Pendle Core Strategy

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by David Whipp » 30 Jan 2014, 08:20

plaques wrote:"Burnley and Pendle Strategic Housing Marketing Assessment". Compiled by Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners.
I'm only through the first 100 pages but much to my surprise I found it a very interesting and well researched document. Plenty of charts and statistics that are supplemented by clear explanations of how they were compiled. Sad to say the overall picture for both Burnley and Pendle makes very depressing reading. I'm glad I no longer live in Burnley. Pendle council have a real job on their hands. How they can remain so upbeat in the face of all this adversity I don't know. Possibly like the catch phrase from ITMA, "It's being so cheerful as keeps me going" – Mona Lott
It was because the former SHMA was nearly five years old that the local development framework was delayed whilst the new one was carried out. In short, the new SHMA says Burnley doesn't need any more houses whilst Pendle has to have even more than in the previous version of the plan.

The reaction of Plaques helps confirm my view about the present planning policy process (that it's crap). Local Plan reviews have always been lengthy, but it's much worse now and has become a minor industry. People are employed at councils to generate or deal with the forest loads of paperwork it involves whilst bread and butter services are axed.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by Stanley » 30 Jan 2014, 08:45

Including spurious re-branding exercises.
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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 04 Feb 2014, 20:55

As said previously the Housing Review carried out by Nathaniel Litchfield is a very exact and detailed document with over 250 pages. Trying to draw up a concise summery would be almost impossible because of the numerous interacting forces.
For what it is worth here is my somewhat cynical appraisal of what Pendle Council is up against.
Population Study. The growth in population has been set by the government at round 10%. This is in spite of the previous records showing no increase over the last 12 years.
Housing Requirement. Based on the increase in population plus the backlog of houses not built during the recession because nobody could buy them.
Part of the housing requirement is to accommodate Key Workers who will take up jobs in factories that haven’t yet been built but will be required to meet the population growth.
The houses will be built on a combination of Green Belt, Green Field and Brown Belt land. But since there is a need to encourage building to meet future demands and given the fact that the development of brown field land would be too expensive and badly sited Green Belt is the preferred option under the new rules.
Of course it is well known that many of the old 2 x 2 terraced houses are standing empty and many more barely suitable for modern living. Unfortunately, demolishing these would present a problem in that even more new houses would be required. A secondary problem would be that the families being re-housed cannot afford even the subsidised “affordable” rent without assistance. Not to mention that the “affordable houses” would be set at such a low rental that the builders would not see any profit in providing them and consequently are reluctant to build them.
If this overall scenario could be built into a computer simulation for budding housing planers it would make a useful tool for most of Lancashire. Snakes and Ladders comes into mind.
I wish Pendle Council well in their future deliberations.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by David Whipp » 05 Feb 2014, 08:21

plaques wrote:For what it is worth here is my somewhat cynical appraisal of what Pendle Council is up against.
Don't disagree with your assessment Plaques.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 18 May 2014, 17:31

Sorry if I'm a bit tardy posting this one. The Core Strategy Framework feedback suggestions are to be assessed by the Executive (26 June) and full Council Committee (17 July). My personal objections to the first attempt Core Strategy was that it was based on a local population growth set by the Government which compared with the past 10 years of zero increase looks totally unrealistic. I doubt if there is anything Pendle council can do about correcting this aberration since it all appears to be be part of the Governments plan to build more houses even if they are in the wrong place.
The input suggestions are summarised below.
A total of 128 valid representations were received during the consultation period, from a wide range of individuals
and organisations.
Between them these representations raised 326 different issues for further consideration by Pendle Council. The key concerns are highlighted below:
• The level of the annual housing requirement. Some felt it was too high, others that it was too low.
• The proposed allocation of 30ha of Green Belt land at Lomeshaye near Nelson, for a strategic employment site.
• The proposed allocation of 17ha of land at Trough Laithe Farm, to the west of Barrowford, for a strategic housing site.
With the exception of the two strategic sites, no site specific allocations were identified in the Further Options Report

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by David Whipp » 10 Jun 2014, 15:48

When the Core Strategy goes to the council's Executive on 26th June, it's likely to include some revised population projections...

You may recall that Plaques cast doubt as to whether the figures in the report related to the position in the real world. Surprise, surprise, some new population projections have been produced which indicate lower growth in Pendle than previously.

As a consequence, it's likely that the annual housing requirement will be halved (from in the order of 300 a year to 150).

Garbage in...

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by Stanley » 11 Jun 2014, 04:20

Full marks to P for taking the trouble to read and understand the document!
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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 20 Jun 2014, 18:06

Latest update. The time scale keeps moving back.

However, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) released new population projections on 29th May. The figures for Pendle show a significant change in the predicted level of population growth over the plan period (i.e. up to 2030). As the Council is required to base its housing figures on the latest population projections (National Planning Policy Framework paragraphs 158 and 159), it is necessary to reconsider certain aspects of the Core Strategy in light of this new information, to ensure that our policies are based on up-to-date and relevant evidence.



The council's Executive on 26th June will be asked to approve a targeted public consultation to consider any proposed changes to the Core Strategy arising from this new evidence. The responses to this consultation and those for the Further Options Report (see above), will now be considered by the council's Executive at their meeting on Thursday 20th November 2014 and by Full Council on Thursday 18th December 2014.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by Stanley » 22 Jun 2014, 04:53

Still full marks!
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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 28 Sep 2014, 19:18

The Pendle Core Strategy appears to be in Lazarus mode. Below is the proposed programme from the Pendle Council website.

If Full Council approve the Pre-Submission version of the Core Strategy at their meeting in September, it will undergo a further six week consultation before it is submitted to the Secretary of State for Examination (see dates below):
Pre-Submission consultation: October - November 2014
Submission to the Secretary of State: December 2014
Independent Examination: March-April 2015.

I take it that the pre-submission consultation will be open to the public and will be better organised than the previous effort.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by Stanley » 29 Sep 2014, 03:19

Did I see in the BET last week that they have revised the housing need downward?
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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by David Whipp » 29 Sep 2014, 05:18

Housing figures only slightly reduced.

The Core Strategy is bad news; will post details when time allows...

The next round of 'consultation' will only be about process and legalities - not the content of the strategy.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 29 Sep 2014, 12:23

So we have a 'consultation' without consulting the people who are affected and some 'in house' consultation without considering the content. 'Words mean what I want them to mean' Alice in Wonderland.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by David Whipp » 01 Dec 2014, 08:04

We (local Liberals) have submitted an objection to the Core Strategy on the basis that it's not a 'sound' plan.

The Barlick specific detail is towards the end of the post. The first parts deal with industrial land, greenbelt and general housing numbers.

Response to the Pendle Core Strategy Pre-submission Report by Pendle Liberal Democrats.
GREEN BELT
The Core Strategy is not consistent with national policy in relation to the Green Belt and the proposal to take Green Belt land for industrial land for the proposed Lomeshaye Industrial Estate extension in the vicinity of Fence/Wheatley Lane.
The National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) states (paragraph 79) (our italics):
79. The Government attaches great importance to Green Belts. The fundamental aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open; the essential characteristics of Green Belts are their openness and their permanence.
83. Local planning authorities with Green Belts in their area should establish Green Belt boundaries in their Local Plans which set the framework for Green Belt and settlement policy. Once established, Green Belt boundaries should only be altered in exceptional circumstances, through the preparation or review of the Local Plan.
We agree that if Green Belt boundaries are to be changed, the new Local Plan is the process by which it should happen. We suggest however that there are no “exceptional circumstances” to warrant this change, and that a change at this stage drives a coach and horses through the idea that “the essential characteristics of Green Belts are…their permanence.”
The proposal to take this Green Belt land is based on a flawed or at the very least debatable assessment of the future need for industrial land, and a failure to consider adequately other options. It does not amount to “exceptional circumstances”. We do not think that merely by designating the land a “strategic site” amounts to exceptional circumstances in the absence of other compelling evidence.
The NPPF also states:
84. When drawing up or reviewing Green Belt boundaries local planning
authorities should take account of the need to promote sustainable patterns
of development. They should consider the consequences for sustainable
development of channelling development towards urban areas inside the
Green Belt boundary, towards towns and villages inset within the Green Belt or towards locations beyond the outer Green Belt boundary.
We submit that the proposed extension into Green Belt adjacent to the village of Fence/Wheatley Lane is not a “sustainable pattern of development” and that the other options have not been fully considered.
HOUSING NUMBERS
We consider that the housing completion numbers that underlie the policies in the Core Strategy are fundamentally flawed. They are not deliverable over the period of the Local Plan and therefore the strategy fails on the criterion of Effectiveness.
The Council’s Development Viability Study of December 2013 shows quite clearly that this is the case. It states in its Conclusions and Recommendations that
6.9 It is clear that most…residential development in the parts of the M65 Corridor…is not viable in the current market. …this is reflected on the ground with the lack of actual development coming forward.”
It makes it clear that this is not due to current Council policies, but
6.10 […] It is more the case that weak development viability stems from low property values associated with limited demand inPendle.
It then goes on, illogically, to support the policies in the Core strategy, without any explanation of how or why the “limited demand” is going to change to any significant extent.
It is our view that the figure of 5,662 net dwellings (298 per annum) from 2011 to 2030 is hopelessly unrealistic, and the proposal to stagger this figure from 220 to 353 is just whistling in the wind, hoping for something to crop up on the basis of no evidence.
The actual figures for net dwellings in the last five years are:
2009/10 +29 -96 net -67
2010/11 +62 0 net 62
2011/12 +122 -61 net 61
2012/13 +69 -39 net 30
2013/14 +90 -27 net 63
TOTAL +372 223 net 149
The net number for 2011-14 (the first three years of this Local Plan) is 154, an annual rate of 51, which is already 514 dwellings behind schedule, even on the dubious annual phasing proposed.
It should be noted that many of the completions last year and those expected this year are from the Council-sponsored PEARL developments and not from the private sector, whose performance is even worse than that suggested by these figures.
The annual figures proposed are therefore hopelessly unrealistic and there is no evidence put forward that granting large numbers of additional planning permissions will make much difference. We therefore suggest that the annual figures of housing completions should be substantially reduced.
In line with this we suggest that the following sites should be deleted from the Strategic Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) which provides supporting evidence for the housing numbers in the Core Strategy:
• Off Skipton Road, Barnmoldswick
• Behind Raikes Cottage, Barnoldswick
• Off Gisburn Road, Barnoldswick (Lane Ends Farm and Foster Road)
• At Wapping
• At Windermere Avenue/The Rough, Colne
• Lidgett Triangle, Colne.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 01 Dec 2014, 09:10

My reading of the core plan left me totally bewildered. With regard to house building on green belt and green field sites the plan detailed several areas that were later 'dismissed'. This gave the impression that they were out of the plan altogether but a few words buried in other paragraphs implied that they would be available if the contractor judged them to be viable. The reason for the 'dismissal' being that they were not large enough for the initial surge in house building that would be required to meet the artificial targets. The plan also made it clear that the all purpose of the Colne bypass was to provide access to further green belt land so that industrial sites could be built at Heirs House and Foulridge.
All in all, I take comfort from the fact that I will probably be dead before the current Pendle Council turns the area into a sea of tin box industrial sites surrounded by low cost housing units that nobody wants.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 11 Apr 2015, 20:30

The initial draft of the Pendle Core Strategy was built on a population growth estimate of 10% for the next 15 years. Consequently, the housing numbers and land required for future industry were set against this figure. It was then demonstrated that over the past 12 years there had been no increase in population size, therefore the 10% estimate was probably wrong. A second guess by the authorities revised this figure to around 5%. Again a pie in the sky increase which bares no relation to fact. Normally one would have expected the housing quantities and land requirements to be revised downwards in line with this change. Pendle Council chose only a very small nominal reduction, approx 10% of the total, leaving a massive building requirement. At the same time they virtually identified every bit of green field as suitable for building. We now see that there is a public outcry against every building application. Probably one of the most vociferous is currently one in Colne off Windermere Avenue for upward of 300 houses. This time Pendle planning has deferred judgement until more data has been collected. Lo and behold, it just happens that the final government clearance meetings will be held this coming week to give the legal seal of approval to the Core Strategy. So now objectors will go forward with nothing better than some local grumbles instead of a united front of a major rejection. I will be amazed if this exercise is no more than a rubber stamping of the plans that Mr Cooney and his Tory cohorts have put forward. Remember you may get encouraging words and soothing platitudes in public but don’t forget the ugly truths that go on behind closed doors.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by Stanley » 15 Apr 2015, 06:32

P, I just realised I hadn't commented on this, sorry, another slip of the memory! I'm impressed by the way you are pursuing this and keeping us informed. There is little doubt that it is important and I think you are right in that there is little chance of the current enquiry making any alteration to what has been 'decided'. Most likely a rubber stamping exercise. Forecasts of the future like population trends, traffic flows and housing needs are of course imprecise and it still surprises me how much importance is paid to them. I suppose it's the old story, as soon as it is committed to print it is the Truth!
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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 03 Mar 2016, 08:51

As always nowadays anything related to house building has its roots in the core strategy this item is no exception.
A lot of hot air is being let off in 'Pendle Matters' about the apparent inaction of using a £1.5 million budget that the local Conservatives kick-started for brownfield site development. The inference is that there is a lump of money just waiting to be used to support this type of development. Not knowing all the ins and outs of robbing Peter to pay Paul I suspect the bottom line is far more complex than made out. The first impressions are that we would subsidize the extra cost to the builder from the council tax. (An explanation would be welcome). What really upset me was the last line of the article. "...they are leaving us at the mercy of profit-oriented developers". Isn't having to bribe people to take action the worst type of profiteering?

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by David Whipp » 03 Mar 2016, 10:26

Not sure I've enough time to answer Plaques question; apologies in advance if I don't cover everything.

The Core Strategy includes a requirement to build about 6,000 houses in Pendle during the lifetime of the plan. This figure is ultimately dictated by the government (though widely ridiculed locally).

Brownfield sites are generally more expensive to develop due to the need to remove contamination etc. Because of their location, house values are generally lower than properties built on desirable greenfield sites. Therefore, housebuilders aren't interested in them as they can't make enough (or any) profit on them.

The £1.5 million Brownfield Site Fund was announced by the then Conservative leader of Pendle Council at last year's budget meeting. He indicated that the fund would be used in conjunction with money becoming available from the government to stimulate use of brownfield sites in Pendle.

However, despite various government announcements (and re-announcements) of funds for such brownfield developments, no details of what's available or how it would be used have been published. Therefore, the match funding from government hasn't yet been made available.

Meanwhile, Pendle Council has been working with owners of suitable sites and developers to see if the funding from Pendle Council could be used to bring sites forward. Two sites, one at Skipton Road, Colne and one off New Road, Earby show the greatest promise, though £1.5 million may not be enough to make housing developments stack up on those sites.

A reasonable estimate is that it may take £20,000 per plot to make brownfield developments financially feasible. At that rate, the £1.5 million could help generate just 75 homes (of the 6,000 the government say are needed...). And when it's gone, it's gone...

The fuss from the MP about this is all smoke and mirrors for him to hide behind and avoid the blame for greenfield developments that his government's and his councillor colleagues' policies have forced upon us.

Oh, and by the way, Barlick and Earby's share of the 6,000 new homes is 1,000 new houses...

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by Stanley » 04 Mar 2016, 04:21

"However, despite various government announcements (and re-announcements) of funds for such brownfield developments, no details of what's available or how it would be used have been published. Therefore, the match funding from government hasn't yet been made available."

That sounds like par for the course David. There ought to be a law against aspirations masquerading as policy.....
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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by plaques » 04 Mar 2016, 10:06

Thank you David for your clear analysis. No builder in his right mind would set out to build houses at a loss. Also I have some sympathy with someone who takes a punt on things improving and his investment coming good. I hope this particular developer isn't holding his breath on the Oak Mill site. On the other hand there is what is termed as the moral hazard of subsidizing something so that they can make a profit at the expense of the tax payer. This also applies to letting brownfield sites lie fallow so that the only option left is to use greenfield sites. The government may have a genuine interest in developing brownfield land but are restricted by Ossie's austerity measures or are never really sincere and just using it as good propaganda. Possibly, and this is a long shot, the EU sees this type of subsidy as illegal. Creating an unlevel playing field against those who just want to put porta cabins or mobile homes up which wouldn't require the same clearance or infrastructure.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by Stanley » 05 Mar 2016, 05:13

I've said it before and I will repeat it. Thanks to both of you for bringing a degree of clarity to a subject that (to be honest) bores me to tears. Do you think that this is deliberate strategy? Producing reports that sap the will to live?
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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by David Whipp » 05 Mar 2016, 09:20

Producing a Local Plan saps the will to live...

I chaired Pendle's Development Committee during part of the time that a previous local plan was drawn up. After the process was completed, I reckoned that we'd spent 120 hours in committee considering it (and I think that was only when I was chair...).

Under the new national regime (which those most knowledgeable about it consider to be a 'broken' system), it's mainly paper based - with endless supporting documents 'validating' its conclusions.

Local influence on its content is marginal, as it has to comply with national policy (and perhaps even ministerial diktat) - even when those policies fly in the face of local circumstances.

Unfortunately, most residents are bored with it during the years that it's produced. It's only when there's a planning application for houses to be built nearby that people begin to object - by which time, it's generally far too late!

The next stage of the process to produce the final Plan includes land use allocations - which should excite a lot of interest.

In Barlick, local councillors are considering whether we should draw up a 'Neighbourhood Plan' and are currently checking the pros and cons. (Barrowford has gone down this route, with Colne, Trawden and Laneshawbridge looking at a combined NP.) The advantage is a greater involvement of local people in drawing up the plan (and a referendum at the end of it for everyone to have their say). A problem is that it has to fit in with the borough plan (and national policies); so it's more a question of 'where do you want 600 new houses?' rather than 'do you want 600 new houses?'.

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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by PanBiker » 05 Mar 2016, 09:46

The answer to you last sentence David, in Barlick is obvious to a blind horse. Fernbank and Barnsey but only on the brownfield bits, no encroachment onto green but near enough to be desirable. For a change, neither of those sites are liable to flooding so in the long run should save a lot of potential defence effort in the future.

Oh, and I know developers don't like it but they should be made to build on brownfield when available. Owners of such sites should have a clause to sell within a certain number of years to encourage them to find developers or be subject to compulsory purchase rather than leave an eyesore.

I can't see why either of those sites would have any contamination issues as they were both used exclusively for "dry" industries from the day they were built until demolition. They are both immediately adjacent to existing infrastructure as well.
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Re: Pendle Core Strategy

Post by David Whipp » 05 Mar 2016, 10:04

I think the current application for housing at Barnsey is for 148 houses (and the application extends to a point opposite the Silentnight lorry park, so is greater than the footprint of the former mill).

Assuming Fernbank could take around the same, that's about 300, or half of the plan numbers for Barlick.

If the current owners of Fernbank, Hope, go ahead with their plans to build new facilities on the site (possibly including a velodrome), it's possible that the land wouldn't be used for housing. Which leaves us with 450 plots to find if Barnsey gains consent.

And if Barnsey isn't approved, we're back to finding space for the full 600 or so...

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