East Suffolk Council - Waveney Local Plan (Adopted March 2019)

Overall Spatial Strategy

Vision and Objectives

1.1 The vision for Waveney in 2036 for this Local Plan is based on the short term vision contained within the Council's Business Plan, the East Suffolk Business Plan, and also on the long term need to tackle the issues detailed in the previous section. It also takes into account the comments made by stakeholders and the public through consultation on the Local Plan.

Vision

By 2036 the quality of life for everyone growing up in, living in, working in, and visiting Waveney will have been sustainably improved. Waveney will have a healthy economy, a healthy population and a healthy environment. The District will have experienced significant levels of growth, but this growth will not have breached environmental limits and will have been supported by adequate infrastructure.

Waveney will have a stronger, more diverse economy benefiting from the growth of offshore renewable energy and better infrastructure such as transport connections, telecommunications and flood risk protection. The stronger economy will have reduced deprivation and increased local earnings. Tourism will remain an important year-round part of the District's economy and visitor numbers and overnight stays will have increased. Waveney's town centres will be vibrant and meet the needs of local residents, businesses and visitors alike. The District's cultural offer will have been improved to the benefit of visitors and residents alike.

There will be sufficient housing of the right types and tenures to meet the needs of the population and people moving to the District. The health of the population will have been improved through increased opportunities for people to participate in active lifestyles.

Waveney's valuable built, historic and natural environment will have been protected, maintained and enhanced including the protected landscapes of the Broads National Park and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The delivery of key recommendations in the Council's Green Infrastructure Strategy will have ensured improvements to open space and ecological networks will have benefited the health of the population as well as that of wildlife habitats. The high quality design of new developments will be noticeable to those living in and visiting the area and new development will have respected the rich historic assets of the District.

Climate change emissions per capita will have decreased as people choose more sustainable methods to commute to work and for leisure purposes due to the District's settlements becoming more self-sufficient. More properties will benefit from protection from flooding, and coastal communities will continue to adapt to coastal change. The District will continue to have clean air and the water quality of the District's rivers will have improved.

The Lowestoft Area (Lowestoft, Carlton Colville, Corton, Gisleham, Oulton and Oulton Broad)

Lowestoft will be a clean, attractive and vibrant town with an enhanced economy and reduced deprivation. The suburban areas and villages will retain their individual identities and their communities will be strengthened with new infrastructure provision.

Lowestoft, along with nearby Great Yarmouth will be important centres in the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore renewable projects. The Port of Lowestoft will be an offshore renewables centre of excellence supporting the employment of a significant number of people.

The town will benefit from improved infrastructure, including a third crossing over Lake Lothing and strategic flood risk protection, both of which are essential to allow the town to continue to grow and thrive. The population will be healthier with new opportunities for participation in sport through the creation of a sports and leisure complex at Oakes Farm, Carlton Colville and high quality open spaces within new developments. The area will have accommodated the majority of the District's growth and will have expanded in size with well designed, sustainable extensions to the urban area which have their own identity.

The town centre will be more vibrant with a viable retail offer together with improved leisure offer including a greater number of cafés, pubs and restaurants. The derelict central areas around Lake Lothing will have been successfully regenerated providing a significant number of homes in close proximity to the town centre and employment areas. The town's tourist offer will have been maintained and improved through improvements along the coast from Corton down to Pakefield, including the creation of a destination park at the East of England Park, celebrating the most easterly point of the country. The sensitive landscapes and habitats which surround the town will have been preserved and enhanced through new developments.

The town will have also benefited from heritage-led regeneration of the historic High Street, supported though the Heritage Action Zone initiative.

Beccles and Worlingham

Beccles will have continued to fulfil its role as the largest market town in the District serving its local population including Worlingham and the surrounding smaller towns and villages in Waveney and South Norfolk such as Ringsfield, Gillingham and Toft Monks. Beccles, together with Worlingham will have grown at a rate similar to that experienced over the last 20 years and the larger population will support and improve the town centre and services and facilities in the town to the benefit of residents and tourists alike. New development will have been supported by good infrastructure and services including a country park.

The sensitive natural environment to the north of the town will have been protected. The separate identities of the two settlements will also have been preserved. New development will be of an exceptional quality of design including greener environments serving both existing and new residents. The delivery of the Southern Relief Road will have opened up new opportunities for growth and will have diverted heavy goods traffic from the sensitive town centre. Additionally, access to the Ellough employment area by modes other than the car will have been improved.

Halesworth and Holton

Halesworth will provide a more significant role as a service centre to the south of the District benefiting surrounding villages in Waveney and Suffolk Coastal such as Wissett, Walpole and Wenhaston. Together with Holton, it will be the third largest built-up area in the District after Lowestoft and Beccles and Worlingham. The historic town centre will be vibrant and will have been supported by new housing and retail development. The town will have enhanced sports and leisure facilities following the completion of the Halesworth Campus and improved facilities at Dairy Hill together with additional health facilities and an enhanced employment offer. This will have helped attract younger people and families to the town. The separate identities of Halesworth and Holton and the sensitive landscape surrounding them will have been protected.

Bungay

Bungay will have continued to act as a service centre in the north west of the District supporting the large villages of Ditchingham and Earsham in South Norfolk as well as smaller villages in Waveney. It will have a larger number of employment premises which will help make the town more self-sufficient and will have experienced modest levels of housing growth which will have helped support the town centre. The open areas within the town will have been protected, as will the sensitive landscapes outside of the town.

Southwold and Reydon

Southwold will continue to prosper as a unique historic town and tourist destination. Reydon will continue to function as part of the Southwold and Reydon area, providing local services and some employment development. New housing growth in the area will have provided homes with a range of tenures and will have made homes more affordable for those working in the area. The sensitive built, historic and natural environment of the area will have been protected from and enhanced by new development.

Rural Areas

Through allowing more growth than in recent years, settlements in the rural areas will become more sustainable and more vibrant. Through the provision of a wide range of types and tenures of housing, new homes will be more affordable in the rural areas, allowing people with a local connection or those who work in the rural areas to live in the rural areas. New housing will also help support existing services and facilities in the rural areas such as small rural schools and pubs. New development in rural villages will have increased the coverage of high-speed broadband.

1.2 The strategic priorities and objectives to deliver this vision are:

 

Objective/Strategic Priority

Strategic policies to deliver Objective/Strategic Priority

1. To improve health, wellbeing and education opportunities for the population

WLP1.1, WLP1.2, WLP1.3, WLP2.1, WLP2.2, WLP2.4, WLP2.5, WLP2.8, WLP2.10, WLP2.13, WLP2.16, WLP2.19, WLP2.20, WLP3.1, WLP4.1, WLP8.21, WLP8.22, WLP8.23, WLP8.29, WLP8.30, WLP8.31

2. To deliver at least 8,223 new homes to meet the housing requirements of the whole community (both urban and rural) including those wishing to move into the area

WLP1.1, WLP1.2, WLP8.1, WLP8.2, WLP8.3, WLP8.5, WLP8.6, WLP8.7, WLP8.8, WLP8.10, WLP8.11 and all site allocation policies for housing.

3. To enhance and protect the natural, built and historic environment

WLP1.1, WLP1.2, WLP2.1, WLP2.8, WLP2.9, WLP2.16, WLP8.29, WLP8.30, WLP8.31, WLP8.32, WLP8.33, WLP8.34, WLP8.35, WLP8.36, WLP8.37, WLP8.38, WLP8.39, WLP8.40

4. To reduce contributions to climate change and mitigate the effects and conserve natural resources

WLP1.1, WLP1.2, WLP2.16, WLP8.24, WLP8.25, WLP8.26, WLP8.27, WLP8.28

5. To achieve sustained and resilient economic growth in towns and rural areas in order to support 5,000 new jobs in the District

WLP1.1, WLP1.2, WLP1.3, WLP8.12, WLP8.13, WLP8.14, WLP8.15, WLP8.16, WLP8.17, WLP8.21 and all site allocation policies for employment uses.

6. To support the growth of the tourism industry

WLP1.3, WLP2.1, WLP2.9, WLP8.15, WLP8.16, WLP8.17

7. To protect and enhance the District's varied cultural facilities

WLP1.3, WLP2.1, WLP2.3, WLP2.7, WLP2.9, WLP8.15, WLP8.16, WLP8.17, WLP8.18, WLP8.22

8. To enhance the viability and vitality of town centres and service provision in towns and villages

WLP1.1, WLP1.2, WLP1.3, WLP2.1, WLP2.3, WLP2.7, WLP2.8, WLP2.9, WLP2.11, WLP2.12, WLP8.18, WLP8.19, WLP8.20, WLP8.22

9. To significantly improve the quality of urban design across the District

WLP8.28, WLP8.29, WLP8.30, WLP8.31, WLP8.32, WLP8.33

10. To improve the quality and provision of all types of infrastructure

WLP1.3, WLP2.1, WLP2.4, WLP2.5, WLP2.13, WLP2.16, WLP2.19, WLP2.20, WLP3.1, WLP4.1, WLP7.9, WLP8.22, WLP8.23

 

Scale and Location of Growth

9,235 New homes, 5,000 New jobs, 13,260m2 New retail development


Scale of Growth

1.3 Waveney is an attractive place to live and work and more people migrate into the District from elsewhere in the UK than leave. Additionally, households in Waveney are getting smaller, so even with no population growth there is a need for more housing. If the Council does not plan to meet the housing needs arising from these two factors, there is a risk that needs will not be met, resulting in a situation where demand continues to outweigh supply. This will push up house prices making it more difficult for younger people to enter the housing market. By not planning for this growth there is also a greater risk that housing developments could be built in inappropriate locations.

1.4 If the Council does not plan to meet the business growth needs in the District, there is a risk that investment will be targeted elsewhere, meaning workers in Waveney will increasingly need to travel further afield for work. If the Council does not plan for the needs of new retail development there is a risk that the vitality and viability of our town centres will decline.

1.5 The National Planning Policy Framework requires Local Plans to meet 'objectively assessed needs' for housing and economic development. An 'objectively assessed need' is a technical calculation of how many houses and jobs are needed in an area over a period of time.

1.6 The Council has commissioned and produced a series of evidence documents which assess the amount of growth needed for housing and economic development. The key studies are:

  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment (PBA, 2017)
  • Employment Land Needs Assessment (NLP, 2016) and Employment Land Needs Update (Waveney District Council, 2017).
  • Retail and Leisure Needs Assessment (Carter Jonas, 2016)

1.7 The Strategic Housing Market Assessment identifies an objectively assessed need for 8,223 new homes over the plan period for the entire District (including the Broads Authority area), which equates to 374 per year. The study has calculated this based on demographic projections (based on trends over the period 2010-2015). This level of housing is significantly higher than the housing target from the previous Local Plan which was 290 homes per annum. As such since the start of the plan period (2014) there has been a shortfall in delivery against the new housing requirement. The significant step-change in housing requirement means that irrespective of land availability it will be challenging to remedy the shortfall within the first five years of the plan. Policy WLP1.1 makes clear that the Council will apply the 'Liverpool' approach with respect to recovering shortfall in housing delivery. This means shortfalls in delivery will be recovered over the remainder of the plan period rather than within a five year period. Of the 374 new homes needed annually, 208 need to be affordable to meet local need. However, it is unlikely that this level of affordable housing could be viably delivered

Figure 3 - Total housing growth 2014-2036

Figure 3

1.8 As of April 2017, 3,033 homes have been completed or have permission and are expected to complete within the plan period. This gives a residual need of 5,190 new homes that need to be planned for in this Local Plan. Policy WLP1.1 makes clear that housing targets are minimums.

1.9 Allocations for housing in this Local Plan exceed the minimum level of housing needed by approximately 12%. The over-allocation will help enable more affordable homes to delivered, particularly given the significant need referred to above. An over-allocation also provides confidence that the overall objectively assessed need will be met even if some allocated sites fail to come forward or there are delays to delivery. In addition there will be further development which comes forward on sites not identified in the Plan. These sites will either be within the Settlement Boundaries defined by Policy WLP1.2 or through the exceptions provided by Policies WLP8.6, WLP8.7, WLP8.8 or WLP8.11 or on Neighbourhood Plan allocations.

1.10 The Strategic Housing Market Assessment also identifies a need for 905 additional spaces in care homes and nursing homes over the plan period. These will primarily be delivered on larger allocations or on windfall sites. The exact nature of this type of provision is likely to change and adapt over the plan period, therefore the Plan does not have a specific target for this sector but will rather take a more permissive and flexible approach to delivery.

1.11 The Employment Land Needs update (WDC, 2017) identified a growth of 5,000 new jobs over the period 2014-2036 in Waveney. This was based on a December 2016 model by Experian adjusted to take into account the likely impact on local employment from growth in the offshore wind sector. As well as jobs in the offshore sector, most jobs growth will be sectors such as health and social care, tourism, retail and construction.

1.12 Around 500 net new jobs will be in sectors requiring new employment premises such as office, factories and warehouses (falling under use classes B1, B2 and B8 of the use classes order). Considering the jobs forecast and the past trends in take up of employment land, the study identifies a need for 43 hectares of new employment land development (use classes B1, B2 and B8).

1.13 Between 2014 and 2017 there was an increase in 6.3 hectares of employment land, and based on existing planning consents there is projected to be a net loss of 0.2 hectares. Like housing, this Local Plan has allocated more employment land than is needed (53.6 hectares are planned to come forward compared to the need for 43 hectares). It is not expected that the majority of land on the larger allocations in south Lowestoft and Ellough will be developed within the lifetime of the Local Plan. However, it is expected there will be some development on these sites. Like housing, it is necessary to allocate slightly more land than is required to provide choice and flexibility and in case some sites do not come forward.

1.14 The Retail and Leisure Needs Assessment (2016) estimates that by 2032, there will be a need for at least another 2,197sqm of food store development and 11,063sqm of non-food types of retail development. However, the study states that forecasts of need beyond five years need to be treated with caution due to the uncertainties in expenditure growth forecasts and market share beyond this time-frame.

1.15 The study forecasts need based on population growth and forecasts of expenditure on food and non-food products. It takes into account the amount of shopping undertaken on the internet and the leakage to other centres such as Norwich.

1.16 In the five year period there is no need for new non-food retail and only a need for 850sqm of food store development. Since the study was completed planning permission has been given for a large out of centre retail warehouse complex in south Lowestoft comprising 4,090sqm of non-food retail and an Aldi food store of 1,155sqm. Planning permission has also been given for a replacement Lidl store in north Lowestoft providing a gain of 111sqm of food floorspace and 27sqm of non-food floorspace (which has recently completed). These commitments mean that there is a remaining need for 6,946sqm of non-food retail over the plan period and 1,564sqm for food store retail development over the plan period (deep discounter floorspace such as that provided by Aldi and Lidl does not have the same expenditure per sqm as other superstores, therefore only counts approximately half towards the convenience need). The study also identifies the need for more restaurants and cafés, hotels, gyms and a new multiplex cinema to support a growing population.

Location of Growth

Figure 4 - Distribution of new housing

figure 4

© Crown copyright [and database rights] 2019 OS100042052

Table 1 - Total housing growth 2014-2036 by settlement

Settlement

Total housing growth 2014-2036

Lowestoft Area (Lowestoft, Carlton Colville, Corton, Gisleham, Oulton and Oulton Broad)

5,206

Beccles and Worlingham

1,458

Bungay

557

Halesworth and Holton

762

Southwold and Reydon

387

Rural areas

865

Total

9,235

See Appendix 3 - Housing and Employment Land Summary and Trajectory for detailed figures© Crown copyright [and database rights] 2019 OS100042052

1.17 National planning policy states that development should be distributed in a way which reduces the need to travel, promotes regeneration of brownfield sites, promotes and retains existing services and supports rural areas. When considering how development is distributed, it is also necessary to consider the effects on existing infrastructure and the environment.

1.18 The distribution of growth strategy detailed in Policy WLP1.1 aims to ensure the vision for the Local Plan is delivered alongside the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework.

1.19 By allocating just over half of future development to Lowestoft, the strategy reflects the role of Lowestoft as the largest town in the District and its potential for future economic growth. It enables a continuing focus on regeneration of the central areas of the town, whilst allowing for some sustainable extensions for the town. With the majority of development allocated to the largest settlement, the need for travel should be minimised. This strategy also recognises Lowestoft Town Centre as the main town centre within the District catering for the town's needs and some of the needs of the rest of the District.

1.20 The strategy allows for reasonable levels of development in the market towns. All of Waveney's market towns have good employment opportunities, a good range of services and facilities and attractive town centres making them sustainable locations for growth. Beccles and Worlingham as the second largest built up area in Waveney is allocated a greater proportion of growth. This growth will help support and enhance the services and facilities in the town and support the town centre as the second largest retail centre within the District. Halesworth and Holton are also allocated higher proportions of growth reflecting Halesworth's status as a market town with good transport links, provision of employment facilities, shops and other services and facilities. Bungay and Southwold and Reydon are proposed to take more modest levels of growth, reflecting the environmental constraints to growth around the towns.

1.21 Importantly, the strategy reflects the need to support the numerous villages across Waveney. The strategy therefore allocates a more significant level of growth to villages than has been experienced in previous Local Plans. This reflects the fact that the sustainability circumstances of villages has changed with more people being able to work from home and using the internet for services such as shopping and banking. It also reflects the fact that without development, the population of villages will decline due to the trend of increasingly smaller households. More significant levels of development will allow people with a local connection or those who work in the rural areas to live in the rural areas. New housing should also help support existing services and facilities in the rural areas such as small rural schools and pubs and help extend super-fast broadband into these areas.

1.22 Employment land development (use classes B1, B2 and B8) and retail and leisure development is concentrated on the towns with a distribution reflecting the housing growth. This enables some balance between jobs and homes and retail provision. Employment land growth has been skewed towards Lowestoft and Beccles where the Employment Land Needs Assessment identified the greatest potential demand for growth. The distribution for retail growth also reflects the advice on distribution contained within the Retail and Leisure Needs Assessment. This balance will help to reduce the need to travel and therefore create more sustainable patterns of development.

1.23 The site allocations in this Local Plan together with existing commitments, in the form of completions since 2014 and extant planning permissions and Neighbourhood Plan allocations, will deliver the level of growth and distribution strategy set out in Policy WLP1.1. It is likely that in addition to allocations and existing commitments there will be additional housing development in the District from windfall planning applications in accordance with Policies WLP1.2, WLP8.6, WLP8.7 and WLP8.11 and Neighbourhood Plans.

1.24 Based on evidence in the Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment and given that the potential for development within Settlement Boundaries will be proportional to the settlement size, windfall development coming forward from planning applications in accordance with Policy WLP1.2 is unlikely to skew the distribution strategy. Therefore the percentages detailed in the policy will not need to be routinely considered in the development management process but will be kept under review through annual monitoring.

1.25 Policies WLP1.1 and WLP1.2 allow Neighbourhood Plans and Neighbourhood Development Orders to allocate and permit additional land for development outside settlement boundaries which will have a greater risk of skewing the overall strategy if not appropriately managed. Therefore, these policies require that new allocations in Neighbourhood Plans and development permitted through Neighbourhood Development Orders do not undermine the overall distribution strategy.

1.26 At present it is not clear what the potential for development is through Policy WLP8.7, therefore this policy also requires consideration of whether a proposal would cumulatively undermine the distribution of housing in Policy WLP1.1 and Policy WLP7.1.

1.27 Appendix 3 of this Local Plan summarises the amount of housing for each settlement expected to be delivered over the plan period and when it will be delivered. Appendix 3 also details the amount of employment land allocated in each area.

Policy WLP1.1 - Scale and Location of Growth

In the period 2014 to 2036, the Council will:

      • Make provision for the delivery of a minimum of 8,223 dwellings in Waveney (374 per year).
      • Maximise opportunities for economic growth, with the aim of achieving a minimum of 5,000 additional jobs in Waveney. To deliver this, make provision for:
        • 43 hectares of employment land for B1/B2/B8 uses.
        • 2,200m2 (net) of convenience (food) and 11,000m2 (net) of comparison (non-food) retail floorspace.

Any shortfalls in housing delivery against the above target will be recovered over the entire plan period. As such, when calculating a five year supply requirement the Council will apportion any past shortfall against the target over the remaining plan period.

In order to sustainably deliver the growth targets set out above, new residential development will be distributed across the District approximately as follows:

      • Lowestoft Area - 56% of housing growth
      • Beccles and Worlingham - 16% of housing growth
      • Halesworth and Holton - 8% of housing growth
      • Bungay - 6% of housing growth
      • Southwold and Reydon - 4% of housing growth
      • Rural Area - 10% of housing growth (See Policy WLP7.1 for more detail on the distribution across rural villages)

Employment land development will be focused mainly in Lowestoft and Beccles and distributed approximately as follows:

      • Lowestoft Area - 60% of employment land development
      • Beccles - 25% of employment land development
      • Other Market Towns and Rural Areas - 15% of employment land development

60-70% of retail and leisure development will be focused in Lowestoft Town Centre as the District's main town centre. Beccles as the next largest town centre should accommodate approximately 15% of retail and leisure development. The remaining proportion of development should come from within District Centres (Oulton Broad and Kirkley), Local Centres (including new Local Centres on large housing allocations) and other Market Towns Town Centres commensurate with the level of housing and employment growth.

Provision has been made in this Local Plan through site allocations and policies to deliver this scale and strategic distribution of growth. Neighbourhood Plans can allocate additional growth to meet local needs at a scale which does not undermine the overall distribution strategy.

 

Key Diagram

Figure 5 - Key Diagram

figure 5

© Crown copyright [and database rights] 2019 OS100042052Source: Natural England: Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast

Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development and Settlement Boundaries

1.28 Central to local planning is delivery of sustainable development. Resolution 42/187 of the United Nations General Assembly defined sustainable development as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The UK Sustainable Development Strategy Securing the Future sets out five 'guiding principles' of sustainable development:

      • living within the planet's environmental limits;
      • ensuring a strong, healthy and just society;
      • achieving a sustainable economy;
      • promoting good governance; and
      • using sound science responsibly.

1.29 Paragraphs 18 to 219 of the National Planning Policy Framework, taken as a whole, constitute the Government's view of what sustainable development in England means in practice for the planning system.

1.30 The Council considers that the strategy, policies and site allocations set out in this Local Plan will achieve sustainable development in Waveney.

1.31 At the heart of the National Planning Policy Framework is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. This means that Local Plans should meet the development needs of the area unless the adverse impacts of doing so would outweigh the benefits when assessed against the Framework. For decision making, the Framework states that development which accords with the Local Plan should be approved without delay. Where the Local Plan is absent, silent or relevant policies are out-of-date, the Framework states that permission should be granted unless the adverse impacts of doing so would outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the Framework.

1.32 This Local Plan makes provision for more than enough development to meet needs over the plan period and therefore satisfies the presumption in favour of sustainable development for plan making. In order for the vision and strategy to be successful, it is necessary that the Local Plan controls and limits development in certain locations. The Local Plan also needs to give clear signals to developers, the community and infrastructure providers about where development will take place and where it will not take place. Furthermore, to meet objectives on preserving natural resources and the countryside, the Local Plan must ensure undeveloped land in the countryside is not unnecessarily lost to development in excess of the needs accommodated by the Local Plan. Settlement boundaries are a useful and positive tool in meeting these objectives.

1.33 Settlement boundaries define the built up area of settlements, and subject to the other policies of this Local Plan, indicate where development for housing, employment and town centre development would be suitable. They therefore allow for flexibility in the Local Plan by potentially allowing more development than is planned for by the allocation of specific sites, at the same time as avoiding the loss of further undeveloped land in the countryside and further urban sprawl. Limiting development beyond settlement boundaries lowers land values in these locations by removing the 'hope value' for high value developments such as market housing. This allows the Council to develop 'exception site policies' which allow for certain types of development such as 100% affordable housing schemes or schemes for the relocation of homes at risk from coastal erosion which would not otherwise be viable if they were competing for land with market housing.

1.34 Policy WLP1.2 defines settlement boundaries and restricts the development of new residential, employment and retail uses outside of settlement boundaries.

Policy WLP1.2 - Settlement Boundaries

Settlement boundaries are defined on the Policies Map. Land which is outside of settlement boundaries and allocations in the Local Plan and Neighbourhood Plans is considered as the Countryside.

New residential1, employment2 and town centre development3 will not be permitted in the Countryside except where specific policies in this Local Plan indicate otherwise.

Neighbourhood Plans can make minor adjustments to settlement boundaries and allocate additional land for residential, employment and town centre development providing that the adjustments and allocations do not undermine the overall distribution strategy outlined in Policy WLP1.1 and would not be contrary to the other policies of this Local Plan.

Neighbourhood Development Orders can permit development outside of settlement boundaries providing that the overall distribution strategy outlined in Policy WLP1.1 is not undermined and the development would not be contrary to the other policies of this Local Plan.

1 New residential development falling within use classes C3, and C4 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended). For the avoidance of doubt this does not include dwellings restricted by condition for use as holiday lets.
2 Employment uses falling within use classes B1, B2 and B8 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).
3 Retail development (including warehouse clubs and factory outlet centres); leisure, entertainment facilities, the more intensive sport and recreation uses (including cinemas, restaurants, drive-through restaurants, bars and pubs, night-clubs, casinos, health and fitness centres, indoor bowling centres, and bingo halls); offices; and arts and culture (including theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls, hotels and conference facilities).

 Infrastructure

1.35 The provision of new and improved infrastructure is essential to ensure the growth planned in the District is sustainable. Infrastructure includes a wide range of facilities and services including schools, medical facilities, community facilities, open space, roads, railways, cycle paths and flood defences.

1.36 New growth can place extra pressure on existing infrastructure and create a need for new services and facilities.

1.37 The Council has produced a number of evidence bases to support the Local Plan, including:

      • Local Plan Infrastructure Study (2018) which assessed what infrastructure is needed to support the growth outlined in the Local Plan.
      • Waveney Water Cycle Study (2017) outlines the water infrastructure needs to support development.
      • Waveney Local Plan: Suffolk County Transport Model (SCTM) - Preferred Option Traffic Forecasting Report 2018) identifies areas of the network where transport mitigation measures may be needed to accommodate growth.
      • Waveney Open Space Needs Assessment (2015) and the Green Infrastructure Strategy (2015) outline needs for open space and green infrastructure across the District.

1.38 The infrastructure needs identified for each town and village are outlined in the section of the Local Plan relevant to that settlement. Appendix 1 of this document provides a summary of all the infrastructure needed in the District and how and when it is expected to be delivered to support growth.

1.39 There are three strategic pieces of infrastructure which are expected to be delivered during the plan period. These are the Lake Lothing Third Crossing, the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project and the Beccles Southern Relief Road. The Lake Lothing Third Crossing will link the A12 via Waveney Drive on the south side of Lake Lothing to Denmark Road and Peto Way on the north side of Lake Lothing. It is expected to cost nearly £92 million of which £73 million has been secured from the Department for Transport. The Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project involves reducing flood risk from all sources in Lowestoft through a range of measures. The Beccles Southern Relief Road is now under construction and is intended to improve the centre of Beccles by diverting heavy goods vehicles and commercial traffic away from the centre, and improve connections to the Ellough industrial estates, enhancing the potential for business growth.

1.40 Outside of the District there are plans to upgrade the A12 including a bypass of the four villages of Marlesford, Little Glemham, Stratford St Andrew and Farnham. This project will increase accessibility to Waveney from Ipswich and help support the development of Sizewell C. Also outside the District there are plans to make significant improvements to the A47 which links Lowestoft to Peterborough via Great Yarmouth and Norwich. Some of these works include improvements to junctions in Great Yarmouth. The Council will work with partners to ensure the delivery of these key projects both inside and outside of the District and ensure that following completion they are a success and bring significant benefits to the District.

1.41 The A146 which links Lowestoft to Beccles and onwards to Norwich is expected to see significant increases in traffic. Although there are no plans in place at present, the Council will support future plans for improvements to this route including a bypass of the 'Barnby Bends' between Lowestoft and Beccles.

1.42 New development has a responsibility to contribute towards the cost of new infrastructure. Infrastructure is often funded by developers either through section 106 planning obligations or the Community Infrastructure Levy. Section 106 planning obligations are bespoke agreements made between the Council and the developer where the developer either delivers new infrastructure or contributes money to fund infrastructure to meet the need that development generates. The Community Infrastructure Levy is a standard per sqm charge on most types of new development which the Council pools together to deliver necessary infrastructure.

1.43 Waveney has had a Community Infrastructure Levy in place since August 2013, and is currently the main way in which the Council collects funds from development. The rates of the Levy are set out in the Council's Charging Schedule. The Council intends to retain the Levy for most infrastructure funding. The Council will however, need to review the Levy, particularly with respect to the larger sites allocated in the Local Plan. This is because these sites will have on-site infrastructure which will be more effectively secured through section 106 planning obligations.

1.44 Policy WLP1.3 sets out the strategic approach to infrastructure delivery across the District. The policy seeks to ensure that developments will be well supported by new and improved infrastructure.

1.45 Most needs generated by new development will necessitate improvements to existing infrastructure rather than completely new provision which will serve multiple developments. Therefore, most infrastructure provision will take place outside of development sites and this infrastructure will be funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy. Other off-site infrastructure which only addresses the need arising from that development, for example site specific highway works, will generally be secured through section 106 planning obligations or section 278 highway agreements.

1.46 Housing sites of 1 hectare or more are generally large enough to provide useable open space on site. The provision of new open space on site increases the opportunities and accessibility for play, physical activity and recreation which contributes significantly towards the health and well-being of the population. This will be secured through planning conditions and/or section 106 planning obligations.

1.47 Other on-site infrastructure is only likely to be necessary in much larger developments where a new primary school may be needed for example. However, there are specific local needs where smaller development can enable the delivery of locally needed infrastructure on site. Examples include new community centres or village halls. On-site infrastructure which addresses the need only arising from that development will generally be secured through section 106 planning obligations. Appendix 1 provides an indication of the type of developer contribution required for each infrastructure project identified as necessary to support the Plan.

1.48 Sustainable transport infrastructure and considerations are dealt with specifically under Policy WLP8.21.

1.49 Effective telecommunications, including broadband and mobile phone signals are essential for economic development. However, coverage remains poor in some areas, particularly outside of the towns. In these locations speeds tend to be slow with maximum speeds rarely exceeding 10mbs and many areas struggling to achieve speeds of 3mbs. New development, particularly in the rural areas, presents an opportunity to improve telecommunications. Policy WLP1.3 sets out a proactive approach to improving telecommunications infrastructure and requires all new development to provide the fastest possible broadband to premises within the development.

 

Policy WLP1.3 - Infrastructure

The Council will work with partners including, Suffolk County Council, Parish and Town Councils, Highways England, Environment Agency, Anglian Water and the Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure that the growth outlined in this Local Plan is supported by necessary infrastructure. The Council will work with partners to ensure the timely delivery and the success of:

      • The Lake Lothing Third Crossing
      • The Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project
      • The Beccles Southern Relief Road
      • A12 improvements between Lowestoft and Ipswich
      • A47 improvements between Lowestoft and Peterborough
      • Improvements to the A146 between Lowestoft and Norwich.

Developers must consider the infrastructure requirements needed to support and service the proposed development. All development will be expected to contribute towards infrastructure provision to meet the needs generated.

Off-site infrastructure will generally be funded by the Community Infrastructure Levy. On-site infrastructure will generally be secured and funded through section 106 planning obligations.

Open space should be provided on residential development sites of 1 hectare or more in size and be based on the needs identified in the Waveney Green Infrastructure Strategy and Open Space Needs Assessment.

New primary schools should be provided on sites where there is inadequate capacity within local catchment schools and there is no potential to expand the local schools to accommodate the pupils arising from the development. New primary schools should be provided in locations which are central and within walking distance to the catchments they will serve.

Development will not be permitted where it would have a significant effect on the capacity of existing infrastructure, and therefore potential risks to the natural environment which cannot be mitigated. Specifically, developers should provide evidence to ensure there is capacity in the water recycling centre and the wastewater network in time to serve the development. Where there is no capacity in the water recycling centre, development may need to be phased in order to allow improvement works to take place.

The Council will work with the telecommunications industry to maximise access to super-fast broadband, wireless hotspots and improved mobile signals for all residents and businesses. All new developments must provide the most viable high-speed broadband connection. If a fibre connection cannot currently be provided, infrastructure within the site should be designed to allow for fibre provision in the future