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Planning applications are assessed against a planning policy framework, which consists of the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the adopted Local Development Plan.
The Local Development Plan consists of the ‘Local Plan / Core Strategy’, which sets out our strategic vision (consistent with the NPPF) and is supported by further development plan documents which provide detailed policy or allocate sites for development. Part of our 2003 Local Plan was superseded by the Core Strategy (2013), and the majority of the remaining policies have now been replaced by the emerging Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Plan, which was submitted to the Secretary of State in November 2015.
Further definition to assist with interpreting these policies is set out in Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). The statutory Policy Framework also includes policies in any adopted Neighbourhood Plan. Both Shenley Parish Council and Aldenham Parish Council are in the process of preparing a neighbourhood plan.
Section 7 of this framework contains an overview of relevant parts of our Affordable Housing SPD; while section 6 highlights the key policy / infrastructure requirements in relation to all other SPDs (our Local Development Scheme contains a list of all current and future DPDs/SPDs). Applicants are still advised to read the individual SPDs where relevant to assist with their application.
Planning decisions are also guided by other influential strategies that sit outside the statutory policy framework. These strategies are usually more reflective of current needs, such as our community strategies prepared with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC), and may provide a general steer on some infrastructure investment priorities. In addition, specific infrastructure requirements are usually specified in separate investment strategies, such as commissioning plans prepared by HCC Adult, Children’s and Education Services. However, not all such strategies are in the control of local authorities – and may be prepared at different spatial levels and with different timescales.
Infrastructure requirements arising from such strategies will generally be assumed to be contributed to via CIL – although this will only be confirmed by inclusion in our IFS list. It should be emphasised that we do not envisage that CIL can or will be the sole means of funding infrastructure delivered by other service providers.
In order to provide some clarity on the long-term infrastructure requirements in the borough, we periodically produce an Infrastructure Assessment, the last revision being used to support our CIL proposals. The assessment will be updated as the Policy Framework develops.
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