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Belfast Local Development Plan May 2022

Draft Plan Strategy Modifications Consultation

Published online: May 2022


Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Responding to the consultation
1.3 Important information about publishing your response
1.4 Privacy Notice
1.5 Accessibility

2 Proposed modifications
2.1 Background
2.2  Modifications subject to consultation
2.3 Modifications not subject to consultation

3 Associated assessments

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C


1    Introduction

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 We are developing the new Local Development Plan (LDP) which is the land use plan for Belfast up to 2035. The Plan will guide investment and set out policies and proposals for the use, development, and protection of land across the city. As part of this process, we launched the draft Plan Strategy (dPS) in August 2018. The dPS was subject to two periods of consultation for the receipt of representations (September to November 2018) and counter-representations (March to April 2019), and was formally submitted to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) in August 2019.

1.1.2 In December 2019 the DfI appointed the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) to conduct an Independent Examination (IE) of the dPS, which was held over two sessions between November 2020 and March 2021. The PAC made its recommendations under section 10(8) of the Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 (hereafter “the Act”) and presented these as recommended amendments as part of its report to the DfI in September 2021 in which it concluded the draft Plan Strategy was, subject to modifications, “sound”.

1.1.3 In February 2022, following consideration of the PAC report, the DfI in exercise of the powers conferred on it by section 12(1)(b) of the Act, issued a Direction to the Council. This directs the Council to address the requirements set out in the Schedule 1 of the Direction, along with any necessary engagement and consultation, prior to formal adoption of the Plan Strategy.

1.1.4 To fulfil the obligations set out in the Direction the Council will be required to modify the dPS to include all modifications detailed in Schedule 1 of the Direction.  However, three of these proposed Modifications require the Council to undertake public consultation in relation to changes considered necessary to address the modifications referenced as MOD05, MOD06 and MOD11.

1.1.5 The Council is now seeking your views on these proposed additions and modifications to the dPS and the Addendum to the Sustainability Appraisal incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment, which address the requirements of the DfI Direction issued under Section 12(1)(b) of the Act.


1.2 Responding to the consultation

1.2.1 If you would like to respond to this consultation, there are a number of ways to make comment:

Although we have also provided a downloadable version of the consultation response form, we would encourage you to respond via the online survey (link opens in new window).

Responses must be received by 5pm on Thursday 7 July 2022.


1.3 Important information about publishing your response

1.3.1 For the purpose of this consultation, your response, whether by post, email or online survey, will be treated as a representation and subject to processing as detailed in the Privacy Notice below.

1.3.2 In accordance with the Regulation 17 of the Planning (Local Development Plan) Regulations (Northam Ireland) 2015, the council must make a copy of any representation available for inspection. The Council is also required to submit the representations to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and their representatives appointed to undertake an independent examination.

1.3.3 In submitting your response, you are positively agreeing for the council to hold and share your response so that it may be considered as part of the independent examination process. Your response may be published and shared either anonymously or, with your name and/or organisation subject to the publishing preferences stated in your response.


1.4 Privacy Notice

1.4.1 Belfast City Council is the Data Controller under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) for the personal data it gathers for the purposes of administering and managing your response to the Local Development Plan - public consultation.

1.4.2 You are consensually providing your personal data to the Council whose lawful basis for processing is for compliance with a legal obligation under Regulation 17 of the Planning (Local Development Plan) Regulations (Northam Ireland) 2015.

1.4.3 The personal data may be shared internally within the Council with staff who are involved in administering and managing your response.  Your personal data may also be shared with contractors appointed by the Council to manage information you provide.  Your personal data will not be shared or disclosed to any other organisation without your consent unless the law permits or places and obligation on the Council to do so.

1.4.4 The personal data is held and stored by the Council in a safe and secure manner and in compliance with data protection legislation and in line with the Council’s Records Retention and Disposal Schedule.

1.4.5 If you have any queries regarding the processing of your personal data or the publication of your response please contact Belfast Planning Service by email planning@belfastcity.gov.uk.

1.4.6 If you wish to contact the Council’s Data Protection Officer, please write to Belfast City Council, City Hall Belfast, BT1 5GS or send an email to dataprotection@belfastcity.gov.uk.


1.5 Accessibility

The relevant documents are available, on request, in alternative formats - Braille, audio, large print, easy read. The council will also consider requests to produce it in other languages. If you require the documents in these or other formats please contact us:

Belfast Planning Service
Belfast City Council
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 BBP

Telephone: 028 9032 0202, ext. 2255
Email: planning@belfastcity.gov.uk


2 Proposed modifications

2.1 Background

2.1.1 To understand the context for this consultation, it may be necessary to read a number of background documents.  These documents have been added to the Post Examination Modifications section of the Local Development Plan Document Library on the Belfast City Council website. They include the:

  • Independent Examination Report of Belfast City Council’s Local Development Plan: Plan Strategy – this report, submitted to DfI by the PAC on the 29th September 2021, comprises a detailed review of the IE process alongside the PAC’s consideration of the issues raised. It includes a summary of 78 Required Amendments (RAs) in respect of changes or potential additions to the dPS.
  • Section 12 Direction - Planning Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and Planning (LDP) Regulations (NI) 2015 to Belfast City Council – this statutory direction, issued by the DfI on the 4th February 2022, requires the Council to adopt the dPS with specified modifications and includes requirements for the Council to carry out further consultation and introduce additional policy provisions.
  • Letter from DfI – this correspondence encloses the formal direction from the DfI; sets out added requirements relating to modification references MOD05, MOD06 and MOD11; presents additional matters concerning the dPS reliance on draft BMAP and Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG); and offers information and advice in relation to plan monitoring and review.

All other Local Development Plan documents together with documents and matters arising from the IE can be accessed using the following link: https://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning/local-development-plan-(1)/local-development-plan.


2.2 Modifications subject to consultation

2.2.1 In addressing the modification references MOD05, MOD06 and MOD11, the Council has, following engagement, compiled a proposed response to the requirements comprising:

  • an additional strategic policy with justification and amplification, to be included within the Strategic policies section of the draft Plan Strategy. The additional policy, entitled “Policy SPA1 – Managing growth and supporting infrastructure delivery” is shown in Appendix A, and will replace paragraph 5.1.4 of the dPS.
  • a modification of Policy HOU1 – ‘Accommodating new homes’, within the Shaping a Liveable Place section of the dPS, through the inclusion of additional text from the justification and amplification. The modification to Policy HOU1 is in the form of a new table, shown in Appendix B, that will replace the table which currently features in the policy box on page 60 of the dPS.
  • the resultant modification of the existing Figure 7.2 within the Shaping a Liveable Place section of the dPS. The existing Figure 7.2 on page 62 of the dPS will be replaced by the modified Figure 7.2 shown in Appendix C.

2.3 Modifications not subject to consultation

2.3.1 For the majority of Modifications set out in the DfI Direction, the Council is required to make the changes as specified within the Direction. These changes are therefore not subject to formal consultation. A full list of all Modifications can be found at Schedule 1 of the DfI Direction.


3 Associated assessments

3.1.1 In proposing these additions and modifications the Council has considered what would be apposite at this stage of the process and what would be more appropriately addressed as part of the Local Policies Plan. The Council has also assessed the potential implications in respect of the associated draft Plan Strategy documentation including the:

  • Sustainability Appraisal incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment – this has established that the proposed inclusion of the strategic policy requires an addendum to the published “Sustainability Appraisal incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment” document which will also form part of the consultation.  An addendum to the published Sustainability Appraisal incorporating Strategic Environmental Assessment for the draft Plan Strategy is available. Read the addendum.
  • Equality Impact Assessment – a screening exercise was undertaken and this concluded that the proposed inclusion of the strategic policy will impact equally on all section 75 categories and this impact will be neutral. In addition, the policy will have no impact on good relations. The Council’s LDP dPS, as published in 2018, was subject to full EQIA at that time and the current proposed additional policy relates to this. The full EQIA will be finalised on the adoption of the Plan Strategy.
  • The Habitat Regulations Assessment – this has considered the proposed inclusion of the strategic policy and notes that the effect of the policy is already reflected in the draft HRA prepared at draft Plan Strategy stage. It concluded that there is no further effect of the additional policy in terms of the HRA. The additional policy will also be considered as part of the overall Plan Strategy in the final HRA at adoption stage.
  • Rural Needs Impact Assessment – this has concluded that the proposed inclusion of the strategic policy, which is not spatially-detailed or site-specific, will apply equally across the City Council area, including the rural areas. However, the likelihood that the strategic policy will have a significant impact on people in rural areas is considered minimal.

Appendix A

Additional “Policy SPA1 – Managing growth and supporting infrastructure delivery”

This additional policy will replace paragraph 5.1.4 of the dPS.

5.1.4     Land will be zoned for housing, employment uses and mixed-use sites within the Local Policies Plan to deliver the council’s growth aspirations. The delivery of employment space and homes will be phased to align with infrastructure capacity and investment over the plan period.

5.1.4    As set out in the Policy Context and Strategic Aims the LDP is one of the key spatial tools to shape the physical form of Belfast through a sustainable approach that delivers the growth aspirations of the Belfast Agenda and RDS. The aims of the LDP are to build stronger communities by protecting and improving social, economic, green, digital and physical infrastructure through supporting its development and enhancement.  The allocation of land and development to deliver the growth strategy will require new or enhanced infrastructure.

SP1A – Managing growth and supporting infrastructure delivery

The allocation of land and development to deliver the Council’s growth strategy should be supported by the appropriate infrastructure. New zonings or development capacity will normally be managed through the Local Policies Plan, taking account of existing development commitments and projected requirements. Where appropriate, additional development will be phased in a manner that ensures the necessary supporting infrastructural needs are addressed.


5.1.5    Land will be zoned for housing, employment uses and mixed-use sites within the LPP to deliver the council’s growth aspirations.  The delivery of employment space and homes will be phased to align with infrastructure capacity and investment over the plan period. The delivery of new homes, jobs, infrastructure, and community facilities must comply with the Spatial Development Strategy. This means that development will be directed to the most suitable and sustainable locations, taking account of existing commitments and prioritising ‘brownfield’ land within the urban footprint in accordance with the sequential approach set out in the SPPS.

5.1.6     The zoning of land to deliver the Council’s growth aspiration will be considered through the LPP process. This will, where appropriate, phase the delivery of that development to align with infrastructure capacity and planned investment over the plan period. Existing commitments are those which have already gone through the planning process and involved an assessment of wider infrastructural needs in consultation with the relevant statutory authorities. As the sites are committed, they cannot be subject to phasing.

5.1.7    The scale of existing housing, employment and mixed-use commitments across the City is recognised and set out within the provisions of EC2 and HOU1. There is no automatic assumption that these existing commitments will be delivered, particularly where detailed analysis identifies constraints affecting the availability and deliverability of sites and as such regard will be had to existing commitments when assessing applications and their infrastructure needs. This will take account of the requirement that all uncommitted land to be developed during the plan period will be subject to the availability of adequate infrastructure, which would include but not be limited to that supporting transport, waste, water, energy and digital services provision.

5.1.8    Where appropriate, delivery of development may be phased to ensure alignment with infrastructure investment and taking account of projected lead in times for the forms of development proposed. It may also be possible to consider temporary solutions or the provision of on-site facilities by a developer that could allow a development to proceed, but this will be considered on a site-by-site basis in consultation with the relevant infrastructure body.

5.1.9    The strategy recognises that growth should be delivered in a phased manner with the majority of that growth occurring later in the plan period. Therefore, tailored policies and/or the application of key site requirements will be brought forward through the LPP process having regard to the principle of Sustainable Development, including the appropriate infrastructure considerations. This aspect of the LPP will be underpinned by the ongoing monitoring required to support the maintenance of an effective land supply in accordance with the provisions of the SPPS.


Appendix B

Modification of Policy HOU1 – ‘Accommodating new homes'

The modification to Policy HOU1 is in the form of this new table that will replace the table which currently features in the policy box on page 60 of the dPS.


Policy HOU1 – Accommodating new homes

There is a requirement for 31,660 new homes in Belfast over the period 2020- 2035. This will be delivered in accordance with the requirements set out in the following table.

Settlement / Area Net additional dwellings (2020-2035)
Belfast City Belfast city centre 8,000
Belfast Harbour estate 3,500
Rest of Belfast city 18,100
Belfast city Total 29,600
Small Settlements Edenderry 40
Hannahstown 0
Loughview 20
Small settlements total 60
Windfall 2,000

The housing requirement will be delivered in accordance with the following indicative average annual rates:

  • 2020/21–2024/25 – an average of 1,100-1,300 dwellings completed per annum
  • 2025/26–2029/30 – an average of 2,100-2,300 dwellings completed per annum
  • 2030/31–2034/35 – an average of 2,700-2,900 dwellings completed per annum

Policy HOU1 – Accommodating new homes

There is a requirement for 31,660 new homes in Belfast over the period 2020-2035.  This will be delivered in accordance with the requirements set out in the following table.

Settlement / Area 2020-2025 2026-2030 2031-2035 Total
Belfast city centre 1,600 2,800 3,600 8,000
Belfast Harbour estate 600 1,300 1,600 3,500
Rest of Belfast city 3,600 6,400 8,100 18,100
Small settlement total - 30 30 60
Windfall Housing Supply 400 700 900 2,000
Total 6,200 11,230 14,230 31,660
Indicative Annual
Average Rates
1,100-1,300 2,100-2,300 2,700-2,900 2,000-2,200


Appendix C

Modification of the existing Figure 7.2

The existing Figure 7.2 on page 62 of the dPS will be replaced by this modified version.

Settlement / Area 2020-2025 2026-2030 2031-2035 Total
Belfast city  
Belfast city centre 1,600 2,800 3,600 8,000
Belfast Harbour estate 600 1,300 1,600 3,500
Rest of Belfast city 3,600 6,400 8,100 18,100
Belfast city Total 5,800 10,500 13,300 29,600
Small settlements  
Edenderry - 20 20 40
Hannahstown - - - -
Loughview - 10 10 20
Small settlement total - 30 30 60
Windfall allowance  
Windfall housing supply 400 700 900 2,000
Total 6,200 11,230 14,230 31,660
Annual average 1,100-1,300 2,100-2,300 2,700-2,900 2,000-2,200

 

Settlement / Area 2020-2025 2026-2030 2031-2035 Total
Belfast city
Belfast city centre 1,600 2,800 3,600 8,000
Belfast Harbour estate 600 1,300 1,600 3,500
Rest of Belfast city 3,600 6,400 8,100 18,100
Belfast city Total 5,800 10,500 13,300 29,600
Small settlements
Edenderry - 20 20 40
Hannahstown - - - -
Loughview - 10 10 20
Small settlement total - 30 30 60
Windfall allowance
Windfall housing supply 400 700 900 2,000
Total 6,200 11,230 14,230 31,660
Annual average 1,100-1,300 2,100-2,300 2,700-2,900 2,000-2,200
The average figures above set out the quantum of development projected to deliver the growth strategy over the plan period. The phasing will have regard to the provisions set out in Strategic Policy SP1A and will be established through the Local Polices Plan, taking account of the existing committed development with their associated infrastructure provision.

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