Regulation 18 draft Local Plan
Chapter 3 – Vision and Objectives
Local Plan Vison and Objectives
The Local Plan establishes a clear vision for the future and should set out objectives for delivering that vision during the plan period. This establishes the framework upon which the policies and proposals of the plan are built. Local plans provide a mechanism to deliver the strategic aspirations of an area over an extended period of time. Strategic Objectives explain what is trying to be achieved through the strategy and policies included in the Local Plan to deliver the vision.
By 2041, the Local Plan will have helped Rutland to make the most of its location, natural features and historic assets to become a leading example of a modern rural county.
The Local Plan will have supported the delivery of:
- changes that improve people's quality of life, address the impacts of climate change and the need to become carbon net zero
- a strong, competitive, and knowledge-based local economy that provides opportunity for indigenous and inward investment and where businesses and entrepreneurs flourish
- a range of high-quality housing that meet the County's minimum housing need and which meets the needs of all sections of the community, including affordable homes, space for Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Show people and homes which meet specialist needs
- healthy, sustainable, mixed communities with easy access to services and facilities by cycling, walking, public transport as well as by private vehicle
- development and change which also respects Rutland's rural character and has enhanced the County's sense of community and its unique rural identity
- protection and preservation of heritage assets and natural environment
- appropriate infrastructure (particularly education, health, roads, and community facilities) to mitigate the impact of new development
The market towns of Oakham and Uppingham will continue to thrive as vibrant destinations to shop, socialise and enjoy life – both for those who live locally and those who visit. They will continue to be the main focus for additional housing and employment growth, while their role as business locations, service and cultural centres for the County will have been enhanced.
Beyond the towns, some planned development will have occurred in the 21 Larger Villages. Small scale, local, development will also have been permitted in the smaller settlements ensuring that our rural communities remain vibrant.
The quintessential rural character of the countryside will have been protected and support given to rural diversification and adapting rural activities to meet the challenges of climate change, digitalisation and changing travel patterns.
The development needs of communities, businesses and visitors will have been enabled taking particular account of:
- climate change and the drive towards carbon net zero
- addressing health inequalities and improving the wellbeing of our communities
- addressing social and economic inequalities and promoting active travel routes
- the area's internationally recognised natural, built, and historic environment
- the provision of adequate supporting infrastructure
Strategic Objective 1: Climate change - taking positive action to achieve net-zero and reduce our carbon footprint, whilst mitigating and adapting to reduce the impact of climate change and reduce the risk of harm to people, communities, the environment, and the economy.
This will be achieved through:
- the design of new development
- minimising energy usage
- promoting low carbon and renewable energy generation in the right locations
- reducing dependency on fossil fuels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- requiring water sustainability and efficiency measures
- using nature-based solutions to climate change
- increasing biodiversity, nature recovery and exploring the role of carbon capture, whole life carbon and carbon sequestration
- reducing and managing the risk of flooding from all sources
- protecting and enhancing water resources, including water quality and habitat resilience
Strategic Objective 2: Delivering sustainable development - delivering development which meets today's needs in a way which ensures the needs of future generations are not compromised.
Supporting an appropriate level of growth which is proportionate in scale and sited in locations that promote sustainability in local communities, especially those where there are good public transport and active mode connections, and where people can access: homes which are affordable; jobs; services; health, education, social and community facilities; open space; and infrastructure.
Supporting growth which delivers wider social and economic outcomes, whilst protecting and enhancing the natural and built environmental taking a natural capital approach and in consideration of the rural nature of the County.
Strategic Objective 3: Meeting housing needs
Meeting Rutland's identified current and future diverse housing needs, including the affordability and adaptability of housing, through the provision of well-designed, energy efficient and low/zero carbon new homes.
Strategic Objective 4: A prosperous and resilient local economy
Supporting business investment and job creation in ways which are compatible with environmental considerations, food security, rural development and supporting visitor attractions to maintain a prosperous and resilient economy in Rutland.
Strategic Objective 5: Supporting strong and vibrant communities
Promoting health and wellbeing for people of all ages and reduce health inequalities by:
- enabling Rutland's market towns, and their centres in particular, to thrive as attractive and vibrant places for economic, social and cultural activity with good access to services and infrastructure
- developing a diverse and thriving network of villages and communities that serve local needs; maintaining and improving their viability and sustainability for future generations to enjoy
- ensuring new development and open spaces support physical and mental health and wellbeing for all, encourage active and healthy lifestyles, supports active modes of travel, and enhances connectivity between people and places and people and nature
- protecting the County's heritage assets, landscape character, and identity
Strategic Objective 6: Creating safe, inclusive, and resilient communities
Supporting all communities across the County to make them safe, inclusive, resilient to change with enhanced community cohesion.
Strategic Objective 7: Promoting high standards of design
Promoting high standard of design in all new development which is:
- low carbon
- climate resilient
- low cost
- responds to its local character
- locally distinctive
- uses nature-based solutions
- cleaner, greener and creates safer places
Strategic Objective 8: Protect and enhance the built and natural environment
To provide, protect and enhance Rutland's varied and high-quality built and natural environment, which includes:
- natural landscapes
- multifunctional blue and green infrastructure
- biodiversity and geodiversity
- trees and hedgerows
- heritage assets and their settings
- cultural assets
Seek initiative-taking and creative solutions to securing endangered assets in perpetuity and improving landscape connectivity for people and wildlife.
Promote the multifunctional role of green and blue infrastructure in combating the effects of climate change and supporting health and wellbeing.
Deliver biodiversity net gain (BNG) on new developments.
Strategic Objective 9: Make effective use of land and natural resources
Encouraging the effective and prudent use of previously developed land and natural resources, including:
- the re-use and refurbishment of existing buildings
- the efficient use of land and buildings
- the use of sustainable construction techniques
- efficient use of water resources, protecting water quality and flood management
- remediating and mitigating degraded, derelict, contaminated, and unstable land
- providing for waste management and disposal towards net self-sufficiency in waste management
Strategic Objective 10: Ensure development is supported by essential infrastructure and services
Ensuring development is supported by essential infrastructure and services, this includes (but is not limited to):
- blue and green infrastructure
- digital infrastructure and utilities
- health care facilities
- roads and active travel routes
- sport and recreation
- waste management
- water supply and wastewater management
- Safe movement around the County for all
- sustainable modes of travel by enhancing greener travel networks for walking, cycling and public transport.
Strategic objective 11: Minerals
Ensuring a steady and adequate supply of minerals to meet national, regional, and local needs whilst taking account of impacts on the environment and local communities.
Why are the Vision and Strategic Objectives needed?
The NPPF says that local plans should provide a positive vision for the future of their area which provides a framework for addressing housing need and other economic, social and environmental priorities. It also says that strategic policies should look ahead over a minimum of 15 years from the adoption of the plan. This Local Plan is expected to cover the 20-year period from 2021 (when work began on the new plan) through to 2041.
In general terms, Rutland is recognised as having a high quality of life, with an attractive and high-quality environment, low levels of deprivation, unemployment and crime, high levels of life expectancy, health, and educational attainment.
Nevertheless, it is not a universal picture of affluence, and the attractive rural nature of the area gives rise to its own problems such as the high cost of housing and difficulties accessing services due to the dispersed pattern of settlement making it harder to deliver transport provisions.
In 2021 the Council led on a "Future Rutland Conversation" which sought to find out what really mattered to local people and businesses. Having listened carefully, a shared vision named the Future Rutland Vision, was agreed in 2022, which provides a set of long-term goals and aspirations based on the things that local people said are most important:
- Rutland 's character, its homeliness and community spirit
- peace and well-being, nature, wildlife, rurality, and the freedom to enjoy life
Rutland is seen by many as a truly special place – somewhere that you can live your best life. The Future Rutland Vision recognises that Rutland has something unique which needs to be preserved, enhanced, and built upon.
The Future Rutland Vision is split into four sections that cover all aspects of life in Rutland:
- A special place: Sustaining a vibrant rural County that harnesses the enterprise of its businesses, the ambition and creativity of its residents, and the passion of its local communities.
- Sustainable lives: Living sustainably and combatting the climate crisis through the power of choice, the removal of barriers, and collective action.
- Healthy and well: Promoting health, happiness and well -being for people of all ages and backgrounds.
- A County for everyone: Celebrating diversity and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to live well, be heard and overcome any challenges they may face.
The Future Rutland Vision aspires to ensure a thriving and sustainable County creating the right conditions for businesses to succeed and grow with places that are healthy, safe, connected and affordable to live in and which accommodate future population growth. This should be achieved in a way that protects and enhances the things that are unique and special to Rutland.
This vision is not meant to be a detailed plan. It sets out big, long-term goals for Rutland, based on the things that local people have said really matter. More detailed plans and policies will stem from the vision and serve as the catalyst for change.
The Local Plan is one of these more detailed plans. The Local Plan provides an opportunity to protect the things which are important and special about Rutland whilst shaping new development and managing change in a positive way which benefits residents, businesses, and visitors.
The Local Plan provides a mechanism to deliver the strategic aspirations and "vision" of an area over an extended period of time. Strategic Objectives explain what is trying to be achieved through the strategy and policies included in the Local Plan to deliver the vision.
The Council's Corporate Strategy 2022 - 2027 sets out how the Council will contribute to and deliver this shared Future Rutland Vision and aspiration for the County, detailing commitments under the four main themes identified as well as a fifth priority: to deliver a Modern and Effective Council.
Under the each of the five priorities, the Council has developed a clear set of actions which identify what we are trying to achieve, and specific performance measures to ensure the Council delivers against our priorities. Development of a new Local Plan for Rutland falls under priority 1.
The County Council does not deliver development, growth and change directly but through its planning function it has a key role in shaping development and change to ensure that it meets the County's long-term vision.
Not all aspects of the Future Rutland Vision are directly relevant to the Local Plan therefore the Local Plan vision uses those parts which are relevant to develop a Local Plan specific, vision.
What you told us about the topic
In the Issues and Options consultation, we asked whether the Local Plan vision should be based on the Future Rutland Vision. 73% of those responding agreed that it should.
A number of comments and suggestions were also made. It was considered that the vision needed to be simpler than the Future Rutland Vision, ambitious but realistic, sustainable, and measurable. The Local Plan vision above reflects this.
79% of respondents said that they agreed with 12 strategic objectives identified in the Issues and Options consultation. These objectives have been updated with evidence and amended to reflect some of the suggestions and comments made through consultation. Objectives 5 and 8 in the Issues and Options have now been combined to form a single health and wellbeing objective (Objective 5).
The Issues and Options consultation also asked whether you supported a 20-year plan period from 2021-2041 and two thirds of respondents supported this approach.
What alternatives have we considered?
The council has considered developing a wholly new Local Plan vision or using the vision from the previous Local Plan, however creating a Local Plan vision from the Future Rutland Vision should ensure that the plan addresses the aspirations of the wider community and reflects the wide-ranging inputs into that process.
Alternative words and approaches for the objectives have been considered following the suggestions and comments received. The final objectives listed above are considered to deliver the vision and meet the requirements of key evidence reports.