Rutland Interim Housing Position Statement
4 Local Context
4.1 The approach put forward in this document is based on identifying relevant criteria with specific reference to the NPPF and national planning guidance. It is by no means the case that all applications will be appropriate, and on this basis, this Interim Position Statement has been prepared to facilitate delivery of housing sites by giving guidance, based on the NPPF, as to which sites may be appropriate for development in the short-term interim period pending the development of a new Local Plan for Rutland.
4.2 Given that the Council is concerned about the potential shortfall in housing supply, sites put forward under this approach should demonstrate that they are "deliverable" at the time that the site is put forward for planning permission. They should not be, for example, dependent upon delivery of significant enabling off-site infrastructure which would prevent them from delivering completed dwellings within 5 years; in addition, all land required to deliver the proposed housing should be fully in the applicant's control.
4.3 Applicants will also be expected to show that they intend to develop sites promptly so that proposals will begin to be delivered within a short period. Demonstration of deliverability and the intention to develop (for example, through the requirement to submit a phasing plan) will be required to support planning applications.
4.4 In the first instance, the Council would encourage applications for full planning permission to be made, rather than outline consent. Where necessary, the Council would encourage the submission of hybrid applications for larger sites (part full and part outline). Planning applications for outline permission can be made, however the Council would expect a parameter plan to be submitted as part of the outline application, and that an indicative layout is provided to judge the potential housing mix and layout.
Time restricted conditions
4.5 The Council will seek to condition any planning permission to commence within 2 years from date of grant of planning permission to maximise the likelihood of delivery of housing within Rutland in the short term. Where outline permission is granted, the Council will take a similar approach in reducing the implementation period to ensure expedient delivery of sites.
4.6 Sites should be sustainably located in relation to existing settlements, with access to the facilities and services that are generally likely to be required by new residents. Current adopted planning policies within the Core Strategy DPD and the Site Allocations and Policies DPD set out the settlement hierarchy which will inform consideration of any proposed site.
4.7 Sites should be of a scale and density appropriate to the settlement in which they are proposed, taking account of the settlement hierarchy set out within the Development Plan and any other more up to date evidence on services and facilities within settlements. The scale of development in the two main towns of Oakham and Uppingham is likely to be greater than elsewhere taking account of the potential impact on the character of the settlement. The Council may support higher density development in settlements with greater facilities and accessibility.
4.8 In Rutland's villages, smaller scale sites, which provide for the gradual growth of settlements, are more likely to be suitable than sites that would significantly change the character of a place. Developments adjoining smaller service centres and restraint villages which are less locationally sustainable will be expected to be smaller in scale than those that might be suitable for the extension of Oakham, Uppingham or potentially identified Local Service Centres.
4.9 The current adopted local planning policies in the development plan use 'Planned Limits to Development' (PLD) to positively focus growth on the most sustainable settlements, reduce the need to travel, and protect the intrinsic character and beauty of the countryside. If the Council is unable to demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites and pending the adoption of a new Local Plan, it is acknowledged that the planning boundaries may need to be extended to help meet local housing needs in Rutland.
4.10 This Interim Position Statement applies to planning applications for the provision of housing on sites located within or adjacent to the PLD (as defined on the Local Plan Policies Map). There may also be sites that are well-related to the settlement but not immediately adjoining the PLD which in exceptional circumstances could be considered suitable sustainable locations for consideration within the Interim Position Statement.
4.11 This Interim Statement does not set out in full the range of relevant national and local planning policy and practice which will be applied when considering planning applications for residential development. It has been prepared to provide further guidance for applicants but should be read alongside other relevant national and local policy.
4.12 Applicants are also directed to evidence base studies available on the Council's planning policy webpages that may be used to inform, steer and help determine proposals.
4.13 The Council would encourage applicants to undertake early and meaningful engagement with the local community and relevant stakeholders regarding their proposals for development. In particular, the County Council would encourage early and direct engagement with relevant Town and Parish Councils at an early stage prior to submission.