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Revised Local Development Plan and Call for Candidate Sites

Written by on 29th October 2020

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is working towards revising and replacing the current Local Development Plan (LDP) to cover the period up to 2030 – and the first formal stage of this process is to engage the public in a Call for Candidate Sites.

The Revised Local Development Plan (RLDP) (2020-2030) will replace the current Local Development Plan (2006-2021) and would be adopted in 2024.

The LDP is a statutory land use planning document which sets out a vision for the County Borough and allocates land for development such as housing, employment, retail and tourism. It also has policies to protect the environment and increase public green space, and will seek to reduce carbon emissions – while encouraging appropriate renewable energy production. The LDP plays a leading role in determining decisions on planning applications to the Council.

The Council received agreement from Welsh Government on September 14 to begin revising the LDP, and this process will follow formal stages of preparation through to adoption in early 2024. More information on the RLDP process is included on the Council’s website here: https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Resident/PlanningandBuildingControl/RevisedLocalDevelopmentPlan20202030/RevisedLocalDevelopmentPlan20202030.aspx.

The first stage of the process is the Call for Candidate Sites, where the Council invites land or buildings to be submitted for inclusion in the RLDP. The sites will be considered, and if appropriate they will be allocated in the Plan – which means in principle they are acceptable for development or use.

Sites can be submitted by any resident, including private landowners and developers, and also for a range of uses. In-depth guidance has been prepared by the Council to assist in the submission and assessment of sites, which is now available on the Council’s website here: https://www.rctcbc.gov.uk/EN/Resident/PlanningandBuildingControl/RevisedLocalDevelopmentPlan20202030/CandidateSites/CandidateSites.aspx.

The Call for Candidate Sites is the first of many phases of engagement and consultation in the RLDP preparation process. The sites put forward will be assessed and collated into a Candidate Sites Register, and presented for the public’s comments during a period of formal consultation in November 2021.

This will be published alongside the ‘Preferred Strategy’ stage of the RLDP. A draft RLDP will then be produced and consulted upon in 2022, before being considered by an independent Planning Inspector in 2023.

Councillor Robert Bevan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Enterprise, Development and Housing, said: “The Local Development Plan is a very important document allocating land for development – for uses such as housing, employment and retail. It also protects areas of ecological importance, and considers important factors such as climate change.

“The LDP Review Report considered by Cabinet in October 2019 noted that trends and projections from the previous decade on which housing requirement figures were based in the current LDP have not materialised, with needs evolving over the Plan period. Changes have also been made to legislation and policy since the LDP was adopted, with emphasis placed on climate change, low carbon economy and green infrastructure.

“The revised Plan will ultimately be used to determine all planning applications for the period up until 2030, which is why compiling it needs to be very thorough and wide-ranging, taking place over a number of detailed phases.

“Public engagement is a crucial and statutory element of the process, and we want to engage as many people as possible – including the public, developers and statutory consultees. The first formal stage will run from October 2020 to March 2021, as a Call for Candidate Sites. We are welcoming people’s input, as local residents know these sites in their communities better than anyone. I’d urge those interested to take part and to visit the Council’s website for further information.”