In planning terms exactly what is a "sustainable" village?

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HARROGATE TRUST FOR WILDLIFE PROTECTION

According to planning law, national and local policy, what are the exact and full conditions, for Harrogate Borough Council's Local Planning Authority to accept, that a village is "sustainable" and do villages with such limited bus services not come within the definition of being "sustainable", when they cannot transport residents to places of work and study, before about 10:00am five days each week and do not operate at all on Sundays?

John Barker.
Hon. Secretary.

Foi, Harrogate Borough Council

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Harrogate Borough Council

Freedom of Information

 

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David Clothier, Harrogate Borough Council

Dear Mr Barker

 

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST

 

In your email which we received on 25^th April 2019, you asked for the
following information:

 

According to planning law, national and local policy, what are the exact
and full conditions, for Harrogate Borough Council's Local Planning
Authority to accept, that a village is "sustainable" and do villages with
such limited bus services not come within the definition of being
"sustainable", when they cannot transport residents to places of work and
study, before about 10:00am five days each week and do not operate at all
on Sundays?

 

 

In response:

 

Your request has been considered under the Environmental Information
Regulations 2004 as we consider the subject matter to relate to
information that has an effect on the elements of the environment. 

 

The government’s national planning policies for England are set out in the
National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (Feb 2019); this document is
available from the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government
(MHCLG) website. Paragraph 2 of the NPPF identifies that planning law
requires that applications for planning permission be determined in
accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations
indicate otherwise. It goes on to add that the NPPF is a material
consideration in planning decisions.

 

The current development plan for Harrogate district comprises the
Harrogate District Core Strategy (2009), saved policies of the Harrogate
District Local Plan (2001) and Local Plan Selective Alteration (2004);
these documents can be accessed at:
[1]https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/info/20101/....
For applications in the Ripon neighbourhood area, the development plan
also includes the Ripon City Neighbourhood Plan (2019), available at:
[2]https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/info/20103/....
The council is preparing a new Local Plan that will replace the current
Core Strategy, Local Plan and Selective Alteration. Due to the advanced
stage the council has reached in preparing this document, it is also a
material consideration.

 

The planning system is required to contribute to the achievement of
sustainable development. This has been a long-standing aim of national
policies for well over a decade. The NPPF (2019) discusses sustainable
development in paragraphs seven to ten. Importantly it explains that
sustainable development has economic and social objectives as well as an
environmental objective, and that achieving sustainable development
requires all three objectives to be pursued in mutually supportive ways.

 

The question of whether a location is, in principle, a sustainable
location for development is dealt with in local planning policies. The
following information sets out the existing and emerging local policies,
along with the important context provided by national planning policy.

 

Core Strategy policies SG1, SG2 and SG3 are the relevant adopted policies.
Policy SG2 sets out a hierarchy of the district settlements based on their
ability to accommodate development sustainably. Further information about
how the hierarchy has been derived is set out in appendix 5, this includes
an explanation of the level of services/facilities required for a village
to be included in the hierarchy, as well as the level of public transport
provision required. The approach places great emphasis on accessibility by
public transport being a pre-requisite of a sustainable location, which
was an aim of national policy in place at the time.

 

Since the adoption of the Core Strategy national policies in this area
changed on the adoption of the first NPPF in 2012 (available at
[3]https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov....
). Taken as a whole NPPF (2012) puts greater emphasis on taking a positive
approach to sustainable new development in rural areas, for example, see
paragraphs 28 and 55. Importantly the document also moves away from such
strict emphasis on public transport accessibility in rural areas,
paragraph 29. As a result, the Core Strategy hierarchy is no longer
considered up-to-date and is balanced against national policy when
decisions are made.

 

The emerging Local Plan includes a settlement hierarchy based on access to
services and facilities that is compliant with the requirements of NPPF
(2012). This is set out in draft policy GS2 alongside the growth strategy.
The most recent version of this plan, the Local Plan Publication Draft
2018 is available at
[4]https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/info/20101/....
A detailed explanation of the proposed hierarchy can be found in the
Settlement Hierarchy Background Paper 2018, available at:
[5]https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/downloads/f...
. Within this document section 3 sets out the requirements for inclusion
in each tier of the hierarchy. While the provision of public transport is
not a consideration within the hierarchy, the emerging growth strategy
still aims to support public transport provision and accessibility by
ensuring that the majority of homes in the plan will be located within key
public transport corridors, as set out in policy GS2.

 

In response to concerns raised at the hearing sessions associated with the
independent examination of the emerging plan, the council intend to modify
the proposed settlement hierarchy by merging the primary and secondary
village tiers. The resulting policy can be viewed in a Further Information
Note submitted to the examination by the council:
[6]https://www.harrogate.gov.uk/downloads/f...

 

 

If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled,
please contact - 

 

Freedom of Information Officer, PO Box 787, Harrogate, HG1 9RW

 

or email [7][Harrogate Borough Council request email]

 

The Council has an internal review procedure.  If your complaint is about
the decision which has been made you will usually be entitled to have your
case reviewed by a senior officer from a department which has not been
involved in the decision previously. Your request for internal review must
be received by the Council within 40 working days from the date that the
response to your initial request is issued.

 

If, after their decision, you are still not happy, you may appeal to- 

 

The Information Commissioner

Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113

website: [8]https://ico.org.uk/

 

For the avoidance of doubt the provision of council (and other) officer
names and contact details under FOI or EIR does not give consent to
receive direct marketing via any media and expressly does not constitute a
‘soft opt-in’ under PECR.

 

 

David Clothier

Service Improvement & Development Manager

Place shaping & Economic Growth

Harrogate Borough Council

Civic Centre

St Lukes Avenue

HARROGATE

HG1 2AE

Email – [9][email address]

Web – [10]www.harrogate.gov.uk

Tel – 01423 500600 ext.58641

 

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Dear David Clothier,

The reply here is to the FoI request entitled,
'Is "amphibian friendly drainage" lethal?'

It has arrived under the title of,
'In planning terms exactly what is a "sustainable" village?

That is a different FoI request.

So that reply can be traced and read by others,
please send the reply again using the correct title.

If the error has arisen from the technology of
the charity WhatDoTheyKnow I'll liaise with it.

Yours sincerely,

John Barker
Hon. Secretary,
Harrogate Trust for Wildlife Protection

David Clothier, Harrogate Borough Council

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Hello Mr Barker,

The email which I sent (attached) has the correct heading - I have picked up this request from my colleague Liz Sandell, and I used the email address from the recent request which I dealt with for the sustainable village - I can only assume that has lead to the confusion - please accept my apologies for this.

David Clothier
Service Improvement & Development Manager
Place shaping & Economic Growth
Harrogate Borough Council
Civic Centre
St Lukes Avenue
HARROGATE
HG1 2AE
Email – [email address]
Web – www.harrogate.gov.uk
Tel – 01423 500600 ext.58641

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Matt Knight left an annotation ()

The WhatDoTheyKnow administration team were made aware of two responses from Harrogate Borough Council that were sent to this request in error. We have moved them to https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/i...

-Matt
WhatDoTheyKnow.com Volunteer Admin Team