Preferred Strategy

Ended on the 8 February 2019
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10. A New Strategy

10.1 The Strategy sets out to deliver the vision and strategic objectives and addressing the key issues identified within this Preferred Strategy. The Revised LDP will, as it progresses through to adoption, set out how the changes within Carmarthenshire over the Plan period will be managed and planned for. Through its policies and proposals, the Revised LDP will seek to provide for these changes and the respective levels of growth, and identify where such growth will be acceptable. This is achieved through identifying sites for specific land uses whilst protecting and enhancing the County's rich environmental, landscape and built historic interests. These detailed elements will be contained within the Deposit LDP.

10.2 The preparation of this Preferred Strategy has been informed by national and regional guidance with plans and strategies at all levels contributing, where appropriate to the development of an emerging evidence and knowledge base. Engagement has also played a central role in preparing this Preferred Strategy (including issues generation and the strategic options).

A New Spatial Approach

10.3 The Revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan 2018 – 2033 recognises the diversity that exists within the County and the need to reflect this in its strategic approach. The Spatial Strategy identifies a settlement hierarchy but sets it within a settlement framework grouped under six clusters. These, and the distribution of growth, will focus on sustainable principles but will also recognise the respective role, function and contribution of settlements within particular clusters, whilst recognising and protecting and enhancing those valued aspects and environments.

10.4 Each cluster will reflect the diversity that exists between them and their respective settlements. Growth will be distributed accordingly to identified centres whilst recognising the integral role of local growth and diversification to delivering for Carmarthenshire.

10.5 The strategic growth areas reflect the current urban form in the shape of Llanelli, Ammanford/Cross Hands and Carmarthen with their respective sustainability credentials and strong economic drivers from a market demand and delivery perspective. These three form part of the six clusters and whilst they will receive an appropriate proportion of the anticipated growth, there will be a balanced approach to distribution.

10.6 Other areas will include a focus on Local Growth and Diversification. These areas are those where growth will reflect the community, whilst understanding those wider delivery expectations associated with Plan making (e.g. national policy and guidance). Often incorporating areas which are more rural in character such areas play an integral role not only for the everyday life of their communities but are essential to a vibrant and thriving Carmarthenshire.

10.7 Regeneration and job creation are important components across the County. Allocated sites and the use of policies will provide a framework for the provision of employment and job creation opportunities. This will seek to provide a positive approach to help these areas meet their full potential and build on the opportunities within all of Carmarthenshire's communities. The Strategy is therefore firmly rooted within the "One Carmarthenshire" ethos as set out within the Vision.

10.8 The Plan will use allocations and development limits where appropriate, as well as using policies and criteria to ensure that the right development is in the right place, in addition to preventing unacceptable developments within Carmarthenshire's communities.

10.9 Across the Plan area there will be commonality of policies, however there may be specific variations to allow for a responsive policy approach.

Deliverable Growth

10.10 The new strategy seeks to provide balanced growth centred on the delivery of our communities' needs and the delivery of the region and the Council's strategic and regeneration objectives.

10.11 This LDP will provide the opportunity to deliver 9,887 homes over the Plan period. This is the equivalent of 659 homes per year from 2018 to 2033. This would allow for new homes to be provided in a sustainable manner which supports the aspirations of our communities and provides appropriate flexibility to respond to the Council's affordable housing objectives. This ambitious agenda for Carmarthenshire will allow the Plan to build upon the approximately 500 homes being provided per year under the current adopted LDP.

10.12 The new strategy ensures that sufficient opportunity exists to maximise affordable provision to support both rural and urban housing needs, whilst providing a strong basis for the provision of a deliverable market housing provision.

10.13 The new strategy provides an opportunity to balance the demographics of the County through the retention of, and migration of younger adults into the County, and address some of the issues which could be perceived from an aging population.

10.14 Such an approach will be supported through a strong economic environment with the delivery of a minimum of 5,295 jobs over the Plan period an important component. This reflects the growth and job creation objectives within the Council's Regeneration Strategy, and through the Swansea Bay City Region Deal.

10.15 Furthermore, supporting a positive approach to growth within Carmarthenshire will provide the younger demographic a further opportunity to live and work within the County.

10.16 In delivering the number of homes set above, this Preferred Strategy includes an additional flexibility as part of its supply (uplift) to ensure the delivery of sustainable growth and to overcome any potential unforeseen deliverability issues. A 6% flexibility through a further 593 homes, is included. This equates to a housing supply of 10,480 dwellings to deliver the 9,887 homes.

Sustainable Development, Well-being and Climate Change

10.17 In planning for a sustainable future for Carmarthenshire, this Preferred Strategy seeks to reflect and promote the principles of Sustainable Development (SD) and to embed the duties set through the Well-being of Future Generations Act 2015. The planning system has a long standing track record in the promotion of SD and in this respect this Preferred Strategy and the LDP as it progresses through to adoption will seek to enhance the economic, social and environmental well-being of communities. It will also as part of this agenda play its part in tackling the causes and effects of climate change reflecting the contribution of the planning system as a whole.

10.18 The LDP seek to put a policy framework in place which tackles the causes and effects of climate change within our communities through the adoption of sustainable principles and development.

10.19 The LDP will promote the principles of sustainability by:

  • Protecting and enhancing biodiversity, townscapes and landscapes;
  • Minimising energy demand and consumption by facilitating the delivery of carbon neutral buildings and homes, including the promotion of the efficient use of resources including directing development to previously developed land wherever possible;
  • Distributing and locating development in accordance with the settlement framework with a view to reducing unwarranted reliance of the private motor car. It will promote sustainable and 'green' travel alternatives building on advances in technology and promotes accessibility to alternative means of travel;
  • The promotion of sustainable waste management;
  • The promotion of sustainable water management (including ensuring a sustainable supply of water resources and water quality, promoting sustainable drainage modes and addressing flooding issues). This includes reducing the vulnerability of communities by ensuring that development is not located in flood risk areas;
  • Promote the enhancement of wellbeing and social inclusion by supporting healthy, accessible and cohesive communities;
  • Supporting the development of a resilient economy and facilitating appropriate future growth; and,
  • The promoting and safeguarding the Welsh language and culture.

A New Strategy - Key Components

10.20 The key components of the strategy are as follows:

  • Provide for 10,480 new homes to deliver a household requirement of 9,887 homes;
  • Provide opportunities to deliver a minimum of 5,295 new jobs in the County in supporting the Regeneration and strategic economic and employment ambitions within the County and region;
  • Provide sufficient employment land to support economic growth and job creation;
  • Promotes a settlement framework which supports cohesion between settlements and communities;
  • Distribute development in accordance with the settlement hierarchy, reflecting the sustainability and functional attributes of settlements, their services and facilities as well as their ability to accommodate growth;
  • To respect and enhance the rich and diverse environmental qualities of the County;
  • To reflect the needs of rural areas and the rural economy;
  • Recognise the cultural and linguistic character of the County;
  • Contribute to the delivery of physical and social regeneration opportunities and provides for a diverse and cohesive range of settlements and communities;
  • Reflect the diversity across the County, and within its settlements and communities;
  • Provide for employment both through allocated sites and through policy provisions across the County recognising the need to sustain and enhance rural economies;
  • Focus retail change in established centres whilst providing opportunities for provision throughout the hierarchy in a way which will assist in improving accessibility to services and facilities and help in achieving viable, self-supporting settlements and sustainable communities;
  • Recognise the contribution of 'previously developed land' and utilises it as appropriate whilst recognising the County's largely rural context;
  • To provide opportunities to cater for the County's visitor economy;
  • Protect and enhances the natural, historic and built conservation qualities of Carmarthenshire and its high value landscapes; and,
  • Contribute to an integrated transport network both within the County and region. Seeks to make efficient use of the existing road and rail network by reflecting that the public transport network can afford the opportunity for consolidation and improvement of service thus maintaining and improving accessibility. Promote opportunities to use and access alternative means of transport including walking and cycling.

Figure 4


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