Future Mole Valley - March 2021 newsletter
The latest planning policy news in Mole Valley and an update on the progress of the new Local Plan.
This is the last Future Mole Valley newsletter to be sent prior to the Local Elections on Thursday 6th May 2021, owing to the pre-election period during which the Council limits information that is published.
New National Policy And Design Code Government Consultation
The Government has recently published a consultation that seeks views on proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework and a draft national Design Code. To see full details of the consultation, visit the government's consultation webpage. We encourage residents to make comments prior to the 27 March deadline and MVDC will be submitting a full response shortly.
The most significant changes proposed by the Government are as follows:
• Minor changes to environmental-related policies, including on flood risk and climate change.
• Minor changes to clarify policy in order to address legal issues.
• Changes to remove or amend out-of-date material.
• An update to reflect a recent change made in a Written Ministerial Statement about retaining and explaining statues.
• Clarification on the use of Article 4 Directions (used to remove permitted development rights).
The consultation also seeks views on a draft National Model Design Code, which provides guidance on the production of design codes, guides and policies. A design code is a set of illustrated design requirements that provide specific, detailed parameters for the physical development of a site or area. The National Model Design Code is to be used as a toolkit to inform local planning authorities how design parameters and issues are considered and tailored to their own local context when producing local design codes and guides, as well as how the local community is engaged with from the outset and at each state of code-making.
Housing Delivery Test Results
The Government has recently published the results of its Housing Delivery Test. This test sets out how well a Council is performing in delivering housing compared with the housing need set by the Government. There are requirements that have to be met if the level of housing provision falls below 95% of the requirement. MVDC currently can demonstrate that it has delivered 81% (sixth-highest in Surrey) of the prescribed housing need and as such its 5 year housing requirement increased by 20%. Authorities with an up-to-date adopted Local Plan perform better on the Housing Delivery Test.
Local Plan Update
We are continuing to work on the draft 'submission version' of the Local Plan (called the Regulation 19 version). This is likely to be completed in June and will then be published prior to submission to the Planning Inspectorate before the end of the year. Comments made on the draft submission version will be sent with the Plan to the Planning Inspectorate so they can decide whether it has been prepared in accordance with the legal and procedural requirements, and then whether it is:
• positively prepared;
• effective; and
• consistent with national policy.
We would like to reassure those that took part in the consultation at the beginning of last year that their input is being very carefully considered and the Council will publish how it has taken this input into account when it publishes the draft submission version of the Plan in June.