Single Issue Review (SIR) of Core Strategy Policy CS7 - Further Issues and Options (2nd Regulation 18 Stage)

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1. What is this consultation about?

View Comments (2) (2) 1.1 Forest Heath District Council is planning for long term growth so that there is certainty in how and where our settlements will grow. This consultation document, on Core Strategy Policy CS7, is your opportunity to contribute to how Forest Heath will look and function in the future.

1.2 The purpose of this document is to stimulate debate by asking questions on the level of housing to be provided within the district, and possible options for its distribution between towns and villages. We welcome responses from both the public and statutory stakeholders.

1.3 Help in explaining some of the technical aspects is provided in the full glossary at Appendix A and in accompanying leaflets and consultation materials, available on line Forest Heath Local Plan .

1.4 This second Regulation 18 consultation updates and supersedes the issues and options consultation undertaken in 2012. This document will be subject to an 8 week period of statutory consultation between 11 August 2015 and 6 October 2015.

1.5 The consultation documents are available to view on the Council’s website at Forest Heath Local Plan . Details of how to comment on this document are set out below.

Evidence which has helped inform this document

View Comments (1) (1) 1.6 We have a number of documents that are based on research and evidence (listed below). We have used this evidence to develop the consultation options in this Single Issue Review.

Title of document Purpose of document

Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP)

Sets out the infrastructure issues and requirements for the district. Updates parts of the 2009 Infrastructure and Environmental Capacity Appraisal (IECA).

(Infrastructure is things such as schools, roads, community facilities and open spaces)

Comments on the draft IDP can be made on the Council’s public consultation website at Forest Heath Local Plan

Infrastructure and Environmental Capacity Appraisal (IECA)

Considers how much growth each settlement can take based on environmental and infrastructure constraints and the need for and means of providing and maintaining social, physical and environmental infrastructure to support growth in Forest Heath District. (Environmental constraints are things such as flood zones and nature conservation designations).

The appraisal was produced in 2009 and is being partially updated by the IDP (see above).

The IECA can be viewed at Background Policy Evidence

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

A document which provides an objective measurable assessment of the need for all homes, including affordable homes, to inform local plan reviews.

The Cambridge sub-region SHMA can be viewed at Cambridge sub-region SHMA

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)

This document is produced periodically to help demonstrate that the district has sufficient sites to meet demand for housing. It is a key evidence base for the Site Allocations document because it considers the status of all known housing sites within the district such as their availability, suitability and deliverability.

The latest SHLAA can be viewed at Forest Heath Local Plan

Sustainability Appraisal and Habitats Regulations (Screening) Assessment

View Comments (1) (1) 1.7 The Sustainability Appraisal (SA) is an appraisal of the economic, social and environmental sustainability of an emerging local plan, and alternatives. An interim SA Report is published alongside this consultation document, with a view to providing further information on the merits of the alternatives that are currently under consideration. The interim SA Report also explains how ‘scoping’ work was undertaken in early 2015, which included consultation on a Scoping Report (see Forest Heath Local Plan ). The Scoping Report draws together information about the district to establish a sustainability baseline and determine the key issues and objectives that should be a focus of SA.

1.8 The Habitats Regulations (SI No. 2010/490) require ‘appropriate assessment’ of land use plans that are likely to have a significant effect on a ‘European site’ (certain internationally designated wildlife habitats) either alone or in combination with other plans or projects. The options in this document have been subject to screening to determine whether they are likely to have a significant effect on any European site and hence whether ‘appropriate assessment’ will be required at a later stage in the plan-making process, if those options are taken forward. The process of screening and, if required, appropriate assessment under the Habitats Regulations is commonly referred to as Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) and the initial stage as HRA Screening. The HRA Screening Report has been prepared by independent consultants LUC on behalf of the Council.

How to make comments

1.9 We ask that responses are made electronically visiting the council’s public consultation website: Forest Heath Local Plan

1.10 Alternatively, written responses will be accepted and a paper response form can be obtained by telephoning 01284 757368 or emailing planning.policy@westsuffolk.gov.uk.

1.11 Please return paper response forms/letters to:

Strategic Planning Team
Forest Heath District Council
West Suffolk House
Western Way
Bury St Edmunds
IP33 3YU

1.12 When making a comment it is important to be as specific as possible, setting out the question you are referring to and your answer.

1.13 Please be aware that any representations made on this document will be available for everyone to view, regardless of whether they are submitted by post or online.

1.14 The questions are set out at various points within this document. If you wish to submit supporting material with your response it would be helpful if you can do so electronically and include a summary of the content within the question response.

1.15 Where there are groups who share a common view on an issue in the document, it would be helpful if that group could send in a single response indicating how many people it is representing and how the response has been authorised.

What happens next?

1.16 The responses to this consultation will help inform a further consultation document, which will set out the Council’s preferred strategy for the level and distribution of housing across the district. This consultation is programmed to take place in early 2016.

1.17 Following this, a final draft of the Core Strategy Policy CS7 will be prepared, which the Council will submit to the Secretary of State for an independent planning examination. This final draft will be known as the Proposed Submission Document and when it is published in 2016 there will be another and final opportunity for the public and stakeholders to comment.

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