough's own housing market and risks the ability for it to be able to deliver housing at the rates necessary for its own housing trajectory. Early residents of the DHGV will rely on some services and facilities outside the village to meet their initial needs, unless these facilities were all to be front-loaded and wait for the population to gradually build up to make full use of them. As an example, the DHGV will require new primary and secondary school provision. However, whilst the Brentwood IDP shows the primary provision in particular being delivered early, it is understood to not be economically viable to operate a school with low pupil numbers, and it may be the case that the village grows for a number of years with these pupils travelling to other schools in the locality (principally within the Basildon Borough), whilst operational primary and then secondary education provision is secured and the village becomes more self-sufficient. The Council therefore objects to Policy R01(I) and Appendix 1.
Modification: The Council therefore seeks for evidence to be provided demonstrating the realistic delivery trajectory for DHGV so that the potential short-medium term pressures on services and facilities in nearby settlements can be assessed, understood and planned for by service providers and neighbouring authorities. This will help ensure adequate mitigation provisions can be put in place to reduce any potential negative impacts on Basildon Borough residents living nearby. This will make the Plan justified and effective.
Consultation Point: R01(II)
Soundness - Effectiveness
Notwithstanding that the Council objects to many of the fundamental soundness principles of the DHGV, the Council would like to seek assurances written into Policy R01(II) that it will be invited by Brentwood Borough Council to become more involved in the detailed design and delivery of the new village. This will ensure that the strategic and cross-boundary impacts covered by the Duty to Cooperate and raised during the Council's response to the Plan at Regulation 18 and 19 stages are managed effectively during the development's implementation stages (assuming it is
considered sound), alongside the Basildon Borough Local Plan's own implementation. The Council therefore objects to Policy R01(II).
Modification: The Council would like a criterion added into Policy R01(II) under a new heading "Collaborative Approach" that will make it a requirement for neighbouring authorities to be engaged during the detailed design stages of DHGV to ensure strategic and cross boundary impacts are managed effectively during implementation.
This concludes the Council's representation.

Attachments:

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23110

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Castle Point Borough Council

Representation:

In January 2018 a Memorandum of understanding was signed by Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on- Sea and Thurrock to form the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA). The Council has worked closely with BBC and other South Essex authorities to produce joint evidence base documents and through the emerging Joint Strategic Plan for South Essex (JSP).
From CPBC's perspective, the production of the PSLP has included joint working which meets the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate. There is no reason for the Council to question the legal compliance of the PSLP.

Full text:

1. Legal Compliance
Brentwood Borough Council (BBC) has worked closely with Castle Point Borough Council (CPBC) through the production of the emerging Pre-Submission Local Plan (PSLP).
In January 2018 a Memorandum of understanding was signed by Brentwood, Castle Point, Essex County, Rochford, Southend-on- Sea and Thurrock to form the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA). The Council has worked closely with BBC and other South Essex authorities to produce joint evidence base documents and through the emerging Joint Strategic Plan for South Essex (JSP).
From CPBC's perspective, the production of the PSLP has included joint working which meets the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate. There is no reason for the Council to question the legal compliance of the PSLP.
2. Test of Soundness
2.1 Positively Prepared
To be positively prepared, the PSLP should seek to meet the areas objectively assessed needs (OAN).
The PSLP makes provision for 7,752 new residential dwellings to be built over the plan period. The housing target is in excess of the level of need calculated through the Standard Method within the Planning Practice Guidance, and is based on recommendations in the SHMA which seeks to meet objectively assessed housing needs in the Borough. CPBC supports this approach.
It is acknowledged that BBC has undertaken extensive work to identify suitable sites, review the urban land capacity, seek additional land capacity through windfall, town centre and brownfield sites, review urban densities, seek to limit the loss of the Green Belt, and consider the practical realities of phasing development alongside infrastructure delivery. CPBC commends the approach taken by BBC in seeking to deliver high housing requirements in an area with significant environmental, Green Belt and infrastructure challenges. In relation to Policy SP02, CPBP has no reason to believe that the PSLP has not been prepared positively.
2.2 Justified and effective
The PSLP provides for an uplift in the amount of homes that will be delivered over the Plan period. The PSLP identifies that the majority of homes will be delivered after the first five years of the plan period. Where the majority of allocations within the Plan are on Green Belt sites, it is acknowledged that these sites will require longer lead in times before new dwellings can be delivered. The PSLP has therefore set out a phased rate of housing delivery which they consider to be realistic and deliverable, allocating a higher level of development later in the Plan period. CPBC has no reason to believe that the approach to housing delivery within the PSLP is not justified and effective.
2.3 Consistent with national planning policy
The PSLP will be assessed against the requirements of the 2018 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Based on an assessment of some of the key elements of the PSLP, CPBC has no reason to believe that the Plan is inconsistent with national planning policy.
From CPBC's perspective, the production of the PSLP has included joint working which meets the requirements of the Duty to Cooperate. CPBC has not identified any reasons why the PSLP should not be considered positively prepared, justified, effective, and consistent with national planning policy.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23124

Received: 10/04/2019

Respondent: Thurrock Borough Council

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

Whilst in all other respects the Brentwood Plan appears to meet legal requirements it is considered that the Duty to cooperate requirements have not been fully complied with in particular with regard to development of the evidence base and the lack of proper response and agreed outputs by Brentwood Council for evidence and a response on Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV).
Thurrock Council considers that there are key strategic issues and cross-boundary matters of importance in relation to the preparation of the Brentwood Local Plan that remain outstanding and should be addressed through further effective engagement and collaboration between Brentwood Council and Thurrock Council and with the other South Essex authorities under the Duty to cooperate. The key matters include:

* Confirmation of the Brentwood Objectively Assessed need and whether the borough can accommodate its need;
* The spatial strategy and alternative options within the A12 and A127 corridors to accommodate the growth;
* The Thurrock Council concerns regarding the justification of Dunton Garden Village and the need to consider alternative options including at West Horndon;
* Transport and other infrastructure Issues;
* Further development of the Brentwood Local Plan evidence base;
* The development of the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan and evidence.

In particular in recognition of the Thurrock concern about Dunton Hills Garden Village and due to its location close to and adjoining the boundaries between the two authorities Thurrock Council requests further engagement on this development and considerations of alternative options along the A127 Corridor and elsewhere.

Change suggested by respondent:

To ensure more effective collaboration and joint working it is suggested that Brentwood Council should progress key strategic matters through the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan process as well as with individual local authorities on cross-boundary matters.

Brentwood Council will need to consider how much additional evidence base for housing need and capacity can be prepared in partnership with adjoining authorities and the other South Essex authorities. In addition to the preparation of the SGLS study which includes a high level housing land and capacity assessment, the South Essex authorities are in the course of commissioning of additional elements of evidence base to support the preparation of the joint strategic planning including a review of the South Essex SHMA, a Strategic Green Belt review and further infrastructure studies.

The outcome of these studies and the preparation of the joint strategic planning will have implications for the nature and scale of housing provision across South Essex including Brentwood and the future approach to be taken in the Local Plan.

Section 3.6 of the Brentwood Local Plan should identify the key cross-boundary issues and challenges between Brentwood and adjoining authorities including Thurrock. It should set out how the plan seeks to address these including any future reviews of the plan and through joint working on the South Essex JSP.

Brentwood Council should prepare Statements of Common Ground on strategic cross- boundary matters in accordance with the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Policy Guidance.

Notwithstanding any additional text to the plan setting out key cross-boundary issues it is considered that the Duty to Cooperate has not been met as Brentwood Council has not undertaken effective and on-going engagement regarding the Dunton hills Garden village.

The Brentwood Pre-Submission Local Plan has also therefore not been prepared with a positive and justified strategy.

Full text:

Whilst in all other respects the Brentwood Plan appears to meet legal requirements it is considered that the Duty to cooperate requirements have not been fully complied with in particular with regard to development of the evidence base and the lack of proper response and agreed outputs by Brentwood Council for evidence and a response on Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV).

The National Planning Policy Framework 2018 (updated 2019) sets out in paragraphs 24 to 27 how local authorities should maintain effective cooperation under the Duty to Cooperate. Paragraph 26 highlights that cooperation needs to be effective and on-going between strategic policy-making authorities and relevant bodies to ensure the production of a positively prepared and justified strategy.

Paragraph 27 of the revised NPPF states that in order to demonstrate effective and on-going joint working, strategic policy-making authorities should prepare and maintain statements of common ground.

The updated Planning Policy Guidance for Plan Making (September 2018) includes a section for maintaining effective cooperation and expands on the detail on and for preparing statements of common ground. It is recognised that the duty to cooperate is not a duty to agree and such statements should include agreements and disagreements between strategic plan-making authorities.

There has been ongoing engagement with Brentwood Council under the Duty to Cooperate since the 2016 draft consultation Local Plan. It is recognised that Brentwood has undertaken consultation and engagement on its various technical studies such as the SHMA, employment study and Green Belt review through workshops, meetings and correspondence. There has been a specific workshop on the A127 and more recently Dunton Hills Garden Village. An officer working group set up to consider strategic transport matters and duty to cooperate has resulted in a Statement of Common Ground signed by South Essex authorities, the LB Havering and Highways England in 2018.

In addition a number of meetings have taken place between officers of Thurrock and Brentwood Council regarding the Brentwood Local Plan. At these DTC meetings Thurrock Officers have reiterated the objection to the Brentwood spatial strategy, Dunton Garden village and suggested that alternative options are investigated including potential development at West Horndon and in the A12 Corridor. More recently Thurrock Council has engaged with Brentwood on the preparation of the new Thurrock Local Plan. The new Thurrock local Plan is at issues and Options stage (regulation 18).

It is recognised that Brentwood Council has engaged more effectively on collaboration and joint working on strategic matters through membership of the Association of South Essex Councils (ASELA) and in the preparation of a South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (JSP).

Since the summer of 2017 the leaders and chief executives of the South Essex Councils with the inclusion of Brentwood Borough Council and Essex County Council have also come together to develop a shared long term place vision for South Essex and develop the scope for greater strategic collaboration. By late 2017 work on the vision has resulted in the South Essex 2050 Ambition which includes agreement on the key policy themes to be supported, identifies six growth areas to be promoted and the establishment of new joint working arrangements including strategic planning.

In early 2018 the leaders and chief executives have committed to continuing with the vision and formalising the collaboration by forming an Association as agreed in a MOU and known as the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA). The aims of ASELA include providing place leadership, and the opening up of space for housing, business and leisure development by developing a joint spatial strategy.

More recently, as a member of ASELA, Brentwood Council have signed the Statement of Common Ground for the JSP and Planning Memorandum (MOU) in June/July 2018. A key issue for Brentwood is how the preparation of the Brentwood Local plan will align with the preparation of the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan.

It is acknowledged that additional or updated elements of evidence base has been produced by Brentwood Council since the last local plan consultation of 2016 including a strategic Housing Market assessment update 2018, draft Green Belt review and economic assessment. However other elements of the evidence base do not appear to have been produced or published to support the site proposals in the draft plan such as the HELAA, adequate transport assessment and mitigation and other infrastructure assessments.

Thurrock Council considers that there are key strategic issues and cross-boundary matters of importance in relation to the preparation of the Brentwood Local Plan that remain outstanding and should be addressed through further effective engagement and collaboration between Brentwood Council and Thurrock Council and with the other South Essex authorities under the Duty to cooperate. The key matters include:

* Confirmation of the Brentwood Objectively Assessed need and whether the borough can accommodate its need;
* The spatial strategy and alternative options within the A12 and A127 corridors to accommodate the growth;

* The Thurrock Council concerns regarding the justification of Dunton Garden Village and the need to consider alternative options including at West Horndon;
* Transport and other infrastructure Issues;
* Further development of the Brentwood Local Plan evidence base;
* The development of the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan and evidence.

In particular in recognition of the Thurrock concern about Dunton Hills Garden Village and due to its location close to and adjoining the boundaries between the two authorities Thurrock Council requests further engagement on this development and considerations of alternative options along the A127 Corridor and elsewhere.
Following representations on the earlier Preferred Site Allocation consultation 2018, a number of South Essex planning authorities including Basildon, Thurrock and Essex County Council sought further clarification with Brentwood regarding their concerns regarding the Dunton Hills Garden Village proposal including any comments on a draft of a DHGV development framework. Several joint meetings were held with Brentwood Council to identify the key issues and areas of concern.

Thurrock Council along with Basildon Borough Council and Essex County Council had submitted a joint report to Brentwood in September 2018 highlighting concerns to Brentwood Council regarding the Dunton Hills Garden Village proposal. No response on the matters set out in the document has been received from Brentwood Council.

The Pre-submission Brentwood Local Plan was approved by Brentwood Council in November 2018 without outstanding matters with adjoining the issues regarding Dunton Hills Garden Village having been clearly addressed and outcomes identified despite requests from the three other authorities including Thurrock.

A Duty to Cooperate Position Statement published as part of the Pre-submission consultation but does not include sufficient information about the key issues regarding cross-boundary matters between authorities. It is notes that the statement is intended to have Statements of Common Ground appended at a future date.

The South Essex authorities are considering spatial options to assess the capacity of South Essex to deliver its growth ambitions and have commissioned a strategic Growth Locations Study (SGLS) as part of the evidence to inform the Joint Strategic Plan preparation. In consideration of locations and strategic sites for growth a range of options will form part of the options testing as part of this study. Thurrock Council has previously considered it is premature for the Brentwood Plan to progress with the development of a large settlement such as Dunton Hills Garden village until the outcome of this options testing is known and the locations and nature of growth has been advanced with a degree of certainty and agreement with adjoining authorities due to the cross boundary implications.

To ensure more effective collaboration and joint working it is suggested that Brentwood Council should progress key strategic matters through the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan process as well as with individual local authorities on cross-boundary matters.

Brentwood Council will need to consider how much additional evidence base for housing need and capacity can be prepared in partnership with adjoining authorities and the other South Essex authorities. In addition to the preparation of the SGLS study which includes a high level housing land and capacity assessment, the South Essex authorities are in the course of commissioning of additional elements of evidence base to support the preparation of the joint strategic planning including a review of the South Essex SHMA, a Strategic Green Belt review and further infrastructure studies.

The outcome of these studies and the preparation of the joint strategic planning will have implications for the nature and scale of housing provision across South Essex including Brentwood and the future approach to be taken in the Local Plan.

Section 3.6 of the Brentwood Local Plan should identify the key cross-boundary issues and challenges between Brentwood and adjoining authorities including Thurrock. It should set out how the plan seeks to address these including any future reviews of the plan and through joint working on the South Essex JSP.

Brentwood Council should prepare Statements of Common Ground on strategic cross- boundary matters in accordance with the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Policy Guidance.

Notwithstanding any additional text to the plan setting out key cross-boundary issues it is considered that the Duty to Cooperate has not been met as Brentwood Council has not undertaken effective and on-going engagement regarding the Dunton Hills Garden village.

The Brentwood Pre-Submission Local Plan has also therefore not been prepared with a positive and justified strategy.



Attachments:

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23173

Received: 05/03/2019

Respondent: Chelmsford City Council

Representation:

BBC and CCC have engaged on strategic cross boundary matters. A Protocol for dealing with unmet housing needs requests has also been agreed between Essex Local Planning Authorities through the Essex Planning Officers' Association which has resulted in an effective joint mechanism being put in place. Furthermore, both Councils have also been involved in a joint the Gypsy, Traveller & Traveller Showpeople Accommodation Assessment with relevant other Essex Local Planning Authorities. CCC consider that the Duty to Co-operate has been fulfilled and will continue to work collaboratively where appropriate with BBC through the Duty to Co-operate.

Full text:

Chelmsford City Council (CCC) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Brentwood Borough Council (BBC) Regulation 19 Pre-submission Local Plan prior to its submission to the Secretary of State for examination.
Officers at CCC have been working collaboratively with BBC through the Duty to Co-operate as outlined in paragraph 1.11 of the Pre-Submission document. CCC has responded to previous iterations of the Brentwood Local Plan including the Draft Local Plan in 2016 and Draft Local Plan Preferred Site Allocations in 2018.
CCC has the following comments on the consultation document:
Duty to Co-operate
BBC and CCC have engaged on strategic cross boundary matters. A Protocol for dealing with unmet housing needs requests has also been agreed between Essex Local Planning Authorities through the Essex Planning Officers' Association which has resulted in an effective joint mechanism being put in place. Furthermore, both Councils have also been involved in a joint the Gypsy, Traveller & Traveller Showpeople Accommodation Assessment with relevant other Essex Local Planning Authorities. CCC consider that the Duty to Co-operate has been fulfilled and will continue to work collaboratively where appropriate with BBC through the Duty to Co-operate.
Housing
It is noted that as a starting point the Local Plan sets out a housing requirement figure for Brentwood, as calculated using the standard method in the SHMA of 350dpa. CCC welcomes Brentwood Borough Council's commitment to significantly boost the supply of housing to meet the needs of the area and the decision to adopt a higher figure of 456dpa in anticipation of MHCLG intention to adjust the standardised methodology to safeguard against any potential uplift. When taking the supply buffer into account, the Local Plan provides for a total of 7,752 new homes over the plan period 2016-2033 setting a housing target of 456dpa. This is set out in Policy SP02:
Managing Growth which sets the housing delivery targets of an annual average rate of 310 dwellings per year to 2022/23, followed by 584 dwellings per year from 2023/24-2033. BBC proposes to meet its own housing need within its administrative boundaries and has not approached neighbouring authorities under the Duty to Co-operate to request other authorities help accommodate any unmet needs. This is supported by CCC. Is it noted that the Brentwood Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (GTAA) identified that there is a requirement of 13 additional Gypsy and Traveller pitches to be developed by 2033. With no current need identified for accommodation for travelling showpeople, a criteria-based
Policy HP11 Proposals For Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople would deal with any need that arises over the life of the Plan on windfall sites. Overall, the need is being met with the authority's administrative area.
On transit sites, CCC acknowledges the GTAA's recommendations to engage, through the Duty to Cooperate, with other Essex authorities in the future to review the need for transit sites. Further work on this is also being undertaken by Essex County Council to consider the need for these sites across Essex as a whole.
Overall CCC is supportive of the approach to housing need in the BBC Local Plan and do not raise any objections under soundness or legal compliance.
Employment
The Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) for Brentwood is the same as the Housing Market Area. Policy PC02: Job Growth and Employment Land makes provision for 5,000 additional jobs to be provided in the borough over the plan period. CCC is supportive of BBC approach to meeting the forecasted employments needs through allocating 47.39ha employment land as set out in Policy PC03 Employment Land Allocations. The Local Plan allocates additional strategic employment land at Brentwood Enterprise Park. In addition, further employment land is allocated and policies in the Local Plan seek to protect existing employment land providing a mix and range of employment sites. Overall CCC is supportive of this approach and do not raise any objections under soundness or legal compliance.
The Spatial Strategy and Relevant Site Allocations
The Spatial Strategy primarily focuses growth within two key growth areas (Central Brentwood Growth Corridor and South Brentwood Growth Corridor) together with more limited growth outside these growth areas in Village Service Centres and larger villages (including Ingatestone and Blackmore in proximity to Chelmsford City Council's administrative area).
The growth areas comprise:
Central Brentwood Growth Corridor - brownfield land in Brentwood and Shenfield together with wider urban extensions in places around the Brentwood Urban Area and opportunities to grow Ingatestone Village through urban extension to the south, providing new housing and supporting employment.
South Brentwood Growth Corridor - strategic allocation at Dunton Hills Garden Village, a strategic allocation at M25 junction 29 (Brentwood Enterprise Park) providing most of the new employment land needed, together with brownfield opportunities through the redevelopment of existing industrial land in West Horndon.
Section 9 of the Local Plan identifies the locations at which new development will be located. For Chelmsford, sites of local in proximity to the Chelmsford area are around 161 dwellings (R21) and around 57 dwellings (R22) to be provided on new Local Plan allocations in Ingatestone, together with around 40 dwellings (R25) and around 30 dwellings (R26) allocated on sites in Blackmore. CCC supports BBC's proposed approach to housing and employment allocations which are unlikely to
have any obvious adverse cross-boundary impacts on Chelmsford.
However, it is crucial that the allocations are supported by the appropriate infrastructure, in particular highway and transportation schemes due to Brentwood's location on the A12/Greater Anglia road and rail corridor. It is noted that the Infrastructure Delivery Plan is a 'live' document and would be reviewed and published annually. To conclude, CCC is supportive of the Local Plan and does not raise any objections under soundness or legal compliance.

Attachments:

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23187

Received: 18/03/2019

Respondent: Southend on Sea Council

Representation:

Brentwood and Southend Councils are both active partners in the Association of South Essex Authorities. This will set the overall planning context for South Essex and respective Local Plans will need to align with this or if they are prepared in advance, include appropriate review mechanisms. This is important for fulfilling the Duty to Co-operate. The A127 and the C2C rail routes are key strategic transport corridors linking Southend, Brentwood to London and beyond. Both already face capacity issues and it is important that the impacts of development are considered not in a "whole route" approach.

Full text:

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Brentwood Local Plan Regulation 19 consultation.

Brentwood is located within a separate Housing Market Area to Southend. I also note that you intend to accommodate your own projected need, primarily at Dunton Hills, and are not seeking for neighbouring authorities to take any of your housing requirements. If this was not the case, all the evidence base work commissioned for the Southend Local Plan Issues and Options indicates that Southend will not be able to meet its housing need in full and will therefore, be unable to contribute to meeting other authorities need.

I understand that work has been undertaken in assessing housing provision, particularly regarding the Dunton Hill Garden Settlement. At a strategic South Essex level it will be important to fully consider how this proposal relates to wider strategic housing proposals in the West Horndon area (affecting other neighbouring authorities).

The A127 and the C2C rail routes are key strategic transport corridors linking Southend to London and beyond through neighbouring authorities, including Brentwood. Both already face capacity issues and it is important that the impacts of development are considered not only on individual junctions but taking into account a "whole route" approach. There is already an A127 Working group comprising all the Highway authorities along the corridor which is considering possible interventions along the route. It is essential that any significant interventions in Brentwood therefore are aligned with this work.

Brentwood and Southend Councils are both active partners in the Association of South Essex Authorities working on the Joint Strategic Plan for South Essex. This will set the overall planning context for South Essex and respective Local Plans will need to align with this or if they are prepared in advance, include appropriate review mechanisms. This is important for fulfilling the Duty to Co-operate requirements set out in legislation.

Attachments:

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23275

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: c2c Rail

Representation:

We strongly welcome the positive engagement we have had from the council's officers on this issue to date.

Full text:

Response to Brentwood Local Plan consultation

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Brentwood Borough Council's Local Plan consultation document.

Background
c2c is the operator of the Department for Transport's Essex Thameside franchise. c2c is owned by Trenitalia UK, the British arm of leading Italian train operator Trenitalia SpA. Trenitalia is in turn part of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group), one of the world's largest transport and infrastructure companies.

c2c holds a 15-year franchise for the Essex Thameside operation, which runs until November 2029. The length of this contract means we have an ongoing interest in the medium- to long-term growth and development of Thurrock borough and the wider south Essex and east London region.

The only c2c station in Brentwood borough is West Horndon.

Consultation Response
c2c strongly supports the importance of continued economic growth and the provision of more homes, both in Brentwood borough and the wider region. The combination of comparatively low housing costs, easy access to and from central London, and the most punctual commuter service in the South East are important factors that underpin this growth.

To deliver this economic growth and the proposed housebuilding programme, maintaining and improving the transport infrastructure is absolutely essential and must be treated as such by the Council. Supporting the railway infrastructure in particular is vital, given the unique economic and environmental benefits it provides that cannot be delivered by investment in roads. For example, only the railway provides a realistic link to central London and Canary Wharf for regular commuters, who then spend their salaries locally, bringing economic growth. The railway also provides the most environmentally-friendly form of transport for longer journeys, which will be vital for protecting local air quality.

Route Capacity
c2c's current franchise includes increased capacity delivered in stages as demand increases. To date this has been achieved through:

- Reconfiguring a proportion of our existing rolling stock to increase onboard capacity in 2015
- Implementing a new timetable which significantly increased the number of peak services from most stations in the borough in 2015
- Expanding c2c's train fleet with the addition of 24 new carriages in 2016

The final contractualised increase in capacity is scheduled for December 2021, with the addition of 60 new Bombardier Aventra carriages. This will provide a net 20% increase in seats across the c2c fleet. This capacity increase has been accelerated from its original scheduled date of 2022-2024 in recognition of the scale of growth that has already been delivered on the Essex Thameside franchise. However there are no further increases in capacity included in our franchise agreement with the Department for Transport.

Given the latest projected housing numbers reported by each local authority in the region, our latest analysis forecasts that our contractualised route capacity, including the additional rolling stock scheduled for 2021, will be exhausted by 2025.

This means the projected scale of housebuilding included in Brentwood's Local Plan, and in the other equivalent documents from local authorities in the region, is at risk.

The route capacity is set to be exhausted because:

* At peak times we are currently operating at the maximum capacity for the signalling system of 20 trains per hour. That means we cannot increase the frequency of service
* Our options for further increasing capacity by adding rolling stock and lengthening trains are limited. Many peak services are already operating at the maximum length of 12-carriages. Additional 12-car trains could also create problems at London stations and thereby increase delays route wide
* The replacement of the current signalling system is expensive and has been deferred to 2040. This will result in an ongoing decline in the reliability of the signalling infrastructure until that point

Network Rail is undertaking a route study to evaluate our forecasts, and the potential solutions, which is due to report in late 2019.

One potential solution is ETCS Level 2, which is train-based signalling technology that would replace the current traffic light signals. c2c's owning group, Trenitalia UK is currently developing an Outline Business Case for the Department for Transport for an investment in ETCS Level 2.

Installing this system on the core section of the current c2c route, between Fenchurch Street and Upminster, would unlock the possibility for a new higher-frequency timetable that can be operated while maintaining current punctuality levels. Combined with an estimated 12 additional units, ETCS has the potential to provide 24 trains per hour in the peak from December 2024, with the potential for up to 28 trains per hour beyond the end of the current c2c franchise. This would provide sufficient additional capacity across the route.

A funding strategy is currently being developed to gain support from the Department for Transport. If the Outline Business Case demonstrates a positive BCR for this scheme, it is essential that Brentwood Borough Council supports its development to mitigate the existing risk to the proposed targets in its Local Plan. The capital costs would require contributions from developers and others who benefit through appropriate mechanisms.

For example, we are aware that the Association of South Essex Local Authorities are undertaking a joint approach to strategic planning, which we welcome, and are considering an application to central government for a Growth Deal. We urge Brentwood Borough Council to support the inclusion of our scheme in this strategy, and identify funding sources across the region that can be used to contribute to the capital and net operating costs of the proposal.

Station enhancements
We strongly welcome the Plan's recognition that the projected growth in passengers at West Horndon will require significant improvements to the existing station, and the positive engagement we have had from the council's officers on this issue to date.

In particular, the London-bound platform is not currently accessible, and this will require a bridge and lifts to ensure it is suitable for all proposed new residents. The station building itself is also of limited capacity, with only a short gateline. This will require significant investment to ensure it can handle the future anticipated number of passengers. Finally, the car park is also limited in capacity and will require expansion.

The importance placed on providing effective public transport links from the Dunton Hills Garden Village to West Horndon station in the draft Plan is also welcomed.

In addition, we are aware that Thurrock Council is considering significant development to the south of the railway line. There is currently no access to the station from the south, so such development there would also mean significant investment is required. We recommend a joint approach between c2c, Brentwood, Thurrock and the relevant developers would be the most effective way forward to ensure a suitable station is constructed that delivers value for money for all parties. We are committed to playing a full role in this process in the future.

I hope this response has been useful, and please do not hesitate to get in contact if you would like to discuss any of these issues in more detail.

Attachments:

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23280

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: c2c Rail

Representation:

Given the projected housing numbers reported in the region, our contractualised route capacity will be exhausted by 2025. Trenitalia UK is currently developing an Outline Business Case for the Department for Transport for an investment in ETCS Level 2. As the ASELA are undertaking a joint approach to strategic planning and are considering an application to central government for a Growth Deal, we urge the Council to support the inclusion of our scheme in this strategy, and identify funding sources across the region that can be used to contribute to the capital and net operating costs of the proposal.

Full text:

Response to Brentwood Local Plan consultation

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Brentwood Borough Council's Local Plan consultation document.

Background
c2c is the operator of the Department for Transport's Essex Thameside franchise. c2c is owned by Trenitalia UK, the British arm of leading Italian train operator Trenitalia SpA. Trenitalia is in turn part of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group (FS Group), one of the world's largest transport and infrastructure companies.

c2c holds a 15-year franchise for the Essex Thameside operation, which runs until November 2029. The length of this contract means we have an ongoing interest in the medium- to long-term growth and development of Thurrock borough and the wider south Essex and east London region.

The only c2c station in Brentwood borough is West Horndon.

Consultation Response
c2c strongly supports the importance of continued economic growth and the provision of more homes, both in Brentwood borough and the wider region. The combination of comparatively low housing costs, easy access to and from central London, and the most punctual commuter service in the South East are important factors that underpin this growth.

To deliver this economic growth and the proposed housebuilding programme, maintaining and improving the transport infrastructure is absolutely essential and must be treated as such by the Council. Supporting the railway infrastructure in particular is vital, given the unique economic and environmental benefits it provides that cannot be delivered by investment in roads. For example, only the railway provides a realistic link to central London and Canary Wharf for regular commuters, who then spend their salaries locally, bringing economic growth. The railway also provides the most environmentally-friendly form of transport for longer journeys, which will be vital for protecting local air quality.

Route Capacity
c2c's current franchise includes increased capacity delivered in stages as demand increases. To date this has been achieved through:

- Reconfiguring a proportion of our existing rolling stock to increase onboard capacity in 2015
- Implementing a new timetable which significantly increased the number of peak services from most stations in the borough in 2015
- Expanding c2c's train fleet with the addition of 24 new carriages in 2016

The final contractualised increase in capacity is scheduled for December 2021, with the addition of 60 new Bombardier Aventra carriages. This will provide a net 20% increase in seats across the c2c fleet. This capacity increase has been accelerated from its original scheduled date of 2022-2024 in recognition of the scale of growth that has already been delivered on the Essex Thameside franchise. However there are no further increases in capacity included in our franchise agreement with the Department for Transport.

Given the latest projected housing numbers reported by each local authority in the region, our latest analysis forecasts that our contractualised route capacity, including the additional rolling stock scheduled for 2021, will be exhausted by 2025.

This means the projected scale of housebuilding included in Brentwood's Local Plan, and in the other equivalent documents from local authorities in the region, is at risk.

The route capacity is set to be exhausted because:

* At peak times we are currently operating at the maximum capacity for the signalling system of 20 trains per hour. That means we cannot increase the frequency of service
* Our options for further increasing capacity by adding rolling stock and lengthening trains are limited. Many peak services are already operating at the maximum length of 12-carriages. Additional 12-car trains could also create problems at London stations and thereby increase delays route wide
* The replacement of the current signalling system is expensive and has been deferred to 2040. This will result in an ongoing decline in the reliability of the signalling infrastructure until that point

Network Rail is undertaking a route study to evaluate our forecasts, and the potential solutions, which is due to report in late 2019.

One potential solution is ETCS Level 2, which is train-based signalling technology that would replace the current traffic light signals. c2c's owning group, Trenitalia UK is currently developing an Outline Business Case for the Department for Transport for an investment in ETCS Level 2.

Installing this system on the core section of the current c2c route, between Fenchurch Street and Upminster, would unlock the possibility for a new higher-frequency timetable that can be operated while maintaining current punctuality levels. Combined with an estimated 12 additional units, ETCS has the potential to provide 24 trains per hour in the peak from December 2024, with the potential for up to 28 trains per hour beyond the end of the current c2c franchise. This would provide sufficient additional capacity across the route.

A funding strategy is currently being developed to gain support from the Department for Transport. If the Outline Business Case demonstrates a positive BCR for this scheme, it is essential that Brentwood Borough Council supports its development to mitigate the existing risk to the proposed targets in its Local Plan. The capital costs would require contributions from developers and others who benefit through appropriate mechanisms.

For example, we are aware that the Association of South Essex Local Authorities are undertaking a joint approach to strategic planning, which we welcome, and are considering an application to central government for a Growth Deal. We urge Brentwood Borough Council to support the inclusion of our scheme in this strategy, and identify funding sources across the region that can be used to contribute to the capital and net operating costs of the proposal.

Station enhancements
We strongly welcome the Plan's recognition that the projected growth in passengers at West Horndon will require significant improvements to the existing station, and the positive engagement we have had from the council's officers on this issue to date.

In particular, the London-bound platform is not currently accessible, and this will require a bridge and lifts to ensure it is suitable for all proposed new residents. The station building itself is also of limited capacity, with only a short gateline. This will require significant investment to ensure it can handle the future anticipated number of passengers. Finally, the car park is also limited in capacity and will require expansion.

The importance placed on providing effective public transport links from the Dunton Hills Garden Village to West Horndon station in the draft Plan is also welcomed.

In addition, we are aware that Thurrock Council is considering significant development to the south of the railway line. There is currently no access to the station from the south, so such development there would also mean significant investment is required. We recommend a joint approach between c2c, Brentwood, Thurrock and the relevant developers would be the most effective way forward to ensure a suitable station is constructed that delivers value for money for all parties. We are committed to playing a full role in this process in the future.

I hope this response has been useful, and please do not hesitate to get in contact if you would like to discuss any of these issues in more detail.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23287

Received: 15/03/2019

Respondent: West Horndon Parish Council

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

The Parish Council's representations dated 22nd March 2016 to the Draft Local Plan raised a number of issues. It is the opinion of the Parish Council that the points made have not been addressed; indeed very little has changed in the Reg 19 Plan in light of representations made by any parties. The Parish Council wishes therefore to make clear that the representations it made on the Draft Local Plan are still outstanding and still represent matters that require addressing for the Reg 19 Plan to be considered to be sound.

Full text:

1.0 Introduction
1. These representations have been prepared by Navigus Planning on behalf of West Horndon Parish Council ('the Parish Council') in respect of the Brentwood Borough Council (BBC) Local Plan Regulation 19 Consultation ('the Reg 19 Plan').
2. The principal matter that these representations address is the allocation of Dunton Hills Garden Village (Policy RO1) and specifically the soundness of that allocation, as required by paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). In particular, the Parish Council is of the opinion that the Reg 19 Plan has not been justified because it hasn't been based on appropriate and proportionate evidence and is not consistent with national policy.
3. It is important to make clear that the Parish Council supports the allocation of the land at West Horndon Industrial Estate (Policy RO2) for residential, care home and appropriate employment uses.
2.0 Previous representations
4. The Parish Council's representations dated 22nd March 2016 to the Draft Local Plan raised a number of issues. It is the opinion of the Parish Council that the points made have not been addressed; indeed very little has changed in the Reg 19 Plan in light of representations made by any parties. The Parish Council wishes therefore to make clear that the representations it made on the Draft Local Plan are still outstanding and still represent matters that require addressing for the Reg 19 Plan to be considered to be sound.
3.0 Transport strategy
5. The spatial strategy in the Reg 19 Plan focuses on three main driving forces, one of which is 'Transit-oriented Growth'. Paragraph 3.11 notes that one of its 'connectivity axes' is the A127 and the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway to London Fenchurch Street Station. It states that:
"Focusing growth along these axes will ensure that future development is sustainable, maximising the benefits of transport infrastructure. While some investment to improve the transport network will be inevitable, this growth strategy ensures economies of scale are reached, with the critical mass of development making it more viable for such investment to occur."
6. Whilst it is questionable as to whether growth along a road corridor can ever constitute sustainable development given the detrimental effects of increased car use on climate change and air pollution, the stated principle is supported. However, the Parish Council has concerns that the spatial strategy which is then presented fails to adequately justify or demonstrate what improvements are going to be needed to the transport network and whether the costs - which have not been properly scoped out - can be addressed by investment which can reasonably be expected to come from development and other sources. In this regard, it is important to be clear that Brentwood borough is not the only local authority area along the A127 Corridor. Basildon, Thurrock, Castle Point, Rochford and Southend-on-Sea are also planning for growth and will also be relying on the A127 Corridor to support increased movement by all modes. Yet the Reg 19 Plan fails to properly consider this.
3.1 Road infrastructure
7. In answering the question 'What key issues should be considered in developing the transport evidence base to support the Local Plan?', national Planning Practice Guidance states that one such key issue is the need to, "consider the cumulative impacts of existing and proposed development on transport networks" (Paragraph: 003 Reference ID: 54-003-20141010).
8. The Transport Assessment which accompanies the Reg 19 Plan is the key piece of transport evidence used to demonstrate that the spatial strategy and growth proposed in the Plan can be supported by the strategic and local highway network. It includes a Reference Case Model which, as is stated in the Executive Summary, "...includes trips developments within neighbouring authorities, as well as additional background trips associated with population growth predictions for future years." Therefore, as far as the A127 Corridor is concerned, the Reference Case only considers the wider impact of growth in Basildon and Thurrock districts but excludes growth in Castle Point, Rochford or Southend-on-Sea. In considering what baseline information should inform a transport assessment, national Planning Practice Guidance states:
"The transport assessment should be produced at a Local Plan level in partnership with all relevant transport and planning authorities, transport providers and key stakeholders, for example, the Local Economic Partnership. It may be appropriate for the transport assessment to cover an area wider than the Local Plan at least initially given the size of some travel to work areas (this would be similar to the Strategic Housing Market Assessment). This process should help to identify any potential measures that may be required to mitigate negative impacts." (Paragraph: 005 Reference ID: 54-005-20141010)
9. In this regard, the Brentwood Transport Assessment fails to fully take into account the impacts of traffic coming from the eastern parts of the Corridor. The impact of this omission is demonstrated by other work which has assessed the wider impacts. Indeed, the Transport Assessment states that it takes account of the A127 Economic Plan , published in 2014. It states that paragraph 1.2.5 that:
"Where information is available, this has been used to inform the modelling. The final outcomes from the study are not yet known and continued joint working with ECC [Essex County Council] and other neighbouring authorities will be important, so any outcomes from this study can feed through to the corridor study and consideration given to demonstrate this within a Statement of Common Ground with the highway authorities and neighbouring authorities."
Map 1: Summary of transport impacts of 2014 Economic Plan modelling along A127 Corridor
[Please find the map in attached document]
10. Whilst the Brentwood Transport Assessment focuses on specific junctions and the requirements of growth in the Local Plan and neighbouring districts, the 2014 Economic Plan assesses flows along sections of the A127 from Southend to the M25. In this regard it is more explicitly considering the number of vehicles on the A127 during peak periods and how this affects the flow of traffic. Figure 1 in the Economic Plan (shown in Map 1 above) notes that, almost along its entirety, the A127 is close to or above capacity. Figure 2 (also shown in Map 1) notes that, with the planned growth which informed the modelling, it would be above capacity for almost its entire length. Moreover, the entire stretch from Rayleigh through to the M25 would be between 28% and 50% above capacity. It is clear that, as assessed in the 2014 Economic Plan, significant mitigation would be required along the A127 to address the levels of growth fed into the modelling.
11. Since this time, the levels of growth being planned for, or required to be planned for, in the A127 Corridor authorities, has increased substantially from those used to inform the 2014 Economic Plan. Table 1 shows that, based on emerging local plans or objectively assessed need figures, the growth levels being planned for have increased by 88% compared with the 2014 position:
Table 1: Comparison of growth used to inform 2014 transport modelling and current levels of growth being planned for
[Please find table 1 in attached document]
12. If the 2014 Forecast Congestion Reference showed that the A127 would be significantly above capacity, then the near doubling of growth is likely to result in a significant worsening of this position. The outputs of the Brentwood Transport Assessment, whilst acknowledging the importance of the A127 Economic Plan work which it notes is still ongoing, fail to take into account this evidence.
13. It should be noted that this analysis does not take into account the impacts of either the Lower Thames Crossing or proposed employment growth over the plan period.
14. It is the view of the Parish Council that the Transport Assessment is not sufficiently robust to take into account the cumulative impacts of planned growth on the A127, as required by National Planning Practice Guidance.
15. When looking in isolation at the results of the Transport Assessment in respect of the potential solution to mitigate congestion at the A127/A128 Brentwood Road/A128 Tilbury Road junction serving Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV) and East Horndon Hall allocation, it is noted that paragraph 9.4.8 summarises the results as follows:
"During the PM peak, however, the arm shows a degree of saturation of 95%, although this is over capacity, the operation of this junction has improved significantly."
16. Whilst it is not disputed that the identified mitigation will improve the position, the fact is that the junction will still be over-capacity. When it is borne in mind that the wider impacts of growth along the A127 Corridor have not been taken into account, then the degree to which it will be over-capacity is certain to increase. A strategy predicated on growth which, despite a focus on sustainable transport, results in road junctions being over capacity, is not sustainable.
17. The Transport Assessment identifies a total of 8 junctions that require significant mitigation across the borough. The Brentwood Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) schedule gives a 'headline estimate' of £4m to address local highway network improvements. The Parish Council considers it extremely unlikely that it will cost an average of just £0.5m per junction to put in place the necessary mitigation measures at these junctions. Moreover, as is noted in paragraph 10.5.3 of the Transport Assessment, "Requirements for each of the proposals was identified and any physical constraints identified, no investigation to land ownership or costs involving the moving of Statutory Undertakers and Utility Apparatus was undertaken."
18. As Map 1 showed, the forecast delays on the A127 are significant and our analysis shows that these have been informed by growth figures well below those that are being planned for. It is not only mitigation at junctions which is required but solutions to expand capacity on the A127 itself. The degree to which individual junction improvements will mitigate the impact of the overall volume of traffic on the A127 at peak period is likely to be limited. At page 11 of the A127 Corridor for Growth Study states that, "The number of side-roads and accesses along the A127 tend to restrict any benefit from traditional capacity improvement measures, such as additional lanes." Therefore it is not considered likely that such solutions will be possible.
19. The need to address the significant strategic impacts of growth along the A127 has been recognised through the establishment of an A127 Economic Growth Corridor Task Force in November 2018. As is noted in its launch presentation, options for consideration include re-trunking of the road and the Group has had "positive discussions with Highways England and the Department for Transport" on this. If successful, this would open up opportunities for funding through the Roads Investment Strategy (RIS). This highlights a key point, namely that the current A127 does not qualify for RIS funding. Once the true cost of mitigation of the junctions along the A127 to address Local Plan growth has fully taken into account the cost of land acquisition and utilities, the bill is likely to be much higher than the 'headline' £4m and will require funding from other sources. In this regard, the decision over whether the A127 is re-trunked becomes critical to the delivery of the growth strategy, not only for the Brentwood Reg 19 Plan but for the emerging local plans of the other authorities along the route. At this stage, no progress has been made in this regard therefore this cannot be part of the evidence base which justifies the deliverability of the proposals in the Reg 19 Plan along the A127 Corridor.
20. Paragraph 108 of the NPPF states that:
"In assessing sites that may be allocated for development in plans...it should be ensured that... any significant impacts from the development on...highway safety, can be cost effectively mitigated to an acceptable degree."
21. The Transport Assessment only makes a single mention of highway safety, at paragraph 1.2.5, referring to the A127 Corridor for Growth Study by stating that:
"... there are individual pieces of work which are currently at various stages of planning and development, which are focussed on interchange capacity and/or safety improvements. Where information is available, this has been used to inform the modelling."
22. Page 11 of the A127 Study states that:
"The collisions caused by being an over-capacity road are not simple to address...The junctions identified as being problematic are the A128 Halfway House, B148 Dunton, A132 Nevendon and the A176 Upper Mayne junctions".
23. These are the junctions that are critical to the delivery of the DHGV and East Horndon Hall allocation (which, as an employment allocation, will create significant levels of HGV traffic accessing the junction) yet the evidence base to consider not only capacity but highway safety has not been adequately completed or aligned.
3.2 Sustainable transport movement
24. The transit-oriented growth strategy that underpins the Reg 19 Plan relies heavily on rail, and to a lesser extent, bus cycling and walking infrastructure, to reduce levels of car use by effecting modal shift for as many journeys as possible. In many respects, the success of the strategy is predicated on this modal shift yet nowhere in the evidence base does it suggest what the required increases in rail and bus patronage, cycling and walking are.
25. In assessing sustainable modes of travel, the Transport Assessment makes reference to Department for Transport (DfT) evidence on travel plans variously from 2005, 2007 and 2010, much of which based its outputs on data gathered between 2004 and 2008. These are extremely dated evidence sources framed within a totally different historical policy context, so to rely on them to support a plan being consulted on in 2019 lacks credibility. Even if one does take the lessons learned from this historical evidence, it is clear that the ability to affect significant modal shift in Brentwood borough is expected by the Transport Assessment to be very limited. Paragraph 7.3.9 of the Transport Assessment states that, "This seems a proportionate and pragmatic approach and the reduction in trips is at a level which should be achievable in the future in the context of the modelling". It then presents in Tables 7.5 and 7.6 the assumed numbers of car driver trips once 'sustainable measures' have been applied. In summary:
* In the morning peak, there would be a reduction of 239 car driver trips out of a total of 22,499 trips (1.06%)
* In the evening peak there would be a reduction of 194 car driver trips out of a total of 22,484 trips (0.86%)
26. This is not considered to represent a sustainable movement strategy therefore the Reg 19 Plan cannot be considered to be justified because it does not represent a reasonable strategy.
27. We now consider each of the sustainable transport modes in turn, as far as they relate to growth at DHGV and West Horndon.
3.3 Rail infrastructure
28. The transit-oriented growth strategy that underpins the Reg 19 Plan relies heavily on the rail network to enable the increased resident and worker population to travel by train. It recognises that a significant proportion of people commute out to London on the rail network every day (Figure 3.7 in the IDP notes that the proportion of residents in Brentwood commuting by rail is high).
29. A key part of the strategy focuses on West Horndon station, with the strategy expecting the new residents in West Horndon and DHGV to use this station when travelling by train. Figure 3.8 in the IDP summarises the number of users of the station over the period 2010 to 2015. It then states at paragraph 3.38 that, "West Horndon Station's growth levels are very modest." This may be true as far as entries and exits to and from the station when compared with other stations on the Anglian mainline (Shenfield, Ingatestone, Brentwood and Chelmsford) but this makes no acknowledgement of how busy the train are. As is shown by the photo in Figure 1, the C2C trains serving West Horndon during the morning peak at present are heavily congested:
Figure 1: Photo of typical train congestion on London-bound trains from West Horndon station in the morning peak, March 2019
[Please find the photo in attached document]
30. Local commuters report that trains arriving between 06.54 and 09.02 always have standing room only. In total this includes 9 trains which travel to London Fenchurch Street Station each morning. It is clear that a growth strategy predicated on increased train usage requires an increase in the capacity of the trains on the London, Tilbury and Southend line to London Fenchurch Street Station. This is endorsed by the Transport Assessment which, when considering the West Horndon public transport interchange at the station, states at paragraph 7.2.26 that:
"An increased capacity on the existing train service will be central to the new cycling, walking and bus movements of the new residents and employees accessing the four sites."
31. Despite this, there are no identified plans for investment in increased passenger rail capacity on this line and no suggestion in the Reg 19 Plan or the evidence base as to the scale of improvements required. Whilst the expansion of the interchange at West Horndon station is welcomed, this of itself will not increase capacity on the rail network. The national Planning Practice Guidance addresses what baseline information should inform a transport assessment of a Local Plan. It notes that this should include an assessment of, "accessibility of transport nodes such as rail/bus stations to facilitate integrated solutions" (Paragraph: 005 Reference ID: 54-005-20141010). This includes their accessibility by rail, which is particularly important given the reliance on linked trips by rail passengers seeking to access DHGV (by bus, cycling or on foot). Yet the evidence supporting the Reg 19 Plan does not provide this.
3.4 Cycling and walking infrastructure
32. The national Planning Practice Guidance requires a transport assessment to consider whether it should establish 'future predicted trips' in respect of walking and cycling facilities and movements. Given the Reg 19 Plan strategy is for a key non-vehicular movement corridor to be between DHGV and West Horndon, this must be part of the Transport Assessment as it is important to understand the modal share that such trips are expected to account for. Yet none of the evidence provides any suggestion as to what proportion of journeys between these two locations is expected to be by non-vehicular modes. This is crucial to the success of the strategy because West Horndon is a key transport interchange and DHGV is the planned location for all new education provision to serve the growth in pupils from West Horndon.
33. Equally, Figure 3.5 in the IDP notes the scale of the challenge - between 2001 and 2011 cycling to work by Brentwood residents fell and was the second lowest in Essex. It is unclear what the strategy is to increase modal share by bicycle. Not only does the Reg 19 Plan not identify specific routes but it does not make clear how cyclists would navigate across key junctions safely. This is critical because it is well established that one of the main reasons why levels of cycling in England remain low is because of safety concerns. An off-road route will encourage people but if that route doesn't provide safe passage across heavily-trafficked junctions, then people will not cycle.
34. The Reg 19 Plan provides no suggestion that such a route has been properly considered or that it has been secured. The costs identified in the IDP schedule therefore cannot be verified because the evidence does not demonstrate how they have been derived. However, with dedicated cycle routes in the order of 3km required to link West Horndon station into and through DHGV, an allowance of £1.8m for walkways and cycleways appears to be a gross under-estimate if a meaningful and required increase in cycling and walking is to be achieved.
35. The lack of certainty is reinforced by the IDP schedule referring into to 'feasibility studies' in respect of a green bridge (over the A127) and pedestrian underpass (under the A128). Whilst a 'headline estimate' cost is provided, it is not clear how the strategy would be delivered if the feasibility studies determined that one or both of these schemes could not be delivered.
36. As noted above, it is vital to the sustainability of the Reg 19 Plan strategy that as many short journeys as possible between West Horndon and DHGV are undertaken by non-vehicular modes. Given that all the proposed primary school provision to serve the growth at West Horndon will be provided at DHGV, then maximising the potential for children to walk and cycle to school is vital. In this regard, the need for safe and direct routes increases in importance. Very few primary school-aged children are going to walk or cycle on routes which are not separated from vehicular traffic and equally, very few children are going to walk more than one kilometre to school, irrespective of the quality of the route. It is a significant concern to the Parish Council that without a clear and credible plan for developing walking and cycling linkages between West Horndon and DHGV, then the reality is that many parents will choose to take primary school-aged children to school by car. This will exacerbate the congestion at school drop-off and pick-up time in West Horndon, with some parents travelling by car to West Horndon Primary School and others leaving West Horndon to access schools in DHGV.
4.0 Flooding
37. The Parish Council, in its representations on the Draft Local Plan in March 2016, addressed concerns relating to flood risk and the impact of flooding on West Horndon. We do not seek to reiterate those points here.
38. The Brentwood Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA) 2018 identifies that large sections of the area around West Horndon, including the land to the east which connects it to the DHGV site, are considered to be high risk flood areas. This is demonstrated on the ground in West Horndon, with areas regularly lying under water and, at Christmas in both 2012 and 2013, subject to major flood events (see photos below).
[please find the photos in attached document]
39. In light of this and the fact that these events are occurring with increasing regularity (and scientific evidence making clear that a major cause of this is climate change), it is considered vital that a precautionary approach is taken to considering the impact of flooding, not least because of the scale of growth proposed at DHGV as well as the significant amount of employment development proposed at East Horndon Hall (Policy E13).
40. The likely implications of climate change on flooding are only starting to be realised. In fact, on 28th February 2019, the Environment Agency published a new report which looked at the likely impacts over the long term . This is based on more recent mapping data (2018) than is included in the flood risk mapping used to inform the evidence base for the Reg 19 Plan. It identifies that there are more places where new investment is not going to be cost effective and therefore, as a purely economic issue, more money will be needed to provide better flood mitigation infrastructure in more places. So whilst evidence from the local community may be anecdotal, it is based on observation over a long period of time and aligns with the evidence in the Environment Agency report that the threats are more widespread than the current evidence suggests.
41. One such example where this is considered to be the case is the proposed East Horndon Hall allocation. This field is observed to frequently be flooded and therefore there are significant concerns that the flood mitigation required for this site alone will be significant. The cumulative impacts of this site and the neighbouring DHGV site are therefore considered likely to be significant and the evidence used to inform the Reg 19 Plan has not fully and properly considered this.
42. The Reg 19 Plan is not accompanied by a Level 2 SFRA. National Planning Practice Guidance states that:
"Where a Level 1 Assessment shows that land outside flood risk areas cannot appropriately accommodate all the necessary development, it may be necessary to increase the scope of the Assessment to a Level 2 to provide the information necessary for application of the Exception Test where appropriate." (Paragraph: 012 Reference ID: 7-012-20140306).
43. One of the recommendations of the Level 1 SFRA was:
"Should the Council wish to allocate sites with an identified flood risk, then the policy should either be to avoid the areas of flood risk or to assess the risk in more detail through either Level 2 SFRA work or on a site specific level. This more detailed review should include identification of Flood Zone 3b and it should assess flood hazard and depth for return periods up to and including the 1 in 1000 annual probability plus climate change event." (paragraph 9.2.1)
44. The nature of the areas that are within flood zone 3 (see Map 2) suggests that it could be difficult to ensure that the DHGV site delivers the necessary levels of development. Indeed, the SA notes Appendix K of the Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP):
"Whilst the Dunton Garden Suburb consultation document (January 2015) suggested that the area in question [around the area of high flood risk] would be left as open space, there is currently less certainty regarding precisely where built development... would occur. Also, it is noted that a large portion of the area under consideration... is identified by the SWMP as having limited potential to deliver 'infiltration' measures as part of sustainable drainage strategy."
Map 2: Flood zones in DHGV site
[Please find Map 2 in attached document]
45. Moreover, whilst the requirement of Policy RO1.D.k on DHGV for "strategically designed and appropriately phased infrastructure, employing the most up to date technologies to ensure a smart, sustainable and a resilient basis for drainage and flood management" is welcomed, it is of concern that such measures have not been scoped out in more depth to ascertain whether they do not undermine the viability of the overall development.
46. It is considered that without a Level 2 SFRA of the DHGV site, the Reg 19 Plan is not sound because it has not been justified and is not consistent with national policy.
47. The SA, in assessing the approach to flooding, summarises at paragraph 9.8.8:
"The Draft Plan (2016) appraisal concluded no significant effects on the basis that the spatial strategy generally avoided areas of flood risk, although flood risk is a constraint to growth at DHGV. Work has been ongoing to understand surface-water flood risk, and necessary Sustainable Drainage Systems (e.g. this was a reason for a decision being taken, following the Preferred Allocations consultation, to reduce the number of homes delivered at the Blackmore allocations), and so significant negative effects are not predicted in relation to the Proposed Submission Plan; however, there remains some uncertainty ahead of a detailed DHGV masterplan."
48. The SA then goes on to consider that, in respect of flooding, all sites are assessed as having an equal impact.
49. This approach is contrary to the advice in national Planning Practice Guidance, shown in Figure 2. The SA has failed to properly consider alternative sites at a lower risk of flooding and the evidence supporting the Reg 19 Plan has failed to properly demonstrate that the level of growth proposed for DHGV can be accommodated on the site in areas with a low probability of flooding.
Figure 2: Taking flood risk into account in the preparation of a Local Plan
[Please see Figure 2 in the attached document]
50. It is considered that the Reg 19 Plan is not sound because national planning guidance in respect of the approach to taking flood risk into account in the preparation of a local plan.
5.0 Summary of objections - consistent with national policy and justified
51. The Reg 19 Plan is not sound in respect of the Dunton Hills Garden Village because it does not adequately demonstrate that it is consistent with national policy. As stated in the NPPF, such consistency is required to enable the delivery of sustainable development in line with the policies in the Framework. In order to do this, full and careful consideration must be given to, amongst other things, promoting sustainable transport and meeting the challenge of climate change and flooding - both objectives of the NPPF.
52. The Reg 19 Plan is not sound in respect of DHGV and its transport policies because it is not justified. It is not based on proportionate evidence to inform what the Plan acknowledges is a key principle that is used to justify the overarching strategy, namely the ability to deliver infrastructure that enables more sustainable movement. The reason that it is not based on proportionate evidence is because the evidence base fails to properly assess the impacts of growth on the A127 and to articulate - and cost - the provision of a sustainable movement strategy which has sufficient capacity to accommodate the increased demand. In this regard, the lack of evidence as to how the increased passenger numbers on the South Essex railway line through West Horndon station are of particular concern to the Parish Council.
53. The Reg 19 Plan is not sound in respect of DHGV and its policies in relation to flooding for two reasons. First, it has not undertaken a Level 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment, despite there being clear concerns raised in the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) about the ability to accommodate the levels of growth proposed on the site whilst adequately mitigating the flood impacts. Second, the SA has failed, in light of this, to consider reasonable alternatives. Both of these matters mean that the preparation of the Reg 19 Plan is not consistent with national policy.

Attachments:

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23308

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Greater London Authority

Representation:

We also welcome the Council's commitment to the preparation of a Joint Strategic Plan with the other South Essex authorities and associated strategic planning for growth in the area. We would be happy to support the preparation of the Plan and its technical evidence.

Full text:

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to comment on your Local Plan pre-submission consultation.
We welcome the Council's strategic longer-term approach to housing supply. Your target accommodates a 'buffer' on top of the housing need based on the Government's standardised methodology. It should be noted that our latest demographic modelling provides alternative population and household projections that could also be taken into account when applying the standardised approach. Our projections include consistent outputs for all local authorities in England and form the basis for housing need in the draft new London Plan. They are available on the London Datastore: https://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/projections .
We also welcome the Council's commitment to the preparation of a Joint Strategic Plan with the other South Essex authorities and associated strategic planning for growth in the area. We would be happy to support the preparation of the Plan and its technical evidence.
It would be useful to understand the relationship between the Council's Growth Strategy and the joint South Essex Strategic Growth Locations Study. It is also noted that Thurrock's Local Plan Issues and Options (Part 2) consultation includes a new settlement on the border with Brentwood amongst its growth options.
In terms of economic development, we note the significant allocation of additional employment land, in particular through the Brentwood Enterprise Park. In the light of its proximity to London, it could be useful to discuss related collaboration opportunities, specifically including land for distribution and logistics, as well as wider sustainability implications.
Any significant future changes to the town centre hierarchy within the Borough, including significant new retail/leisure development, should consider any potential impacts on town centre retail/leisure provision within London as well as on the sustainability of travel patterns.
It should be noted that Brentwood is located within the new London Plan's Strategic Infrastructure Priorities 'Great Eastern Mainline (London - Ipswich - Norwich) and A12' and 'Essex Thameside, A217 and A13 corridor' (see Policy SD3 and Figure 2.15). The Lower Thames Crossing will also have implications for travel and land use in the Borough, which will need to be considered as the scheme progresses.
As set out in the consultation response by Transport for London, we welcome the Council's support for sustainable modes of transport. As Brentwood borders London, we would be grateful, if consideration could also be given to the Healthy Streets Approach that is set out in the Mayor's Transport Strategy and Policy T2 of the draft London Plan.
We would be happy to discuss the matters raised above as well as matters related to the preparation of the Joint Strategic Plan further. Please get in touch with Jorn Peters if you would like to arrange a meeting.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23651

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Countryside Properties

Agent: Andrew Martin Planning Ltd

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

We find the Local Plan to have failed Duty to Cooperate. However, the Joint Spatial Plan will be an important document that encompasses several local authorities that are struggling to meet their growth needs. It provides the opportunity to address the need for housing in the context of a probable shortfall across the South Essex Strategic Housing Market Area. Through the DtC procedure, Thurrock could contribute towards meeting any unmet housing needs from Brentwood within a proposed new settlement on land at Thurrock, centred on West Horndon, as proposed in Thurrock's emerging Local Plan. This is a feasible alternative.

Change suggested by respondent:

The SA and evidence base do not support the spatial strategy for growth set out in the Local Plan. The Local Plan process should be suspended to allow a fundamental review of the SA.

Full text:

We find the plan to be unsound, not legally compliant and failing in its Duty to Cooperate, as set out in the statement below.

1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1 Work on the emerging Local Plan for Brentwood Borough commenced back in 2009. Andrew Martin-Planning has made representations to each key stage in the plan-making process on behalf of Countryside Properties, in respect of land to the east of West Horndon. We attach past representations as appendices because they continue to be relevant and demonstrate that land at West Horndon represents the most sustainable location for strategic growth in the Borough to meet development needs over the Plan period 2016 - 2033.
1.2 Representations to date have argued that Brentwood Borough Council (BBC) has progressed its local plan without the benefit of a complete, robust and up-to-date evidence base. Furthermore the Sustainability Appraisal (SA) does not fully support the spatial strategy for growth proposed in the Local Plan. The SA cannot be said to have informed the production of the Pre-Submission Local Plan. We submit that this continues to be the position.
1.3 The emerging Local Plan has struggled to identify land for strategic growth in a Borough where 89% lies within the Green Belt. The latest version of the Plan acknowledges that it is not possible to identify a 5-year housing land supply (paragraph 4.18). A greater proportion of the required homes will therefore have to be delivered beyond 2023.
1.4 The Council's problem in identifying land for housing is compounded by recent sanctions imposed by the Government under the 2018 Housing Delivery Test introduced in the revised National Planning Policy Framework. The total number of homes required in the Borough over a three year period up to April 2018 was 933. The Council only delivered 474 homes, i.e. 51% of its target. Consequently it is now required to produce an Action Plan showing how it intends to boost delivery and must have a 20% buffer on its housing land supply.
1.5 Throughout the preparation of the Plan the Council has maintained its intention to deliver at least one large-scale, strategic site for a mixed scheme of housing and employment. Various strategic site options have been examined over the years and the latest SA to the Brentwood Local Plan Pre-Submission document, February 2019, confirms :
"there is now a refined understanding of those sites that are genuine ('reasonable') contenders for allocation through the Local Plan. Specifically at the current time there is a need to give close consideration to two options:
* Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV)....
* West Horndon..."
1.6 Although these two sites are said to remain in contention, the Local Plan has chosen DHGV as its preferred option for growth. This is contrary to the accompanying evidence base which appears to lend greater support to growth adjoinging the existing settlement of West Horndon. We argue that the Local Plan is unsound because it is not accompanied by a Sustainability Appraisal that supports the Brentwood Local Plan spatial strategy for growth. The SA prepared by AECOM is quite simply unable to rule out strategic development at West Horndon as a viable alternative solution to growth in the Borough. It therefore remains in contention. The SA finds favour in DHGV over West Horndon, only in terms of the scale of housing that can be provided. We and others submit that there is no evidence to suggest that the scale of development proposed at Dunton Hills can be delivered.
1.7 A Joint Spatial Plan for authorities in South Essex (Including Brentwood, Thurrock, Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford and Southend on Sea ) is in the early stages of preparation. This will be an important document that encompasses several local authorities that are struggling to meet their growth needs in predominantly Green Belt areas. Brentwood Borough Council's attempts to create a cross boundary settlement with Basildon at Dunton Hills has failed, but more recent proposals for a new settlement on land at Thurrock, centred on West Horndon, are a feasible alternative as proposed in Thurrock Council's emerging Local Plan (Issues and Options Stage 2). It provides the opportunity to address the need for housing in the context of a probable shortfall across the South Essex Strategic Housing Market Area. Through the Duty to Cooperate procedure authorities like Thurrock could contribute towards meeting any unmet housing needs from Brentwood within a proposed new settlement centred on West Horndon.
1.8 Growth at West Horndon rather than Dunton Hills has historically been supported by Thurrock and Basildon in their response to the emerging Plan for Brentwood. Reasons include its proximity to existing infrastructure such as a railway station, less impact in landscape terms and in relation to the key purposes of the Green Belt, such as coalescence (with Basildon). Crucially, land at West Horndon would be able to deliver much needed housing in the first five years of the Local Plan.
1.9 Strategic infrastructure proposals for Brentwood or Thurrock should not be considered in isolation from wider strategic infrastructure proposals, specifically the options and final decision on the Lower Thames Crossing.

2.0 LOCAL PLAN HOUSING REQUIREMENT
2.1 The Brentwood Local Plan, February 2019 maintains that housing need in the Borough, based on the NPPF July 2018, should be set at a minimum of 350 homes per annum. With an uplift of 20% this rises to 456 dwellings per annum. Given recent poor performance in reaching its housing target (over the three year period to April 2018 it delivered only 51% of its required housing), the Government has identified the Authority as one that must put in place an Action Plan to state how it will boost housing and apply a 20% uplift.
2.2 Whilst Local Housing need will be the subject of ongoing debate and analysis through the examination of the Local Plan, what the Plan does not dispute is its current failure to identify a five year housing land supply as required by government guidance. Consequently a greater proportion of required homes will be delivered beyond 2023 (paragraphs 4.18 to 4.21).
2.3 From an overall minimum requirement of 7752 homes over the plan period, some 35% (2,700 homes) is proposed to be located within a new settlement at Dunton Hills, which is not supported by evidence to demonstrate deliverability and viability. As more need is identified in the Borough this proposed new settlement is being called upon to absorb an ever increasing number of new homes. In November 2018 when the Regulation 19 Plan was considered by Full Council, some 19 amendments were proposed including ones to remove certain housing allocations such as land at Honeypot Lane, resolving simply to reallocate lost housing (some 200+ homes) to DHGV "so that there is no net loss to the overall plan". Discussion between members simply referred to the promoters of DHGV stating that they have agreed to accommodate the extra number of homes. The proper justification for such a significant change to the plan is absent.
2.4 The Plan places great emphasis on the fact that DHGV was announced by the Government as one of 14 proposed Garden Villages back in January 2017 and that the Council received funding to take this forward. In reality such an investment is made at the risk of the planning and legal processes which may conclude that the proposals go no further. This has been demonstrated in the case of the North Essex new settlement proposals where a Local Plan inspector found that significant further work is required to justify the Garden Community proposals. They have not been shown to be viable and deliverable. It could be argued that the proposals for DHGV will suffer the same problems.
2.5 Lessons can be learned from emerging Local Plans for nearby/adjoining authorities and their proposals for key strategic sites. A Post Hearing Note issued by the Local Plan Inspector appointed to examine the London Borough of Havering Plan casts doubt over the spatial strategy for growth and issues surrounding housing land supply. It queries the SA and various options examined, together with the assessment of the alternatives. The evidence drawn upon by the Council to reach its conclusions is queried. The Inspector has also expressed concern that the Plan does not demonstrate sufficient housing land supply to cover the 15 year period, nor has the Council been able to demonstrate that it has sufficient sites to provide a 5 year supply. The Housing Trajectory is queried. The Council is asked to justify its expectations in relation to delivery of key sites and assumptions in relation to infrastructure requirements. Brentwood could be accused of being similarly vague in terms of the proposed delivery of DHGV, on several counts.
2.6 The Uttlesford Local Plan has recently been submitted for examination and initial questions by the appointed Inspectors raise concerns about potential gaps in the timing and funding of large critical infrastructure associated with the proposed Garden Communities that are central to the overarching strategy of the Plan, in particular the delivery of housing. DHGV is beset with the same problem of a lack of technical evidence to support the proposed new settlement.
2.7 As the 2019 SA of the Brentwood Plan confirms, the adjoining authority of Basildon questions whether the scale of development proposed at Dunton, which amounts to over a third of the Borough's entire housing provision for the plan period, could be supported by infrastructure, in the absence of a clear delivery plan. The adjacent authority of Thurrock cites a lack of technical evidence and failure to test fully all the reasonable options given the decision to rely on a new settlement rather than urban extensions closer to existing infrastructure.
2.7 There is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the Local Plan housing requirement can be met by the spatial strategy for growth proposed in the Draft Local Plan.

3.0 SUSTAINABILITY APPRAISAL
3.1 The SA is clear that both DHGV and West Horndon remain in contention as strategic site options to meet growth needs in Brentwood. The SA has been undertaken by AECOM who clarifiy in the section entitled "Establishing the Preferred Option" that it comprises text that "is the response of Council Officers to the alternatives appraisal". As we have stated in previous representations to the emerging Plan, the only real support for DHGV to justify its elevation to a 'preferred allocation' is that the scheme is supported by the Council. Consultation on DHGV has led to wide-scale objection from the public and key stakeholders which the Council has chosen to ignore. Various positives and negatives of DHGV and West Horndon are set out in the SA, concluding that Dunton Hills provides the opportunity for a larger and comprehensive scheme. The SA acknowledges proposals for a new settlement in the north of Thurrock where it adjoins West Horndon but rejects these on the basis that "this proposal is at such an early stage of formulation that it cannot be considered to be a potential issue or constraint in delivering DHGV".
3.2 It has been difficult for the Council and its advisers to dismiss land at West Horndon as a reasonable alternative because it represents a more sustainable location for growth than DHGV, as confirmed in various evidence base documents and summarised in the SA. Unlike DHGV, it can deliver houses in the first five years of the plan and in conjunction with land in Thurrock is capable of exceeding housing need going forward.
3.3 The only reason DHGV is selected as the preferred option for growth is its perceived ability to provide a greater number of new homes. As we have stated above there is no firm evidence to demonstrate this.
3.4 AECOM has recently been appointed by Uttlesford District Council to review the SA to its Local Plan. This follows the report of the Inspector who considered the Joint Section One Plan for the North Essex Authorities and his concerns regarding the SA process it was subject to. UDC felt that a review of its SA was necessary because of similarities between the NEA Plan and Uttlesford in terms of their reliance on Garden Communities. AECOM identified a number of concerns in relation to the objectivity of the SA for the Uttlesford Local Plan, and assumptions made for its Garden Community options. In particular the SA is said to have relied on what was being proposed by developers/promoters of the key strategic sites, raising concerns about the fairness and consistency of the appraisal. The same criticism could be levelled at the SA of the Brentwood Plan that relies without question upon the word of CEG as the promoter of DHGV.
3.5 Representations to the Draft Local Plan, Sustainability Appraisal and evidence base submitted by AM-P on behalf of Countryside Properties in March 2018 are attached at Appendix 1. These refer to the Interim SAR of January 2018 and 2016, and remain relevant. Appraisal of the spatial strategy alternatives in versions of the SA over time, demonstrate differing results for which there is no justification. By way of example we compare the summary tables from the 2016 SAR and that for January 2019. Under several topics the score for West Horndon has been downgraded in the most recent appraisal, without proper explanation. Despite this it has still not been possible for the Council and its technical advisors to dismiss West Horndon as a sustainable location for growth. In landscape terms development at West Horndon would have significantly less impact than that at Dunton. DHGV continues to be preferred (albeit AECOM confirm this as an officer view) because it is seen as an answer to the Council's housing supply problems. The latest proposals by Thurrock on land to the south of West Horndon throw a different light on the SA conclusions.

4.0 THE EVIDENCE BASE
4.1 The evidence base to the Local Plan is in part outdated, and incomplete.
Transportation
4.2 The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) has no date on it. The chapter on transport and movement refers to ongoing studies on the A12 and A127 key routes and the proposed route of the Lower Thames Crossing. Work so far finds that main junctions on the A127 are operating significantly over capacity.
4.3 The SA confirms that ECC withholds support until the appropriate highway modelling has been undertaken to assess site specific and cumulative impacts of developments on the local and wider highway network. Furthermore, highway network considerations must be a foremost consideration when arriving at reasonable spatial strategy alternatives.
4.4 The Transport Assessment of the Brentwood Local Plan was undertaken by Peter Brett Associates in October 2018. This confirms in paragraphs 1.2.3 to 1.2.5 that in respect of the A127 corridor for growth, a number of studies are progressing, being led by ECC. Within the A127 Corridor for Growth Study there are individual pieces of work which are currently at different stages of planning and development. Where information is available, this has been used to inform modelling. The final outcomes of the study are not yet known and continued working with ECC and other neighbouring authorities will be important.
4.5 The Local Plan confirms the incomplete status of the transport assessment by stating that A127/A128 studies by ECC are "to be fed into the plan". Policy does however aim to maximise the value of railway connectivity and recognises the important role for West Horndon station in future transport provision.
4.6 An Amendment Note to the Transport Assessment dated January 2019, confirms the further information that is to be provided. This includes amongst other things additional junction studies, further trip distribution plots, cross boundary impacts, reassignment impacts and proposed highway mitigation.
4.7 The SA confirms that Highways England's work is not complete in terms of the transport study, that ECC question the use of the A127 corridor over the A12 and Basildon Council has concerns over infrastructure provision relative to DHGV. Thurrock Council favours growth at West Horndon which is closer to existing infrastructure.

Green Belt/Landscape
4.8 When the emerging Plan was last consulted on in early 2018 the Green Belt study was in draft form and had not influenced the site selection process. However, back in 2016 a Landscape Study by Crestwood had identified that Dunton was one of 7 sites out of 203 assessed that makes a 'high contribution' to the Green Belt. The analysis found that "This expansive agricultural site if wholly developed would significantly reduce the gap between West Horndon and Basildon, as well as presenting large scale development along the A127 leading east from the M25." The site was found to be "not contained", to have "significant separation reduction" and a harmful effect on functional countryside. Land at West Horndon is found to make only a 'moderate' contribution to the Green Belt. Development on land to the east of the settlement would decrease the gap to Basildon but still retain a functional open space with very limited or no visual linkages. There would be some loss of countryside if developed. Land to the north-east would lead to larger encroachment of the countryside but not to the coalescence with other towns.
4.9 By 2018 work by Crestwood reached a different conclusion on the contribution made to the Green Belt by land at Dunton Hills. Its importance in terms of contribution to the Green Belt went from 'high' status to 'moderate to high'. Land at West Horndon remained classified as 'moderate'. In our previous representations we submitted that the findings were contrived. We considered that they had been retrospectively prepared to justify the Council's wish to promote DHGV. Detailed site assessment still remained to be undertaken.
4.10 A Green Belt Study Part III was published in January 2019 alongside the Regulation 19 Plan. This maintains that the scope of study did not extend to the identification of sites that should be prioritised for allocation for housing, employment or mixed use. Its conclusions were the same for land at Dunton Hills ('moderate to high' contribution to the Green Belt ) although part of the land at west Horndon (to the east) was altered from a previous moderate status to 'moderate to high'. Once again we find these results to be contrived to fit the Council's desire to promote DHGV.
4.11 Immediately following the previous round of consultation on the emerging Local Plan in January 2018, we became aware of an evidence base document entitled "The Dunton Area Landscape Corridor Design options Local Plan Green Infrastructure", dated 07/11/2017. This was undertaken by Essex Place Services and commissioned jointly by Basildon District Council and Brentwood Borough Council. The purpose of this document was stated to be "to undertake a broad scale landscape assessment and present proposals for a landscape buffer and green corridor that could encompass the borough boundaries and give visual separation between two potential residential development sites." i.e. an urban extension to Basildon on its west side and a new Garden Village settlement based on the Dunton Hills area (see appendix 2 which is a plan from this report showing the extent of a landscape buffer that would be required in respect of residential development at Dunton Hills
4.12 Key conclusions of this assessment were:
* an assessment of the landscape as "particularly sensitive landscape areas";
* "Views of the project area from the north, west and south west are likely to be particularly notable due to the gently rising land form";
* "In order to mitigate what could be adverse landscape and visual impacts arising from development, the retention of landscape features and the provision of new landscapes, both green and blue infrastructure are likely to be a significant element of any development";
* "There will also be a need to ensure that residential areas are well protected from the busy transport corridor routes in terms of noise, visual impacts and pollution. The landscape infrastructure required to achieve this will be in addition to the landscape corridor required to provide settlement separation and the potential for connectivity to the wider countryside"; and
* Three landscape corridor Options are considered within the report, concluding that Scheme 3 - i.e. that proposing the maximum land-take - is recommended. This considerable land take within the wider assessment area is proposed to "ensure a good outcome in terms of preventing visual settlement coalescence, allow for diverse landscapes and the ecological enhancements to be achieved".
4.13 Despite the fact that Brentwood Borough Council did jointly commission this evidence base report, it does not feature on its website as an evidence base to the emerging Local Plan. A key finding of this assessment was that landscape mitigation works required would crucially not leave sufficient land for development to accommodate 2,500 new homes at that time proposed in the Draft Plan for Dunton Hills Garden Village, let alone the potentially higher figure of 4,000 beyond the plan period.

APPENDICES
1. Brentwood Draft Local Plan - Preferred Site Allocations, Sustainability Appraisal and evidence base. Representations on behalf of Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd in respect of land to the east of West Horndon. March 2018.
2 Extract from "The Dunton Area Landscape Corridor Design Options Local Plan Green Infrastructure", by Essex Place Services for Basildon and Brentwood Councils, 07/11/2017. Appendix 3, Plan showing the extent of a landscape buffer that would be required in respect of residential proposals on land at Dunton Hills.
and
An extract from the Bid document to the Government for Dunton Hills Garden Village which shows how much proposed development could be lost to landscaping.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23668

Received: 26/04/2019

Respondent: Gladman Developments

Agent: Gladman Developments

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

Welcomes South Essex Joint Strategic Plan but disappointed that this will not allocate specific sites but this will be left for the individual local plans to take forward. There is therefore an immediate need to address this situation; and for Local Plans to have to await the adoption of the JSP before sites are taken through the Local Plan process and finally released from the Green Belt, is simply going to result in inevitable further delay.

Change suggested by respondent:

A stronger reference to the Joint Strategic Plan is needed to improve Duty to Cooperate and improve housing delivery.

Full text:

Brentwood Local Plan
Pre-Submission Document

CONTENTS
1 Introduction 2
1.1 Introduction 2
1.2 Context 2
2 National Planning Policy 3
2.1 National Planning Policy Framework 3
2.2 Planning Practice Guidance 4
3 Legal Requirements 7
3.1 Duty to Cooperate 7
3.2 Sustainability Appraisal 8
4 Spatial Strategy 9
4.1 Vision and Strategic Objectives 9
5 Managing Growth 10
5.1 Policy SP02: Managing Growth 10
5.2 Policy SP04: Developer Contributions 11
6 Resilient Built Environment 12
6.1 Policy BE02: Sustainable Construction and Resource Efficiency 12
7 Housing Provision 13
7.1 Policy HP01: Housing Mix 13
7.2 Policy HP06: Standards for New Housing 13
8 Conclusion 15
8.1 Overall Conclusion 15

1 INTRODUCTION
1.1 Introduction
1.1.1 These representations are submitted by Gladman in response to the current consultation on the Brentwood Local Plan Pre-Submission Document. Gladman specialise in the promotion of strategic land for residential development with associated community infrastructure.
1.1.2 Gladman has considerable experience in the development industry across a number of sectors, including residential and employment development. From that experience, we understand the need for the planning system to provide local communities with the homes and jobs that are needed to ensure that residents have access to a decent home and employment opportunities.
1.1.3 Gladman also has a wealth of experience in contributing to the Development Plan preparation process, having made representations on numerous local planning documents throughout the UK and having participated in many Local Plan public examinations. It is on the basis of that experience that the comments are made in this representation.
1.1.4 Through this submission, Gladman have sought to highlight a number of issues with the Brentwood Local Plan. Gladman submit that the Council will need to carefully consider some of its policy choices and ensure that its evidence base is up-to-date and robust in light of changing circumstances and the changes brought about by the Revised National Planning Policy Framework (2019).
1.2 Context
1.2.1 The Revised Framework (2019) sets out four tests that must be met for Local Plans to be considered sound. In this regard, we submit that in order for it to be sound it is fundamental that the Thurrock Local Plan is:
* Positively prepared - providing a strategy which, as a minimum, seeks to meet the area's objectively assessed needs; and is informed by agreements with other authorities, so that unmet need from neighbouring areas is accommodated where it is practical to do so and is consistent with achieving sustainable development;
* Justified - an appropriate strategy, taking into account the reasonable alternatives, and based on proportionate evidence;
* Effective - deliverable over the plan period, and based on effective joint working on cross-boundary strategic matters that have been dealt with rather than deferred, as evidenced by the statement of common ground; and
* Consistent with national policy - enabling the delivery of sustainable development in accordance with the policies in the Framework.

2 NATIONAL PLANNING POLICY
2.1 National Planning Policy Framework
2.1.1 On 24th July 2018, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published the Revised National Planning Policy Framework which was subsequently updated in February 2019. These publications form the first revisions of the Framework since 2012 and implement changes that have been informed through the Housing White Paper, The Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places consultation and the draft Revised Framework consultation.
2.1.2 The Revised Framework (2019) introduces a number of major changes to national policy and provides further clarification to national planning policy as well as new measures on a range of matters. Crucially, the changes to national policy reaffirms the Government's commitment to ensuring up-to-date plans are in place which provide a positive vision for the areas which they are responsible for to address the housing, economic, social and environmental priorities to help shape future local communities for future generations. In particular, paragraph 16 of the Revised Framework (2019) states that Plans should:
a) Be prepared with the objective of contributing to the achievement of sustainable development;
b) Be prepared positively, in a way that is aspirational but deliverable;
c) Be shaped by early, proportionate and effective engagement between plan-makers and communities, local organisations, businesses, infrastructure providers and operators and statutory consultees;
d) Contain policies that are clearly written and unambiguous, so it is evident how a decision maker should react to development proposals;
e) Be accessible through the use of digital tools to assist public involvement and policy presentation; and
f) Serve a clear purpose, avoiding unnecessary duplication of policies that apply to a particular area (including policies in this Framework, where relevant).
2.1.3 To support the Government's continued objective of significantly boosting the supply of homes, it is important that the Local Plan provides a sufficient amount and variety of land that can come forward where it is needed, that the needs of groups with specific housing requirements are addressed and that land with permission is developed without unnecessary delay .
2.1.4 In determining the minimum number of homes needed, strategic plans should be based upon a local housing need assessment, conducted using the standard method as set out in the PPG unless exceptional circumstances justify an alternative approach. It is imperative that the emerging Local Plan is formulated on the basis of meeting this requirement as a minimum.
2.1.5 Once the minimum number of homes that is required is identified, the planning authority should have a clear understanding of the land available in their area through the preparation of a strategic housing land availability assessment. In this regard, paragraph 67 sets out specific guidance that local planning authorities should take into account when identifying and meeting their housing need. It states:
"Strategic policy-making authorities should have a clear understanding of the land available in their areas through the preparation of a strategic housing land availability assessment. From this planning policies should identify a sufficient supply and mix of sites, taking into account their availability, suitability and likely economic viability. Strategic plans should identify a supply of:
a) specific, deliverable sites for years one to five of the plan , and
b) specific, developable sites or broad locations for growth, for years 6-10 and, where possible, for years 11-15 of the plan.
2.1.6 Once a local planning authority has identified its housing needs, these needs should be met in full, unless any adverse impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of doing so . Local planning authorities should seek to achieve each of the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, resulting in net gains across all three. Adverse impacts on any of these dimensions should be avoided, where significant adverse impacts are unavoidable, suitable mitigation measures should be proposed or, where this is not possible, compensatory measures should be considered.
2.1.7 To be considered sound at Examination the emerging Local Plan will need to meet all four of the soundness tests set out in paragraph 35 of the Revised Framework (2019).
2.2 Planning Practice Guidance
2.2.1 The Government published updates to its Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) on 13th September 2018. The updated PPG provides further clarity on how specific elements of the Revised Framework should be interpreted when preparing Local Plans. In particular, the updated Housing Needs Assessment chapter of the PPG confirms that the Revised Framework expects local planning authorities to follow the standard method for assessing local housing needs, and that the standard method identifies the minimum housing need figure and not a final housing requirement .
2.2.2 The calculation of objectively assessed needs (OAN) for housing has been a subject of much debate as part of Local Plan Examinations and s.78 appeals since its initial introduction through the Framework in 2012 with interested parties grappling with the issue of OAN with varying outcomes depending on local circumstances. To simplify the assessment the Government, through the Revised Framework has introduced the standardised method which should be undertaken through the 3-stage process outlined at paragraph 005 of the PPG .
2.2.3 Notwithstanding the above, it is important to note that whilst the standard methodology to assessing housing needs has been introduced, it is likely that this will be subject to further change. In this regard, it is currently anticipated that the standard method will be adjusted to ensure that the starting point in the plan-making process is consistent with the Government's proposals in Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places consultation, to ensure that 300,000 homes are built per annum by the mid-2020s. This follows the release of the 2016 based household projections in September 2018, which forecast a lower level of household growth than previously envisaged.
2.2.4 It is therefore important that future iterations of the Local Plan take account of any changes to the standard method for calculating housing needs during the course of their preparation.
2.2.5 Whilst the PPG advises that the standard method is not mandatory, there is a possibility that other methods can be used in exceptional circumstances based on robust evidence in order to deviate from the standard method. Indeed, the PPG is clear that the standard method only identifies the minimum number of homes required to meet population needs and does not take into account the variety of factors which may influence the housing required in local areas such as changing economic circumstances or other factors which may change demographic behaviour. Where additional growth above historic trends are likely to occur, then local planning authorities should include an appropriate uplift to the housing numbers to meet the need in full. It is important that this uplift is undertaken prior to and separate from the consideration of the demographic baseline assessment of need and how much of this need can be accommodated in a housing requirement figure. Circumstances where the need to apply an uplift may be appropriate include, but are not limited to:
- Where growth strategies are in place, particularly where those growth strategies identify that additional housing above historic trends is needed to support growth or funding is in place to promote and facilitate growth (e.g. housing deals);
- Where strategic infrastructure improvements are planned that would support new homes;
- Where an authority has agreed to take on unmet need, calculated using the standard method from neighbouring authorities, as set out in a statement of common ground;
- Historic delivery levels where previous delivery has exceeded the minimum need identified it should be considered whether the level of delivery is indicative of greater housing need; and
- Where recent assessments such as Strategic Housing Market Assessments suggest higher levels of need than those proposed by a strategic policy making authority, an assessment of lower need should be justified.
2.2.6 In addition, it is important for local planning authorities to consider the implications of the standard method on delivering affordable housing need in full. The PPG is clear that the total affordable housing need should be considered in the context of its likely delivery as a proportion of mixed market and affordable housing developments, taking into account the probable percentage of affordable housing to be delivered by open market housing development. If it becomes clear that affordable housing need will not be delivered in full, then an increase to the total housing figures included in the plan should be considered where it could help to deliver the required number of the affordable homes.
2.2.7 In the event that an alternative approach is used it should only be considered sound if it exceeds the minimum starting point. The PPG is clear that any alternative approach with results in lower housing need figure than the standard method should be considered unsound as it does not meet the minimum housing need required.  
3 LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
3.1 Duty to Cooperate
3.1.1 The Duty to Cooperate (DtC) is a legal requirement established through section 33(A) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, as amended by Section 110 of the Localism Act. The DtC requires local planning authorities to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis with neighbouring authorities on cross-boundary strategic issues through the process of ongoing engagement and collaboration.
3.1.2 The Revised Framework (2019) has introduced a number of significant changes for how local planning authorities are expected to cooperate including the preparation of Statement(s) of Common Ground (SOCG) which are required to demonstrate that a plan is based on effective cooperation and has been based on agreements made by neighbouring authorities where cross boundary strategic issues are likely to exist. The Revised Framework (2019) sets out that local planning authorities should produce, maintain, and update one or more Statement(s) of Common Ground (SOCG), throughout the plan making process . The SOCG(s) should provide a written record of the progress made by the strategic planning authorities during the process of planning for strategic cross-boundary matters and will need to demonstrate the measures local authorities have taken to ensure cross boundary matters have been considered and what actions are required to ensure issues are proactively dealt with e.g. unmet housing needs.
3.1.3 As demonstrated through the outcome of the Coventry, Mid Sussex, Castle Point and St Albans examinations, if a Council fails to satisfactorily discharge its DtC a Planning Inspector must recommend non-adoption of the Plan. This cannot be rectified through modifications.
3.1.4 Gladman welcome the South Essex Authorities' commitment to the preparation of a Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) covering Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. All of these authorities have significant strategic issues to contend with not least, the delivery of substantial housing and economic growth and the need to review Green Belt boundaries at a strategic scale.
3.1.5 It is however disappointing, that the JSP will not allocate specific sites which will be left for the individual Local Plans to take forward. The level of housing need in South Essex is significant and delivery has fallen substantially behind need for a long period of time. There is therefore an immediate need to address this situation; and for Local Plans to have to await the adoption of the JSP before sites are taken through the Local Plan process and finally released from the Green Belt, is simply going to result in inevitable further delay.
3.1.6 The JSP could release the strategic sites for development in partnership with the constituent authorities leaving a certain proportion of housing need to be addressed by the Local Plans on non-strategic sites. This would allow the release of Green Belt for development as early in the process as possible, thus meeting urgent need in an expedient manner.
3.1.7 The JSP also needs to follow a statutory plan preparation process with requisite consultation and examination to ensure that it has full weight in the planning process and to guide the preparation of the Local Plans on a formal basis. If the JSP is simply a non-statutory document, then there is the potential for changes over time in the other authorities to cause significant issues.
3.1.8 Beyond this commitment, there is very little evidence available setting out how Brentwood has discharged its Duty to Cooperate and what outcomes have been achieved through this process. This is especially pertinent because of the need to address unmet housing needs across the HMA.
3.2 Sustainability Appraisal
3.2.1 In accordance with Section 19 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, policies set out in Local Plans must be subject to a Sustainability Appraisal (SA), and also incorporate the requirements of the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004 (the SEA regulations).
3.2.2 The SA/SEA is a systematic process that should be undertaken at each stage of the Plan's preparation, assessing the effects of the emerging Local Plan Review proposals on sustainable development when judged against all reasonable alternatives. The Council should ensure that the future results of the SA clearly justify its policy choices. In meeting the development needs of the area, it should be clear from the results of this assessment why some policy options have progressed, and others have been rejected. This must be undertaken through a comparative and equal assessment of each reasonable alternative, in the same level of detail for both chosen and rejected alternatives. The Council's decision-making and scoring should be robust, justified and transparent.

4 SPATIAL STRATEGY
4.1 Vision and Strategic Objectives
4.1.1 Gladman has concerns with certain elements of the Spatial Strategy that is being pursued through the Brentwood Local Plan (BLP).
4.1.2 The Plan sets out that one of the overarching driving factors behind the BLP is meeting the housing needs of the borough. However, the Council are using the 2016 Household Projections to calculate the housing needs of the borough which the Government have now confirmed is the incorrect data set to rely upon. Use of the 2014 Household Projections is likely to yield a higher housing requirement and therefore, the Council will need to address this issue before the Plan gets to Examination.
4.1.3 They also set out within the Settlement Hierarchy in Table 2.3 that the development of brownfield land will be prioritised. This requirement has no support in National Policy as Para 117 of the Revised Framework (2019) simply states that substantial weight should be given to the value of using suitable brownfield land. This requirement should therefore be changed to reflect Government guidance.
4.1.4 The prioritisation of brownfield land is also repeated in the Spatial Development Principles section under Paragraph 3.23 which similarly needs amending.
4.1.5 It is also disappointing that in the Vision and the Strategic Objectives, no mention is made of providing housing to meet the needs of the local population or of addressing one of the key challenges facing Brentwood, that of tackling housing affordability. It is therefore suggested that given the emphasis being placed by the Government on fixing the broken housing market, a further Strategic Objective is added to the Plan that specifically relates to the delivery of housing.

5 MANAGING GROWTH
5.1 Policy SP02: Managing Growth
5.1.1 The Council sets out in the pre-amble to Policy SP02 that they consider the housing need figure using the Standard Methodology is 350 dwellings per annum using the 2016 Household Projections published by ONS.
5.1.2 However, since the Local Plan was published, the Government has clearly set out that the 2016 Household Projections should not be used for the purposes of establishing the housing need figure under the standard methodology and that the 2014 Household Projections should be used instead.
5.1.3 The Council therefore needs to recalculate the housing need figure using the correct set of data so that it accords with the Framework and is not immediately found unsound on this basis.
5.1.4 It must also be recognised that the standard method only identifies the minimum number of homes required to meet population needs and does not take into account the variety of factors which may influence the housing required in a local area such as changing economic circumstances or other factors which may change demographic behaviour. Where additional growth above historic trends is likely to occur, then local planning authorities should include an appropriate uplift to the housing numbers to meet the need in full. It is important that this uplift is undertaken prior to and separate from, the consideration of how much of this need can be accommodated in the housing requirement.
5.1.5 The Council are seeking to provide an uplift to the base level of housing needs established through the Standard Method but this is intended to provide a buffer in the housing supply to ensure that the housing requirement is met or surpassed. It is not an uplift to take account of the circumstances listed in the PPG (see paragraph 3.1.5 above).
5.1.6 Gladman support the Council's inclusion of a 20% buffer in order to provide flexibility in supply as this will allow the Local Plan to adapt to changes in circumstances such as stalled sites, delay in delivery and sites which do not come forward as envisaged. This is especially important where Local Plans are predicated on the delivery of a small number of large-scale strategic sites.
5.1.7 However, we also consider that the housing requirement included within the Local Plan is not representative of the full housing needs of the area and that factors such as the high housing affordability ratio (11.23 in 2017), continuing economic growth and proximity to London should lead the Council to uplift the housing requirement figure above the minimum identified through the Standard Method. The Council would then still need to include a 20% buffer above this figure, in order to provide the flexibility needed to ensure the housing requirement is met or surpassed.
5.1.8 Gladman also has concerns regarding the Sequential Land Use approach which is set out in Paragraph 4.22 of the Local Plan. This is intended to be used as a Development Management tool to appraise proposals against a sequential land use hierarchy. However, we consider that this goes beyond the guidance set out in National Policy which seeks to maximise the use of brownfield land where possible and where it does not conflict with other policies in the Framework. It is also difficult to see how this approach would work in a Development Management context as applicants would have to demonstrate that there are no other suitable alternative sites which could accommodate the proposed development.
5.1.9 Policy SP02 also sets out a stepped approach to housing delivery within Brentwood which would equate to 310 dwellings per annum 2016-2023 and 584 dwellings per annum from 2023 onwards. Given that Brentwood has struggled to deliver homes over recent years and has in fact, failed to meet the requirements of the recently published Housing Delivery Test, resulting in the need for a 20% buffer to be applied, coupled with the fact that housing affordability in the borough is severe, must lead the Council to the conclusion that it has to address the backlog of housing needs as quickly as possible.
5.1.10 Implementing a stepped approach to the housing requirement will only lead to people having to wait longer for their housing needs to be met which, in the face of the Government's push to address the housing crisis, must be unacceptable.
5.1.11 The Council point to the fact that given the level of Green Belt constraint facing the borough, it is extremely difficult to achieve a five-year housing land supply. However, if the Council allocate a sufficient range and type of site in various locations across the borough, including small scale Green Belt releases, then there is no reason why housing needs cannot be met quicker thus maintaining a 5-year housing land supply.
5.1.12 Gladman do not consider that the Council has sufficient evidence to justify the implementation of a stepped approach to housing delivery and therefore consider the Local Plan to be unsound in this respect.
5.2 Policy SP04: Developer Contributions
5.2.1 Whilst Gladman has no specific comments on the content of Policy SP04, we would wish to voice concern over the myriad of policies contained in the Local Plan which may have implications for development viability. Many of the policies such as Policy SP05, BE01, BE02, BE03, BE09, BE10 etc have requirements within them that will impact on the viability of development schemes. It is unclear from the evidence provided whether the cumulative impact of all of these requirements has been considered through the Viability Study, which is a requirement set out at Paragraph 34 of the Framework to ensure that such policies do not undermine the deliverability of the Plan. This gap in evidence needs to be addressed by the Council to ensure that these policies are justified.

6 RESILIENT BUILT ENVIRONMENT
6.1 Policy BE02: Sustainable Construction and Resource Efficiency
6.1.1 Gladman are concerned with part (f) of Policy BE02 as it is too onerous and goes beyond National Policy. Part (f) requires all proposals to include commercial and domestic scale renewable energy and decentralised energy as part of new development. This is an extremely onerous requirement, particularly for small schemes where it may not be technically feasible. It could also have a huge impact on development viability.
6.1.2 Paragraph 153 of the Framework allows for planning policies to require development to include decentralised energy supply. However, it also provides a caveat that this is only where it is viable and feasible. Part (f) of Policy BE02 should therefore be amended to reflect this guidance.

7 HOUSING PROVISION
7.1 Policy HP01: Housing Mix
7.1.1 Policy HP01 contains a number of development requirements which would be applied to all new development including housing mix, accessible and adaptable dwellings and self and custom build homes.
7.1.2 If the Council wishes to adopt the discretionary accessible and adaptable homes standards as a policy requirement, then this should only be done in accordance with the Revised Framework footnote 46 i.e. where this would address an identified need for such properties and where the standards can be justified. The Written Ministerial Statement (WMS) dated 25th March 2015 stated that "the optional new national technical standards should only be required through any new Local Plan policies if they address a clearly evidenced need, and where their impact on viability has been considered, in accordance with the NPPG".
7.1.3 All new homes are built to Building Regulations Part M Category 1 Standards which include such adaptions as level approach routes, accessible front doors and wider internal doors and corridors. If the Government had intended that evidence of an aging population alone justified the adoption of the higher Part M Category 2 or 3 optional standard, then these would have been incorporated as mandatory into the Building Regulations.
7.1.4 We have been unable to locate where the evidence of a need for these standards is contained within the evidence base. Without this evidence, these requirements should be removed from the Local Plan.
7.1.5 Whilst the concept of Self Build and Custom Build Housing is supported, the inclusion of plots on large scale sites does not add to the supply of houses overall (it merely changes the housing mix from one product to another). It is also difficult to assess how it will be implemented given issues around working hours, site access, health and safety etc. that are associated with large scale development sites. The percentage of provision on sites should also be determined on detailed evidence of need and the provision of these plots should also be subject to viability testing.
7.2 Policy HP06: Standards for New Housing
7.2.1 Policy HP06 requires all residential development to have to comply with the Nationally Described Space Standards (NDDS).
7.2.2 If the Council wishes to adopt the NDSS as a policy requirement, then this should only be done in accordance with the Revised Framework footnote 46 i.e. where this would address an identified need for such properties and where the standards can be justified. The WMS dated 25th March 2015 stated that "the optional new national technical standards should only be required through any new Local Plan policies if they address a clearly evidenced need, and where their impact on viability has been considered, in accordance with the NPPG".
7.2.3 We have been unable to locate where the evidence of a need for these standards is contained within the evidence base. Without this evidence, these requirements should be removed from the Local Plan.


8 CONCLUSION
8.1 Overall Conclusion
8.1.1 Critical to the success of the South Essex area will be the timely production of the JSP which will define the major growth areas to meet the housing and employment needs across the area and will inform the preparation of the individual Local Plans.
8.1.2 It is essential that through this process, the full needs for housing and employment are met in the areas that people want to live. It is also imperative that the major policy constraint of Green Belt is reviewed in a strategic manner which allows full need to be met and ensures that the new boundaries endure beyond the JSP plan period.
8.1.3 The impact of London will have a heavy influence on the future developments needs of the area and this must also be taken fully into account through the preparation of the JSP.
8.1.4 It is also considered that in order to give the JSP the weight it needs to ensure that the constituent Local Plans deliver its outcomes, the JSP should be a statutory plan which follows the requisite plan preparation process of consultation and subsequent examination.
8.1.5 Gladman have some fundamental concerns with the BLP, particularly with the identification of the level of housing need in the Plan and the implementation of a stepped approach to housing delivery, which would render the BLP unsound if they are not addressed.
8.1.6 Gladman therefore request the right to participate in any forthcoming Local Plan Examination to discuss these concerns orally.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23948

Received: 14/05/2019

Respondent: CEG Land Promotions Limited

Agent: Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation:

Chapter 1. Introduction

Duty to Cooperate (page 14)

Paragraphs 1.11 to 1.15 of the Local Plan briefly describe the Duty to Cooperate, its legal requirements in this regard and its commitment to cooperating with neighbouring authorities and key organisations on strategic planning issues. Paragraph 1.14 indicates the Council will publish a Duty to Cooperate Position Statement to describe the ongoing engagement and provide an update on the activities undertaken so far.
The Duty to Cooperate was introduced by the Localism Act 2011, and is set out in section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. It places a legal duty on local planning authorities to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of local plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters. This is picked up in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which makes it clear that (paragraphs 25 - 27):
(a) strategic policy-making authorities should collaborate to identify the strategic matters of relevance;
(b) effective and ongoing joint working between strategic policy-making authorities and relevant authorities is integral to the production of a positively prepared and justified strategy; and
(c) in order to demonstrate this, statements of common ground should be produced (in accordance with the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) and made publicly available so as to ensure transparency.

The Position Statement makes it clear that engagement with a wide range of stakeholders has taken place over several years which is noted and supported, as it demonstrates a significant effort has been made. CEG can confirm such an effort has been made by the Council with them over the Dunton Hills Strategic Allocation. However, at present CEG is not convinced that the Position Statement demonstrates that the Council has complied with the duty. The Council itself describes the document as a 'snapshot' and an 'initial summary' suggesting more is being done.
The PPG places much more emphasis on statements of common ground as how strategic policy making authorities can demonstrate that a plan is based on effective cooperation and that they have sought to produce a strategy based on agreements with other authorities. The Council has not yet provided the level of detail set out in the PPG and this will need to be worked up in due course.
The PPG also indicates that as the duty relates to the preparation of the plan it cannot be rectified post-submission so if the Inspector finds that the duty has not been complied with the examination would not proceed further. It might well be the case that there is further evidence, to which the Council can point in demonstrating compliance with a duty but it does not appear to be publicly available.
CEG understands that discussions with various authorities and prescribed bodies are well advanced and that an updated Position Statement will be prepared prior to submission to fully document the level of cooperation and the extent of agreement reached.
It is noted that the Position Statement refers to Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV) and consultation with Homes England but makes no reference to consultation with other relevant authorities or prescribed bodies which CEG knows has occurred. The updated Position Statement and relevant Statements of Common Ground should explain the full extent of the cooperation and agreement that has been reached in relation to this Strategic Allocation, as CEG is aware that it has been very extensive.

Change suggested by respondent:

Chapter 1. Introduction

Duty to Cooperate (page 14)

An updated Position Statement should be provided prior to submission of the Local Plan to explain the full extent of the cooperation undertaken and agreement reached with local authorities and prescribed bodies. This update should make clear the position reached in relation to DHGV, given the importance of this Strategic Allocation to the Local Pan.

Full text:

6 Submitted forms, commenting on the SA and on the Local Plan.
Form A:Chapters 1-3,
Form B Chapter 4,
Form C Chapter 5,
Form D Chapter 6,
Form E Chapter 7,
Form F Chapter 9
These representations deal with the following chapters in the Plan:
* Chapter 1. Introduction
* Chapter 2. Borough of Villages
* Chapter 3. Spatial Strategy - Vision and Strategic Objectives
In relation to Chapter 1, under Sustainability Appraisal, we also comment on the Sustainability Appraisal report (AECOM, January 2019).

Within our response to question no. 5 below, reference is made to specific pages, paragraphs and/or policies.

Chapter 1. Introduction

Duty to Cooperate (page 14)

Paragraphs 1.11 to 1.15 of the Local Plan briefly describe the Duty to Cooperate, its legal requirements in this regard and its commitment to cooperating with neighbouring authorities and key organisations on strategic planning issues. Paragraph 1.14 indicates the Council will publish a Duty to Cooperate Position Statement to describe the ongoing engagement and provide an update on the activities undertaken so far.
The Duty to Cooperate was introduced by the Localism Act 2011, and is set out in section 33A of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. It places a legal duty on local planning authorities to engage constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis to maximise the effectiveness of local plan preparation in the context of strategic cross boundary matters. This is picked up in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which makes it clear that (paragraphs 25 - 27):
(a) strategic policy-making authorities should collaborate to identify the strategic matters of relevance;
(b) effective and ongoing joint working between strategic policy-making authorities and relevant authorities is integral to the production of a positively prepared and justified strategy; and
(c) in order to demonstrate this, statements of common ground should be produced (in accordance with the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) and made publicly available so as to ensure transparency.

The Position Statement makes it clear that engagement with a wide range of stakeholders has taken place over several years which is noted and supported, as it demonstrates a significant effort has been made. CEG can confirm such an effort has been made by the Council with them over the Dunton Hills Strategic Allocation. However, at present CEG is not convinced that the Position Statement demonstrates that the Council has complied with the duty. The Council itself describes the document as a 'snapshot' and an 'initial summary' suggesting more is being done.
The PPG places much more emphasis on statements of common ground as how strategic policy making authorities can demonstrate that a plan is based on effective cooperation and that they have sought to produce a strategy based on agreements with other authorities. The Council has not yet provided the level of detail set out in the PPG and this will need to be worked up in due course.
The PPG also indicates that as the duty relates to the preparation of the plan it cannot be rectified post-submission so if the Inspector finds that the duty has not been complied with the examination would not proceed further. It might well be the case that there is further evidence, to which the Council can point in demonstrating compliance with a duty but it does not appear to be publicly available.
CEG understands that discussions with various authorities and prescribed bodies are well advanced and that an updated Position Statement will be prepared prior to submission to fully document the level of cooperation and the extent of agreement reached.
It is noted that the Position Statement refers to Dunton Hills Garden Village (DHGV) and consultation with Homes England but makes no reference to consultation with other relevant authorities or prescribed bodies which CEG knows has occurred. The updated Position Statement and relevant Statements of Common Ground should explain the full extent of the cooperation and agreement that has been reached in relation to this Strategic Allocation, as CEG is aware that it has been very extensive.
Sustainability Appraisal (Local Plan, page 15) & Interim Sustainability Appraisal (January 2019)
The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 makes clear that local planning authorities must carry out a process of sustainability appraisal alongside plan making. This approach is reinforced in the NPPF which states that local plans and spatial development strategies should be informed throughout their preparation by a sustainability appraisal that meets the relevant statutory tests. Sustainability appraisals are required to demonstrate how the plan has addressed relevant economic, social and environmental objectives and avoid significant adverse impacts, wherever possible.
The Council has prepared Interim Sustainability Appraisals throughout the preparation of the Local Plan and this has informed the Spatial Strategy. The latest Interim Sustainability Appraisal explains the seven alternative development scenarios considered and the reasons for supporting some scenarios over others. There is an assessment of each scenario against economic, social and environmental topics based upon the relevant evidence base for each topic. This assessment explains why some scenarios rank higher than others. The Interim Sustainability Appraisal is sound and has been prepared in accordance with legislative requirements and the NPPF.
CEG supports the conclusion regarding DHGV but considers that the Council should supplement the assessment of the options - this could be more empirical and provide a fuller explanation of the conclusions reached, with more cross reference to the outcomes of other evidence base. Furthermore, in considering landscape issues the assessment does not deal with the landscape capacity of sites or areas to accommodate new development.
South Essex Joint Strategic Plan (page 17 - 18)

The Council helpfully explains the progress that has been made on the Joint Strategic Plan (JSP) and the collaboration that has occurred on this. However, CEG considers that the relationship between the Local Plan and the JSP should be made clearer. It should be clearly explained that adoption of the JSP will only occur after the adoption of the Brentwood Local Plan and because of the timing the Brentwood Local Plan will contribute towards some of the growth requirements of the JSP. To address this, some modifications are suggested in response to question no. 6 below.
Chapter 2. Borough of Villages

CEG supports the characterisation of Brentwood as a Borough of Villages and the Borough Profile (February 2019) evidence base which describes the unique nature of a market town and surrounding villages set amongst countryside as fundamental to the Borough's character. CEG considers that it is entirely appropriate that this characterisation forms a central part of the Vision set out in Chapter 3 of the Local Plan.

Fig. 2.2 (Brentwood Borough Hierarchy) in the Local Plan draws from the existing and proposed settlement hierarchy diagrams set out in the Borough Profile, and shows in plan form how well the Local Plan proposals reflect the Borough of Villages character. This includes the DHGV proposal, which presents a very positive response to meet the Borough's housing needs and will fit into the hierarchy of settlements in the future as set out in Fig. 2.3 (Settlement Hierarchy) in the Local Plan.

Chapter 3. Spatial Strategy - Vision and Strategic Objectives

The Spatial Strategy identifies two growth areas which align with transport corridors; the Central Brentwood Growth Corridor and the South Brentwood Growth Corridor, within which DHGV is proposed. Development outside of these corridors will be limited to retain the local character of the Borough (paragraph 3.21).

The NPPF recognises that the supply of a large number of homes can often best be achieved through planning for larger scale development, such as new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns (paragraph 72). The approach of planning for DHGV is consistent with this and retaining the local character of the Borough.

CEG supports the Vison, the Driving Factors, the Overarching Aims, Strategic Objectives and the Strategic Allocation of DHGV as part of the South Brentwood Growth Corridor set out in Chapter 3. The Spatial Strategy and Development Principles will deliver the Vision. Given the importance attributed to Brentwood as a Borough of Villages and the need for Brentwood to meet its housing needs, the Spatial Strategy is sound; it is positively prepared, justified and consistent with national policy.



Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 23971

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Bellway Homes and Crest Nicholson

Agent: AECOM

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

Basildon's failure to allocate sufficient sites to meet housing needs will impact the other ASELA partners (e.g. increased unmet needs in the region). This should be addressed as a matter of urgency through Brentwood and Basildon's Duty to Cooperate Statements of Common Ground. A Duty to Cooperate position statement is welcome, although the MOU with the ASELA is insufficient to evidence the detailed Duty to Cooperate matters that need to be addressed with Basildon. At present the current policy position does not ensure an integrated approach to delivery of the Garden Village and adjacent sites to the West of Basildon.

Full text:

Bellway Homes and Crest Nicholson representations Brentwood Regulation 19 Pre-Submission Local Plan (February 2019)
Merits of our client's landholdings and the Dunton Hills Garden Village
Bellway Homes and Crest Nicholson's landholdings (part of allocation R01) are unconstrained, suitable, deliverable and available. As such the landholding can be brought forward as part of the wider Dunton Hills Garden Village allocation.
Our clients are housebuilders, not land promoters, and are seeking delivery at the earliest opportunity pending suitable access. Crest Nicholson and Bellway Homes will continue to work with officers and Councillors (and other landowners/developers) to help bring forward this key site for meeting local housing needs in South Essex. It is absolutely right that the allocation should not be anchored to the work that will be carried out as part of the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) and the emerging Joint Strategic Plan (JSP).
The identification of strategic scale sites to meet Brentwood's housing needs is supported, as is the principle of a new settlement via the Dunton Hills Garden Village Strategic Allocation (Policy R01) and its ambition for the delivery of additional homes beyond the plan period. The allocation represents an efficient use of greenfield land adjudged to be sustainable. Similarly we commend the Council for taking the decision to bring forward strategic greenbelt release alongside a comprehensively planned new settlement.
Our clients would support improved integration with Basildon alongside a landscape solution/approach agreed via a Statement of Common Ground and complementary policy positions (and/or supporting text) in both the Brentwood and Basildon Local Plans. This would help to deliver Dunton Hills Garden Village and the future expansion of West Basildon whilst maintaining separation physically through the provision of publicly accessible green infrastructure and improving connectivity for new and existing residents. Our clients do not support the position taken by Basildon Borough Council and have submitted representations objecting to the draft Basildon Local Plan.
Policy SP02: Managing Growth
Paragraphs 4.11 - 4.21 of the draft plan set out Brentwood's housing need position based upon the application of the standard methodology for calculating a minimum Local Housing Need figure; and the identification of a 20% buffer of housing sites for the first five years of the plan. The plan, at paragraph 1.38, also states that:
"..it may be necessary to review the Brentwood Local Plan, at least in parts, to ensure any opportunities for further growth and infrastructure provision in the Borough identified in the Joint Strategic Plan can be realised."
Our clients support this approach. Brentwood is seeking to meet their identified housing needs in full plus a sufficient buffer in the early part of the plan period. Crucially the draft plan is not using the JSP as a reason for deferring difficult planning decisions. As such, the draft plan is not reliant upon the emerging JSP to meet Brentwood's needs up to 2033. There has been no consultation to date on the JSP (as at March 2019) and it would be wholly unsound to rely upon a future JSP to meet identified needs up to 2033. Our clients support the pragmatic approach set out by Brentwood which is in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (paragraphs 11, 16 and 26 - a 'positively' prepared plan that seeks 'opportunities to meet the development needs' of their area and is 'sufficiently flexible to adapt to rapid change').
Our clients would advocate delaying submission of the publication plan until the 2018 affordability ratio data is released by the Office for National Statistics (the data used in the standard methodology for calculating housing need), due for publication in March/April 2019. This would allow time for factual updates to be made to Policy SP02 and housing target. Should submission come before the publication of the affordability ratio data, Brentwood should consider over allocating sites to increase the buffer of sites over for the whole plan period - sufficient to provide flexibility in respect of any increases brought about by the new affordability data published prior to or shortly after submission.
aecom.com
7/14
The recent release of the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) in February 2019 confirmed that Brentwood and all the other ASELA authorities (with the exception of Thurrock) have to identify a 20% buffer to their five year housing land supply and prepare a HDT Action Plan by August 2019. The minimum Local Housing Need figure (produced by the new standard methodology) will be applied to all authorities from 2018/19 for the purposes of the HDT (unless there is a plan that is less than 5 years old). As such Brentwood (and Basildon) will both be subject to HDT assessment on the basis of the minimum Local Housing Need figures until such time that their plans are adopted.
Table 1 (below) shows the HDT results published by MHCLG (19th February 2019) for all Councils that make up the ASELA. This shows housing delivery has only been achieved in one of the past three monitoring years (2016/17) for Basildon and it was never achieved by Brentwood. The HDT results evidence a persistent under delivery of housing in the South Essex region. Brentwood and Basildon are at risk of failing the HDT thresholds in 2019 and 2020. At present, Brentwood is in danger of falling below the 45% threshold this November 2019. This would leave the authority open to the presumption in favour of sustainable development (the 'tilted balance') and susceptible to speculative applications outside of the identified draft allocations. For Basildon there is a real risk that they will also be captured by the presumption in favour of sustainable development (75% threshold) as early as November 2020. Basildon's position is even more precarious given that they have not identified sufficient land to meet their minimum Local Housing Need, let alone a 20% buffer for the first five years, in their previous consultation draft plan.
Table 1 South Essex HDT results (MHCLG, February 2019)
[see attachment]
This illustrates the severity of the housing crisis in South Essex and the pressing requirement for all ASELA authorities to identify sufficient land supply (to meet their needs and a 20% buffer for the first five years) and maintain the plan-led approach. Basildon's failure to allocate sufficient sites to meet housing needs will impact the other ASELA partners (e.g. increased unmet needs in the region).
Duty to Cooperate
The above issues should be addressed as a matter of urgency through Brentwood and Basildon's Duty to Cooperate Statements of Common Ground. A Duty to Cooperate position statement is welcome, although the MOU with the ASELA is insufficient to evidence the detailed Duty to Cooperate matters that need to be addressed with Basildon. A Statement of Common Ground that outlines areas of uncommon ground would be just as valuable in advance of submission of both plans and the forthcoming examinations.
This will help to avoid creating inconsistencies or prejudice any future plan making as part of the ASLEA JSP. If Basildon and Brentwood both wish to avoid the appearance of sprawl along the A127, this can be achieved through a simple Statement of Common Ground and via identical high-level policies (or supporting guidance) in each Local Plan. At present the current policy position does not ensure an integrated approach to delivery of the Garden Village and adjacent sites to the West of Basildon. It is our client's view that a failure to tackle this issue head-on now could stall delivery on Dunton Hills Garden Village. The JSP is not the appropriate vehicle for resolving a planning issue within the emerging Basildon and Brentwood plans; this matter must be resolved prior to submission, of both Local Plans (ideally via a Statement of Common Ground).
Policy NE13: Site Allocations in Green Belt / Policy HP18: Designing Landscape and the Public Realm
Our clients support the strategic release of greenbelt sites in sustainable locations. Dunton Hills Garden Village has followed a robust Green Belt review; Sustainability Appraisal; and site selection process. The draft plan does not allocate land between Dunton Hills Garden Village and West Horndon; therefore it maintains physical separation and avoids the coalescence of the new settlement and existing built up area of West Horndon. To date there is no evidence that it would be possible to meet the Borough's acute housing needs without amending the Green Belt boundaries as proposed in the draft plan.
The Stage III Green Belt Review January 2019 (GBR3) continues the work of the previous two stages. Again the methodology used appears sound and has been consistently applied. GBR3 assesses the DHGV site, Parcel 200, as being Not Contained, exhibiting Significant Separation Reduction between settlements, as being Functional Countryside and of Limited Relationship to Historic Towns. This results in an overall conclusion of Parcel 200 making a moderate to high contribution to the Green Belt. As with the LSCA the scale of DHGV inevitably results in elevated scores.
The Dunton Hills Garden Village allocation (shaded yellow) and wider Green Belt parcel incorporating land West of Basildon in Basildon Borough (shaded red) shown on Figure 1 (below) is an area bounded by the A127, the A128, a railway line and the western edge of Basildon - there are few (if any) examples nationally of more contained and defensible boundary in Green Belt terms.
Figure 1 Green Belt Context: Land West of Basildon (red) and Dunton Hills Garden Village (yellow)
[see attachment]
There would be clear separation maintained between Dunton Hills Garden Village and West Horndon in Brentwood Borough. Paragraph 9.12 is also supported as it recognises that "The B148 (West Mayne) is the eastern road beyond the borough boundary separating the site from the built-up area of Basildon". If Dunton Hills Garden Village and the land West of Basildon (in Basildon Borough) are both allocated it is only logical to remove all of this land from the Green Belt based upon the strong defensible boundaries that exist for both areas. Landscape approach, design principles and physical separation can (as previously discussed) be dealt with via a Statement of Common Ground and complementary Local Plan policies (and guidance) in the respective plans. Policy R01 includes a detailed statutory policy to ensure the new settlement is comprehensively planned via landscape-led approach. This will ensure the development is not simply ribbon development along the A127 and instead an autonomous Settlement Category 2 Garden Village that will complement the existing settlement hierarchy and is well related to the existing communities of Basildon and Laindon and West Horndon.
The Landscape Sensitivity and Landscape Capacity Study: Potential and Strategic Allocation Options October 2018 (LSCA) assigns a landscape capacity to the potential allocations. The methodology used appears sound and has been consistently applied. The LSCA identifies the DHGV site, Parcel 200, as being of high landscape sensitivity, medium - low landscape value and medium - medium low landscape capacity. It is noted that the scale of the strategic options considered make comparison with smaller sites difficult. The scale of DHGV inevitably results in elevated scores.
The site is not the subject of any landscape quality designations that would prevent development. Our clients consider that Policy HP18: Designing Landscape and the Public Realm, in combination with Policy R01(I) clause C, provide an adequate policy framework for guiding a future landscape scheme - including the provision of green infrastructure between R01 and the development of the West of Basildon.
Policy R01: Dunton Hills Garden Village Strategic Allocation
The policy would benefit from being shortened and simplified. Much of the detail could instead be covered in the supporting text. Our clients would recommend a less prescriptive policy in favour of a series of development principles. The policy also recognises the appropriate phasing of infrastructure and mechanisms for delivery. However, our clients have a number of detailed comments to help enhance the clarity and utility of the draft policy.
R01(I)
 Clause B uses the term "self-sustaining" - this is currently an undefined term in the context of the facilities that may be required by future residents. It is likely that services and schooling would also be accessed in Basildon and so the policy should also recognise the importance with connectivity to nearby allocations and settlements in Basildon Borough. Whilst appreciating the need for a garden village to be separate, it should also be appropriately connected and complimentary to nearby settlements.
 There is a slight inconsistency between policy clauses A and D in the use of "around 2,700 homes" and "at least 2,700 homes" in the plan period. Our clients would favour the more positive "at least" in light of the pressing housing needs in the area.
 Policy clause D(c) currently expresses a requirement for employment land as 5.5ha. An alternative approach would be to also reference a jobs figure, employment densities are not fixed and the policy will need to remain flexible to provide the optimum employment solution on the site up to 2033.
 Policy clause D(d) references a co-located Secondary school, but this term is not defined in terms of what facilities could be appropriately co-located or any indication on forms of entry etc. This clause could cross reference to the Infrastructure Delivery Plan that shall remain a living documented capable of being updated as the development of the site evolves.
 Policy clause D(h) states 50% of the "total land area", this term is not defined and may have implications for the net developable area. Without the benefit of a detailed masterplan and Environment Statement supporting an application this requirement appears needlessly onerous and will make the allocation less flexible. We would suggest removal of a specific percentage in advance of further masterplanning and consultation.
R01 (II)
 Policy clause C(f) states: "a green infrastructure buffer / wedge on the eastern boundary with Basildon Borough to achieve visual separation to help significantly improve the landscaped and habitat value thus reinforcing the beneficial purpose and use of the green belt in that zone." This matter needs careful consideration in advance of submission in light of Basildon's representations and their erroneous position on Green Belt coalescence and countryside encroachment in their draft plan (which fails to allocate sufficient land to meet needs). Brentwood should provide further clarity that this separation can be achieved without sterilising large tracts of the allocation. A modest multifunctional green gap running north-south in close proximity to the Borough boundary would be a proportionate response in this location.
 Policy clause D(c) states "pathways through the green and blue infrastructure (GBI) network will be made of permeable material and follow a coherent treatment throughout the village. The pathways will all connect into a circular walk, with interconnected shortcut routes and be signposted offering directions to key destination points". It is premature at this stage to place overly restrictive pathway design where they may be sound place-making reasons for not following this approach in all areas.
 Policy clause I(a) states that emphasis will be given to: "incorporating car sharing clubs and electric vehicle only development". Whilst the principle is supported, this may not be appropriate for all areas of this large allocation and would be overly restrictive.
 Policy clause L(b) includes a small typo for BREEAM. This clause should make clear that BREEAM is for certain types of building only.
R01 (III)
 Clause B states: "The development and phased delivery of DHGV must ensure the timely delivery of the required on-site and off-site infrastructure to address the impact of the new garden village". Whilst supported and the timely delivery on infrastructure is essential in the creation of a sense of community, off-site infrastructure may be beyond the control of the primary land owners/promoter, and risks stalling development if a Grampian condition is envisaged.
An explicit policy clause is urgently required to ensure for a no ransom position. The primary developer must build roads up to the boundary of Crest Nicholson and Bellway Homes landholding. Without this added clause the allocation would be ineffective based upon the tests of soundness.
The Site benefits from the involvement of volume housebuilders which, according to the Letwin Review (2018), leads to a variety in product and higher build out rates. An extensive analysis of national house builder annual reports, conducted by Turley on behalf of Bellway Homes, demonstrates that average delivery rates (per outlet) range from between 40-58 units pa1. There is potential for sites (normally larger sites) to see a number of outlets building new homes at any one time. Additional outlets are sometimes in the form of a different house builder, but it can also be in the form of different products sold from different marketing suites by the same house builder. Crest Nicholson and Bellway Home's landholdings are jointly promoted in order to deliver high quality sustainable developments at pace and will help to achieve the housing trajectory set out in Appendix 1 of the draft plan.
The plan's delivery trajectory relies on increased delivery in the later part of the plan period (partly reliant on infrastructure investment). This emphasises the importance of infrastructure equalisation and removing any ransom scenarios as far as practically possible through statutory policy. In addition, it would be prudent for the ASELA authorities to work together to lever in external funding for reinforcements such as the gas pipeline to enable an alternative access arrangements and internal connectivity that would release more development land for housing and public open space later in the plan period.
R01 Supporting text comments:
 Paragraph 9.30 includes a reference to 'Medium' density- but this is not defined. The allocation location is in close proximity to Basildon and West Horndon and the potential for sustainable modes of transport lends itself to higher densities in district and local centres.
Transport policies B11 - B17
The general approach taken to transport within the Local Plan with the Built Environment policies (BE11 to BE17) is supported and it can be seen that these policies are feeding through into the policies for the site specific allocations.
The evidence base for the Local Plan includes Brentwood Borough Local Plan Transport Assessment (Local Plan TA) dated (October 2018) prepared by PBA and the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) prepared by the Council. These documents together provides the transport element of the evidence base and support the Council's proposed development strategy including the proposed development at Dunton Hills. They are essential elements of the evidence base and their soundness is not questioned in these representation, however, the conclusions of the Local Plan TA and the IDP need to be better reflected in the Local Plan.
The Local Plan TA sets out the approach to the modelling work, results of modelling and junction assessment, highlights those worse performing junctions that may require mitigations, the sustainable measure proposed and the impact this has on the junction assessment to enable the development sites to come forward. The assessment covers key 27 junctions within Brentwood planning authority.
The assessment assumed that DHGV would provide 2,500 new homes in the Local Plan period along with 5.5ha of employment land. In addition, number of sites located within Basildon Borough Council and Havering Borough Council were included within the reference case scenario in order to accurately assess the impact of Brentwood Local Plan. The West Basildon Urban Extension was included within the reference case assuming provision of 1000 new homes as per 2016 Basildon Local Plan publication.
The Local Plan TA identifies a number of junctions that would need to be improved across the Borough to support the development proposed in the Local Plan. However, the Local Plan Submission Version does not include reference to these. As an example, the following table contains the identified improvements in the surrounding roads to Dunton Hills Garden Village.
Table 2 Results of PBA capacity assessment, Brentwood Local Plan Evidence Base
[see attachment]
While it is clear that some of these improvements would be provided via Essex County Council (ECC) or Highways England as the relevant highway authorities there is no reference made in the Local Plan to them. It would be expected that the evidence base would transfer through to the IDP to be clear on how and when these identified infrastructure improvements would be provided.
As each identified allocated site comes forward to a planning application stage it will define what highway improvements are needed through the Transport Assessment associated with the individual site. However, guidance should be given on what improvements have been identified as part of the Local Plan TA to ensure that the need for them is considered and if they are required then how would they be funded i.e. guidance is needed on the scope for any future Transport Assessments to support developments.
The IDP contains a similar table for highway infrastructure improvements and those relevant to Dunton Hills Garden Village are listed in Table 3 below:
Table 3 IDP Schedule extract.
In addition to four infrastructure requirements relating specifically to DHGV a number of requirements are set out in the IDP for new developments and site allocations coming forward in the Local Plan period. Key improvements to be delivered as part of DHGV development are:
 DHGV: Widening Connectivity - further feasibility studies required to improvements of pedestrian connectivity across the A127 and A128;
 DHGV: Walkways/ Cycleways - provision of a good footway and cycle way network;
 DHGV: Sustainable Transport Infrastructure - provision of cycle hub within the DHGV site; and
 DHGV: Public Realm and Village Square - subject to detailed masterplanning good quality pedestrian centres should be provided.
It is acknowledged within the proposed policy for Dunton Hills Garden Village that reference is made for the need for a Transport Assessment report to be undertaken and this is where the detailed assessment can be made of the highway infrastructure needed to support the proposed allocation. However, there should be some reference to the published evidence base to guide the scope of this work. This is not to say that the identified improvements will be needed, but they should be considered as they have been identified within the evidence base.
Attendance at the examination hearing sessions
Our clients request attendance at the relevant hearing sessions to make verbal submissions in response to matters and questions related to: the Duty to Cooperate; housing numbers and the spatial strategy, landscape, transport, infrastructure, deliverability and the strategic allocations. We reserve the right to make further representations at the examination hearing sessions, should work on Brentwood's Community Infrastructure Levy evolve in respect of any implications on strategic sites and their ability to deliver policy compliant schemes.

Attachments:

Support

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 24008

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Croudace Strategic Ltd

Agent: Barton Willmore LLP

Representation:

It is evident that BBC has engaged with neighbouring authorities regarding cross-boundary matters as well as meeting housing need, as set out in the Duty to Co-operate Brentwood Position Statement (February 2019). The Council needs to continue to have regard to neighbouring authority plans and adequately co-operate with neighbouring authorities, rather than awaiting the future joint strategic plan, as well as Essex County Council plans, and strategies of other relevant bodies.

Full text:

1.0 INTRODUCTION
1.1 These Representations on the Brentwood Borough Council Reg 19 draft Local Plan have been prepared on behalf of Croudace Homes who are promoting their site (Officers Meadows - site number 034), which falls within the broader allocation of "Land North of Shenfield". The allocation encompasses several land ownerships, including Sites 158, 235, 087, 263 and 276, as well as the "Officer's Meadow" site (034), all of which make up the allocation Policy R03. It should be noted that Croudace Homes has controlling land interest in Site 034 only, therefore whilst development proposals have taken the other sites into account, this document is in respect of the "Officer's Meadow" site.
1.2 "Land North of Shenfield" was previously promoted through the Reg 18 Local Plan process (see Site Allocations Map Jan 2016 which supported the Draft Local Plan) historically as one of three separate strategic sites, now shown in the Reg 19 draft Local Plan site allocation as one site, "Officer's Meadow and surrounding land" (ref. Policy R03) allocated for residential development. The "Officer's Meadow" site is the focus of these Representations to the Reg 19 draft Local Plan and is hereby referred to as "the Site".
1.3 These representations are submitted to the Local Plan consultation document and set out our support for the Brentwood Borough Council (BBC) Local Plan in terms of the proposed spatial strategy and the identification of the Site as an allocation for growth.
1.4 These representations are focused on the Site allocation and demonstrate that the allocation is "sound" and deliverable having regard to National policy and a number of technical matters for the Site. It also reviews the Local Plan in terms of soundness of the Duty to Co-operate, the proposed spatial strategy (inc. Sustainability Appraisal) and other policies in the Plan including for Development Management purposes.
1.5 These representations are supported by technical reports included as appendices, which, on behalf of Croudace Homes, provide the background evidence to support the allocation and demonstrates it is "suitable", "available", "achievable" and therefore "deliverable". This will be referred to in these representations and it has regard to BBC's Evidence Base. The technical reports prepared by the consultant team, detail matters concerning:
* Transport;
* Landscape/Green Belt;
* Drainage;
* Noise
* Ecology;
* Archaeology; and
* Masterplanning.
* Shenfield High School "All through" education provision proposals.
1.6 The following sections of these representations are set out as follows:
* Section 2.0 - National Policy;
* Section 3.0 - Duty to Co-operate;
* Section 4.0 - Local Plan Strategy;
* Section 5.0 - Policy LP R03 -Land North of Shenfield (Officer's Meadow);
* Section 6.0 - Delivery of Land North of Shenfield (Officer's Meadow);
* Section 7.0 - Soundness of other policies in the Local Plan; and
* Section 8.0 - Conclusion.
2.0 NATIONAL POLICY
2.1 This section provides an overview of the NPPF with particular regard to plan-making. Other policies in the NPPF will also be referred to later in these representations.
i) National Planning Policy Framework
2.2 On 24 July 2018, the revised National Planning Policy Framework (2018 NPPF) was published by National Government, setting out the planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied in both plan-making and decision-taking. Post 24 January 2019 any plans submitted after this date must refer to the revised NPPF. This document therefore focusses on the revised 2018 NPPF.
2.3 The revised NPPF introduces the Government's standardised methodology for assessing housing needs. For those LPAs which do not submit plans within the NPPF's transitional period, the standard method will apply as a starting point for assessing housing needs.
a) Plan-Making
2.4 The NPPF 2018 (Para 35) sets out the requirement for Local Plans to be examined by an independent Inspector whose role is to assess whether the Plan has been prepared in accordance with legal and procedural requirements, and whether it is "sound". An LPA should submit a Plan for Examination which it considers is "sound" - namely that it is:
* Positively prepared (as a minimum seeking to meet the area's objectively assessed needs);
* Justified;
* Effective; and
* Consistent with national policy.
2.5 These representations will assess the Pre-Submission Local Plan against the tests of soundness, as above. The next section details the Duty to Co-operate in this regard.
3.0 DUTY TO CO-OPERATE
3.1 This section considers the legal compliance and procedural matters associated with the Local Plan with regard to the "Duty to Co-operate".
i) Policy Framework
3.2 The "Duty to Co-operate" as provided for in Section 110 of the Localism Act 2011 came into effect on 15 Nov 2011. The "duty" was introduced under the 2011 Act to address the impact of the loss of the "top-down" effect from the Regional Strategy and to offer a transparent way in which LPAs should relate to one another on cross boundary issues. The "duty" is now shared between LPAs requiring them to collaborate on cross-boundary matters and issues of sub-regional and regional importance, especially housing provision and infrastructure issues.
3.3 The NPPF 2018 (Paras 24-27) is clear in directing LPAs as to the importance of the "Duty to Co-Operate" and the pro-active approach necessary to ensure a collaborative approach to reflect individual local plans.
ii) BBC's 'Duty to Co-Operate' (DtC)
3.4 The NPPF recommends that where a Housing Market Area (HMA) extends across more than one local authority plan makers should assess need for housing for the whole HMA, rather than just the individual authority. The SHMA (Oct 2018) sets out that Brentwood District is a self-contained Housing Market Area (HMA). On this basis, no further joint evidence base documents were commissioned, but strategic work continues with South Essex Councils.
3.5 The Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for BBC amounts to 380 dwellings per annum (dpa) as the SHMA advises that the Council plans on the previous OAN evidence (despite referring to 350 dwellings per annum (dpa) following the current guidance, for the period 2019-2029). In addition, the Council propose additional land allocations over and above "need" (20% above 380 dpa). This approach is welcomed in the SHMA guidance, as overprovision should provide additional flexibility in the supply and delivery of sites.
3.6 Since the draft Brentwood Borough Council Reg 19 Local Plan has been published, the PPG HENA details the standard method for assessing housing need and now clarifies that the 2014-based household projections published by the Office for National Statistics should be used to set the 'baseline' for the standard method calculation. The standard method number for Brentwood is 452 dpa.
3.7 The OAN is 7,752 dwellings during the Plan period (2016 - 2033) and it is welcomed that the Local Plan is seeking to meet this need in full (and potentially overprovide). This is addressed further in the housing strategy section to follow. The Plan also provides an equitable distribution of new homes across the HMA and this will be addressed under the Sustainability Appraisal.
3.8 It is evident that BBC has engaged with neighbouring authorities regarding cross-boundary matters as well as meeting housing need, as set out in the Duty to Co-operate Brentwood Position Statement (February 2019).
3.9 As part of the DtC the Borough would normally need to consider whether it is a sustainable location for unmet cross boundary need. However, as Brentwood is a Green Belt authority (89% is Green Belt), it is unlikely that Brentwood will be in a position to accept any unmet housing need from the South Essex housing market area. The Essex neighbours (Chelmsford and Epping Forest) both have plans submitted for examination that are not reliant on Brentwood accepting any of their housing growth.
3.10 Ongoing Duty to Cooperate work continues with South Essex as part of a strategic growth study and participation in a Joint Strategic Plan.
3.11 The Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) memorandum of understanding was recently signed by Basildon Borough Council, Brentwood Borough Council, Castle Point Borough Council, Essex County Council, Rochford District Council, Southend on Sea Brough Council and Thurrock Borough Council (Jan 2018). This highlights the constraints and challenges facing other local authorities in terms of meeting their housing needs, and emphasises the importance upon BBC in terms of meeting its own needs in full. We therefore welcome BBC's aspirations in seeking to meet its own needs and indeed in seeking to provide to some flexibility too.
3.12 Duty to Co-operate discussions have confirmed that immediate neighbouring authorities are aiming to meet OAHN within their boundaries, but some will have difficulties in this regard. However, as Brentwood is a Green Belt authority, it is unlikely that Brentwood will be in a position to accept any unmet housing need from the South Essex housing market area.
3.13 To ensure the Local Plan is justified and effective (NPPF, para 35), it is considered that the above issues should continue to be updated in the evolving DtC Statement (February 2019).
3.14 The Council needs to continue to have regard to neighbouring authority plans and adequately co-operate with neighbouring authorities, rather than awaiting the future joint strategic plan, as well as Essex County Council plans, and strategies of other relevant bodies.
3.15 This working can be further supported by the Duty to Cooperate meetings dealing with the strategic planning issues relating to the South East Essex 2050 Programme. Also, the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA) Statement of Common Ground which includes a commitment to joint working through the preparation of a Joint Strategic Plan for South Essex.
3.16 It is recommended that BBC continues to embrace opportunities to work with the other members of ASELA, as well as producing statements of common ground with its neighbouring authorities, which is a key element of plan preparation, in order to secure a "sound" Local Plan which meets the requirements of the Duty to Co-operate.
4.0 LOCAL PLAN STRATEGY
4.1 This section examines and provides commentary on the proposed spatial strategy in the Local Plan, insofar that it relates to the housing and employment provision, and the allocation of strategic sites for growth including within the Green Belt.
4.2 First, we set out our representations on the Sustainability Appraisal for the Local Plan.
a) Sustainability Appraisal
4.3 The BBC Sustainability Appraisal (incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment) provides an assessment as to how the spatial strategy for the Local Plan was arrived (identifying, describing and evaluating the likely significant effects of implementing the plan).
4.4 The strategy has evolved from the early 'Pathway to a Sustainable Brentwood' Issues and Options document (2009), which set out a series of strategic objectives. The overarching priorities set out in the Interim SA (Jan 2018) are:
* Environment and Housing Management;
* Community and Health;
* Economic Development;
* Planning & Licensing; and
* Transformation.
4.5 In order to achieve these priorities the following plan themes have been set out (with associated objectives as set out in the SA):
* Managing Growth;
* Sustainable communities;
* Economic prosperity;
* Environmental protection and enhancement;
* Quality of Life and community infrastructure; and
* Transport and Movement.
4.6 Having regard to these themes and objectives, 10 No. reasonable spatial strategy alternatives were drawn up in the SA. The desire to deliver at least one large-scale, strategic site (likely for a mix of uses, to include both housing and employment) is quite well established, recognising: A) limited opportunities within settlements; B) no potential to export 'unmet needs' (as discussed); and C) the alternative of piecemeal Green Belt development dispersed widely has significant draw-backs (this option was appraised within the 2013 Interim SA Report).
4.7 A number of strategic site options have been examined over recent years, including through consultation and SA work, such that there is now a refined understanding of those sites that are genuine contenders for allocation through the Local Plan - There is specific mention of North of Brentwood and ....' the potential for expansion to impact 'in-combination' with other potential extensions to the urban Brentwood/Shenfield area, most notably the potential 825 homes on land at Officers Meadow (directly to the east)'.
4.8 The SA goes on to note that there is a need to give careful consideration to growth opportunities at Brentwood/Shenfield urban area.......Brownfield opportunities are limited; hence there is a need to examine Green Belt urban extension options. All land around the urban area is given brief consideration, with reference to the site options and the designated constraints that exist. Specifically:
North of Shenfield
A large area of land is bounded by the railway line to the east, and the A1023 to the west; plus there is a parcel of land to the north of the A1023, bounded by the A12. There are relatively few designated constraints, although considerations include a spur of Arnolds Wood Local Wildlife Site (LWS), and proximity to the railway and main roads. This land parcel comprises three HELAA sites, all of which are preferred allocations at the current time (Officer's Meadow; Land east of A1023; and Land north of A1023).
[SA of Brentwood Local Plan, January 2019 - page 113]
4.9 Of the options considered, the SA concluded that "Option 3" Dunton Hills Garden Village only, in addition to the sites that are a 'constant' across the reasonable alternatives, was the preferred option for growth as it performs well in terms of the majority of sustainability objectives. Furthermore, the option of identifying the delivery of 'constant' sites was also preferred with the objective of meeting both short and long-term needs.
4.10 We fully support and consider the approach of the Sustainability Appraisal to be "sound" in terms of alternative strategies assessed for the Local Plan and consider that the most sustainable option has been arrived at.
4.11 The SA reviewed site options that could deliver the proposed spatial strategy. This includes "suitable" sites as derived from the SHLAA against a series of 12No SA criteria including Housing, Landscape, Community and well-being and other sustainability considerations. This included a "red, amber, green" assessment of sites as against the selected 12No criteria. We support this approach and consider it to meet the requirements of the SEA in terms of the assessment of environmental impacts - this includes BBC's assessment of the Site at North of Shenfield for which we also fully support and consider to be "sound".
4.12 The process allowed for two strategic site options to be discounted (considered 'unreasonable') given planning/sustainability considerations and deliverability considerations. The extent of reasonable sites has been restricted to balance the need to meet housing needs as well as ensuring that pressure will not be put on infrastructure nor pose a serious risk to air quality, local amenity, natural and heritage assets and biodiversity.
4.13 Our Client's considerations of the Council's Sustainability Appraisal have been informed by the accompanying "Review of Sustainability Appraisal" (Barton Willmore EIA, March 2019), which is attached to these representations. (See Appendix 01).
4.14 The preferred approach is Option 3, which involves allocating Dunton Hills Garden Village only, in addition to the sites that are a 'constant' across the reasonable alternatives (including Officers Meadows), and thereby putting in place an overall land supply sufficient to provide the required housing target dpa (assuming no delayed delivery).
4.15 We support the overall approach to the Sustainability Appraisal, insofar as:
* It follows a robust process in evaluating alternative options for growth as well as specific site options;
* The approach to individual site options is considered to be sound; and
* It is considered to be "sound" in that it arrives at the most reasonable option for growth - Dunton Hills Garden Village in addition to the sites that are 'constant' across the reasonable alternatives- as encompassing the allocation at Land North of Shenfield (034).
b) Housing Strategy
4.16 On 19 February 2019, MHCLG published the long-awaited outcome of the 'Technical consultation on updates to national planning policy and guidance', which clarifies the methodology for assessing housing need incorporated in the updated Housing and Economic Needs Assessment (HENA) Published on 20 Feb 2019. The standard method for assessing housing need is detailed in the PPG HENA and now clarifies that the 2014-based household projections published by the Office for National Statistics should be used to set the 'baseline' for the standard method calculation. The standard method number for Brentwood is 452 dpa.
4.17 In order to provide flexibility in the supply of housing sites, help boost delivery and to aim towards the standard method figure, the Council has proposed a further 20% supply buffer when allocating development sites in the Local Plan above the established annual housing figure of 380 dwellings per year, as set out in the SHMA. The buffer allows for an additional housing supply in the borough to be maintained throughout the Local Plan period and is supported in national planning guidance. The Reg 19 Draft Local Plan refers to 456 dpa based on the 20% SHMA uplift on 380 dpa.
4.18 The Local Plan sets out (Policy SP02) the OAN for housing in the Borough as being 7,752 dwellings during the Plan period (2016 - 2033); which when projected across the 17-year plan period gives an annualised housing delivery target of 456 new homes per year. The Council has not been able to identify a 5-yr HLS that delivers this current annualised requirement. When calculating HLS for our representations we have based our assumptions on 452 dpa which is the most up to date guidance (February 2019).
4.19 As a result of 89% of the Borough being designated Green Belt, the Council advises it is difficult to achieve a five-year supply, as many allocated sites within the Green Belt will not be available until the adoption of the Plan. On this basis a larger proportion of sites will not be delivered until after 2023, when they begin to benefit from detailed planning consent.
4.20 Therefore, a stepped trajectory is proposed, with an initial housing delivery target of 310 dpa to 2023 has been set, followed by a higher target of 584 dpa thereafter, which totals 7,752 homes overall in accordance with Policy SP02.
4.21 The Local Plan (Chapter 4, Policy SP02: Managing Growth) indicates that the residual requirement will be sought largely through new development being directed towards the site allocations set out in Chapter 8; and highly accessible locations along transit/growth corridors. These are as follows and seek to deliver circa. 4,500 units up to 2033:
Table 4: Strategic Sites [see attachment]
4.22 In terms of the allocation at Land North of Shenfield ("Officers Meadow"), this includes an overall requirement across the whole site allocation at Policy R03 for 825 units to be delivered in the Plan period. This delivery schedule is supported and is addressed further in the next section.
4.23 We support the housing strategy for the Local Plan and welcome that BBC is seeking to meet its housing needs in full. This is particularly important having regard to the likely inability of adjacent authorities (referred to on page 5) to meet their own needs. We therefore consider the housing strategy in the Plan to be "sound" in accordance with the NPPF (Para 35).
c) Employment Strategy
4.24 Policy PC02: Job Growth and Employment Land identifies that provision is made for at least 47.39ha of new employment land (B-use) to address the needs of the Borough up to 2033. To ensure that the Plan is more effective, it is recommended that this is followed by supporting text setting out the extent of need as derived from the Brentwood Economic Futures report (2018) and Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2018).
4.25 This need is proposed to be met through allocations set out at Policy PC03: Employment Land Allocations. This includes provision of appropriate new employment development on North of A1023 (part of the Land North of Shenfield R03 land use allocation). We fully support this aspect of the Plan including the broad strategy underpinning both the housing and employment allocations. The employment strategy for the Local Plan is justified and "sound" in line with the NPPF (para 35).
d) Five-Year Housing Land Supply
4.26 The Local Plan is unclear in terms of being able to demonstrate a 5-yr HLS of housing land for the purposes of the Plan.
4.27 The most recent AMR (Nov 2018) demonstrates that BBC currently has a supply of 4.1 years - against requirement of 411.6dpa (2,058 units over 5-years) which encompasses a 20% buffer as required by the NPPF and Housing Delivery Test. This is as a result of persistent under delivery, as delivery is currently calculated as 50.83% for BBC, below the 85% requirement.
4.28 The AMR 5-yr supply relates to the period 2018/19 - 2023 and concerns, inter-alia, sites with planning permission, existing commitments and strategic sites at Dunton Hills Garden Village, West Hordon Industrial Estate, Ford Headquarters, etc. The Plan's trajectory details the delivery at proposed allocated sites (2016/17 - 2032/33) amounting to 6,088 units.
4.29 The 2018 AMR suggests the delivery of 819 units (Allocations, Reg 19 Local Plan) within the same timeframe (2018-2023). The figure is derived from existing permissions, developments, allocations and commitments, as well as the 20% buffer, is 1,694.7 units, and concludes the supply is 4.1 years (as set out below):
Table 6: Five Year Supply Position (2018-2023) [see attachment]
4.30 The AMR 2018 refers to the PPPG: HELAA, which sets out how a 5-yr HLS is measured where LPAs have a "stepped" rather than annual average requirements; it states:
Five-year land supply is measured across the plan period against the specific stepped requirements for the particular 5-year period. Stepped trajectories will need to ensure that planned housing requirements are met fully within the plan period.
[Paragraph 017, Reference ID: 2a-017-20180913]
4.31 The AMR 2018 sets out (Table 4: Comparison of annualised housing delivery target and projected completions) a housing delivery target of 7,752 homes (456 dpa over the 17-year Plan period), together with annualised projected housing completions. The report states that from a comparison of this data an initial stepped requirement of 310dpa to 2023, followed by a higher stepped up requirement of 584dpa for the remainder of the Plan period, is a logical approach to reach 7,752 homes by 2033.
4.32 As a result of the high proportion of Green Belt in the Borough, it is extremely difficult to achieve the annualised 5-yr HLS requirement. This is because, as set out in the AMR 2018, sites on the edge of settlements currently within the Green Belt are not available for development purposes until the emerging Local Plan is adopted. Therefore, the potential for a stepped trajectory has been proposed, which delivers a greater proportion of the required homes beyond 2023.
4.33 The above demonstrates that BBC is not fully able to demonstrate a 5-yr HLS for Local Plan purposes. This position could be expedited by allowing allocated sites, such as "Officers Meadow" to come forward 1-2 years sooner, within the present 5-year period, to help meet the required 5-yr HLS position.
5.0 LAND NORTH OF SHENFIELD - POLICY R03
5.1 Land North of Shenfield (Policy R03: Strategic Site - Land North of Shenfield) is allocated in the Pre-submission Reg 19 Local Plan and the extent of the allocation is shown below:
Figure 1: Land North of Shenfield- Allocation Area [see attachment]
5.2 This shows the Site area as allocated as a whole; despite Land North of Shenfield having 6 land parcels within it, namely Site parcels 034, 158, 235, 087,263 and 276, as identified at Appendix 1: Housing Trajectory in the Reg 19 Local Plan and previously set out in earlier iterations of the Reg 18 Local Plan suite of documentation.
5.3 We set out below our comments on Policy RO3 and Appendix 1- Housing Trajectory in regard to the proposed delivery rates. This is largely supportive, however there are some aspects we do not consider to be "sound".
i) Amount and Type of Development:
a. Provision for around 825 new homes of mixed size and type, including affordable housing.
5.4 This criterion is supported/considered to be sound and "effective" in accordance with the objectives of the NPPF (para 61) relating to creating mixed and balance communities. The proposals for the Site will therefore be able to be delivered in accordance with this policy objective.
b. Provision of land (circa 2.1 hectares) for a co-located 2FE [additional text] primary school and early years and childcare nursery (Use Class D1). To be located adjacent to Alexander Lane. [additional text]
5.5 We largely support this criterion, albeit consider it should be amended (as above) to provide for greater clarity. Therefore as presently worded, we object to this criterion.
5.6 Forecasted figures contained in 'Commissioning School Places in Essex 2016-2021' indicate that there will be a deficit in pupil places by 2020/21 when accounting for demographic factors and the proposed uplift in residential development.
5.7 Earlier/recent work undertaken by the High School (and others) considered the anticipated need for a new 1FE Primary School. The proposed policy wording should clarify that it is now proposing a 2FE Primary School. We have prepared an accompanying note (Appendix 02) that reflects are discussions in this regard.
5.8 Consideration should be given to the location of the Primary School. Again, the recent work undertaken by the High School has examined this, inc the early years facility and nursery element, and that it should ideally be located on the existing school playing fields, just north of Alexander Lane. This would enable the Shenfield High School to deliver an 'all through' school provision, comprehensively expanding the educational offer available on-site.
5.9 The NPPF (para 94) seeks that LPAs take a proactive, positive and collaborative approach to meeting school place requirement and to development that will widen choice in education. The principles of this element of Policy R03 is therefore "consistent" with the NPPF, but the wording should be clarified further. We would be happy to continue discussions with Shenfield High School, BBC & ECC Officers in respect of seeking to agree the most suitable location for the primary school provision.
5.10 In terms of its own generated education requirements, the allocation would give rise to a need for a 1FE Primary School and financial contributions towards secondary school provision. Through positive discussions with Shenfield High School, we have been working closely towards its objective of becoming a "through-school" (by encompassing Primary provision) and contributing towards secondary provision (at the High School) on a pro-rata basis.
c. Provision for a residential care home (around 60 bed scheme as part of the overall allocation).
5.11 The principle of this criterion is supported/ considered to be sound and a care home could be accommodated on the 'Officer's Meadow' site, however this should be subject to the balanced and reasonable distribution of other infrastructure across the Site allocation as a whole. The NPPF (section 5) on "Delivering a Sufficient Supply of Homes" requires that housing need for different groups in the community should be assessed and reflected in planning policies. The provision of a residential care home in Policy R03 would contribute towards the offer of care for older people in Shenfield and is therefore "consistent" with the NPPF, in accordance with national policy and is deemed sound.
d. Provision for up to [additional text] 5% self-build and custom build across the entire allocation area.
5.12 The principle of this criterion is supported, but not as presently worded. We therefore object to this criterion in its present form.
5.13 Section 1 of the Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding Act 2015 (as amended by the Housing and Planning Act 2016) requires each relevant authority to keep a register of individuals and associations seeking to acquire serviced plots for their own self-build and custom housebuilding. Whilst the provision of self-build and custom build should be considered, the evidence base for a 5% need across the entire allocation should be addressed against the local "needs register" and demand for such provision at the prevailing time.
5.14 In order to align with National policy, the evidence base and local need should be fully assessed before any commitment is made to the provision of this house type in this location. It is therefore considered that this element of Policy R03 is unsound.
5.15 It is recommended that this aspect of the policy is amended to "up to" 5% as shown above, to reflect prevailing "need" at the time.
e. Provision of 2ha of land for employment purposes.
5.16 The provision of 2ha of employment land as part of the wider allocation is agreed in principle. Employment land situated on land north of Chelmsford Road, as per the location identified in the BBC Site Analysis Overview report (Feb 2019), is supported, given its location adjacent the A12. This is the most appropriate location for such provision and is "consistent" with the NPPF (para 20). Therefore, and if situated in this location, this criterion is considered sound.
ii) Development Principles:
a. Comprehensive masterplan and phasing strategy to be prepared and considered as planning applications come forward.
5.17 We support this criterion and it is confirmed that development can come forward and be delivered within the timescale as shown in the housing trajectory. We also support a comprehensive masterplan and phasing strategy to set out effective phasing of the requisite infrastructure, as identified in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) is "consistent" with the NPPF and is considered sound.
5.18 The overall needs of development must have regard to potential considerations in terms of viability in order to be fully "justified", something not yet addressed in the IDP, which should be rectified in the next iteration of the IDP.
b. Site is identified as a key gateway location and development should reflect this in terms of design quality particularly on land near to Junction 12, A12.
5.19 We broadly support these provisions and the concept masterplan sets out conceptually the land take for development in this location, including the key gateway employment location and residential, however this land is not within our Client's control and as such will be the subject of a separate planning application and detailed framework masterplan. In principle, and from an overall design perspective, this key gateway location is consistent with Section 12 of the NPPF and is "justified" and therefore considered sound.
c. Vehicular access via Chelmsford Road (A1023) and Alexander Lane.
5.20 It is recognised that the delivery of vehicular access via Chelmsford road and Alexander Lane is a necessity as part of these proposals. Our Client's accompanying Transport Strategy (Vectos, March 2019) provides evidence to support the development of the Officer's Meadow Site in terms of reducing the need to travel and providing opportunities for non-car travel. This is "consistent" with the NPPF, in particular Section 9 on "Promoting Sustainable Transport". The provision of access via both Chelmsford Road (A1023) and Alexander Lane allows for flexibility in terms of phasing and means that development can take place simultaneously in more than one location on the Site. It is therefore considered that this criteria is sound.
d. Potential for diversion of Alexander Lane, creating a quiet lane for pedestrians and cyclists, with the provision for new and improved route through the development site linking to Chelmsford Road.
5.21 The potential diversion of Alexander Lane is welcomed in terms of pedestrian safety and improved access. This is because a quieter Alexander Lane will improve access to local schools, pedestrian and cycle infrastructure and the existing PRoW, encouraging active mobility. This policy is therefore considered "justified" in light of the NPPF (para 102).
e. Enhancing sustainable links with Shenfield station and local services and facilities in the wider area.
5.22 The accompanying (Vectos) Transport Strategy confirms that the travel opportunities afforded by the service at Shenfield Railway Station and local bus routes will ensure that travel by public transport is a realistic option for future residents. The NPPF (para 102) states that opportunities to promote public transport use should be identified and pursued by Local Plans. This policy is therefore considered to be "consistent" with the objectives of the NPPF and is sound.
f. Provide well-connected internal road layouts which allow for good accessibility.
5.23 The development of Officer's Meadow would provide opportunities to encourage walking and cycling through new and improved routes and crossing facilities. Improving the accessibility within an already sustainable setting will also help to minimise vehicular traffic, in accordance with National policy. This is "consistent" with the NPPF objectives set out in both Section 8 "Promoting Healthy and Safe Communities" and Section 9 "Promoting Sustainable Transport" .
g. Provision for new multi-functional green infrastructure including public open space.
5.24 The provision of green infrastructure and open space throughout the Site is supported. The development of Officer's Meadow introduces the opportunity to introduce ecological corridors, open space and green infrastructure linkages, as well as enhancing the recreational resource and connectivity value of the Site. The NPPF (para 181) states that planning policies should maximise opportunities for green infrastructure provision and enhancement. This policy is therefore considered "effective" in terms of meeting the requirements set out in the NPPF.
h. Maintain and enhance Public Right of Way within the site and to the wider area.
5.25 Our Client's accompanying Landscape Assessment (Barton Willmore, March 2019) provides information to support the maintenance and enhancement of the existing PRoW on site. Although limiting development, this PRoW allows for the opportunity to introduce ecological corridors, open space and green infrastructure linkages. The NPPF (para 98) states that policies should protect and enhance the PRoW, including taking opportunities to provide better facilities for users. It is therefore considered that this policy is "consistent" and sound in accordance with the NPPF.
i. Protect and where appropriate enhance the Local Wildlife Site (Arnold's Wood).
5.26 Arnold's Wood comprises a narrow strip of Ancient Woodland to the north and the east of the Site. The accompanying Ecological Report (Aspect Ecology (March 2019) identifies this feature as a Local Wildlife Site, whereby appropriate conservation and enhancement through development is a priority. The NPPF (para 170) seeks that planning policies contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by protecting valued landscapes and sites of biodiversity value, such as area of ancient woodland. The protection and enhancement of the Local Wildlife Site is therefore "justified" with regard to the NPPF, leading to the consideration of this policy as sound.
j. Provide for appropriate landscaping and buffers along sensitive boundaries adjoining the A12 and railway line.
5.27 Our Client's emerging proposals have been informed by a series of technical reports, including the Landscape Report, which provides for a planted buffer to be provided along the A1023 Chelmsford Road to help soften views of the proposed residential development at Officer's Meadow. This policy is therefore "effective" in terms of protecting residential amenity and enhancing the natural environment. The use of appropriate landscaping buffers is also in accordance with the NPPF (Section 15) on "Conserving and Enhancing the Natural Environment", making this criterion sound.
iii) Infrastructure Requirements:
a. Provide pedestrian and cycle crossing points across Chelmsford Road (A1023) where appropriate.
5.28 The accompanying Transport Strategy (Vectos) provides for new and enhanced pedestrian and cycle connections within the Site and to the wider area. As individual development parcels are separated by Chelmsford Road, pedestrian and cycle crossings are required where appropriate to allow safe connection between parcels (as identified in by Infrastructure Requirements). This criteria is therefore supported as the provision of crossing points across Chelmsford Road (A1023) will help to maximise opportunities for sustainable transport modes throughout the Site, to Shenfield railway station and various local services. The NPPF (para 104) states that planning policies should provide for high quality walking and cycling networks. This policy is therefore considered "consistent" with national policy.
b. Provision for improved bus service.
5.29 The provision of an improved bus service, with reference to the IDP, is supported. This criterion is sound in the light of Para 110 of the NPPF. It is therefore "justified".
c. The Site is located within a Critical Drainage Area. This development may have the potential to impact on the Critical Drainage Area in respect of surface water flooding. As a result of this, the site is likely to require an individually designed mitigation scheme to address this issue.
5.30 The majority of the Site is located within Flood Zone 1. As referred to in the accompanying Drainage Report (JNP, March 2019), the critical drainage can be dealt with by the creation of a surface water storage basin/wetland area to attenuate and release the overland surface water flows from off site at a reduced rate. An individually designed mitigation scheme can be implemented on-site via a variety of SuDS, in accordance with the provisions of the NPPF (para 163). These components will also adequately provide for surface water flows generated by the proposed development. The above criteria is therefore considered to be sound and "effective".
5.31 In addition to the above elements of physical infrastructure, and as mentioned previously in respect of other aspects of Policy RO3 allocation, we are also mindful of accompanying social infrastructure - in particular the educational needs of the resultant residents and the relationship with the adjoining Shenfield High School. It is therefore appropriate to reiterate our Client's willingness to work closely with the High School in helping to deliver its aspirations in providing for a "through school" (with Primary provision) and our off-site educational financial contributions will be directed to support this.
5.32 In overall terms, we largely support the provisions of Policy RO3 and have sought to reflect this is the accompanying illustrative concept masterplan, which demonstrates the delivery of the requisite infrastructure for the Site Allocation as a whole including:
- Social infrastructure - primary school, early years and nursery care;
- Transport infrastructure - pedestrian and cycle crossing points;
- Critical drainage mitigation; and
- Blue and Green Infrastructure.
5.33 The above demonstrates our overall support for the allocation of the Site and we can confirm that the proposed development is deliverable within the timescales established by BBC. The delivery of Land North of Shenfield ("Officer's Meadows") is addressed in the next section.
6.0 DELIVERY OF LAND NORTH OF SHENFIELD
6.1 A range of technical work and evidence has been worked up for the Site and which demonstrates the deliverability of the proposals. This technical input is set out in full in the Technical Representations accompanying these submissions.
6.2 This report therefore does not seek to repeat the technical material in full, instead it provides a summary of the main disciplines and how they relate to the delivery of the project.
6.3 This includes work in relation to the following disciplines:
i) Transport (Vectos);
ii) Landscape/Green Belt Assessment (Barton Willmore Landscape);
iii) Drainage (JNP Group)
iv) Noise (Sharps Gayler)
v) Ecology (Aspect Ecology);
vi) Archaeology (Albion Archaeology); and
vii) Masterplan (Barton Willmore Design).
6.4 Below is a brief summary of each of the update reports submitted in terms of the delivery of the scheme.
i) Transport
6.5 The accompanying Transport Strategy (Vectos) (Appendix 03) sets out the principle of a sustainable transport strategy for Officer's Meadow, reducing the need to travel and providing opportunities for non-car journeys. The proximity of the Site to local services and the proposed 'all through' school across the wider site will reduce trip generation and promote sustainable communities.
6.6 The Transport Strategy identifies the junction location i.e. A1023 Chelmsford Road/A129 Hutton Road/A1023 Shenfield Road and the appropriate mitigation measures, which include the implementation of MOVA or similar as a mitigation, in order provide adequate capacity. The access and egress via Alexander Lane will be provided in the form of simple priority junctions.
6.7 The new access points/roundabouts can be fully accommodated within the Site area and/or on highway land. Highways improvements are therefore deliverable as part of the comprehensive development for the scheme. As such, Land North of Shenfield is suitable for allocation in the Local Plan, in terms of highways and transport constraints.
ii) Landscape and Visual Appraisal/Green Belt Review
6.8 A Landscape and Visual Appraisal (BW Landscape) (Appendix 04) has been undertaken to provide a review of the landscape character and visual amenity of the Site and surrounding area. These aspects have informed the parameters of the illustrative masterplan and have demonstrated that the Site is suitable to be released through 'exceptional circumstances' for development, as addressed below. It supports BBC's removal of Land North of Shenfield from the present Green Belt designation, which presently washes over the entire Site and its surrounding environs.
6.9 Direct adverse impacts of development on the wider Green Belt setting would be minimised by locating strategic open space on prominent land, particularly in the north east the Site. Low density housing could be located in the most prominent areas, framing the retained Ancient Woodland area to the north and east of the Site. A PRoW also traverses the Site, enabling the introduction of ecological corridors, open space and green infrastructure linkages, as well as enhancing the recreational resource and connectivity of the Site.
6.10 Development of the Site would form a logical extension that is in keeping with the existing settlement, better connecting the ribbon development between Chelmsford Road and the settlement edge of Alexander Lane. In terms of visibility, glimpses of the Site can be seen from elevated views to the west. However, the landform ensures that it is largely well contained by a combination of vegetation cover and built form, restricting long-distance views. A landscape-led approach to development within the Site would seek to ensure that existing defensible boundaries continue to prevent unrestricted sprawl.
6.11 The LVA concludes that allocation of the Site would result in successful assimilation and integration of new residential development, with the potential for adverse effects on the landscape setting moderated, as required by the NPPF. The Site is considered to be of "low sensitivity" as it is of a low landscape value and the localised visual envelope of the Site, coupled with the surrounding land uses, lends itself to residential development. The Site makes a minimal contribution towards the 5No purposes of the Green Belt, making it suitable for release and able to contribute towards a suitable pattern of development for Shenfield.
iii) Drainage
6.12 A Flood Risk and Drainage Note has been prepared (JNP Group) (Appendix 05). This confirms the location of the majority of the Site within Flood Zone 1, where there is the lowest probability of flooding and where new development should be steered. A small part of the Site is located within Zones 2 and 3. Built development (housing, social infrastructure, etc.) will avoid Flood Risk areas.
6.13 All proposed buildings within "Officer's Meadows" are to be located in Flood Zone 1. Essential infrastructure which passes through a small area designated as Flood Zone 3 will be subject to the "Exception Test" and site-specific flood risk assessment to demonstrate safe access & egress from the site and that the development does not increase flood risk both on and off site. Safe access & egress will be provided off Chelmsford Road A1023 and Alexander Lane. Where affected, allowance for flood compensation storage will be provided to ensure no net loss in flood storage.
6.14 The critical drainage can be dealt with by the creation of surface water storage basins/wetland areas to attenuate and release the overland surface water flows form off site at a reduced rate. Development generated surface water flows can be dealt with via SuDS components and a storage basin/wetland attenuation area. The Site is therefore suitable and deliverable from a flood risk and drainage perspective.
iv) Noise
6.15 An assessment of "likely noise constraints" has been undertaken (Sharps Gayler) (Appendix 06) to identify potential constraints relating to noise and vibration upon Officer's Meadow. The below conclusion is based on a desktop assessment, informed by computer modelling of transportation noise sources in the area (A12, A1023 and the mainline railway).
6.16 Whilst there is a low to medium risk on the boundaries of the Site with Chelmsford Road and the rail line, the majority of the Site presents a low risk. At low noise levels, the Site is likely to be acceptable from a noise perspective, provided that a good acoustic design process is followed at the detailed application stage, particularly for development within 50m of Chelmsford Road and the rail line.
6.17 The assessment concluded that there are no significant constraints on Site in relation to noise. Land North of Shenfield is therefore suitable and deliverable from an acoustic perspective.
v) Ecology
6.18 An Ecological Appraisal has been undertaken (Aspect Ecology) (Appendix 07). This report confirms that the Site comprises a range of habitats including arable, woodland, grassland, watercourse, hedgerows, scrub and lines of trees. The woodland at the north-east of the Site, the watercourse and the hedgerows are of elevated ecological value and are considered to be important ecological features.
6.19 Protected species such as bats, badgers, dormice and reptiles have not been identified within the vicinity of the site at this stage. Although thought to have 'good' suitability for Great Crested Newt, a DNA survey (2015) found the pond nearest to the Site unlikely to support a Great Crested Newt population. A further Great Crested Newt presence/absence survey of all relevant ponds associated with the Site is to be undertaken in 2019.
6.20 The habitats at the Site are currently unmanaged from an ecology point of view and the development proposal presents the opportunity of securing suitable management practices, appropriate mitigation and 'net gains' in terms of biodiversity. When considering ecological constraints, the Site is therefore both suitable and deliverable, subject to further survey work.
vi) Heritage Assessment
6.21 A Desk-based Heritage Assessment (Albion Archaeology) accompanies these representations, which has also been informed by a preliminary walk-over of the Site. The accompanying report (Appendix 08) reviews the potential for below ground archaeological interest and potential impact arising from development on such features; as well as an assessment of any direct impact on potential heritage assets.
6.22 No heritage assets other than the crop mark of a bomb crater, have been recorded in the proposed development area. Other heritage assets comprise former buildings, the postulated course of a Roman road, find-spots and historic settlement cores, whose setting will not be impacted by the proposed development. The adjacent railway lines, roads, buildings and vegetation suggest that the proposed new buildings are unlikely to be visible from these heritage assets. The potential impact on the setting is therefore assessed as "no change". The significance of this impact is "insignificant".
6.23 The potential for archaeological remains has been assessed covering prehistoric to modern periods. In general terms the "significance" of any remains is low to moderate. Any potential impact of the new development on potential buried archaeological remains could be mitigated by measures to investigate and record the presence/absence of potential archaeological assets. Officer's Meadows is thereby deliverable from an archaeological perspective.
vii) Masterplan
6.24 The accompanying illustrative concept masterplan (BW Design) (Appendix 09) has been developed in response to the above technical information prepared for the Site.
6.25 This demonstrates the ability of the Site itself to deliver:
* Circa 510 homes ("Officer's Meadow" site) inc. affordable provision;
* The proposed dwellings can be delivered within the timescale of the housing trajectory, with varying densities;
* Other potential linkages to Chelmsford Road (A1023) and Alexander Lane;
* A 60-bed care home;
* A Local Centre/ community facility;
* Multi-functional green and blue infrastructure; and
* Sustainable transport links.
6.26 Moreover, the illustrative concept masterplan also demonstrates the delivery of:
* Significant areas of Public Open Space encompassing:
- Natural and Semi-Natural Green Spaces;
- Outdoor Sports Facilities; and
- Children's/Young People's Play Area.
* Primary School provision on the adjoining Shenfield High School.
6.27 The above provides an overview of the technical inputs to the Land North of Shenfield (Officer's Meadow) and which confirms that the Site and proposals for it are deliverable within the Local Plan context. The proposals for the Site form part of an iterative process and further information will come to light in advance of a planning application to ascertain the detailed parameters for the Site.
6.28 These matters will be "screened" for a full Environmental Impact Assessment for a subsequent planning application, and it is envisaged the EIA Screening will be submitted later in 2019.
7.0 SOUNDNESS OF OTHER LOCAL PLAN POLICIES
7.1 This section does not seek to comment on other specific allocations/sites. Instead it focuses on policies of relevance within the Local Plan and sets out our comments and recommendations on these in terms of the tests of soundness in the NPPF.
7.2 Policy SP01: Sustainable Development takes a positive approach towards "Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development" and seeks to apply this in terms of planning applications, in accordance with the Development Plan. The NPPF (para 11) assumes a strong "Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development" in all planning related matters and places a responsibility on LPAs to positively seek opportunities to meet the development needs of their area and to, as a minimum, provide for objectively assessed needs for housing and other uses. This policy is "consistent" with the NPPF and is therefore sound.
7.3 Policy SP02: Managing Growth seeks to support the delivery of homes by setting out provision for 7,752 new dwellings to be built over the Plan period 2016-2033, at an annual rate of 310 dwellings up to 2022/2023, followed by 584 dwellings from 2023/24-2033. This objective is not supported, as it is considered that this stepped trajectory which delivers a greater proportion of the required homes beyond 2023, could be reviewed to allow more housing to come forward from the period 2021 onwards. This is with particular reference to NPPF (para 23) which states that "strategic policies should provide a clear strategy for bringing sufficient land forward, and at a sufficient rate, to address objectively assessed needs". This policy is therefore "not consistent" with the NPPF and not sound.
7.4 We consider that in order to address this, the Council should review its housing trajectory and at the same time, clarify the new dwelling number ahead of the Local Plan submission, to align with the February 2019 agreed position on the 'baseline' for the standard method calculation.
7.5 The Council should, in addition, work with developers to bring applications forward in advance of the adoption of the Local Plan, to meet housing need.
7.6 Policy SP03: Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) states that Brentwood Borough Council is committed to ensuring all new developments promote healthier and inclusive environments. The majority of proposals will be required to assess their impacts on health and well-being upon the capacity of existing health care and social care services and facilities, the environmental impacts, and the promotion of health improvement activities, arising from the development. Developments of 50 or more units are required to submit a Health and Well-Being Impact Assessment, as required by the EPOA HIA Guidance Note.
7.7 This policy is considered to be unsound as it is not "justified". The requirement to undertake a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a superfluous burden on applicants. It should be down to the Local Plan to take into account wider health concerns in the local area and focus policies upon addressing these concerns. Health and well-being should be covered within the polices of the Local Plan and where a development aligns with these, an HIA should not be required.
7.8 Policy SPO4: Developer Contributions refers to the need for all new development to be supported by, and have good access to, all necessary infrastructure. Developers and land owners must work positively with the Council, neighbouring authorities and other infrastructure providers throughout the planning process to ensure that the cumulative impact of development is considered and then mitigated.
7.9 Applicants proposing new development will be expected to make direct provision or contribute towards the delivery of relevant infrastructure, as required by the development either alone or cumulatively with other developments. The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) identifies the types of infrastructure required to support the anticipated growth in the borough and includes a summary of the current identified infrastructure projects.
7.10 Policy SPO4 should be more explicit on the exact nature of requirements that the developer may be required to meet to avoid overly onerous requirements or confusion over cumulative impact and phasing with other developments and therefore this policy is not "justified" and is unsound.
7.11 Policy SP05: Construction Management states that all major development should sign up to the Considerate Constructors Scheme, or equivalent. Major development must consider the cumulative impacts of other major development occurring in the vicinity, to reduce the cumulative impacts.
7.12 It is considered that this policy accords with the NPPF and is therefore found to be sound, with particular reference to NPPF (para 72) which refers to larger scale development supported by the necessary infrastructure and facilities.
7.13 Policy SP06: Effective Delivery of Development states that proposals for large allocation sites will be expected to be developed in partnership with the Council, infrastructure providers and other relevant organisations, through a collaborative masterplanning approach. Development proposals should submit a supporting statement setting out the sustainable long-term governance and stewardship arrangements for community assets including land, services and facilities such as village halls, community centres, libraries, parks, green spaces, and buildings for sports, leisure, healthcare, education, social, arts and cultural activities. This policy is overly onerous and therefore "unjustified". This policy is therefore considered to be unsound.
7.14 Policy BE02: Sustainable Construction and Resource Efficiency requires all development proposals to maximise the principles of energy conservation and efficiency. Whilst the NPPF (para 153) has regard to the inclusion of renewable and decentralised energy as part of a new development, it states that such features are only required where it is either feasible or viable. This policy is therefore not "consistent" with National Policy.
7.15 We therefore object to the policy in its present form. In order to ensure consistency with National policy, criteria (f) of Policy BE02 should be revised to mirror the NPPF position. Therefore, it is considered that proposed Policy BE02 is unsound.
7.16 Policy BE03: Carbon Reduction, Renewable Energy and Water Efficiency states that proposals for renewable, low carbon or decentralised energy schemes will be supported, subject to adverse cumulative and visual impacts, which cannot be satisfactorily addressed. Criteria (b) of the proposed policy sets out the minimum standards of sustainable construction and carbon reduction. It is Government policy to seek to deliver improvements to emissions from buildings through the application of building regulations. It is therefore considered that the table provided in proposed Policy BE03 is not required, and therefore this policy is "unjustified" and unsound.
7.17 Policy BE04: Establishing Low Carbon and Renewable Energy Infrastructure Network sets out that developments will be required to provide for the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs of the development, specifically stand-alone renewable energy infrastructure. The policy advises that new development of over 500 units, or where the clustering of neighbouring sites totals over 500 units, will be expected to incorporate decentralised energy infrastructure.
7.18 The supporting text refers to the need for District heating networks and the identification of Strategic allocations in the Brentwood IDP, including the Officers Meadow's masterplan area, that could provide opportunities for DH and CHP schemes as energy solutions for new development.
7.19 This policy is considered overly onerous and "unjustified" in relation to the NPPF and therefore unsound.
7.20 In order to make the policy more effective, it could set out that the delivery of renewable energy infrastructure should be required based on evidence of need and viability and a "viability assessment" (at the time planning applications are submitted/determined) - as per Policy SP04.
7.21 Policy BE08: Sustainable Drainage seeks that all developments should incorporate appropriate Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDs) for the disposal of surface water, in order to avoid any increase in flood risk or adverse impact on water quality. Larger sites over 1 hectare in Zone 1 must be accompanied by a Flood Risk Assessment. Water runoff will comply with the requirements of this policy by provision of SuDS in the surface water drainage strategy. The NPPF (para 163) refers to the need for local planning authorities to ensure that flood risk is not increased elsewhere. Where appropriate, applications should be supported by a site-specific flood-risk assessment. This aspect of the policy is therefore considered "consistent" with the NPPF.
7.22 Given the extensive nature of the development, opportunities exist to incorporate the above the SuDs management across the site both locally and site-wide. However, the requirement for prevention if run-off for all rainfall events up to 5mm is in excess of the SuDS manual and is therefore "unjustified". Unfortunately, this therefore renders the overall Policy BE08 to be unsound.
7.23 Policy BE10: Connecting new developments to digital infrastructure seeks to support Brentwood's economic growth and productivity by improving the offer of digital infrastructure available within the Borough. Whilst planning strives to achieve the highest possible standards of construction and performance for new dwellings, Council's should not seek higher standards than Building Regulations on any other technical standards. Proposed Policy BE10 is therefore "unjustified" in light of National policy and therefore unsound.
7.24 Policy BE11: Strategic Transport Infrastructure requires that development in proximity of the railway stations demonstrate how the scheme connects the surrounding walking, cycling and public transport links to the station, linking new developments with the fast high-capacity transport links into London from Shenfield and the improved linkages from the Elizabeth line. Development close to schools and early years childcare facilities should facilitate an attractive public realm that is safe for children and encourages walking and cycling to address the impacts of school run traffic, in line with ECC's Developers' Guide to Infrastructure Contributions. This aligns with the NPPF (section 9) on "Promoting Sustainable Transport". These considerations therefore appear to be "justified", in accordance with national planning policy and therefore the policy is sound.
7.25 Policy BE13: Sustainable Means of Travel and Walkable Streets and Policy BE16: Mitigating the Transport Impacts of Development refers to sustainable modes of transport that should be facilitated through new developments, promoting accessibility and integration into the wider community and existing networks. Any development requiring a new road or road access, walking and cycling facilities and public transport, will be required to have regard to the adopted ECC's Development Management Policies or successor documents.
7.26 The policies seek to secure developments that are, inter-alia, designed to make necessary contributions to the improvement of existing infrastructure and provision of new infrastructure; be consistent and contribute to the implementation of the Essex County Council's Development Management Policies and include Transport Assessments and Travel Plans. This aligns with the NPPF (section 9) "Promoting Sustainable Transport" and is therefore considered "justified" and sound.
7.27 Policy BE17: Parking Standards refers to the vehicle parking requirement set out in the most up-to-date Essex Parking Standards. The NPPF (para 105) states that when setting local parking standards policies should take into account: a) the accessibility of development b) the type, mix and use of development c) the availability of and opportunities for public transport d) local car ownership levels and e) the need to ensure an adequate provision of spaces for charging plug-in and ultra-low emission vehicles. This aligns with the flexibility allowed for in Policy BE17, whereby the imposed parking standards are subject to the site's ability to minimise pressure on land and encourage the use of alternative modes of transport.
7.28 However, Policy BE12 also deals with "parking matters", but is not aligned with Policy BE17. This adds further inconsistency, in addition to Policy BE17 itself being "inconsistent" with the NPPF. It is therefore presently unsound.
7.29 Policy BE18: Green and Blue Infrastructure requires that Brentwood's existing ecological networks, open spaces, and green/blue features within the built environment are protected, planned, enhanced and managed as a part of the Borough's wider network of green and blue infrastructure. Points A-I of Policy BE18 identify the measures by which development proposals can maximise opportunities to protect and enhance green and blue infrastructure, aligning with the NPPF (section 15) "Conserving and Enhancing the Natural Environment".
7.30 However, it is presently unclear how any net gains/losses and any associated requirements would be measured/calculated, or the mechanism by which the Council or developer would deliver this. This is therefore both "unjustified" and "inconsistent", and therefore unsound.
7.31 Our Client largely supports the principle of Policy BE18, but it also unfortunately includes the requirement for a developer to ensure there is sufficient foul capacity within the local network before a development commences. Whilst our Client would liaise with Anglican Water, it is ultimately the Water Authority's responsibility to ensure sufficient capacity. Therefore as presently worded, the policy is "unjustified" and is unsound.
7.32 Policy BE19: Access to Nature seeks that major developers provide direct access to nature and that this provision is protected, planned, designed and managed as an integrated feature of the landscape. Developments in areas that are more than 1km walking distance from an accessible green open space should also seek opportunities to improve resident's experience and interaction with nature by means of design. The NPPF (section 8) "Promoting Healthy and Safe Communities" states that planning policies should be based on robust and up-to-date assessments of the need for open space, this policy is therefore deemed to be "consistent" with the NPPF and sound.
7.33 Policy BE22: Open Space in New Development seeks that major developments provide functional on-site open space and/or recreational amenities, in accordance with standards set out in the Council's Open Space Standards (see Figure 5.4 Open Space Standards and Fig 5.5 Fields in Trust Children's Play Space Standards in the Reg 19 Local Plan). Maintenance Plans should be submitted at planning application stage for all new facilities provided for exercise or recreation purposes.
7.34 The Council's Open Space Standards seek proposals which meet the Fields in Trust (Guidance for Outdoor Play Space: Beyond the Six Acre Standard) minimum standards. The FiT standards relate to provision on the basis of hectares per 1,000 population generated. The Council's Open Space Standards are considered to be effective as they are based on FiT standards and are therefore "justified" and the policy is sound.
7.35 Policy BE23: Open Space, Sport and Recreational Facilities states that permissions will not be granted for the development of designated Protected Urban Open Space or Local Green Space unless it can be demonstrated that alternative and improved provision can be created, existing open space enhanced or no additional displacement within the Green Belt caused. As with Policy BE22, where appropriate all proposals will be required to comply with the Council's Open Space Standards which aim to meet those set out by FiT. It is therefore considered that policy BE22 is "justified" in line with national guidance and therefore sound.
7.36 Policy HP01: Housing Mix sets out that all new development should deliver an inclusive and accessible environment throughout. On development sites of 500 or more units, the Council will require an appropriate mix of dwelling types, sizes and tenures to meet the identified housing needs in the borough as set out in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). Each dwelling is to be constructed to meet requirement M4(2) accessible and adaptable dwellings, unless built in line with M4(3) wheelchair adaptable dwellings. A minimum of 5% self-build homes is to be provided, which can include custom housebuilding and provision for Specialist Accommodation, taking account of local housing need in accordance with the criteria set out in Policy HP04 Specialist Accommodation. Where a development site has been divided into parts, or is being delivered in phases, the area to be used for determining whether this policy applies will be the whole original site.
7.37 The objective of securing accessible and adaptable homes is supported, however, it is unclear as to how the "each dwelling to be constructed to meet requirement M4(2) accessible and adaptable dwellings, unless it is built in line with M4(3) wheelchair adaptable dwellings" is a fair and reasonable request.
7.38 The supporting text refers to DCLG research which shows that, based on English Partnerships figures from 2011-2012, nearly 30% of households have at least one person with a long-term illness and over 3% have one or more wheelchair user. While nationally 3.3% of households have a wheelchair user, for households living in affordable housing this rises to 7.1%. The rates are also higher for older households and, given that the number of older person households in the borough is set to increase over the period to 2033, the Council seeks to ensure 5% of affordable housing development on proposals of 60 or more dwellings archives requirement M4(3) wheelchair accessible dwellings.
7.39 This need for "all developments" to meet this target is not set out in the evidence or in the NPPG (referred to in the supporting text) and is therefore "unjustified" and unsound.
7.40 Policy HP03: Residential Density sets out that residential development proposals will generally be expected to achieve a net density of at least 35 dwellings per hectare net or higher. Proposals for new residential development should take a design-led approach to density which ensures schemes are sympathetic to local character and make efficient use of land. Proposals for housing developments should "Make an Effective Use of Land" in line with NPPF (Section 11). This policy is therefore "consistent" with the NPPF and sound, but must provide for a degree of flexibility to allow for local circumstances.
7.41 Policy HPO4: Specialist Accommodation the Council encourages and supports proposals which contribute to the delivery of Specialist Accommodation, as referenced in the Land North of Shenfield Site allocation "other types of specialist housing (to be provided) in accordance with the Council's policy requirements". This form of accommodation includes, but is not limited to, housing for older people such as Independent Living schemes for the frail elderly.
7.42 The Council's SHMA indicates that, if occupation patterns of Specialist Residential Accommodation for older people remain at current levels, there will be a requirement for 494 additional specialist units to 2033, aligning with the requirement in the Land North of Shenfield site allocation for provision of a residential care home (a 60-bed scheme as part of the overall allocation). This policy is also "consistent" with the NPPF section 5 (para 64 b) and is therefore considered to be sound.
7.43 Policy HPO5: Affordable Housing seeks to provide a portion of affordable housing on residential developments of 11 dwellings or more or on those which have a combined gross floorspace of greater than 1,000 sq. m (gross internal area).
7.44 The affordable housing requirement relates to 35% provision in all areas of the Borough. The Council requires that the tenure split be made up of 86% Affordable/Social Rent and 14% as other forms of affordable housing (this includes starter homes, intermediate homes and shared ownership and all other forms of affordable housing as described by national guidance or legislation) or regard to the most up to date SHMA. The affordable housing is to be designed in such a way as to be seamlessly integrated to that of market housing elements of a scheme and distributed throughout the development, so as to avoid the over concentration in one area.
7.45 Viability is referred to, but the policy does not go far enough. We would recommend that the policy includes a clause which requires a viability assessment to be submitted and considered whereby schemes are unable to meet the full affordable provision, which is not included at present. The policy is therefore "unjustified" and unsound.
7.46 Policy HP06: Standards for New Housing requires that all major residential developments meet the Government's nationally described space standard. It is considered that the standard is an appropriate tool to use when considering the provision of good housing. However, this should not be limited to major development, but should instead extend to all emerging residential development, whilst allowing for the consideration of local circumstances and site-specific conditions, in order to accord the NPPF (Section 12, Achieving Well-Designed Places). The policy is therefore "unjustified" in relation to need and viability (our emphasis) in accordance with the NPPF. The adoption of nationally described space standards is also at the discretion of the LPA and should be decided upon in a local context. The policy is therefore considered unsound.
7.47 Policy HP12: Planning for Inclusive Communities refers to the need to plan for and build inclusive environments that support communities. Proposals should provide access to good quality community spaces, services and infrastructure, encouraging social interaction, ensuring inclusivity and promoting safety. The policy is deemed "consistent" with NPPF (section 8) "Promoting Healthy and Safe Communities" which states that planning policies should aim to achieve healthy, inclusive and safe places which promote social interaction, are safe and accessible, and support healthy lifestyles. The policy is therefore considered sound.
7.48 Policy HP13: Creating Successful Places seeks that proposals meet high design standards, in order to deliver safe, inclusive, attractive and accessible places. Elements A-M of policy HP13 identify measures considered to create successful places, in accordance with section 12 of the NPPF on "Achieving Well-Designed Places". The NPPF (para 128) states that design quality should be considered throughout the evolution and assessment of individual proposals. Policy HP13 is therefore considered to be "consistent" with the NPPF and sound.
7.49 Policy HP16: Buildings Design seeks for development to be well designed and of a high quality, having regard to Development Management criteria including scale, density, layout, siting, character and appearance. This policy is considered to be "consistent" with the NPPF having particular regard to Section 12 on "Achieving Well-Designed Places" and therefore sound.
7.50 Policy PC02: Job Growth and Employment Land seeks that provision is made for 5,000 additional jobs in the Borough over the Plan period at a rate of 250 per year. NPPF Section 6 on "Building a Strong, Competitive Economy" sets out that planning policies should support economic growth, in order to create jobs and prosperity by taking a positive approach to sustainable new development. The strategic allocation at Land North of Shenfield supports economic growth and creates new opportunities and is "consistent" with national guidance and is sound.
7.51 Policy PC03: Employment Land Allocations highlights areas allocated by the Council for general employment and office development. Para 82 of the NPPF states that planning policies should recognise and address the specific locational requirements of different employment sectors. The allocations set out in policy PC03 are informed by the wider spatial strategy, which aims to retain the Borough's character and encourage employment growth in suitable locations, in accordance with national planning policy. This policy is therefore deemed to be "consistent" with the NPPF and considered to be sound.
7.52 Policies NE01: Protecting and Enhancing the Natural Environment (inc SSSIs) and NE03: Trees, Woodland, Hedgerows (inc Local Wildlife Site, Local Nature Reserves) work to restrict development that would have a detrimental effect on, or result in the loss of, significant landscape heritage or a feature of ecological importance.
7.53 Our Client wholly supports the principles of both of these policies, albeit as presently worded, they both contain contradictory requirements: Policy NE01 (para B) states that proposals that lead to deterioration or loss of the Borough's designated and non-designated biodiversity assets will not be permitted; whereas Policy NE01 (para C) goes on to state that where adverse impacts are unavoidable they must be adequately and proportionally mitigated (ie it appears to allow for deterioration where they are unavoidable and can be suitably mitigated).
7.54 Policy NE03 (para A) contains a similar contradictory approach to the provisions of the remainder of the policy - as with Policy NE01.
7.55 In the light of this both Policy NE01 and Policy NE03 are not inconsistent with each other, they are also "inconsistent" with National policy, "unjustified" and therefore unsound.
7.56 Policy NE05: Air Quality seeks to restrict development, which would directly or indirectly, impact air quality within the Borough. Measures to offset or mitigate those impacts are introduced as part of proposals to ensure that receptors would not be subject to unacceptable risk as a result of poor air quality. This policy is "consistent" with the objectives of the NPPF (para 181) and is therefore considered sound.
7.57 Policy NE06: Flood Risk requires that development avoid flood risk to people and property, managing any residual risk and taking account of the impacts of climate change. Developments should be located in areas with the lowest probability of flooding (Flood Zones 1 & 2). Where development is located within Flood Zone 3, the Exception Test will apply.
7.58 The NPPF (section 14) "Meeting the Challenge of Climate Change, Flooding and Coastal Change" states that inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided by directing development away from the areas at the highest risk. The majority of Policy NE06 therefore aligns with National guidance and therefore mostly sound. However, and as presently worded, it suggests tat applicants may be obligated to set aside land to provide flood management to benefit areas outside of that development. This is unduly onerous, inconsistent with National policy and therefore unsound.
7.59 Similarly, the entirety of a development area does not need to remain operational at times of flood (such as access roads), if there is an alternative safe means of escape that is provided. Subsection c) of Policy NE06 is therefore not justified and also unsound.
7.60 Policy NE09: Green Belt seeks that the Metropolitan Green Belt within Brentwood Borough will be preserved from inappropriate development so that it continues to main openness and serve key functions. Policy NE09 states that all development proposals within the Green Belt will be considered in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the NPPF on "Protecting Green Belt Land". It is therefore considered that policy NE09 is "justified" and sound, in the light of national policy.
7.61 Policy NE13: Site Allocations in the Green Belt states that sites allocated to meet housing need, within the Green Belt, will be expected to provide significant community benefits. These are the "exceptional circumstances" for sites to be removed from the Green Belt to allow development to take place, providing new defensible boundaries and protecting the open countryside. The NPPF (para 138) states that, where it has been concluded necessary to release Green Belt land for development, plans should give first consideration to land which has been previously-developed and/or is well-served by public transport.
7.62 The allocated "Officer's Meadow" site provides opportunities for sustainable development and transport modes to be maximised, with its close proximity to Shenfield railway station, in accordance with National policy, leading to the consideration of Policy NE13 as "consistent" with the NPPF and sound.
7.63 The overall approach within the Development Management related policies is supported, however amendments to policy/Appendices of Local Plan is recommended in places as set out above. This would ensure robustness in terms of delivering a sound Local Plan that is positively prepared, justified, effective and consistent with national planning policy.
8.0 CONCLUSION
8.1 The Regulation 19 "Pre-Submission Local Plan" consultation document is supported. These representations fully support the allocation of Land North of Shenfield, which includes our Client's land at "Officer's Meadow". These representations focus mostly on land within our Client's control and are supported by a series of accompanying technical reports that support the proposed allocation.
8.2 Our Client supports the wider and comprehensive development of Policy RO3: Land North of Shenfield, which could ultimately for circa 825 dwellings (inc affordable provision).
8.3 Specifically, the land controlled by our Client represents the largest area of land within Policy RO3 and is largely supportive of the policy requirements set out in the Local Plan. Our Client is keen to work closely with the Borough Council and adjoining landowners to provide a comprehensive approach to development, and our Client's elements would comprise:
* Circa 510 dwellings (inc. Affordable provision)
* A new Local Centre, inc. potential healthcare;
* A 60-bed care home
* Significant areas of "Green" and "Blue" Infrastructure;
* Other community facilities, inc. sports provision.
8.4 These representations have also set out our Client's support of working closely with the adjoining Shenfield High School to provide for enhanced educational facilities. This would be in the form of funding towards on-site Primary provision to help create a "through-school", plus financial contributions to existing secondary provision (if required).
8.5 We would welcome the opportunity of discussing our concerns, with suggested amendments with BBC and ECC Officers at the earliest opportunity.
8.6 Subject to a number of modifications as recommended in this report, we consider the Local Plan to be largely sound in accordance with the NPPF.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 24442

Received: 03/06/2019

Respondent: Mrs Vicky Mumby

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

Duty to cooperate: there has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. There us a development of 30 new, large houses by Epping Forest DC 100m outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane. These properties are 1/3 miles from Blackmore Village and 5 miles from any other town/village. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 new properties being considered for Blackmore in the infrastructure and amenities.

Change suggested by respondent:

Remove sites R25 and R26 from plan, refer to the Blackmore Village Heritage Association (BVHA) 'Neighbourhood Plan' for housing need.

Full text:

Including the following sections:
LDP Fig 2.3 Settlement hierarchy
LDP Section 04 (management growth)
Policies:
SP01 - D
Paras 4.6 4.9 4.20
Policy SP02
Policy SP04 - A
LDP Section 06 (housing provision)
Policy HP 08

Section 08
Natural Environment
Policy NE 06 paras 8.51 -8.64
Para 8.85 (IV)
Para 8.90
Para 8.101
Policy NE13
Section 09 site allocation
Policy R25 para 9.87 -9.200
Policy R26 paras 9.201 - 9.204

I consider the plan to be unsound and fails to comply with the Duty to Cooperate for the following reasons:
1. IDP Fig 2.3 settlement hierarchy: there are errors in the plan eg the population of Blackmore is listed as 829 but this does not cover the residents in Nine Ashes Road past Red Rose Lanes and Chelmsford Road which includes a mobile home park and illegal travellers site.

2. Duty to cooperate: there has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. There us a development of 30 new, large houses by Epping Forest DC 100m outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane. These properties are 1/3 miles from Blackmore Village and 5 miles from any other town/village. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 new properties being considered for Blackmore in the infrastructure and amenities.

3 Red Rose lane is a single track and not suitable for the extra volume of traffic generated by the proposed housing. It is used by walkers, joggers, cyclists; dog walkers and horseriders and has no pavement. The additional traffic will bring increased danger to these users along with the lack of street lights.

4. Flood Risk: Blackmore sites in a dip and is prone to flooding which has occurred a number of times over the years. The planned 70 homes will reduce the available land to soak up water, therefore flooding will increase.

5. Policy NE06 states that in 8.52: Developing inappropriately in high risk areas can put property and lives at risk; this policy seeks to ensure this does not happen.

6. infrastructure Requirements: There are no infrastructure requirements listed in policy R25 or R26, however all amenities and services are already stretched inc the local primary school, electricity, sewerage system, doctors surgery etc.

7. There is no clear housing strategy for the villages and general area in the north of the borough. There are many other options that have been suggested through this process but have not been considered.

8. A 'housing needs' survey should have been carried out which would have demonstrated why Blackmore has been specifically included on the LDP and why other more suitable areas have not been included.

9. The borough Council have not shown that the required additional houses for the borough could not be delivered by increasing the housing density on the other allocated sites in the plan.

10. There are brownfield sites available nearby but there is no evidence these have been considered in preference to using Green Belt land.

11. Other more suitable locations eg areas around Doddinghurst which have better transport links would have been a far better proposal that the development in Blackmore which is not a sustainable development proposal for the reasons given.

12. The proposed sites are important to wildlife and natural habitats.
Policy HP08 seeks to regularise an illegal travellers site on the Chelmsford Road. The borough Council has failed to undertake its duty to attempt to remove the travellers since they moved in some years ago. The Council has watched the site grow without taking any action!

My family moved to Blackmore 2 years ago from Epping for a quiet village life. The village does not have the capacity for 70 new homes.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 24455

Received: 04/06/2019

Respondent: Mr Mark Mumby

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

Duty to cooperate. Not enough consultation with neighbouring authorities with regard to sites R25 and R26 in Blackmore.

Change suggested by respondent:

The issues listed shows that the modification would be to remove sets R25 and R26 from the plan. Blackmore Village Heritage Association has produced a plan which should be referred to by the planners. The Plan sets out our local housing needs for our community.

Full text:

LDP Fig 2.3 Settlement hierarchy
LDP Section 04 (management growth)
Policies:
SP01 - D
Paras 4.6 4.9 4.20
Policy SP02
Policy SP04 - A
LDP Section 06 (housing provision)
Policy HP 08
Section 08
Natural Environment
Policy NE 06 paras 8.51 -8.64; Para 8.85 (IV); Para 8.90; Para 8.101
Policy NE13
Section 09 site allocation
Policy R25 para 9.197 -9.200
Policy R26 paras 9.201 - 9.204
LPP Fig 2.3 settlement hierarchy. There are errors in the plan, population states 829 but does not include houses past Red Rose Lane or the residents in Chelmsford Road and Traveller site.
Duty to cooperate. Not enough consultation with neighbouring authorities.
Red Rose Lane is single track and wont cope with more traffic
Flood Risk
Policy NE06 Flood Risk 8.52
Infrastructure requirements - no infrastructure improvements have been listed in R25 or R25. The local school is at capacity with no room for more children.
The doctors is too at capacity, waiting times are bad already.
Electricity and services wont be able to cope with 70 extra houses.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 24511

Received: 06/06/2019

Respondent: Mrs Terri Reed

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

Because we are on the Brentwood borders, no account has been taken of the development being undertaken by Epping & Chelmsford RIGHT ON OUR DOORSTEP, impacting on local facilities. Alternative sites have been ignored, even when more suitable

Change suggested by respondent:

Remove sites R25 and R26. Consider what Blackmore really needs not what ticks a few boxes, and what suits developers. The BHVA have worked hard to proposal alternative which are sustainable. They know the village better then the people behind the unsustainable proposal currently on the table.

Full text:

Local plan Is unsound
The sites are unsuitable for building, they are liable to flood and the road is not suitable as it is too narrow & also it regularly floods, cars get trapped.
I am unaware if a housing need survey is being carried out.
The infrastructure is already at bursting point. Children turned away from the local school as full; Drs surgery over stretched already; no parking in village centre
Because we are on the Brentwood borders, no account has been taken of the development being undertaken by Epping & Chelmsford RIGHT ON OUR DOORSTEP, impacting on local facilities.
Alternative sites have been ignored, even when more suitable,
Inadequate public transport - you can't live here without a car. Most families have 2 or more.
Remove sites R25 and R26.
Consider what Blackmore really needs not what ticks a few boxes, and hat suits developers
The BHVA have worked hard to proposal alternative which are sustainable. They know the village better then the people behind the unsustainable proposal currently on the table.
These forms have been a nightmare to complete. I would suggest that this is the only way to get our case across, & people should be given a chance to express themselves in person.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 25118

Received: 19/03/2019

Respondent: Mr Keith Godbee

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

BBC have not consulted with the other authorities in the area as to the effect their plans influence BBC's one.

Change suggested by respondent:

Take Blackmore out of the LDP as it was in a previous draft.

Full text:

Blackmore is a small village with limited facilities. It has one shop transport links are very poor with the bus service very limited indeed cancelled at one time and has traffic problems.
The imposition of 70 houses is grossly excessive and also totally disproportional to the total required.
The infra structure is incapable of sustaining these new properties.
There is no strategy for villages and no housing needs survey has been done by the council.
In addition the plan uses greenbelt land despite the fact that brownfield sites are available.
The area is liable to flood and further building would only worsen this.
Lastly some natural habitat for the local wildlife would be lost.
Take Blackmore out of the LDP as it was in a previous draft. The infrastructure is plainly unable to cope with the addition of more houses as required in the LDP with the health centre and the school already at full capacity and the roads unable to cope with further traffic.
There are brownfield sites that are available that could be utilized rather than use greenfield ones.
BBC have not consulted with the other authorities in the area as to the effect their plans influence BBC's one.
Red Rose lane is clearly unsuitable for the additional traffic that would occur if the plan was implemented.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 25843

Received: 12/03/2019

Respondent: Mr John Hughes

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

There has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. 100 metres outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane is the entrance to a development of 30 new (large) houses by Epping Forest District Council. These properties are 1.3 miles from Blackmore village centre and its amenities and more than 5 miles from any other town/ village with similar amenities. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 (40 + 30) new properties being proposed for Blackmore on the infrastructure and amenities.

Change suggested by respondent:

Due to the many issues listed above it is clear that the sensible modification would be to remove sites R25 and R26 from the Plan. Blackmore Village Heritage Association (BVHA) has produced a 'neighbourhood plan' which should be referred to by the Planners. This clearly sets out our local housing needs for our already sustainable community.

Full text:

I consider the plan to be unsound and fails to comply with the Duty to Cooperate for the following reasons: 1. LDP Fig 2.3 Settlement Hierarchy. There are errors and omissions in the plan. For example, the population of Blackmore is listed as 829. However, the area that this covers (see diagram attached) does not cover, amongst others, the residents in Nine Ashes Road past Red Rose Lane or the residents in the Chelmsford Road which includes a mobile home park and the illegal Traveller site. The populations stated in the plan separately for Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green add up to 2402, however the total population for the Parish of Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green is actually 3040. The Plan numbers are misleading and therefore invalidate assumptions made in the Plan based on population numbers. 2. Duty to Cooperate. There has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. 100 metres outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane is the entrance to a development of 30 new (large) houses by Epping Forest District Council. These properties are 1.3 miles from Blackmore village centre and its amenities and more than 5 miles from any other town/ village with similar amenities. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 (40 + 30) new properties being proposed for Blackmore on the infrastructure and amenities. 3. Red Rose Lane is a single track road and is not suitable for the extra volume of traffic generated by the proposed housing. Also, Red Rose Lane, along with many other roads in and around the Blackmore area, is used regularly by walkers, joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers and horse riders. Red Rose Lane has no pavements and so the additional traffic will bring increased danger to these users. There are also very few street lights in Blackmore and none in Red Rose Lane which adds more risk. 4. Flood Risk. The village centre of Blackmore sits in a dip and is prone to flooding. Prior to the major development of the village in the 1970s there were no reports of any significant flooding. Since then there have been a number of occurrences of flooding. In 1986 a major flood occurred where many houses and St Laurence church were flooded and badly damaged. Flooding has occurred numerous times since with the most recent being 3 years ago when several houses on the Green were flooded and many of the surrounding roads (including Red Rose Lane) were impassable. At St Laurence Church graveyard in Church Street when graves are dug they fill with water immediately and need to be pumped out prior to the burial due to the high water table in the area. The addition of 70 properties will further reduce the available open land to soak up water and therefore flooding occurrences will increase. (See photos showing the Blackmore Road area near Meadow Rise from summer 2016). This flood caused extensive damage to the pavement which has not yet been repaired. 5. Policy NE06 FLOOD RISK states in 8.52: Flood risk include risk from all sources of flooding, including from rivers, from rainfall, from rising groundwater, which can overwhelm sewers and drainage systems, and from reservoirs, canals, lakes and other artificial sources. Incidences of high rainfall are forecast to increase in intensity as a result of climate change. Developing inappropriately in areas at risk from flooding, can put property and lives at risk; therefore, this policy seeks to ensure this does not happen. Blackmore is not just a high flood RISK area, flooding in Blackmore is actually an ISSUE. Therefore any development in Blackmore is clearly against this policy. 6. Infrastructure Requirements. There are no infrastructure requirements listed in policy R25 or R26. However, all amenities and services are already stretched. * The electricity, other utilities and in particular the sewerage system are unlikely to be able to cope an additional 70 properties without counting the 30 extra properties in Fingrith Hall road. The sewerage system is at maximum capacity already. * The local primary school is already full- new arrivals in the village are not able to get their children into the school and have to travel to schools in other areas. * Bus services are limited, infrequent and do not run into the evenings. * There is insufficient parking in the village centre causing people to regularly park on double yellow lines. * The doctors surgery is at capacity and waiting time for appointments are already unacceptable. 7. There is no clear housing strategy for the villages and general area in the north of the Borough. There are many options that have been suggested through this process and should have been considered but have not been. 8. A 'Housing Needs' survey should have been carried out which would have demonstrated why Blackmore has been specifically included in the LDP, and why other more suitable areas have not been included. 9. The Borough Council have not shown that the required additional houses for the Borough could not be delivered by increasing the housing density on the other allocated sites in the plan. 10. There are Brownfield sites available nearby but there is no evidence these have been considered in preference to using greenfield, Green Belt land. 11. Other more suitable locations (e.g. areas around Doddinghurst, urban extensions to Brentwood, increasing the size of the Dunton Hills proposal) which all have better transport links would have been a far better proposal than the development in Blackmore which is not a sustainable development proposal for the reasons given. 12. The proposed sites are important wildlife and natural habitats for many creatures to live undisturbed. 13. Policy HP08 seeks to regularise an illegal traveller site on the Chelmsford Road. The Borough Council has failed to undertake its duty to attempt to remove the travellers from the site since they first moved in some years ago. The Council have sat back and watched the site grow without taking any action and must re-visit this. In regularising the site the council is providing open invitation for other travellers to do the same as the council will be seen to be weak, capitulating and an easy target area. 14. Policy SP02 states that new development will be directed towards highly accessible locations along transit/growth corridors. Blackmore is not highly accessible and not along a transit I growth corridor.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 25855

Received: 12/03/2019

Respondent: Mr Thomas Hughes

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

There has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. 100 metres outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane is the entrance to a development of 30 new (large) houses by Epping Forest District Council. These properties are 1.3 miles from Blackmore village centre and its amenities and more than 5 miles from any other town/ village with similar amenities. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 (40 + 30) new properties being proposed for Blackmore on the infrastructure and amenities.

Change suggested by respondent:

Due to the many issues listed above it is clear that the sensible modification would be to remove sites R25 and R26 from the Plan. Blackmore Village Heritage Association (BVHA) has produced a 'neighbourhood plan' which should be referred to by the Planners. This clearly sets out our local housing needs for our already sustainable community.

Full text:

I consider the plan to be unsound and fails to comply with the Duty to Cooperate for the following reasons: 1. LDP Fig 2.3 Settlement Hierarchy. There are errors and omissions in the plan. For example, the population of Blackmore is listed as 829. However, the area that this covers (see diagram attached) does not cover, amongst others, the residents in Nine Ashes Road past Red Rose Lane or the residents in the Chelmsford Road which includes a mobile home park and the illegal Traveller site. The populations stated in the plan separately for Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green add up to 2402, however the total population for the Parish of Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green is actually 3040. The Plan numbers are misleading and therefore invalidate assumptions made in the Plan based on population numbers. 2. Duty to Cooperate. There has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. 100 metres outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane is the entrance to a development of 30 new (large) houses by Epping Forest District Council. These properties are 1.3 miles from Blackmore village centre and its amenities and more than 5 miles from any other town/ village with similar amenities. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 (40 + 30) new properties being proposed for Blackmore on the infrastructure and amenities. 3. Red Rose Lane is a single track road and is not suitable for the extra volume of traffic generated by the proposed housing. Also, Red Rose Lane, along with many other roads in and around the Blackmore area, is used regularly by walkers, joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers and horse riders. Red Rose Lane has no pavements and so the additional traffic will bring increased danger to these users. There are also very few street lights in Blackmore and none in Red Rose Lane which adds more risk. 4. Flood Risk. The village centre of Blackmore sits in a dip and is prone to flooding. Prior to the major development of the village in the 1970s there were no reports of any significant flooding. Since then there have been a number of occurrences of flooding. In 1986 a major flood occurred where many houses and St Laurence church were flooded and badly damaged. Flooding has occurred numerous times since with the most recent being 3 years ago when several houses on the Green were flooded and many of the surrounding roads (including Red Rose Lane) were impassable. At St Laurence Church graveyard in Church Street when graves are dug they fill with water immediately and need to be pumped out prior to the burial due to the high water table in the area. The addition of 70 properties will further reduce the available open land to soak up water and therefore flooding occurrences will increase. (See photos showing the Blackmore Road area near Meadow Rise from summer 2016). This flood caused extensive damage to the pavement which has not yet been repaired. 5. Policy NE06 FLOOD RISK states in 8.52: Flood risk include risk from all sources of flooding, including from rivers, from rainfall, from rising groundwater, which can overwhelm sewers and drainage systems, and from reservoirs, canals, lakes and other artificial sources. Incidences of high rainfall are forecast to increase in intensity as a result of climate change. Developing inappropriately in areas at risk from flooding, can put property and lives at risk; therefore, this policy seeks to ensure this does not happen. Blackmore is not just a high flood RISK area, flooding in Blackmore is actually an ISSUE. Therefore any development in Blackmore is clearly against this policy. 6. Infrastructure Requirements. There are no infrastructure requirements listed in policy R25 or R26. However, all amenities and services are already stretched. * The electricity, other utilities and in particular the sewerage system are unlikely to be able to cope an additional 70 properties without counting the 30 extra properties in Fingrith Hall road. The sewerage system is at maximum capacity already. * The local primary school is already full- new arrivals in the village are not able to get their children into the school and have to travel to schools in other areas. * Bus services are limited, infrequent and do not run into the evenings. * There is insufficient parking in the village centre causing people to regularly park on double yellow lines. * The doctors surgery is at capacity and waiting time for appointments are already unacceptable. 7. There is no clear housing strategy for the villages and general area in the north of the Borough. There are many options that have been suggested through this process and should have been considered but have not been. 8. A 'Housing Needs' survey should have been carried out which would have demonstrated why Blackmore has been specifically included in the LDP, and why other more suitable areas have not been included. 9. The Borough Council have not shown that the required additional houses for the Borough could not be delivered by increasing the housing density on the other allocated sites in the plan. 10. There are Brownfield sites available nearby but there is no evidence these have been considered in preference to using greenfield, Green Belt land. 11. Other more suitable locations (e.g. areas around Doddinghurst, urban extensions to Brentwood, increasing the size of the Dunton Hills proposal) which all have better transport links would have been a far better proposal than the development in Blackmore which is not a sustainable development proposal for the reasons given. 12. The proposed sites are important wildlife and natural habitats for many creatures to live undisturbed. 13. Policy HP08 seeks to regularise an illegal traveller site on the Chelmsford Road. The Borough Council has failed to undertake its duty to attempt to remove the travellers from the site since they first moved in some years ago. The Council have sat back and watched the site grow without taking any action and must re-visit this. In regularising the site the council is providing open invitation for other travellers to do the same as the council will be seen to be weak, capitulating and an easy target area. 14. Policy SP02 states that new development will be directed towards highly accessible locations along transit/growth corridors. Blackmore is not highly accessible and not along a transit I growth corridor.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 25862

Received: 12/03/2019

Respondent: Mrs Gail Hughes

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

There has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. 100 metres outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane is the entrance to a development of 30 new (large) houses by Epping Forest District Council. These properties are 1.3 miles from Blackmore village centre and its amenities and more than 5 miles from any other town/ village with similar amenities. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 (40 + 30) new properties being proposed for Blackmore on the infrastructure and amenities.

Change suggested by respondent:

Due to the many issues listed above it is clear that the sensible modification would be to remove sites R25 and R26 from the Plan. Blackmore Village Heritage Association (BVHA) has produced a 'neighbourhood plan' which should be referred to by the Planners. This clearly sets out our local housing needs for our already sustainable community.

Full text:

I consider the plan to be unsound and fails to comply with the Duty to Cooperate for the following reasons: 1. LDP Fig 2.3 Settlement Hierarchy. There are errors and omissions in the plan. For example, the population of Blackmore is listed as 829. However, the area that this covers (see diagram attached) does not cover, amongst others, the residents in Nine Ashes Road past Red Rose Lane or the residents in the Chelmsford Road which includes a mobile home park and the illegal Traveller site. The populations stated in the plan separately for Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green add up to 2402, however the total population for the Parish of Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green is actually 3040. The Plan numbers are misleading and therefore invalidate assumptions made in the Plan based on population numbers. 2. Duty to Cooperate. There has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. 100 metres outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane is the entrance to a development of 30 new (large) houses by Epping Forest District Council. These properties are 1.3 miles from Blackmore village centre and its amenities and more than 5 miles from any other town/ village with similar amenities. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 (40 + 30) new properties being proposed for Blackmore on the infrastructure and amenities. 3. Red Rose Lane is a single track road and is not suitable for the extra volume of traffic generated by the proposed housing. Also, Red Rose Lane, along with many other roads in and around the Blackmore area, is used regularly by walkers, joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers and horse riders. Red Rose Lane has no pavements and so the additional traffic will bring increased danger to these users. There are also very few street lights in Blackmore and none in Red Rose Lane which adds more risk. 4. Flood Risk. The village centre of Blackmore sits in a dip and is prone to flooding. Prior to the major development of the village in the 1970s there were no reports of any significant flooding. Since then there have been a number of occurrences of flooding. In 1986 a major flood occurred where many houses and St Laurence church were flooded and badly damaged. Flooding has occurred numerous times since with the most recent being 3 years ago when several houses on the Green were flooded and many of the surrounding roads (including Red Rose Lane) were impassable. At St Laurence Church graveyard in Church Street when graves are dug they fill with water immediately and need to be pumped out prior to the burial due to the high water table in the area. The addition of 70 properties will further reduce the available open land to soak up water and therefore flooding occurrences will increase. (See photos showing the Blackmore Road area near Meadow Rise from summer 2016). This flood caused extensive damage to the pavement which has not yet been repaired. 5. Policy NE06 FLOOD RISK states in 8.52: Flood risk include risk from all sources of flooding, including from rivers, from rainfall, from rising groundwater, which can overwhelm sewers and drainage systems, and from reservoirs, canals, lakes and other artificial sources. Incidences of high rainfall are forecast to increase in intensity as a result of climate change. Developing inappropriately in areas at risk from flooding, can put property and lives at risk; therefore, this policy seeks to ensure this does not happen. Blackmore is not just a high flood RISK area, flooding in Blackmore is actually an ISSUE. Therefore any development in Blackmore is clearly against this policy. 6. Infrastructure Requirements. There are no infrastructure requirements listed in policy R25 or R26. However, all amenities and services are already stretched. * The electricity, other utilities and in particular the sewerage system are unlikely to be able to cope an additional 70 properties without counting the 30 extra properties in Fingrith Hall road. The sewerage system is at maximum capacity already. * The local primary school is already full- new arrivals in the village are not able to get their children into the school and have to travel to schools in other areas. * Bus services are limited, infrequent and do not run into the evenings. * There is insufficient parking in the village centre causing people to regularly park on double yellow lines. * The doctors surgery is at capacity and waiting time for appointments are already unacceptable. 7. There is no clear housing strategy for the villages and general area in the north of the Borough. There are many options that have been suggested through this process and should have been considered but have not been. 8. A 'Housing Needs' survey should have been carried out which would have demonstrated why Blackmore has been specifically included in the LDP, and why other more suitable areas have not been included. 9. The Borough Council have not shown that the required additional houses for the Borough could not be delivered by increasing the housing density on the other allocated sites in the plan. 10. There are Brownfield sites available nearby but there is no evidence these have been considered in preference to using greenfield, Green Belt land. 11. Other more suitable locations (e.g. areas around Doddinghurst, urban extensions to Brentwood, increasing the size of the Dunton Hills proposal) which all have better transport links would have been a far better proposal than the development in Blackmore which is not a sustainable development proposal for the reasons given. 12. The proposed sites are important wildlife and natural habitats for many creatures to live undisturbed. 13. Policy HP08 seeks to regularise an illegal traveller site on the Chelmsford Road. The Borough Council has failed to undertake its duty to attempt to remove the travellers from the site since they first moved in some years ago. The Council have sat back and watched the site grow without taking any action and must re-visit this. In regularising the site the council is providing open invitation for other travellers to do the same as the council will be seen to be weak, capitulating and an easy target area. 14. Policy SP02 states that new development will be directed towards highly accessible locations along transit/growth corridors. Blackmore is not highly accessible and not along a transit I growth corridor.

Attachments:

Object

Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)

Representation ID: 25869

Received: 12/03/2019

Respondent: Mr Adam Hughes

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation:

There has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. 100 metres outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane is the entrance to a development of 30 new (large) houses by Epping Forest District Council. These properties are 1.3 miles from Blackmore village centre and its amenities and more than 5 miles from any other town/ village with similar amenities. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 (40 + 30) new properties being proposed for Blackmore on the infrastructure and amenities.

Change suggested by respondent:

Due to the many issues listed above it is clear that the sensible modification would be to remove sites R25 and R26 from the Plan. Blackmore Village Heritage Association (BVHA) has produced a 'neighbourhood plan' which should be referred to by the Planners. This clearly sets out our local housing needs for our already sustainable community.

Full text:

I consider the plan to be unsound and fails to comply with the Duty to Cooperate for the following reasons: 1. LDP Fig 2.3 Settlement Hierarchy. There are errors and omissions in the plan. For example, the population of Blackmore is listed as 829. However, the area that this covers (see diagram attached) does not cover, amongst others, the residents in Nine Ashes Road past Red Rose Lane or the residents in the Chelmsford Road which includes a mobile home park and the illegal Traveller site. The populations stated in the plan separately for Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green add up to 2402, however the total population for the Parish of Blackmore, Hook End and Wyatts Green is actually 3040. The Plan numbers are misleading and therefore invalidate assumptions made in the Plan based on population numbers. 2. Duty to Cooperate. There has not been sufficient consultation with other neighbouring authorities. 100 metres outside the parish boundary in Fingrith Hall Lane is the entrance to a development of 30 new (large) houses by Epping Forest District Council. These properties are 1.3 miles from Blackmore village centre and its amenities and more than 5 miles from any other town/ village with similar amenities. This will exacerbate the impact of the proposed 70 (40 + 30) new properties being proposed for Blackmore on the infrastructure and amenities. 3. Red Rose Lane is a single track road and is not suitable for the extra volume of traffic generated by the proposed housing. Also, Red Rose Lane, along with many other roads in and around the Blackmore area, is used regularly by walkers, joggers, cyclists, dog-walkers and horse riders. Red Rose Lane has no pavements and so the additional traffic will bring increased danger to these users. There are also very few street lights in Blackmore and none in Red Rose Lane which adds more risk. 4. Flood Risk. The village centre of Blackmore sits in a dip and is prone to flooding. Prior to the major development of the village in the 1970s there were no reports of any significant flooding. Since then there have been a number of occurrences of flooding. In 1986 a major flood occurred where many houses and St Laurence church were flooded and badly damaged. Flooding has occurred numerous times since with the most recent being 3 years ago when several houses on the Green were flooded and many of the surrounding roads (including Red Rose Lane) were impassable. At St Laurence Church graveyard in Church Street when graves are dug they fill with water immediately and need to be pumped out prior to the burial due to the high water table in the area. The addition of 70 properties will further reduce the available open land to soak up water and therefore flooding occurrences will increase. (See photos showing the Blackmore Road area near Meadow Rise from summer 2016). This flood caused extensive damage to the pavement which has not yet been repaired. 5. Policy NE06 FLOOD RISK states in 8.52: Flood risk include risk from all sources of flooding, including from rivers, from rainfall, from rising groundwater, which can overwhelm sewers and drainage systems, and from reservoirs, canals, lakes and other artificial sources. Incidences of high rainfall are forecast to increase in intensity as a result of climate change. Developing inappropriately in areas at risk from flooding, can put property and lives at risk; therefore, this policy seeks to ensure this does not happen. Blackmore is not just a high flood RISK area, flooding in Blackmore is actually an ISSUE. Therefore any development in Blackmore is clearly against this policy. 6. Infrastructure Requirements. There are no infrastructure requirements listed in policy R25 or R26. However, all amenities and services are already stretched. * The electricity, other utilities and in particular the sewerage system are unlikely to be able to cope an additional 70 properties without counting the 30 extra properties in Fingrith Hall road. The sewerage system is at maximum capacity already. * The local primary school is already full- new arrivals in the village are not able to get their children into the school and have to travel to schools in other areas. * Bus services are limited, infrequent and do not run into the evenings. * There is insufficient parking in the village centre causing people to regularly park on double yellow lines. * The doctors surgery is at capacity and waiting time for appointments are already unacceptable. 7. There is no clear housing strategy for the villages and general area in the north of the Borough. There are many options that have been suggested through this process and should have been considered but have not been. 8. A 'Housing Needs' survey should have been carried out which would have demonstrated why Blackmore has been specifically included in the LDP, and why other more suitable areas have not been included. 9. The Borough Council have not shown that the required additional houses for the Borough could not be delivered by increasing the housing density on the other allocated sites in the plan. 10. There are Brownfield sites available nearby but there is no evidence these have been considered in preference to using greenfield, Green Belt land. 11. Other more suitable locations (e.g. areas around Doddinghurst, urban extensions to Brentwood, increasing the size of the Dunton Hills proposal) which all have better transport links would have been a far better proposal than the development in Blackmore which is not a sustainable development proposal for the reasons given. 12. The proposed sites are important wildlife and natural habitats for many creatures to live undisturbed. 13. Policy HP08 seeks to regularise an illegal traveller site on the Chelmsford Road. The Borough Council has failed to undertake its duty to attempt to remove the travellers from the site since they first moved in some years ago. The Council have sat back and watched the site grow without taking any action and must re-visit this. In regularising the site the council is providing open invitation for other travellers to do the same as the council will be seen to be weak, capitulating and an easy target area. 14. Policy SP02 states that new development will be directed towards highly accessible locations along transit/growth corridors. Blackmore is not highly accessible and not along a transit I growth corridor.

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