Candidate Site Assessment Methodology Consultation Draft
4. Initial Site Filter Stage
4.1 Initial Site Filter
4.1.1 Sites that are proposed for built development (e.g., housing and employment,) will all be subject to the initial site filter assessment as described in Section 4.2. If sites are put forward for protection, these will be subject to a separate assessment as relevant, for example by being considered as part of the green infrastructure assessment.
4.1.2 The initial site filter will involve a high-level assessment which will identify and dismiss unsuitable sites early in the process. Sites are removed from the process if they are considered not to be suitable as allocations in the Replacement LDP. It should be noted this does not necessarily mean sites would not be granted planning permission under the Adopted or the Replacement LDP policies if an application was to be submitted.
4.1.3 Settlement boundaries will be reviewed in accordance with the settlement hierarchy (see paragraph 2.3.2) taking into consideration Candidate Site submissions. Some Candidate Sites may be best accommodated within the Replacement LDP through the site being included within a settlement boundary rather than as an ‘Allocated Site’. Further information on how Candidate Sites will inform the review of settlement boundaries will be provided in the Guidance Notes accompanying the Candidate Site submission form.
4.1.4 Please note that where insufficient information has been submitted by site proposers to demonstrate that the site is able to meet the initial site filter considerations the site may be excluded.
4.2 Initial Site Filter Considerations:
4.2.1 For residential sites there is a minimum site size threshold of 0.25 hectares or five dwellings, at a minimum density of 25 dwellings per hectare [net]. Please note the housing density policy in the Adopted LDP is to be reviewed the exact density requirement is reserved for later in the process.
4.2.2 For proposals for non-residential development a building must have a minimum floorspace of 1,000m² or the site must have a minimum gross site area of one hectare.
Sites below these thresholds will be filtered out and will not proceed to the detailed site assessment stage.
Relationship to Existing Settlement
4.2.3 Is the site within, at the edge of, or outside of a settlement? If the site is outside of or is not closely related to a settlement for employment, housing or retail land use it is highly unlikely to progress because it would be contrary to national planning policy i.e., unsustainable development in the open countryside.
4.2.4 There are some uses that can be considered acceptable for development in the open countryside (e.g., renewable energy, tourism etc.), these will not be excluded based on the relationship to an existing settlement.
4.2.5 Sites located within Flood Map for Planning (FMfP) Zones 2 or 3 (including in Defended Areas), that will not meet the justification tests and acceptability of consequences criteria (regarding vulnerability of uses and previously developed land) will be filtered out. This includes proposals for highly vulnerable developments such as housing in FMfP River and Sea Flood Zones 3 and sites which are not on previously developed land in FMfP River and Sea Flood Zones 3 and 2. See paragraphs 6.2.10 - 6.2.13) for more information.
4.2.6 Regard will be given to the emerging TAN 15 (December 2021), due to be published June 2023 and the Mid Wales Regional Strategic Flood Consequences Assessment (2022).
4.2.7 All proposals for built development (housing, employment) must be accompanied by a Viability Assessment. If the site does not have a viability assessment it is unlikely to make it through to the next stage of assessment.
4.2.8 Proposals for the protection of sites (e.g., green infrastructure) do not require a viability assessment (these sites are treated separately see paragraph 4.1.1).
4.2.9 The Council intends for the Development Viability Model developed regionally to be used by site promoters to assess the viability of any Candidate Sites to be submitted. The model will be made available to site promoters on request to undertake an 'initial Viability Assessment'. Further guidance will be provided at the call for sites stage.'
4.2.10 Site proposers should note that a more 'detailed Viability Assessment' will be required at the detailed site assessment stage. This will require the submission of additional information and evidence to support the Candidate Site proposal. There will be a charge for access to the viability model at this second stage, which will also cover a detailed review of the model by the LPA.
4.2.11 Candidate Site proposals that are to be funded through alternative mechanisms such as Social Housing Grant or the Mid Wales Growth Deal do not need to provide a viability assessment but will need to demonstrate that the funding is in place to enable development to be delivered within the Replacement LDP period (2022-2037).
Phosphate Sensitive Riverine Special Areas of Conservation Catchments
4.2.12 Proposals located within the catchment of phosphate sensitive Riverine Special Areas of Conservation will be filtered out unless they can demonstrate that they can achieve phosphate neutrality or betterment, in line with the latest guidance from NRW.
4.2.13 For housing proposals, to be able to demonstrate deliverability, this will mean discharging wastewater into a Sewage Treatment Works with phosphate stripping (including an up-to-date permit) in place. Proposals will only be accepted where phosphate stripping is in place or improvements are planned in an Asset Management Programme (AMP). Proposals in areas scheduled for phosphate stripping improvements will need to ensure that the timing of such improvements provide sufficient time to enable development to be delivered within the Replacement LDP period (2022-2037).
4.2.14 Non housing proposals will need to demonstrate phosphate neutrality or betterment with reference to the latest NRW advice and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
4.2.15 Consideration will be given to the deliverability of sites through either the presence of major physical site constraints, planning history (e.g., refusals), legal constraints or covenants that restrict the site being brought forward in the Replacement LDP period.
4.2.16 Candidate Sites may be filtered out if the nature of the proposal can be accommodated within National or Replacement LDP policies rather than as an allocated site.