6.0 Implementation and monitoring of the Core Strategy
The Core Strategy should show a clear path for its implementation to demonstrate how its vision and objectives will be achieved. Furthermore, it should set out how it is effecting a positive change in the lives of people who live, work and visit the Borough by addressing the key challenges facing the Borough. This should closely be monitored to assess whether the policies and proposals are delivering the objectives, target and standards at the right time. PPS12: Local Spatial Planning sets out the key tests of soundness for the Core Strategy to meet. One of them is a clear demonstration of its delivery.
This section sets out how the Core Strategy will be implemented and monitored.
The Core Strategy will be delivered by the following sectors:
- Public Sector - through investment in infrastructure to create the necessary environment for other policies and proposals to be delivered, direct investment in delivering some policies and proposals such as affordable housing, rationalisation of public sector assets to maximise their effective and efficient use. This will include disposal of assets for alternative uses or co-location for efficient use of land. It will also deliver the Core Strategy through development enabling and management by ensuring that development meets all necessary standards and objectives to support infrastructure provision.
- Private Sector - through direct investment in land and buildings and developer contributions towards infrastructure delivery.
- Voluntary Sector - through direct investment in land and buildings.
An Infrastructure Delivery Plan has been prepared to set out the scale, type and cost of infrastructure needed to support the Core Strategy, who will provide it and how it will be delivered. The Woking Partnership is responsible for coordinating the delivery of the Sustainable Community Strategy. It has an Infrastructure Sub Group, which will seek to coordinate the delivery of this programme. The Council will ensure that development is supported by the necessary infrastructure and/or contributions made towards that before planning permission will be granted.
The Council recognises that the implementation of the Core Strategy will involve a variety of delivery agencies and, for that matter, will need to take a proactive role in coordinating them to ensure that the objectives they seek to achieve are not lost in the process. It will also take a realistic approach towards the delivery of the policies and proposals of the Core Strategy. In this regard, it accepts that the nature and cost of schemes will influence when specific schemes come forward in the short, medium or long term. Some schemes might have to be phased to achieve its expected objectives. Other proposals will require extensive consultation depending on their nature, location and sensitiveness. The Council will therefore ensure that public consultation is integral to the delivery process. The Council will work closely with its partners to coordinate all these to ensure a comprehensive delivery of all aspects of the Core Strategy.
Each policy in the Core Strategy includes a section on delivery, monitoring and review. Details of these proposals comprise of how, who and when the policy will be implemented. Furthermore, it includes targets and indicators against which the policy will be monitored and reviewed.
Planning Application Process - The Council has a primary role for enabling and determining the suitability of development proposals. It will exercise this responsibility proactively to ensure the delivery of the Core Strategy. It will seek to ensure that schemes that come forward are legally, technically and practically feasible in the short, medium and long term before they are approved. It will be proactive to ensure that developers are fully aware of the objectives and expectation of the basis upon which the suitability of their schemes will be judged. It will ensure that planning applications are submitted with adequate and appropriate information to make informed decisions before the application is accepted. Furthermore, it will ensure strict compliance of all necessary adopted standards such as design, parking and sustainable construction when planning applications are determined.
The Council will resist any proposed development that will prejudice the future development of a neighbouring site and/or prohibit the comprehensive development of a larger site.
Developer Contributions - Development should be supported by adequate infrastructure. The Public Sector has a significant role to play in providing part of this infrastructure. However, development has impacts and it is only fair that developers also make a contribution towards mitigating the impacts of their development.
The Council will ensure that this is the case. The Council will require developers to contribute towards the provision of facilities, services and infrastructure to make a scheme acceptable in planning terms before planning approval is granted. This infrastructure will include green infrastructure and other forms of social, community and environmental requirements. The Council will ensure that all forms of development will achieve a net benefit to the community; taking into account its needs and aspirations. The Infrastructure Delivery Plan provides evidence of the infrastructure needs to support growth identified in the Core Strategy and how they will be delivered.
The Council has approved Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) as a mechanism for securing developer contributions. An Infrastructure Schedule and a charging level will be established as part of this process. In the transitional period, the Council will continue to use Planning Obligations and Planning Conditions as the main mechanisms for securing developer contributions. The tests of Circular 05/2005 are now a statutory requirement of the Planning Act 2008 and the requirement of Planning Obligations as set out in the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 and Community Infrastructure Levy Amendment Regulations 2011 will apply.
Compulsory Purchase Powers - The Council has Compulsory Purchase Powers, which it is willing to use to assemble land to enable the implementation of the Core Strategy. This power will be used as a last resort, because the Council's preferred approach to any land assembly will be through negotiation.
Rationalisation of Public Sector Assets - The Council will seek to maximise opportunities for the use of public sector assets for the implementation of the Core Strategy. Public sector assets in the form of land and buildings will play a significant role in delivering the policies and proposals of the Core Strategy. It could provide land for the provision of housing and employment or buildings to provide community facilities and services. The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) and the Employment Land Review (ELR) take into account public sector land that is available and suitable for development. The Council is committed to the Surrey Public Sector Asset Review. This review will establish a common database for all public sector assets, their performance and efficient use to inform decisions about how they could be utilised efficiently. Any future review of SHLAA and ELR will take the outcome of this exercise into account.
Delivery mechanisms of the Council - Woking Borough Council will continue to be very proactive towards delivering its key priorities, including affordable housing and mitigation of climate change. It has set up Thameswey Limited, which is an independent company to deliver these priorities. Thameswey Limited enters into public/private joint ventures to deliver its energy and environmental strategies and targets. As part of its energy efficiency programmes, the Council, through Thameswey, implemented its first CHP system in 1992 and the United Kingdom's (UK) first small scale CHP/heat fired absorption chiller system in 1994. What
marks these systems out from any other system in the UK is the direct sale of co-generated heat and sustainable electricity to local customers at a lower price than conventional sources. The company will seek to work in partnership with developers and customers to deliver the policies and proposals of the Core Strategy where it is technically and economically feasible.
The Council has also set up Woking Borough Homes, which is a subsidiary of Thameswey. It focuses on the delivery of affordable homes with emphasis on the intermediate rent market. It will continue to acquire and build properties for affordable housing. The Core Strategy identifies a significant unmet need for affordable housing. Woking Borough Homes will contribute towards meeting this need.
Other Council plans and strategies will complement the implementation of the Core Strategy. This will include:
- Supplementary Planning Documents
- Housing Strategy
- Climate Change Strategy
- Sustainable Community Strategy
- Site Allocations Development Plan Document
- Development Management Development Plan Document
- Town Centre Area Action Plan
- any other plans and strategies that the Council may feel it is necessary to prepare to enable the Core Strategy to be delivered.
Working in partnership - The Council will proactively work in partnership to deliver projects of cross boundary significance such as the strategic monitoring and mitigation of Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Areas and transport projects where the County Council is the highway authority.
Monitoring the performance and effects of the Core Strategy will be integral to its delivery. PPS12: Local Spatial Planning requires Core Strategies to have clear arrangements for monitoring and reporting results to the public and civic leaders. In this regard, the Council will be preparing Annual Monitoring Reports to be based on the period 1 April to 31 March. The Annual Monitoring Report will be published on the Council's website. It will demonstrate how the policies of the Core Strategy are achieving their objectives.
The Council has a project management plan for the preparation of its Local Development Documents. How the Core Strategy has been prepared in accordance with timescales set out in the plan is the first stage of its monitoring. At this stage, the Core Strategy has been prepared according to timescales in the plan.
Each policy includes a section of how it will be monitored and reviewed. It also identifies a set of indicators and targets for the effective monitoring of the policies in a consistent manner.
Risk and contingencies
The Council is working towards the comprehensive delivery of the policies and proposals of the Core Strategy and has no reason to believe that they will not be implemented in full. However, it accepts that there could be circumstances where development fails to come forward for a number of reasons, some of which can be beyond its control. Where the Council is able to use its influence and power to enable the delivery of the Core Strategy it will do so. The Core Strategy has an in-built mechanism to monitor performance through an Annual Monitoring Report. Generally, the outcome of the monitoring process will inform whether or not the Core Strategy and/or other complementary plans and strategies should be reviewed. At this stage, two potential areas of risk and the contingency measures to deal with them in the event that they materialise are identified below.
Failure of sites coming forward for housing and/or employment development due to difficulties of land assembly and/or housing and employment delivery falling behind the projected trajectory. - At the end of three years after the adoption of the Core Strategy, the Council will undertake a comprehensive monitoring of the performance of housing and employment floorspace delivery. This monitoring will look at the cumulative delivery of housing and employment floorspace. If delivery is significantly behind the projected cumulative target over this period as set out in the housing trajectory and the Five Year Housing and Employment Land Supply Position Statements is not providing any evidence that this will be addressed in subsequent years, the Council will take the following steps.
- Use its compulsory purchase powers to ensure that key sites are brought forward to meet any shortfall in supply.
- Re-prioritise its infrastructure investment programme (through CIL) to create the conducive environment for key sites to come forward.
- Review and re-prioritise its heads of terms for securing developer contributions to enable priority schemes to be developed.
- Review its SHLAA, Site Allocations DPD to bring forward new sites.
- Carry out an Employment Land Review and Market Appraisal of employment land to maximise their efficient use.
- The Council has safeguarded Moor Lane Westfield and Brookwood Farm for possible long-term housing.
- Restrictions on the release of these sites will be lifted to enable them to come forward for development to achieve a five year housing supply between 2012/2013 - 2016/2017.
- If this situation continues, the Council will seek a selective review of the housing and employment policies of the Core Strategy.
Infrastructure provision to support development - The Council will continue to work in partnership with infrastructure providers and the Woking Partnership to coordinate an effective and efficient delivery of infrastructure. A significant proportion of the funding to deliver infrastructure will be secured in the form of development contribution on the back of housing and employment development. In this regard, all the above contingency measures will also apply where relevant.