Local Plan Review - Publication Plan

Ends on 23 December 2022 (19 days remaining)
If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.

9. Promoting successful and sustainable communities

Health Infrastructure

9.1 Primary health provision such as GP Services and health centres are a vital community services that need protecting and where possible, enhancing. Increased patient numbers resulting from new development can have an adverse effect on service delivery and therefore it is important that new development mitigates its impact on local health infrastructure. Policy HC14 is therefore needed to ensure that proportionate financial contributions are sought where it is demonstrated that new development will lead to strain on existing facilities.

Policy HC14: Health Infrastructure

Proposals for major residential developments or specialist elderly accommodation must be assessed against the capacity of existing healthcare facilities through engagement with the relevant Integrated Care Board ICB (formally Clinical Commissioning Groups - CCGs). Where it is demonstrated that existing facilities do not have capacity to accommodate patients from new development and that the development will result in an unacceptable impact on these existing local facilities, then a proportionate financial contribution will be sought and agreed through engagement with the ICS. In the first instance, any infrastructure contributions will be sought for expanding the capacity of existing services in the relevant Primary Care Network and secured through planning obligations.

Existing healthcare infrastructure will be protected unless it can be clearly demonstrated that its loss would not have an adverse impact on healthcare delivery, such as where a GP practice is relocating to new premises serving the same community. New facilities should be well served by public transport infrastructure and good access via legible walking and cycling routes. Where possible, new facilities should be located in local centres. Support will be given for co-location of compatible community services on one site.

Development proposals should be consistent with other Local Plan policies.

Key Evidence
  • Infrastructure Delivery Plan
  • CCG Estates Plans
  • Public Health England: Spatial Planning for Health (2017)
Implementation

Local/national Funding

Development Management

Partners

Section 106 agreement

Supplementary Planning Document

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Education

9.2 As part of an infrastructure led approach, it is critical that existing social infrastructure such as education facilities are retained, and that new development facilitates improvements to existing education facilities or delivers new schools where population growth from the new development warrants this. It is important that new schools are of high-quality design with modern facilities and are central to new communities and something the community can feel proud of.

9.3 National policy confirms that planning policies ensure sufficient choice of school places are provided and that plans should set out the education contributions that are expected. Policy HC15 seeks to protect existing education facilities as well as provide contributions towards new and/or facilities where required, and ensure they are in sustainable and accessible locations.

Policy HC15: Education

Support will be provided for the expansion and/or improvement of educational facilities or the construction of new schools to meet demand generated by children in new development or to deliver necessary improvements and updates to education infrastructure. New education infrastructure will be required from new development in line with the latest Staffordshire Education Infrastructure Contributions Policy, which may include safeguarding of land for future school expansion. Proposals that do not provide contributions towards education infrastructure where it has been determined that these are necessary will be refused.

Existing Infant, Junior, First, Primary, Middle and Secondary school infrastructure will be protected unless a clearly demonstrated that the loss of the facility is supported by a robust business case and will not adversely impact education provision. New facilities should be well served by public transport infrastructure with good access via legible walking and cycling routes. Where feasible the council will aim to co-locate new facilities with local centres and will support the co-location of compatible community facilities with school provision.

Development proposals should be consistent with other Local Plan policies.

Key Evidence
  • Infrastructure Delivery Plan
Implementation

Local/national Funding

Development Management

Partners

Section 106 agreement

Supplementary Planning Document

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

South Staffordshire College (Rodbaston)

9.4 South Staffordshire College (Rodbaston) lies in the Green Belt to the south of Penkridge and to the east of the A449 Stafford Road. There has been an established agricultural college on the site for over 100 years and the college estate covers an area of 160 hectares. The area of the college complex is well defined by existing boundaries and internal access roads and there is an established wooded area close to Rodbaston Hall.

9.5 South Staffordshire College specialises in providing further and higher courses for construction related industries and land-based activities such as fisheries and aquaculture, animal care and equestrian pursuits. It also offers a range of training services that support land-based businesses and in recent years has introduced an animal zone which has proved a popular visitor attraction. Extensive investment in recent years has enabled the development of a broad range of state-of-the-art learning centre facilities, equipment and buildings. It includes a working farm, animal care unit, veterinary nursing centre, indoor and outdoor equine centres, floristry centre, gardens and hot houses, a fisheries centre, visitors centre and animal zone. Some residential accommodation is also provided on the site.

9.6 The College supports 1,200 full time students, is an important local employer and provides opportunities locally for training and development in sectors such as agriculture, horticulture, animal care, veterinary care, equine and countryside management.

Policy HC16: South Staffordshire College (Rodbaston)

Within the Special Policy Area defined on the Policies Map, proposals for new development associated with the use of South Staffordshire College (Rodbaston) as an education and training establishment will be supported.

Proposals should demonstrate all of the following:

  1. That the development proposed is for education and training uses directly related to the activities of the College and can include business start up activities to support people into work in areas of employment related to College Curriculum subjects.
  2. That the development is of a scale and massing appropriate to its location.
  3. That the design and external appearance of the development is of a high standard and uses high quality materials which relate well to the development's setting.
  4. where appropriate, re-use of existing buildings for uses which support the existing uses at South Staffordshire College.
  5. The provision of satisfactory access and vehicle parking.
  6. The incorporation of a satisfactory landscaping scheme, which complements and enhances the development and the local environment.
  7. That the development is located outside Flood Zones 2 and 3.
  8. That the development will not lead to the loss of sports facilities or, if it does, then compensatory provision/investment in sports facilities can be found in a suitable location elsewhere within the college estate. Any replacement sports provision must be equivalent if not better than that being replaced in terms of quality, quantity and accessibility.

Development proposals should be consistent with other Local Plan policies.

Key Evidence
  • Staffordshire and Stoke Local Enterprise Partnership: Strategic Economic Plan (2018)
Implementation

Local/national Funding

Development Management

Partners

Section 106 agreement

Supplementary Planning Document

No

Yes

No

No

No

Open Space

9.7 South Staffordshire is a community of communities, containing a dispersed settlement pattern of rural villages of a variety of sizes. These communities rely on a variety green infrastructure scattered throughout the district for a variety of social and environmental benefits and contribute to their sense of identity. These green spaces range from large centrally located village greens and freestanding country parks through to incidental greenspaces within housing developments. It is vital that the local plan offers sufficient protection to such spaces and ensures new development delivers high quality spaces for the future.

9.8 The NPPF requires existing open spaces to be protected and emphasises the importance of access to a high quality network of open spaces, highlighting the health and well-being, climate change and wider benefits for nature such spaces bring. It requires planning policies to be based on robust and up-to-date assessment of the need for open space, both in terms of quantitative and qualitative factors. To address these requirements this policy reviews the council's existing open space standards, providing appropriate protections for existing open space and clear standards for open space quantity and design in new open spaces in residential development. It draws on the recommendations of the council's open space evidence base and good urban design principles in setting new standards, ensuring that any new open space provided is both sufficient in quantity and is of a high quality.

9.9 Further guidance on the procedure for determining provision required from new development, offsite provision and maintenance arrangements will be set out in an Open Space, Sport and Recreation SPD. The council will also use best practice guidance documents (for example Fields in Trust's 'Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play: Beyond the Six Acre Standard') to inform open space delivery.

Policy HC17: Open Space

Existing open space should not be built on unless the conditions set out in paragraph 99 of the NPPF 2021 (or subsequent revisions) are met. This protection extends to all land performing an open space function, including, but is not limited to, all open space identified in the latest Open Space Audit.

The council will require 0.006 hectares of multi-functional publicly accessible open space per dwelling as standard. Development which would generate a need for 0.2ha of open space or more (i.e. sites of 33 dwellings or above) should provide this as on-site open space. Smaller areas of incidental green infrastructure without a clear recreational purpose (e.g. landscape buffers, highways verges) and areas without public access will not count towards meeting the quantitative on-site open space standard. Development requiring on-site open space should also include equipped high quality play provision as a default unless an alternative play provision strategy is agreed with the council.

On-site open space must be designed and located within development so as to maximise its recreational use and multifunctionality whilst benefiting from natural surveillance. In doing so it should have regard to the wider roles that open space can play in supporting health and wellbeing, sustainable food production, biodiversity, public art, local heritage and climate change mitigation and adaptation. A landscape-led approach should be used to provide a hierarchy of open spaces throughout any development layouts and designs which fail to adopt this approach to on-site open space design will not be supported. Opportunities to connect into existing green infrastructure networks will also be supported in line with Policy HC19. Developers must ensure that appropriate maintenance arrangements are agreed with the council and monitored post completion for any open space provided, having regard to the scale and function of such spaces.

Sites of between and including 10 and 32 dwellings will be required to provide an offsite financial contribution equivalent to the amount of open space that would otherwise be required on-site. This amount will be calculated having regard to both the costs of providing and maintaining off-site multi-functional open space.

Development proposals should be consistent with other Local Plan policies.

Key Evidence
  • Open Space Strategy and Audit 2019
  • Infrastructure Delivery Plan
Implementation

Local/national Funding

Development Management

Partners

Section 106 agreement

Supplementary Planning Document

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sports Facilities and Playing Pitches

9.10 The opportunity for regular exercise is essential for people to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age. Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress. It is therefore important that current and future residents of South Staffordshire have access to sports facilities and playing pitches in order to participate in sporting activities.

9.11 Chapter 8 'Promoting healthy and safe communities' of the National Planning Policy Framework states that 'access to a network of high quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and physical activity is important for the health and well-being of communities'. The Framework goes on to state that plans should promote opportunities for new provision where there is an evidenced need as well as seek to protect existing facilities.

9.12 The policy approach is informed by the playing pitch and sport facilities assessments produced by consultants KKP in 2020.

9.13 This policy seeks to prevent the loss of sports facilities and playing pitches within the district unless it is demonstrated that they are no longer needed or alternative provision is provided. The policy also sets out how new residential development will contribute to the provision of new facilities or improvements to existing facilities to ensure there is capacity to cope with demand generated from new residents.

Policy HC18: Sports Facilities and Playing Pitches

There should be no loss of existing playing pitches or sports facilities unless:

  1. an assessment has been undertaken with Sport England engagement which has clearly demonstrated that the pitches or facilities are surplus to requirement

OR

  1. lternative provision is made of at least equivalent quality and accessibility to local residents served by the existing facility, particularly by active travel methods, prior to any loss taking place.

All new major residential development will make a contribution towards sports facilities and playing pitches which will be secured through a S106 agreement and informed by the latest Sport Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategies.

The development or improvement of new playing fields and sports facilities will be supported in accordance with the latest Sport Facilities and Playing Pitch Strategies.

The council will prepare an Open Space, Sport and Recreation Supplementary Planning Document.

Development proposals should be consistent with other Local Plan policies.

Key Evidence
  • Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy February 2020
  • Indoor Sports Facilities Needs Assessment January 2020
  • Playing Pitch Assessment Report January 2020
  • Playing Pitch Strategy and Action Plan Sept 2020
  • Infrastructure Delivery Plan
  • Playing Pitch Requirements Topic Paper
Implementation

Local/national Funding

Development Management

Partners

Section 106 agreement

Supplementary Planning Document

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Green Infrastructure

9.14 Green and Blue infrastructure is a network of integrated multi-functional spaces and features, not just individual elements, and comprises a number of different types of space including:

  • Parks and Gardens (public and private).
  • Natural and semi-natural greenspaces
  • Green Corridors
  • Outdoor sports facilities
  • Amenity Green Space
  • Play provision for children and teenagers
  • Allotments
  • Cemeteries and churchyard
  • Accessible countryside in urban fringe areas
  • River corridors, waterways, SuDS (blue infrastructure)
  • Green roofs and walls
  • Street-level greening

9.15 Benefits derived from this network include the promotion of a healthy and thriving natural environment, support for climate change resilience, personal health and well-being benefits and supporting prosperous communities. To deliver these benefits it is imperative that opportunities are taken to protect, strengthen and enhance the different elements of the green infrastructure network and to promote the linkages which help to maximise the benefits which it can deliver. In addition to seeking the provision of on-site elements of multifunctional green infrastructure on development sites, opportunities to utilise biodiversity gains on site and off site will be supported particularly were this contributes to meeting objectives within the Nature Recovery Network plans.

9.16 The Government recently produced a 25 year Environment Plan which highlighted the value of the green infrastructure in delivering a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits. The NPPF identifies the key role which green infrastructure can play in supporting and enabling healthy lifestyles and in mitigating environmental harms such as poor air quality.

9.17 The provision of Green Infrastructure will be actively sought on all development sites identified within the Local Plan and will form a key element in the masterplanning and design of the strategic development site proposals. Further strategic guidance on green infrastructure provision will be set out in a Green Infrastructure SPD

Policy HC19: Green Infrastructure

The council will support the protection, maintenance and enhancement of a network of interconnected, multi-functional and accessible green and blue spaces.

All development proposals should seek to maximise on-site green infrastructure. Where suitable opportunities exist, taking into account local circumstances and priorities, development must demonstrate it has sought to strengthen and promote connectivity with the existing green infrastructure network by:

  • Providing interlinked multifunctional publicly accessible open space within new development schemes including public open spaces, attractive cycle and walkways, street trees, green roofs and walls, pocket parks, allotments, play areas and new wetland habitats.
  • Identifying and strengthening potential linkages with green and blue spaces within adjoining developed areas to promote interconnected urban green infrastructure.
  • Connecting together and enriching biodiversity and wildlife habitats.
  • Strengthening green linkages with the wider countryside and major areas of open space such as country parks.

Development proposals must make adequate provision for the long term management and maintenance of the green infrastructure network.

Development proposals should be consistent with other Local Plan policies.

Key Evidence
  • A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment (2018)
  • Infrastructure Delivery Plan
Implementation

Local/national Funding

Development Management

Partners

Section 106 agreement

Supplementary Planning Document

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

If you are having trouble using the system, please try our help guide.
back to top back to top