Second Deposit LDP
Appendix 2 Regional and Local Strategic Context
It noted that whilst the LDP represents a key part of the strategic picture both within the County and regionally it does not sit in isolation of other Plans and strategies. A number of these provide guidance for Plan preparation, others are part of a strategic suite of documents which shape how the region and County will develop over the coming years.
Swansea Bay City Region
Carmarthenshire is part of the Swansea Bay City Region which also encompasses the Local Authority areas of Pembrokeshire, City and County of Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. The City Region, in bringing together business, local government, and a range of other partners, has published the Swansea Bay City Region Economic Regeneration Strategy 2013 – 2030.
Swansea Bay City Deal
The £1.3 billion Swansea Bay City Deal was signed in March 2017. The City Deal is expected to give the Swansea Bay City Region a permanent uplift in its GVA of £1.8 billion and will generate almost 10,000 new jobs over the next 15 years.
Pentre Awel, Llanelli will become the largest ever regeneration project in South-west Wales and aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people across the region.
A creative industry project at Yr Egin in Carmarthen seeks to take advantage of the new infrastructure proposals of the Internet Coast. Yr Egin will create major and positive change in the creative and digital economy of Wales.
South West Wales Regional Economic Delivery Plan
Since the publication of the Swansea Bay City Region Economic Regeneration Strategy in 2013, the economic and policy context has changed considerably at the Welsh and UK level. This has been brought into particular focus following the UK's decision to leave the European Union and the impact of the covid-19 pandemic. This changing contextual landscape also now includes the advent of the new Corporate Joint Committees, and the preparation of new Regional Economic Frameworks by Welsh Government. These Frameworks set out visions and high-level priorities for each region in Wales.
To respond to changing circumstances, the four local authorities in South West Wales, in partnership with Welsh Government, produced a new Regional Economic Delivery Plan (REDP) which will replace the previous Swansea Bay City Region Economic Regeneration Strategy.
The REDP commission includes:
- A thorough analysis of the evidence base on the region's economy, labour market and infrastructure to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
- Interpretation of the strategic policy context at local, regional and national level
- Development of detailed strategic aims and objectives that respond to the economic opportunities for the region and complement the shared regional vision as articulated in the Regional Economic Framework
- Preparation of Regional Economic Delivery Plan that includes actions that need to be taken to achieve the vision and objectives
The REDP complements the new Welsh Government Regional Economic Framework (REF) and provides a further layer of detail outlining the objectives and actions that will deliver against the high-level vision in the REF.
Emerging National Development Framework - Mid and West Wales Region and Strategic Development Plans
Future Wales makes reference to four regions which provide a focus for Welsh Government policy and future investment. Carmarthenshire is included within the West Wales region. Swansea Bay and Llanelli is identified as a part of a national growth growth, whilst Carmarthen is identified as one of the regional centres.
We will, through the membership of the South-west Wales Regional Planning Group (SWWRPG) and through the shared work programmes associated within the South West Corporate Joint Committee arrangements continue to work closely particularly in understanding and developing the concept and opportunities for a Strategic Development Plan (SDP) across the region.
Joint Transport Plan for South-west Wales (2015-20):
This sets out the vision, objectives and a long-term strategy for a 20 year period and a five year programme of projects. The Plan encompasses the region which fall within the administrative areas of Carmarthenshire County Council, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Pembrokeshire County Council and the City and County of Swansea.
The South west Wales Tourism Partnership (SWWTP)
The SWWTP had responsibility for delivering the national tourism strategy at the regional level. Whilst wound up in 2014, Visit Wales continues to maintain its ongoing commitment to Destination Management through Regional Engagement Teams.
Waste Planning Monitoring Report(s) for the South-west Wales Region:
These reports are produced in accordance with TAN21: Waste and set out to collate and assess available data on all waste arising's, landfill void and the management of residual waste in the region in order to monitor trends and ultimately monitor performance against the targets set out in Towards Zero Waste. It also assesses the progress of waste policy coverage in LDPs, as well as providing information on current local authority waste management / resource recovery schemes and future procurement.
River Basin Management Plan Western Wales River Basin District (2015-2021), Natural Resources Wales 2015
The River Basin Management Plan for the Western Wales River Basin District is prepared under the Water Framework Directive. It describes the current condition of the river basin district and what has been achieved since 2009; details the Programme of Measures for improving the water environment by 2021 and provides the water body objectives.
Neighbouring Authorities' Development Plans
The Council is in regular and close contact with neighbouring authorities, both individually and collectively at regional level (through the South-west Wales Regional Planning Group), to ensure alignment between respective LDPs.
The Plan has been prepared with regard to and where appropriate in co-operation with neighbouring authorities. This has included evidence gathering and research across the broader region but also at a sub-regional level between those authorities undertaking Reviews of the LDP's.
Certain factors preclude complete conformity, but constructive discussions and shared information and experience minimised the risk of conflicting policies, and ensured an appropriate level of integration.
Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council adopted its LDP in January 2016 and was commenced the preparation of its replacement Plan. Ongoing dialogue has ensured an understanding of the respective approaches and emerging direction of the policy frameworks including through regional arrangements and the scope and progress of the Strategic Development Plan. The progress of the review into the Neath Port Talbot LDP will be monitored and duly considered as necessary.
The City and County of Swansea adopted its LDP in February 2019. The adoption of the Swansea LDP allows for the consideration of their policies and proposals, along with the ability to respond (and integrate) as appropriate in the preparation of the Revised Carmarthenshire LDP. Continuing liaison will ensure a mutual understanding of the respective approaches including through regional arrangements and the scope and progress of the Strategic Development Plan. Specific dialogue has been undertaken on matters relating to the Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries European Marine Site.
Powys County Council adopted its LDP in April 2018 and has commenced the preparation of its replacement Plan. The Council will continue to examine strategic relationships.. Any future review of the Powys LDP will be monitored and duly considered.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority's adopted LDP is broadly compatible with a hierarchical settlement structure and a consistency in the broad planning policy approach with Carmarthenshire. Continuing liaison will ensure a mutual understanding of the respective approaches including through regional arrangements and the scope and progress of the Strategic Development Plan. A proactive approach towards regional and sub-regional working is implicit on policy matters, evidence gathering and strategic considerations.
Pembrokeshire County Council adopted its LDP in February 2013. It is considered that there is a broad consistency and alignment in terms of the approach from a policy and strategic perspective. Having commenced the preparation of their revised LDP the timetable toward adoption has been adversely impacted by the publication of NRW guidance on phosphate pollution in protected riverine SACs. There broad alignment of approach to the scale of development and growth. The timetable for the preparation of their Plan is broadly comparable to Carmarthenshire County Council. The broad alignment outlined above remains. A proactive approach towards regional and sub-regional working is implicit on policy matters, evidence gathering and strategic considerations, particularly noting shared issues across the region on matters such as phosphates.
Ceredigion County Council adopted its LDP in April 2013. Whilst it is considered that the respective settlement strategies of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire differ slightly, there is a general compatibility with the respective visions. There is a commitment to respect and maintain the diversity and quality of the plan areas, to reduce the need to travel and to sustainability and the creation of sustainable places. Ceredigion County Council commenced the preparation of their replacement LDP. The preparation of their revised LDP has been adversely impacted by Covid and recently the publication of NRW guidance on phosphate pollution in protected riverine SACs. The broad alignment outlined above remains. A proactive approach towards regional and sub-regional working is implicit on policy matters, evidence gathering and strategic considerations, particularly noting shared issues across the region on matters such as phosphates.
Brecon Beacons National Park Authority adopted its LDP in December 2013. It is considered that there are no clear cross border settlement issues. The Park Authority are in the process of preparing their replacement LDP. The preparation of their revised LDP has been adversely impacted by the publication of NRW guidance on phosphate pollution in protected riverine SACs. A proactive approach towards regional and sub-regional working is implicit on policy matters, evidence gathering and strategic considerations , particularly noting shared issues across the region on matters such as phosphates. The implications of proposals in the west of the Park will be duly considered - particularly in terms of the level of housing apportionment.
Carmarthenshire Well-being Plan
This Plan outlines how the Public Service Board will work in partnership to address some of the key issues affecting the well-being of the citizens and communities of Carmarthenshire. Reference is made to the Carmarthenshire "at a glance" section which sets out considerations in terms of Demography, Economy, Health and wellbeing, Environment and Culture. The four wellbeing objectives are:
- Healthy Habits - People have a good quality of life, and make healthy choices about their lives and environment;
- Early Intervention - To make sure that people have the right help at the right time; as and when they need it;
- Strong Connections - Strongly connected people, places and organisations that are able to adapt to change; and
- Prosperous People and Places - To maximise opportunities for people and places in both urban and rural parts of our county.
Moving Forward in Carmarthenshire – The Council's New Corporate Strategy 2018 – 2023
This is the Council's Corporate Strategy for the period 2018 – 2023 (approved 2018 – updated 2019). It sets out the direction for the Council over the next five years, incorporating its improvement and well-being objectives as defined by legislation (see figure 1 overleaf). It also references the Executive Board's key projects and programmes for the next five years, a set of almost 100 priority projects.
The strategy outlines the Council's vision for the future through 15 objectives under four key themes - to support residents to: start well, live well and age well in a healthy, safe, and prosperous environment. The 15 Well-being Objectives cover the broad range of Council Services to ensure economic, environmental, social, and cultural well-being.
Motions passed by the Council
Those motions relevant to the Revised LDP passed by the Council recently include declaring a Climate Emergency and Nature Emergency along and focusing on planning and the Welsh language.
Carmarthenshire Economic Recovery & Delivery Plan
The Council's Economic Recovery Plan (April 2021) identifies some 30 actions to support the recovery of the Carmarthenshire economy from the social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit. It sets out the Council's priorities for supporting Business, People and Places. With this support, Carmarthenshire's economy can recover as quickly as possible to become one which is more productive than before, more equal, greener, healthier, and with more sustainable communities.
Transformations: A Strategic Regeneration Plan for Carmarthenshire – 2015 – 2030
This sets out Carmarthenshire's regeneration strategy, building on the opportunities for growth and investment. This in turn reflects Carmarthenshire as a confident, ambitious and connected component of the Swansea Bay City Region.
Our Commitment to Affordable Homes 2015 – 2020 and Affordable Housing Delivery Plan 2016-2020
The Council published its five-year vision for increasing the supply of affordable homes in 2015 and, in 2016, it set out our first ambitious programme to deliver over 1000 additional affordable homes across the County. September 2019 saw the fourth year of delivering affordable homes and in the first three years the Council has been very successful with nearly 700 homes delivered, ensuring that the Council is well on course to reach its 1000 homes target.
The affordable housing action areas are as follows: Carmarthenshire Rural and Market Towns; Ammanford and the Amman Valley; Carmarthen and the West; and Llanelli and District .
Figure 1 - Carmarthenshire County Council's Corporate Strategy
The Council’s vision can be summed up as follows:
Life is for living, let’s start, live and age well in a healthy, safe and prosperous environment
Start Well objectives:
- Help to give every child the best start in life and improve their early life experiences.
- Help children live healthy lifestyles.
- Support and improve progress and achievement for all learners.
- Ensure all young people are in education, employment or training (EET) and are following productive learning and career pathways.
Live well objectives:
- Tackle poverty by doing all we can to prevent it, helping people into work and improving the lives of those living in poverty.
- Creating more jobs and growth throughout the county,
- Increase the availability of rented and affordable homes.
- Help people live healthy lives (tackling risky behaviour and obesity).
- Supporting good connections with friends, family and safer communities
Age Well objectives:
- Support the growing numbers of older people to maintain dignity and independence in their later years.
- A council wide approach to supporting Ageing Well in Carmarthenshire.
Healthy, Safe and Prosperous Environment objectives:
- Looking after the environment now and for the future.
- Improving the highway and transport infrastructure and connectivity.
- Promoting Welsh language and culture.
- Building a better Council and Making better use of resources.
Building More Council Homes – 'Our ambition and plan of action'.
At its September 2019 meeting, the Council endorsed an ambitious investment programme of nearly £150m that will deliver over 900 new Council homes. This plan seeks to align to the Affordable Homes Delivery Plan and provide even more affordable homes in the County. The homes will be built using a range of delivery models, with the delivery of the new build programme following the affordable housing action areas.
Report and Recommendations of the Carmarthenshire Rural Affairs Task Group
The report contains 55 recommendations, with six recommendations listed under the "planning and housing" section. In consolidating an awareness of the important contribution of rural areas of the County on a corporate level, there are recommendations that are directly relevant to the Revised LDP and as such the importance of this report in informing the Revised LDP cannot be understated.
Moving Rural Carmarthenshire Forward
This report marks a significant milestone for the authority as it is the first time ever that a wide-ranging strategy has been developed to regenerate our rural communities in Carmarthenshire. The final report was approved at Full Council on the 11 September 2019.
The Ten Towns initiative is to support the economic recovery and growth of rural towns across the County. The initiative was established as a direct response to the Moving Rural Carmarthenshire Forward Plan, which sets out a number of key recommendations to support the regeneration of rural Carmarthenshire.
A key part of the programme is the development of Economic growth plans to drive forward an agenda for change for each of the respective towns and their wider hinerland: Cross Hands, Cwmaman, Kidwelly, Laugharne, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llanybydder, Newcastle Emlyn, St. Clears and Whitland.
Modernising Education Programme (MEP).
In 2005, the Council adopted its Modernising Education Programme (MEP). The aim of the MEP is to ensure that the network of schools meet current and future needs, and that it does so in a strategic and operationally effective way. In doing this, the MEP identifies future requirements for investment to ensure the delivery of suitable and sufficient provision of school places and sets out future investment plans in a coordinated and structured manner.
The Council's MEP is an ambitious and progressive strategic approach which delivers a series of high-quality education facilities across the County. In developing this role and function paper regard has been had to the work already undertaken to date, and it also considers what is known to be programmed for the future.
The Welsh Language
"The importance of the Welsh language in the social fabric of the County's communities is reflected in its significance at a corporate level within the Council. Of particular note in this regard are the below:
- Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2017-2020;
- Welsh Language Standards (Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011) Compliance Notice (issue date 30/9/2015) and the Welsh Language Standards Action Plan (2020/2021); and
- The Welsh Language Promotion Strategy 2016-2021.
All of these documents can be viewed on the Council's website.
Net Zero Carbon by 2030
The Council is committed to tackling Climate Change as acknowledgement of the significant role it must play in both further reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions and providing the leadership to encourage residents, businesses, and other organisations to take action to cut their own carbon footprint.