Aylesbury Vale Area

H7 Dwelling sizes

Showing comments and forms 1 to 12 of 12

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 795

Received: 13/12/2017

Respondent: Define (on behalf of Bovis Homes)

Agent: Define (on behalf of Bovis Homes)

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Bovis Homes object to Policy H7, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national policy in that it does not provide a clear indication of how the decision maker should apply the policy and enable sustainable development.

Full text:

The Local Plan confirm (para 5.67) that there is no evidence that space provision in new dwellings in Aylesbury Vale is substandard. There is therefore, no justification for the inclusion of a policy in the Local Plan in relation to this matter. Nonetheless Policy H7 seeks to establish a vague requirement in relation to this matter, but its terms are imprecise and its application will have no benefit in enabling sustainable development. The policy should therefore, be deleted.

Soundness:
For the reasons set out above, Bovis Homes object to Policy H7, which is considered unsound on the basis that it:
- is not justified in that it is not the most appropriate strategy and has not properly considered reasonable alternative strategies; and
- is inconsistent with national policy in that it does not provide a clear indication of how the decision maker should apply the policy and enable sustainable development.

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1184

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Lands Improvement Holdings Plc

Agent: Indigo Planning Limited

Legally compliant? No

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

The policy should be amended to reference the nationally adopted minimum space
standards for all new dwellings. This will provide certainty for developers in designing and
preparing residential planning applications.

Full text:

See attachment for full representation


S2, AGT1, S2, S9, D1, H1, H6, H7, BE4

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1332

Received: 21/12/2017

Respondent: Dandara Ltd

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Object, H7: unevidenced and in conflict with national policy. If the Council is proposing a policy relating to 'dwelling sizes', any standard should accord with the 'Technical Housing Standards - Nationally Described Space Standard' (March 2015). PPG is clear that "where a Local Planning Authority (or qualifying body) wishes to require an internal space standard, they should only do so by reference in their Local Plan to the nationally described space standard" (para: 018, ref ID: 56-018-20150327). Policy H7 should therefore be deleted or amended to refer to nationally described space standards.

Full text:

Dear Sir / Madam,

Town and Country Planning Act 1990
Representations to Proposed Submission VALP

Dandara Ltd for Land North of Aston Road and West of Stanbridge Road, Haddenham
Dandara Ltd purchased land located to the north of Aston Road and west of Stanbridge Road in Haddenham which benefits from outline planning permission for the following description of development:

"Construction of 280 no. dwellings, including 35 no. age - restricted dwellings, with associated garages, parking, estate roads, footways, pedestrian linkages, public open space, burial ground, community sports facility, strategic landscaping, drainage and other associated works" (ref. 14/02666/AOP).

Reserved Matter applications have been submitted to the Council under refs. 17/01841/ADP and 17/04543/ADP for four phases of development, with phases 1 and 2 due to commence on site in January 2018. These representations therefore focus on policies which would potentially impact upon the deliverability and viability of the development.

We would comment on the following policies contained within the November 2017 Proposed Submission draft Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan (VALP) 2013-33:

Dandara Ltd supports the objective of Policy H1 'Affordable Housing' seeking to secure a minimum of 25% affordable housing associated with qualifying developments. Whilst we also support the objective of "the affordable homes will be expected to be integrated throughout the development site", this should be applied flexibly taking into account the objective of creating mixed communities and the realities and costs associated with future management by registered providers. Our experience of the application of this policy is that the Council apply their 'clustering' policy of no more than 15 affordable housing units rigidly, without considering how neighbourhoods or communities would develop following scheme completion. As an example, affordable housing units that have a garden-to-garden relationship but do not share a common street or approach should not automatically be considered as representing a 'cluster' as the creation of mixed-tenure neighbourhoods are principally defined by the streets on which the houses are located, the source of daily interaction with neighbours, rather than who one shares a rear garden boundary with. The supporting text to the policy should recognise that any 'clustering' figure will be applied flexibly having regard to those communities created following development and the principal day-to-day interactions that will result;

Policy H5 'Self/Custom Build Housing' will expect developments proposing 100 dwellings and above to provide a percentage of serviced plots for sale to self / custom builders. Whilst the principle of supporting the self / custom build industry is supported, any policy requirement should be informed by entries contained within the self-build and custom housebuilding register alongside a consideration of deliverability and viability. If the Council is to require major developments to include such plots, it is imperative that they can be brought forward in parallel with the main development; do not conflict with the wider development in respect of scale, appearance or timescales; and are taken into account from a viability perspective given that such plots would be provided at below market value;

Dandara Ltd is supportive of the wording associated with Policy H6 whereby housing mix contained within the most up-to-date HEDNA "... are however a guide rather than a requirement as they may need to be varied on the basis of specific circumstances or evidence" (para. 5.55). The Council should apply flexibility when considering housing mix on individual sites including site specific considerations such as location, viability and market demand and whether the delivery of a higher proportion of smaller dwellings within urban areas may allow for more family sized housing to be delivered on Greenfield sites on the edge of urban areas and villages whilst maintaining close to the recommended HEDNA mix across the District as a whole;

Policy H6 'Housing Mix' requires "larger residential development schemes proposing 100 dwellings and above in strategic settlements will be expected to provide an element of self-contained extra care dwellings as part of the overall mix". The Council should ensure that the provision of extra care dwellings is fully taken into account within viability assessments associated with individual sites especially considering other cumulative 'planning gain' requirements such as affordable housing and self / custom build. It is noted that 'larger residential development schemes' in the policy refers to more than 300 houses which is a definition that should be retained within supporting para. 5.61;

Likewise, Policy H6 'Housing Mix' requires a proportion of new homes in developments to achieve Category 2 and Category 3 of Approved Document M: Volume 1 (Accessible and Adaptable Dwellings). Whilst such an objective is supported, the Council should again consider any viability implications of such standards especially taking into account the suite of 'planning gain' requirements including affordable housing, self / custom build and extra care provision. The supporting policy and evidence base should be in full accordance with Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) para: 008, ref ID: 56-008-20160519;

Policy H7 'Dwelling Sizes' is unevidenced and in conflict with national policy. If the Council is proposing a policy relating to 'dwelling sizes', any standard should accord with the 'Technical Housing Standards - Nationally Described Space Standard' (March 2015). PPG is clear that "where a Local Planning Authority (or qualifying body) wishes to require an internal space standard, they should only do so by reference in their Local Plan to the nationally described space standard" (para: 018, ref ID: 56-018-20150327). Policy H7 should therefore be deleted or amended to refer to nationally described space standards;

Dandara Ltd supports the principle of Policy BE2 'Design of New Development' requiring consideration of "the local distinctiveness and vernacular character of the locality". When considering local distinctiveness and vernacular character the supporting text should make clear that this includes all surrounding development not simply those elements of the townscape that the Council consider to be 'higher quality'. Our experience with the Authority is that they adopt a very narrow definition of local distinctiveness and vernacular character which often does not consider the broad range of building styles, materials and ages but rather focuses on those elements, most notably Conservation Areas or listed buildings, that the Council consider should be given elevated weight rather than considered as part of a balanced assessment of the collective character of the locality.

In summary, we consider that the Proposed Submission VALP is currently unsound as not being 'effective' due to the potential viability implications of individual policies - affordable housing, self / custom build, accessibility standards, extra care - not being considered cumulatively. In addition, we consider that Policy H7 is not 'consistent with national policy' by suggesting the application of an internal space standard not in accordance with the nationally described version.

I trust these representations are of interest and if you need any additional information or clarification on the points contained herein, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours faithfully,

John Richards,
Associate Director, Planning

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1346

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Gleeson Strategic Land

Agent: Nexus Planning Ltd

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

Object, H7: That policy is unnecessary and as worded is too vague in any event, as such it should be deleted.

Full text:

Representations to Policy H7 'Dwelling Size'

1. Policy H7 of the Local Plan states that new dwellings will be required to provide 'sufficient internal space for normal residential activities commensurate in size with the expected occupancy of the dwelling'. The supporting text to the policy makes it clear, with reference to the Government's national space standards that 'currently there is no evidence that space provision in new dwellings in Aylesbury Vale is below that set out in the standards'. On that evidence, the Council is right to conclude that there is no need for internal space standards in Aylesbury Vale.

2. Against this background, whilst we appreciate the intent of the policy, the policy as worded is so vague as to be meaningless. More worryingly, the supporting text to the policy suggests that further information about the Council's expectations in this regard will be contained within a future Design SPD. However, such an SPD has not been produced and, importantly, would not be the subject of independent examination. The Council cannot seek to include an extremely vague policy in the Local Plan and then introduce meaningful detail through an SPD process that is not independently tested. This would be wholly unfair and inappropriate.

3. Against this background, and given that the issue of dwelling size is, based on the Council's own evidence, not an issue, Policy H7 should simply be deleted.

Changes Sought

4. Policy H7 should be deleted.

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1702

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Richborough Estates

Agent: RPS Planning & Development

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? Not specified

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

Providing minimum gross floor areas for all dwellings is inappropriate. This is not based on appropriate viability considerations and would hinder the ability of the market to deliver both the amount of housing required and the type of accommodation required from future occupants. The policy should be removed and dealt with through building control requirements if justified.

Full text:

Attached report makes comments to the Proposed Submission VALP, by RPS on behalf of our client Richborough Estates, contains full comments on the policies and includes at appendix 1 a Housing Need Technical Review by Barton Willmore (November 2017).

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1804

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Minton Health Care (Buckingham) Ltd

Agent: Alder King

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? Not specified

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

Suggested wording is
provided below:

Full text:

Please find attached our representation to the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan.

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1806

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Wates Developments Ltd.

Agent: Boyer Planning Ltd

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? Not specified

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

The policy is ambiguous and provides no certainty with regards to how the Policy requirements can be met i.e there are no standards to be met. The Council proposes to introduce an SPD but this would not have the same level of scrutiny. the Council confirms there is no evidence that space provisions in new dwellings in Aylesbury Vale is below the National Space Standards.

Full text:

Please find attached representations to the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan Proposed Submission consultation, which are submitted by Boyer on behalf of Wates Developments Ltd.

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1919

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Home Builders Federation Ltd

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

policy not consistent with internal space standards in PPG. Paragraph 56-018 to 56-023 set out that if Authority has sufficient evidence to support the introduction of minimum space standards they should only do so by reference to the national described space standards. Any other approach taken to setting space standards must, therefore, be considered unsound. However, in addition to this fundamental principal the Council state in paragraph 5.68 there is no evidence to suggest that homes are coming forward below the nationally described space standards. If this is the case then seeking to apply an alternative standard is unjustified

Full text:

Response by the House Builders Federation to the Regulation 19 consultation on
the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan
Thank you for consulting the Home Builders Federation (HBF) on Vale of Aylesbury
Local Plan (VALP). The HBF is the principal representative body of the housebuilding
industry in England and Wales and our representations reflect the views of discussions
with our membership of national and multinational corporations through to regional
developers and small local housebuilders. Our members account for over 80% of all
new housing built in England and Wales in any one year.
We would like to submit the following representations on the Local Plan and we
would welcome, in due course, participating in hearings of the Examination in
Public.
Duty to Co-operate
We do not consider the Council's approach to the duty to co-operate is consistent with
national policy.
It would appear from the evidence that Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) have
met the legal requirements of the Duty to Co-operate in relation to meeting housing
needs for the Housing Market Area (HMA). There is a clear agreement between the
Council's in the HMA to meet needs in full with the unmet needs from the other
authorities in the HMA be provided for by Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC). This
is set out in policy S2 and we welcome the broad approach that has been taken by the
Councils in seeking to meet the needs of the HMA.
However, we are concerned that this co-operation is based on a housing needs
assessment that seeks to significantly reduce the overall level of housing need for the
HMA compared to official projections. In particular the latest assessment of housing
need has reduced the demographic starting point for AVDC, and subsequently its
objective assessed housing need (OAN). This has in turn provided greater scope for the
needs of the other authorities in the HMA to be met by AVDC. We consider the
approach to assessing housing needs is flawed and that there is significantly less
capacity in AVDC than is being suggested. In fact if the standard methodology were to
be applied across the HMA, and current distributions maintained, there would be even
less scope to meet the full needs of the Housing Market Area.
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If the full needs of the HMA cannot be met, which would appear to be the case at
present then the policy requirements of the duty to co-operate as set out in 178 to 181
of the NPPF will not have been addressed. To ensure the plan is compliant with the
policy requirements of the duty to c-operate further consideration as to how the needs
of the HMA will be met in full will be necessary.
Our key concerns regarding the assessment of needs is set out below.
Housing needs
In our earlier comments on housing needs to the AVDC we raised concerns regarding
the January 2016 Housing Economic Development Needs Assessment (HEDNA) and
the reduction in housing needs compared the 2015 HEDNA. However, since the
regulation 18 consultation the HEDNA has been updated again to take into account the
latest 2014 based population projections published in the summer of 2016 which has
resulted in a significant reduction on the assessment of housing needs. We would
support the Council in undertaking such an update which is in line with Planning
Practice Guidance, however, we are surprised as to the outcomes of the update.
Having examined the 2014 based Household Projections for the HMA we note that
between 2013 and 2033 total households were 1,925 higher than those in the 2012
based projections. The updated HEDNA though sets out a distinctly different projection
of household growth. Between 2013 and 2033 the updated HEDNA expects the
demographic starting point for assessing housing needs to be 2,826 less than the
previous HEDNA using the 2012 based household projections. It seems surprising that
the updated HEDNA would see the opposite trend to the official projections. Despite
this significant discrepancy we cannot find any explanation as to why the upward trend
in the official projections leads to a reduction in households using the Council's
methodology.
Of particular concern is the fact that the latest HEDNA anticipates that AVDC are
expected to see household growth that is significantly lower than that set out in the
original HEDNA. The reason why this concern is so important is that AVDC are
expecting to meet the unmet needs arising from the other authorities in the HMA. The
updated HEDNA shows a reduction in the total number of households expected to form
during the plan period in AVDC from 18,144 households using the 2012 based
projections to 16,933 using the 2014 based data. However, the 2014 based household
projections expected there to be 2,623 more households in 2033 than was expected in
the 2012 based projections. So, despite the 2014 based household projections showing
an increase when compared to the 2012 projections the updated HEDNA projects a
reduction in household growth for AVDC. As mentioned above, there is no explanation
as to why this has occurred and given that it has enabled the HMA to meet its needs we
would have expected this to be addressed in the evidence supporting the plan. In fact,
the most recent HEDNA continues to claim in paragraph 9 that the growth identified for
AVDC is "marginally lower" than the CLG starting point. We would suggest that a
reduction of 4,095 households is more than "marginally lower".
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It is essential that the Council's in the HMA provide a clear justification as to the reason
for this significant reduction in the demographic starting point. There are inconsistencies
with both previous projections provided by the Council and those provided by the
Government and ONS. The approach taken by the Councils is not clear and is one of
the reasons why the Government have been looking to apply a standard methodology
for assessing housing needs. However, even before the latest consultation Planning
Practice Guidance (PPG) sets out that Government considers the official household
projections to be robust stating in paragraph 2a-017:
"The household projections produced by the Department for Communities and Local
Government are statistically robust and are based on nationally consistent
assumptions."
The latest consultation 'Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Planes' reiterates this
position with the standard methodology being based on the household projections.
Paragraph 16 of the consultation document states:
"The Office for National Statistics' projections for numbers of households in each local
authority are the most robust estimates of future growth."
We recognise that the PPG allows for some sensitivity testing but it also requires these
to be based on robust evidence. So whilst our initial response was positive, despite our
usual concerns regarding the use of the 10 year trend, there is insufficient justification
as to why the latest projections for the HMA have substantially reduced household
growth for AVDC from the original HEDNA and, most importantly, why they have moved
in the opposite direction to the DCLG household projections.
The latest consultation also sets out that across the HMA the Government would expect
the new methodology, if implemented, to require a more significant level of housing
delivery. Based on the Standard Methodology the HMA would need to deliver 3,039
dwellings per annum (dpa) compared to the 2,269 dpa that is the Councils' assessment
of housing need. With regard to the duty to co-operate and meeting needs across the
HMA there must be a concern that AVDC's needs assessment is 534 dpa lower than
the standard methodology. Given the constraints expressed by the other authorities
there will clearly be a need for AVDC to consider a further increase in its housing
requirement in order to address an ever increasing level of unmet need in the HMA.
There have also been wider concerns regarding the tendency of local authorities within
this area to underestimate the levels of housing needs. The recent National
Infrastructure Commission (NIC) report1 on the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford Arc
identified the tendency for local planning authorities in this area to run assessments that
produce lower level so f housing need than official projections. On page 26 of this report
the NIC states:
1 Partnering for Prosperity: A new deal for the Cambridge-Milton-Keynes Oxford Arc (National
Infrastructure Commission 2017)
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"... there is good reason to believe that the methodology used in undertaking
assessments of local housing need can be conservative and mask high levels of unmet
need."
It would appear that the tendency to underestimate housing need is prevalent across
this region. If the long term economic growth and infrastructure plans that are required
for this area are to be realised then the assessments of housing need must not seek to
supress official demographic projections.
In conclusion we do not consider that the level of housing needs, as set out in the
updated HEDNA, to have been sufficiently justified. In particular we do not consider the
substantial reduction in household growth using the government's 2014 based data to
have been adequately explained. These reduce the overall level of need for the HMA
and thus enabling the HMA to meet its needs. If the lower level of need set out in the
latest HEDNA cannot be justified then this will have significant implications for the
progression of the other Local Plans in the HMA due to the significantly reduced
additional development capacity in AVDC.
In addition there is potential for the level of unmet need from the other authorities to be
higher than initially considered. Whilst only limited weight can be given to the
consultation as a whole it does give the clearest positon yet as to the degree to which
market signals should be taken into account. This would suggest that housing needs
across the other authorities in the HMA could also have been underestimated leaving a
more significant degree of unmet needs than has been considered by AVDC and its
partners.
So, whilst the co-operation would appear to be effective it is potentially based on
erroneous evidence. If there is insufficient justification for the reduction in housing
needs resulting from the updated HEDNA then there will be a need for the authorities in
the HMA to revisit their collective approach to meeting housing needs.
We would also like to mention that it would have been beneficial for all parties had the
authorities in the HMA taken a more strategic approach in preparing their Plans to allow
housing needs to be considered by a single inspector. This enables the approach to
assessing and meeting housing needs for an HMA to be considered just once and
would avoid repetition of debates. We have seen across the Country that a decision on
OAN for an HMA at one EIP can make it difficult for any inspector at subsequent EIPs
using the same evidence to potentially disagree with a colleague. As such we welcome
approaches to strategic planning such as those taken in the North Essex HMA where a
strategic plan for the whole area has been prepared and allows housing needs across
the three LPAs concerned to be considered at the same time.
S2 Spatial strategy for growth
The policy is unsound as the delivery expectations to support the other authorities in the
HMA are unjustified
5
As set out above we have concerns as to the approach taken by the Council in
assessing the housing needs for the HMA and in particular the OAN for AVDC. We do
not consider that there is sufficient justification to reduce the demographic starting point
for AVDC and that the DCLG household projections remain robust and should be used
as the baseline for assessing needs. If the household projections were used as the
starting point for considering needs and a 10% uplift were applied, as recommended in
the HEDNA, then AVDC's OAN for the plan period would be 23,129 (1,156 dpa). As
such the Council would continue to be able to meet its own needs but there would be
less capacity to support the other authorities in the HMA. However, given the
Government's latest consultation we would suggest that a 10% uplift for AVDC is too
low and we would suggest it be reconsidered prior to submission.
So whilst we welcome the approach taken by AVDC to set a housing requirement of
27,400 new homes we do not consider the level of growth to be sufficient to support the
other authorities in the HMA to the degree stated. This will require the Council and its
partner authorities to reconsider its approach to meeting the needs of the HMA. If
current distributions of need are continued then AVDC will need to include additional
allocations to offset the limited delivery elsewhere in the HMA. Alternatively the other
authorities could seek to increase their own housing requirements to make up for the
shortfall. We recognise that not all the LPAs in the HMA are at the same stage of plan
preparation and if further allocations cannot be made in this plan the policy must set out
the need for an early review based on the final requirements of the other LPAs in the
HMA.
The policy should also establish that the housing requirement as the minimum number
of homes that will be delivered. This is important in order to ensure that growth beyond
the requirement is supported by the Council. This would also be consistent with the
positive approach to planning required by paragraph 14 of the NPPF and the Council's
own position in table 1 of the VALP, which sets out the expectation that 28,850 new
homes will be delivered.
Housing trajectory
The HBF does not comment on the merits or otherwise of individual sites therefore our
representations are submitted without prejudice to any comments made by other parties
on the deliverability of specific sites included in the overall housing land supply, the fiveyear
housing land supply and housing trajectories. However, we want to stress the
importance of having realistic delivery expectations within any allocations to ensure the
deliverability of the plan across its lifetime. This is particularly important where there is a
reliance on strategic sites to deliver the majority of new homes within the plan period.
Delays to the delivery of strategic sites for any number of reasons could lead to the LPA
not being able to meet its housing requirement. A more cautious assessment of delivery
on strategic sites offset with the allocation of smaller sites will offer a more flexible and
sound housing trajectory.
H1 - Affordable housing
The policy is not sound as it is unjustified and inconsistent with national policy
6
Whilst we appreciate that the Council were looking to test scenarios prior to setting
policies, it would appear that full consideration has not been given to the cumulative
financial impact of those policies as required by paragraph 173 of the NPPF. For
example, the policies on electric vehicle charging and accessible homes have been
considered separately and only with regard to a 50-unit mixed scheme. In addition, the
requirements in policy H4 concerning the optional accessibility standards have not been
tested. The nearest assumption is for 70% M4(2) and 5% M4(3). Significantly lower
than the requirements of policy H4. Until further testing is carried out on the cumulative
impact of the policies as set out in the Local Plan it is not possible for the Council to
state that the Local Plan will not threaten the viability of development in the area.
We consider that the wording of the policy is not consistent with the core planning
principles set out in the NPPF and the requirement established in paragraph 17 for
Local Plans to:
"... provide a practical framework within which decisions can be made with a high
degree of predictability and efficiency".
The policy states that the Council will require "a minimum of 25%" of all homes provided
on appropriate sites to be affordable. This suggests that in some circumstances the
Council will seek a high proportion of affordable housing provision and increases the
uncertainty for the decision maker and applicant as to what the appropriate amount of
affordable housing provision should be. This is of increasing concern to our members
who, where affordable housing policies are set as minimums, are being asked to
provide evidence to justify meeting the minimums. There is a real danger that such
policies will generate additional and unnecessary justification for policy compliant
schemes.
In order to make this policy consistent with national policy we would suggest that the
word "minimum" is removed. This will provide the necessary certainty required of such a
policy for both decision maker and applicant.
H5 - Self/Custom Build Housing
The policy is unsound as it is not consistent with national policy and is ineffective.
Whilst we support the encouragement of self-build housing through the local plan we
consider the requirement for sites of over 100 to provide an unstated number of selfbuild
plots is not justified and inconsistent with national policy. Whilst we recognise that
Local Planning Authorities now have a duty to promote self-build housing we do not
consider the Council to have looked at sufficient options with regard to how it can
provide plots to support self-builders. Paragraph 57-024 of the PPG sets out a variety of
approaches that need to be considered - including the use of their own land. This is
reiterated in para 57-14 of the PPG which sets out the need for Council's to consider
how they can support the delivery of self-build plots through their housing strategy, land
disposal and regeneration functions. We cannot find any evidence as to the Council's
consideration of other reasonable approaches to delivery as suggested in PPG. Without
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such consideration it would appear that the Council is seeking to place the burden for
delivery of self-build plots on house-builders without looking sufficiently at other delivery
mechanisms as set out in national guidance.
We also consider the policy to be inconsistent with the third bullet point of paragraph
57-025 of PPG. This outlines that the Council should engage with landowners and
encourage them to consider self-build and custom housebuilding. The approach taken
by the Council moves beyond encouragement and requires land owners to bring
forward plots. We would therefore suggest that the policy be deleted and replaced with
a policy that seeks to encourage the provision of self-build plots on developments of
over 100 units.
Where plots are not sold it is important that the Council's policy is clear as to when
these revert to the developer. At present this policy makes no such provision, as such it
is ineffective. We would suggest that the policy state that if a plot remains unsold after 6
months of it being offered on the open market then it should revert back to the
developer to be delivered as part of the overall scheme. We would also recommend
that if development of a purchased plot has not commenced within three years of
purchase that the buyer be refunded and the plot reverts to the developer. It is
important that plots should not be left empty to detriment of its neighbours or the
development as a whole.
H6 - Housing mix
Parts of the policy are unsound as they are not justified
We do not consider the Council to have justified the requirement for all homes to be
built to part M4(2) and for 10% of market homes and 15% of affordable homes to be
built to part M4(3). With regard to Part M4(2), the evidence in the HEDNA suggests that
as the population is ageing then all new homes should be made accessible to ensure
those older people who do move are able to acquire an accessible home. However, the
HEDNA itself outlines that many of the existing older people are unlikely to move from
their current homes and as such there is likely to be significantly less need for new
homes to be built to part M4(2). It is also likely that many of those who do move will
move to accommodation specifically built to meet the needs of older people and not to
general market housing. As such we do not think it is justified for all new homes to be
built to part M4(2) solely on the basis that there is an ageing population.
The proposal to require 10% of market homes as being M4(3) is contrary to national
policy. PPG sets out in paragraph 56-009 that the standard for wheelchair accessible
homes only to properties where the local authority is responsible for allocating or
nominating a person to live in that dwelling. This means that M4(3) can only be applied
to affordable homes and the policy should be amended to reflect this position.
We accept that there may be some need to ensure a proportion of new affordable
homes are wheelchair accessible. However, we do not consider there to be sufficient
evidence to support a policy requiring 15% of all affordable homes as being built to Part
M4(3). Firstly, the Local Plan sets out that nationally 7.1% of households living in
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affordable accommodation which suggests that provision at 15% is much higher than
the number of wheelchair users requiring such homes. Secondly, no consideration has
been given, as required in PPG, to the existing stock of affordable homes that are
already accessible to wheelchair users. Without this evidence the Council cannot be
certain as to whether there will currently a surplus of such homes within the Borough.
It is also the case that the Council's viability assessment has not tested the viability of
providing the level of accessible housing set out in this policy. As set out above in our
representation ton policy H1 the proportion of homes to be provided as either M4(2) or
M4(3) has not been tested. In addition, it has only been tested with regard to one
scenario - a 50-unit mixed development. As the full cumulative impacts of the policies
set out in the plan have not been tested we do not consider there to be sufficient
justification to support the proportion of homes required by the policy to conform to the
optional accessibility standards.
H7 Dwelling sizes
This policy is unsound as it is not consistent with national policy and is unjustified
The policy is not consistent with the approach to setting internal space standards in
PPG. Paragraph 56-018 to 56-023 set out that if a Local Planning Authority has
sufficient evidence to support the introduction of minimum space standards they should
only do so by reference to the national described space standards. Any other approach
taken to setting space standards must, therefore, be considered unsound. However, in
addition to this fundamental principal the Council state in paragraph 5.68 there is no
evidence to suggest that homes are coming forward below the nationally described
space standards. If this is the case then seeking to apply an alternative standard is
unjustified and unhelpful as the wording of this policy provides no clear guidance as to
what should be considered "sufficient internal space".
Such a subjective assessment could lead to confusion amongst both the decision
maker and the applicant. This policy is therefore inconsistent with one of the core
planning principles set out in paragraph 17 of the NPPF which states that local plans
should provide a:
"practical framework within which decisions on planning applications can be made with
a high degree of predictability and efficiency"
We would also suggest that is inconsistent with paragraph 154 which states:
"Only policies that provide a clear indication as to how a decision maker should react to
a development proposal should be included in the plan"
Given these clear inconsistencies with national policy and guidance policy H7 should be
deleted from the Local Plan.
T5 Vehicle Parking and T7 Electric Vehicle Infrastructure
9
These policies are unsound as they are ineffective
Within both these policies the Council will look to set out elements of both these policies
as in Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD). However, we do not consider it
appropriate to set out in SPD elements of a policy (namely the number of charging
points, the minimum internal size of a garage and the level of parking) that will have a
direct role in the determination of planning application. As such they must be set out in
policy and open for debate at the Examination in Public. Without these details it is
impossible to consider the impact of these policies on viability, whether they are justified
and ultimately whether they will be effective.
Conclusion
At present we do not consider the plan to be sound. Whilst we are pleased with the
significant progress the Council has made in meeting its own needs and those of the
HMA we do not consider the Council has met the tests of soundness on the following
areas:
 Policy S2 sets out the degree to which AVDC is meeting the needs of other
authorities in the HMA but these are based on an unjustifiably low OAN. This
potentially impacts on the soundness of this policy and whether the HMA is
meeting its needs in full as required by the NPPF.
 The policy on affordable housing has not been adequately justified and does not
provide sufficient flexibility
 Policy H5 on self-build housing is inconsistent with national policy and is
ineffective as it as it does not consider how unsold sites will be treated.
 Requirements relating to accessible homes have not been sufficiently justified
either on the basis of needs or viability.
 Policy H7 on dwelling size departs completely from the approach set out in PPG
and as such is inconsistent with national policy, unjustified and ineffective.
 Policy T5 and T7 on parking and Electric Vehicle Infrastructure set out that the
level of provision required will be set out in SPD. These elements of the policy
will inform decision makers and should be considered as policy. As such they
should be included in the Local Plan.
We hope these representations are of assistance in taking the plan forward to the next stage of plan preparation and examination. I would also like to express my interest in attending any relevant hearing sessions at the Examination in Public. Should you
require any further clarification on the issues raised in this representation please
contact me.

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1943

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Kier Property

Agent: Planning Potential

Legally compliant? Yes

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Yes

Representation Summary:

Whilst we encourage high quality design, in the absence of a policy providing descriptive reference, we consider that Policy H7 serves little purpose. This is not in accordance with paragraph 154 of the NPP and as such, we consider that Policy H7 is not sound and should be removed or elaborated to detail what the Council is seeking.

Full text:

Please find the attached letter of representations for the proposed submission Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan dated 14/12/17 on behalf of our client, Kier Property. In addition, please find our completed response form, site location plan and our previous representations attached.

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1961

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Careys New Homes

Agent: Bidwells

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? No

Representation Summary:

We consider that the policy does not have the necessary clarity to provide either applicants or decisionmakers,
as required by paragraph 17 of the NPPF, to make predictable and efficient decisions.
We consider that without full consideration to the impacts on viability, need and market signals, this could
negatively impact on the affordability of units and the size of units being provided.
Based on the above, we consider that Policy H7 is unsound as the policy is unjustified in terms of its
evidence base and inconsistent with national policy.

Full text:

On behalf of my client, Careys New Homes, I am pleased to submit the attached (4 no. PDFs) response to the VALP Proposed Submission consultation in respect of land at Wingrave.

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 1978

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: Persimmon Homes Midlands

Agent: Bidwells

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

We object strongly on the grounds that insufficient evidence has been presented to justify or consider the policy as drafted and that more work is needed to demonstrate any need and implication of adoption. Only after justification of need has been established can the consideration of Viability and timings be truly considered.

Full text:

As it stands, the VALP is not sound and hence there are a number of changes required to the plan including a number of strategic and development management policies as identified in the submitted representation letter. In summary, we consider that the following policies are unsound and for reasons stated above, do not meet the test of soundness: Policy S2 'Spatial Strategy for Growth'; Policy S3 'Settlement Hierarchy and Cohesive Development'; Policy H1 'Affordable Housing'; Policy H5 'Self/Custom Build Housing'; Policy H6 'Housing Mix'; Policy H7 'Dwelling Sizes'; Policy T5 'Vehicle Parking'; and Policy T7 'Electric Vehicle Infrastructure'. My client's site at Calvert Green represents an achievable, suitable and deliverable allocation that is part brownfield to support the necessary housing growth for Aylesbury Vale.

Object

VALP Proposed Submission

Representation ID: 2077

Received: 14/12/2017

Respondent: CEG

Agent: Nexus Planning Ltd

Legally compliant? Not specified

Sound? No

Duty to co-operate? Not specified

Representation Summary:

The policy is unnecessary and as worded is too vague in any event. As such it should be deleted.

Full text:

On behalf of our client CEG, please find attached our response to the Local Plan