Chapter 6: Delivery

  • The delivery section focuses on the procedural aspects of delivering the Core Strategy policies and proposals including a framework for achieving the necessary infrastructure enhancements. It includes a policy on developer contributions to infrastructure and an implementation policy that encompasses a range of aspects considered necessary to effectively deliver the Core Strategy including joint working, coordination, and phasing.
  • Infrastructure requirements will be set out in this document in the relevant policy sections and within a more general infrastructure provision in Policy CS35. While particular infrastructure needs will be identified it is recognised that provision needs to be made for flexibility allowing the council to seek contributions for infrastructure needs emerging throughout the plan period.
  • Each policy is accompanied by explanatory text and a more detailed Infrastructure Delivery Plan will be prepared to support the Core Strategy. This chapter sets out the strategic framework for how development will be implemented.

CS34 Developer Contributions to Infrastructure

CS35 Implementation

CS34: Developer Contributions to Infrastrucutre

Financial contributions will be sought in the form of a standardised tariff scheme applied across the district and at the Weston-super-Mare urban extension, to ensure the effective and timely delivery of the key infrastructure requirements to support new development. Planning obligations will also be sought and negotiated from individual developments on an individual site basis.

Development proposals will be expected to provide or contribute towards the cost of providing necessary physical and social/community infrastructure. Contributions may also be required to meet the management and maintenance of services and facilities. In all cases delivery will be expected to minimise the cost to the public purse. In determining the nature and scale of any planning obligation, viability issues will be taken into account.

The appropriate range and level of contributions (including tariff levels) will be assessed in a comprehensive manner, taking into account strategic infrastructure requirements and using standard charges where appropriate. Standards and formulae for calculating contributions will be set out in separate Supplementary Planning Documents or Development Plan Documents.

This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objective 2.

Background

The significant levels of development planned for North Somerset require a comprehensive strategy to deliver the levels of investment in infrastructure, services and facilities necessary to facilitate and enable new development in a sustainable way. Traditional Section 106 agreements have long been used under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as a means of obtaining contributions to mitigate any impacts imposed by development. Circular 05/2005 sets out how to achieve this including five tests that need to be met in order to justify seeking contributions.

Tariff mechanisms have developed elsewhere in response to changing government initiatives as a way of pooling contributions from various developments to fund large scale provision of infrastructure and services, with infrastructure in some cases being forward funded by a third party investor.

The Core Strategy approach

The Core Strategy will be supported by a Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to be used to seek development contributions to fund new infrastructure, services and facilities.

This will articulate the infrastructure and service requirements including transport schemes stemming from additional housing development, and the associated costs of bringing this forward. This will provide a total cost requirement that will need to be met from various sources of funding and in relation to the SPD, through new development. This will then be used to calculate the tariff payment to cover all infrastructure needs appropriate to the development.

How and where the policy will be delivered

It is proposed that a tariff arrangement would be applied in respect of three tiers of development contributions:

Tier 1: A district wide tariff payable for strategic infrastructure and other services including policing, and education.

Tier 2: An area based tariff payable for locally specific (to the urban extension for example) infrastructure and services and facilities.

Tier 3: Negotiated elements including affordable housing on a site-by-site basis.

Alternative options and contingency planning

A tariff is the preferred method of seeking contributions as a key delivery mechanism of this Core Strategy pending the introduction of other mechanisms, most notably the Community Infrastructure Levy.

The Community Infrastructure Levy has been developed by Government as a way of accruing payments from development to provide infrastructure, and is due to become statutory in April 2010, when the council has the opportunity to adopt CIL as a means of seeking contributions. The Government has published draft regulations setting out how CIL is intended to be implemented, with Regulations coming into force in April 2010.

Essentially the council could prepare a charging schedule to apply to new development that could be reviewed and updated depending on local circumstances and viability.

Monitoring and review

A monitoring framework will assess the effectiveness of the policy in relation to securing developer contributions.

CS35: Implementation

Implementation will take place as part of a co-ordinated strategy, provided in step with the necessary infrastructure, utilities and service provision needed to support and enable the development.

The council will prepare an Infrastructure Delivery Plan to support the Core Strategy through the identification of infrastructure requirements and associated costs, existing delivery plans, funding streams, delivery mechanisms, phasing and co-ordination, and potential delivery vehicles for significant areas of growth and regeneration.

This policy contributes towards achieving Priority Objective 2.

Background

Delivery mechanisms for spatial and area-based policies include:

  • Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), Area Action Plans and masterplans, for key policies and areas of growth and regeneration.
  • Delivery of strategic and local infrastructure through private, public and third-sector investment.
  • Implementation of national and local policies through the development management process.

The Core Strategy approach

The Core Strategy will set out a strategic framework for delivery, supported by a North Somerset Infrastructure Delivery Plan to provide more detailed consideration to infrastructure co-ordination and delivery by public, private and third-sector partners across the district.

The IDP will focus on strategic sites and infrastructure and provide indicative information on more local requirements, funding plans and delivery mechanisms. It will incorporate and further develop the work done by the West of England Partnership.

The IDP will identify:

  • Infrastructure requirements and estimated costs, to include physical, social and green infrastructure. Consideration will be given to the most effective co-ordination of infrastructure, for example, through co-location of public services.
  • Existing plans to deliver infrastructure, for example, through public sector investment or known developer contributions. Public-sector contributions may include land or other existing assets.
  • Funding gaps and mechanisms for responding to these. Mechanisms will include developer contributions.
  • Suggested delivery mechanisms and phasing schedules for infrastructure delivery, linked to the phasing and delivery of development. Delivery mechanisms may take the form of public, private or third sector investment.

The creation of the plan will be led by North Somerset Council and co-ordinated through the North Somerset Partnership. It will include consideration of effective asset management and forward planning of publicly funded infrastructure, as well as of private-sector investments.

The IDP will be subject to a viability appraisal carried out by an independent external assessor. It will be monitored as part of the Annual Monitoring Report process and will undergo a full review and re-appraisal at least every five years.

How and where the policy will be delivered

Key areas of growth and regeneration will require dedicated and proactive support if delivery is to be secured. These include Weston-super-Mare town centre and the Weston-super-Mare urban extension.

Consultants have advised that a non-statutory local delivery vehicle (LDV) should be considered for this purpose. This would be a multi-agency partnership dedicated to the co-ordination and operational delivery of development, with strong council involvement. It would be likely to hold some limited and specific delegated powers to facilitate efficient delivery, including land assembly, investment and planning powers.

Alternatives would include continued coordination of delivery by North Somerset Council, or the creation of a statutory local delivery vehicle, which would be sponsored by national government.

The primary partnerships for agreeing and monitoring delivery will be the West of England Partnership and North Somerset Partnership. North Somerset Council has established focused consultation and co-ordination groups in Weston-super-Mare and South West Bristol as areas identified for growth in the draft RSS. These include landowners and government agencies contributing to delivery. Town and parish councils have an important role to play in shaping and supporting growth and may in some cases contribute to the provision of local infrastructure. The council will engage with the community and voluntary sectors through the umbrella organisation Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS) and with specific organisations with an interest, where appropriate - for example, community groups who own land or buildings in development areas.

Alternative options and contingency plans

The council will continue to review alternative mechanisms to implement the Core Strategy objectives.

Monitoring and review

A monitoring framework will assess the effectiveness of the policy in relation to implementation.