FOI Request Local Plan 2031 - East Sutton Courtenay Site – Application P/15/V2353/O

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Vale of White Horse District Council should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Vale of White Horse District Council,

The SHLAA identified SUTC07 (SHLAA Proforma appendix 22 LP Part 1 dated 22 Feb 2014) as a suitable site for development, but made no mention of the known risks of flooding, odours or of the potential contamination of the site being next to uncapped and unlined landfill cells with known toxic contents and methane gas emissions
Subsequently in the Local Plan(LP) Part 1 2031 this site was included as a Strategic Site despite the environmental health caveats at Page 43 of the LP 2031 Housing Delivery Update (Ref A).
At Section 4.24 of the LP 2031 General Policies for Development it stated clearly that “The Council will aim to keep apart housing and other developments sensitive to pollution from potentially polluting uses where they cannot reasonably co-exist. “
FOI REQUEST
This FOI request is for
a. The risk assessment supporting the decision to designate the East SC site as a strategic site in the Local Plan in view of the known risks and their potential impact on the viability and deliverability of the site. This should include:
(1) The stringent assessment of the site required under Appendix 27 (methodology) of the SHLAA against the criteria of access, infrastructure, ground conditions, flood and hazardous risks and pollution or contamination.
(2) The details and conclusions of the evidence testing and the sustainability appraisal.

b. All the emails, letters, meeting notes and papers concerning the Vale’s decision to designate it as a Strategic Site in view of the known risks outlined at Ref A, including:
(1) Consultations with the EA, OCC and FCC on the risks of contamination from the adjacent uncapped and unlined landfill cells (including methane gas risks) and of flooding both from the landfill and as a result of the high ground water levels on the site.
(2) All submissions to senior officers and councillors explaining why it was possible for the site to be designated as a strategic site and to encourage a developer to build on it, despite:
(a) it being contrary to the above general policy “to keep apart housing and other development sensitive to pollution from potentially polluting uses”
(b) the outstanding need in the LP 2031 Ref A to:
‘ Investigate potential noise and odour impacts from the nearby landfill operations and mitigate (if required) to offset any adverse impacts’ and to
‘ Undertake contaminated land investigations to ensure that the land is safe and suitable for the intended use. (As site is in proximity to the Hobbyhorse Lane North and South landfill uses)’.

c. All emails letters papers and meeting notes with Redrow concerning the risks identified both in the LP 2031 and subsequently in the ongoing planning process.

I look forward to your response in relation to the above.

Yours faithfully

Teresa White

FOI Vale, Vale of White Horse District Council

Dear Ms White

Thank you for your Environmental Information Regulation request which was
received by the Vale of White Horse District Council on: 09 April 2017.
Please accept this email as confirmation that your request has been
received and forwarded to the relevant department and a response will be
sent to you within 20 working days.
The deadline for this will be: 11 May 2017.
The reference number for this request is:17/27 Vale.
I trust that this email is sufficient to assure you that your request is
being dealt with. However, should you have any queries in the meantime,
please do not hesitate to contact the FOI team at [Vale of White Horse District Council request email]
Regards
FOI Team
 
Policy & Partnerships
South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils
 
Direct line: 01235 422371
[1]www.southoxon.gov.uk 
[2]www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Teresa White <[FOI #400027 email]>
Sent: 09 April 2017 13:52
To: FOI Vale
Subject: Freedom of Information request - FOI Request Local Plan 2031 -
East Sutton Courtenay Site – Application P/15/V2353/O
 
Dear Vale of White Horse District Council,

The SHLAA identified SUTC07 (SHLAA Proforma appendix 22 LP Part 1 dated 22
Feb 2014) as a suitable site for development, but made no mention of the
known risks of flooding, odours or of the potential contamination of the
site being next to uncapped and unlined landfill cells with known toxic
contents and methane gas emissions
Subsequently in the Local Plan(LP) Part 1 2031 this site was included as a
Strategic Site despite the environmental health caveats at Page 43 of the
LP 2031 Housing Delivery Update (Ref A).
At Section 4.24 of the LP 2031 General Policies for Development it stated
clearly that “The Council will aim to keep apart housing and other
developments sensitive to pollution from potentially polluting uses where
they cannot reasonably co-exist. “
FOI REQUEST
This FOI request is for
a.      The risk assessment supporting the decision to designate the East
SC site as a strategic site in the Local Plan in view of the known risks
and their potential impact on the viability and deliverability of the
site. This should include:
(1)     The stringent assessment of the site required under Appendix 27
(methodology) of the SHLAA against the criteria of access, infrastructure,
ground conditions, flood and hazardous risks and pollution or
contamination.
(2)     The details and conclusions of the evidence testing and the
sustainability appraisal.

b.      All the emails, letters, meeting notes and papers concerning the
Vale’s decision to designate it as a Strategic Site in view of the known
risks outlined at Ref A, including:
(1)     Consultations with the EA, OCC and FCC on the risks of
contamination from the adjacent uncapped and unlined landfill cells
(including methane gas risks) and of flooding both from the landfill and
as a result of the high ground water levels on the site.
(2)     All submissions to senior officers and councillors explaining why
it was possible for the site to be designated as a strategic site and to
encourage a developer to build on it, despite:
(a)     it being contrary to the above general policy “to keep apart
housing and other development sensitive to pollution from potentially
polluting uses”
(b)     the outstanding need in the LP 2031 Ref A to:
‘ Investigate potential noise and odour impacts from the nearby landfill
operations  and mitigate (if required) to offset any adverse impacts’  and
to  
‘ Undertake contaminated land investigations to ensure that the land is
safe and suitable for the intended use. (As site is in proximity to the
Hobbyhorse Lane North and South landfill uses)’.

c.      All emails letters papers and meeting notes with Redrow concerning
the risks identified both in the LP 2031 and subsequently in the ongoing
planning process.

I look forward to your response in relation to the above.

Yours faithfully

Teresa White

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Becky Moore,

5 Attachments

Dear Ms White

 

Thank you for your request for information under the Environmental
Information Regulations (2004), as follows:

 

“a.      The risk assessment supporting the decision to designate the East
SC site as a strategic site in the Local Plan in view of the known risks
and their potential impact on the viability and deliverability of the
site. This should include:

(1)     The stringent assessment of the site required under Appendix 27
(methodology) of the SHLAA against the criteria of access, infrastructure,
ground conditions, flood and hazardous risks and pollution or
contamination.

(2)     The details and conclusions of the evidence testing and the
sustainability appraisal.

 

b.      All the emails, letters, meeting notes and papers concerning the
Vale’s decision to designate it as a Strategic Site in view of the known
risks outlined at Ref A, including:

(1)     Consultations with the EA, OCC and FCC on the risks of
contamination from the adjacent uncapped and unlined landfill cells
(including methane gas risks) and of flooding both from the landfill and
as a result of the high ground water levels on the site.

(2)     All submissions to senior officers and councillors explaining why
it was possible for the site to be designated as a strategic site and to
encourage a developer to build on it, despite:

(a)     it being contrary to the above general policy “to keep apart
housing and other development sensitive to pollution from potentially
polluting uses”

(b)     the outstanding need in the LP 2031 Ref A to:

‘ Investigate potential noise and odour impacts from the nearby landfill
operations  and mitigate (if required) to offset any adverse impacts’  and
to  

‘ Undertake contaminated land investigations to ensure that the land is
safe and suitable for the intended use. (As site is in proximity to the
Hobbyhorse Lane North and South landfill uses)’.

 

c.      All emails letters papers and meeting notes with Redrow concerning
the risks identified both in the LP 2031 and subsequently in the ongoing
planning process”

 

Vale of White Horse District Council Response:

 

The East of Sutton Courtenay site is included within the Adopted Vale of
White Horse Local Plan 2031 Part 1.  The Local Plan 2031 was Adopted
following an Examination of the Plan which included vigorous detailed
testing, informal consultations, Sustainability Appraisal and public
consultations which received over 4000 representations.

 

The East of Sutton Courtenay site was allocated in the Local Plan 2031
Part, 1 following significant testing of sites. The process and outcomes
is summarised in the Strategic Sites Topic Paper 3 which can be accessed
on the Council’s website [1]HERE. This included assessing the sites
against a number of criteria, assessing site constraints, viability of
sites and whether the site was available.  This Topic Paper provides the
methodology of the site selection process, including how site constraints
were considered (pages 5 to 12) and the overall conclusion on which sites
were allocated, including the East of Sutton Courtenay site.  The site was
originally proposed for allocation as part of the public consultation
“Housing Delivery Update” which took place in February 2014.  Further
information on the details and conclusions of the evidence testing at that
stage is contained in the Housing Delivery Update Supporting Paper, which
can be accessed on the Council’s website [2]HERE.

 

Site specific detail for the site East of Sutton Courtenay can be found in
Appendix 5 of the supporting paper.  This is a separate document which can
be accessed [3]HERE (see pages 52-53).  

 

The Sustainability Appraisal can be accessed [4]HERE and appendices
[5]HERE. The detailed conclusions on the East of Sutton Courtenay site are
available on pages 71 and 138-140 of the main report and 28 and 44-66 of
the appendices.

 

A number of technical evidence base studies were undertaken to assist in
these conclusions.  These are also available on our website, including the
Water Cycle Study which can be accessed [6]HERE and the strategic flood
risk assessment which can be accessed [7]HERE

 

As part of the detailed testing of sites, the Planning Policy team
consulted a number of consultees including Oxfordshire County Council and
the Environment Agency, which is detailed in the Strategic Sites Topic
Paper 3.  The Council received one response in relation to the location of
the adjacent landfill site regarding the east of Sutton Courtenay site,
from Oxfordshire County Council (August 2013), stating the site is
“adjacent to FCCs Sutton Courtenay landfill, access may be required for
borehole monitoring.” The Environment Agency did not provide any comments
on the landfill or contamination but did highlight the site’s location in
Flood Zone 1.  The EA also noted that “there is a small area to the north
east and south east of the site which is susceptible to surface water
flooding, this would need to be investigated within the site specific HRA,
and the appropriate mitigation measures implemented.” No response was
received from FCC.  The Council also undertook internal consultation with
specialist internal council officers.  The planning policy team received
comments from specialist planning officers highlighting potential impacts
from the landfill site and whether it is desirable to locate housing next
to a landfill site. The planning policy team also received comments from
an Environmental Health Officer stating "Site 33 - Sutton Courtenay -
Noise odour and dust from nearby landfill and associated operations may
have an adverse impact on this site. The site lies adjacent to Hobbyshore
Lane North landfill and close proximity to Hobbyshore Lane South landfill
- the developer would have to undertake adequate contaminated land
investigations to ensure that the land is safe and suitable for the
intended use."  The drafts of the Plan included requirements and
mitigation in relation to the landfill site, reflecting these comments.

 

Alongside the consultation explained above, the production of the Local
Plan 2031 Part 1 has also involved many rounds of formal consultation, as
required by national legislation.  The Council have sought representations
from all statutory bodies, stakeholders, town and parish councils, and the
general public on the Housing Delivery Update Local Plan (21 February 2014
and 4 April 2014): the Publication Version of Local Plan 2031 Part 1:
Strategic Sites and Policies (7 November 2014 and 19 December 2014) and
evidence base studies, providing the detailed evidence testing of sites. 
This includes Oxfordshire County Council and the Environment Agency, with
their representations available on the Council’s website, as follows:

 

[8]Environment Agency

 

[9]OCC (Bev Hindle)

 

[10]OCC (Lynette Hughes)

 

Alongside the Publication Version of the Local Plan 2031 Part 1, the
Council published a Regulation 22 Consultation Statement. This Statement
documents the consultation that has taken place and the key issues that
arose through consultation. In relation to East of Sutton Courtenay Site
and the landfill site, it states the proximity of the site to the land was
raised (page 72).  This can be accessed on the website:

 

[11]Regulation 22 Consultation Statement

 

[12]Regulation 22 Appendices

 

[13]Appendix 3: Summary of Representations

 

The evidence identified above informed officer recommendations on sites to
be allocated within Local Plan 2031 Part 1.  The Local Plan 2031 Part 1
did go through the democratic sign off process and the key decisions are
available to view on our website.  These include:

o February 2014 – “Local Plan – to agree further information for public
consultation”, available [14]HERE
o October 2014 – “Draft Local Plan to 2031” – available [15]HERE
o April 2016 – “Local Plan Part 1 – to approve responses to the
Inspector’s invitation to submit suggestions for proposed
modifications to the plan following the examination hearings”,
available [16]HERE
o July 2016 – “Local Plan Part 1 – to approve modifications for public
consultation”, available [17]HERE
o December 2016 – “Local Plan Part 1 – to recommend Council to adopted
part 1 of the local plan”, available [18]HERE

 

 

Following Submission of the Local Plan 2031 Part to the Secretary of
State, an independent Examination in Public took place with an
independently appointed Inspector, Mr Malcolm Rivett.  The hearing session
in relation to Matter 9 Strategy for East Vale Sub-Area, took place on
Tuesday 9 February, which included discussion on the East of Sutton
Courtenay site.  Those who participated are listed in the Programme,
available on the website [19]HERE.

 

The Council received the Inspector’s Report regarding the Local Plan 2031
Part 1 on 30 November 2016.  He concluded that subject to a number of main
modification, the Plan is sound.  The Local Plan 2021, incorporating these
main modification, was adopted on 14 December, 2016 (Item 54 of the Full
Council meeting – “Vale Local Plan Part 1: 2031”, available [20]HERE.  In
relation to East of Sutton Courtenay site and the landfill site, the
Inspector provides his conclusion at paragraph 131.

 

All evidence base documents, studies and statements which informed the
Local Plan 2031 Part 1, are available on the Council's website at the
following locations: 

 

[21]http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-...

 

[22]http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/services-...

 

I hope you find this information helpful, however, if you are dissatisfied
with the way your request for information has been handled, you can
request a review within the next 40 working days by emailing
[23][Vale of White Horse District Council request email].

 

Many thanks and kind regards

 

Becky Moore

 

Business Support Officer

 

Planning Service

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils

email: [24][email address

visit us at:

[25]www.southoxon.gov.uk and [26]www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk

 

Customer Service: 01235 422600

 

[27]cid:image001.jpg@01D073AB.E7B783F0

 

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Dear Becky Moore,

Thank you for your response

Yours sincerely,

Teresa White

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