Proposed Submission Core Strategy

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Part one - Introduction and Context

1. INTRODUCTION

The Local Development Framework

1.1 The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act requires the Council to produce a Local Development Framework (LDF) for the district. The ‘LDF’ replaced the Local Plan system of plan-making.

1.2 The LDF comprises a set of documents, which collectively set out how development and change across the district is to be managed.

1.3 At this time, the Council’s LDF must be read in conjunction with the South East Plan (but see ‘Policy Context’ section) and the Minerals and Waste Development Framework prepared by East Sussex County Council.

The Role of the Core Strategy

1.4 This Core Strategy Development Plan Document (DPD) lies at the heart of the LDF plan-making system. It is where the strategic direction for development and change across the district is established, as explained below.

(1) 1.5 The ‘Core Strategy’ has a pivotal role in delivering the objectives and priorities for Rother that are set out in the Sustainable Community Strategy.

1.6 It sets out the Council’s vision and objectives that will guide the future pattern, and form, of development over the period up until 2028. It provides broad guidance on the scale and distribution of development and the provision of supporting infrastructure, both for the district as a whole and for its towns and rural areas. It also contains ‘core policies’ that address the key issues facing the district in relation to sustainable resource management, community development, housing, the economy, the environment, and transport.

1.7 The Core Strategy also provides a framework to help ensure that the investment decisions of both public and private bodies are not made in isolation, but are properly co-ordinated and focussed towards a clear set of goals. In this respect, this strategy will dovetail with other plans, notably the Council’s own Corporate Plan, which sets out its contribution to achieving the Sustainable Community Strategy.

1.8 When ‘adopted’, the Core Strategy will replace a number of policies in the Rother District Local Plan (2006). These are identified in Appendix 1.

1.9 Other local development documents will elaborate upon this Core Strategy. Most significant will be a ‘Site Allocations and Development DPD’, which will identify the sites required to meet the development provisions of the Core Strategy as well as set out more detailed development management policies. It will be subject to separate public consultation in its preparation. Further Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs), which expand upon policies set out in DPDs, are also proposed to be prepared.

(1) 1.10 In addition, and subject to enactment of the current Localism Bill, the Council’s Development Plan Documents may be supplemented by more local ‘neighbourhood plans’ produced by Parish Councils or other constituted neighbourhood organisations.

1.11 A fuller explanation of the how these and related LDF “project management” documents sit together, and the Council’s programme for their preparation, is contained in its ‘Local Development Scheme’. This is viewable in the LDF section of the Council’s website at www.rother.gov.uk/ldf or at one of its Community Help Points.

Plan-making process

(1) 1.12 This Core Strategy has been approved by the Council as that which it proposes to submit to Government for independent examination by a Planning Inspector. Before formally submitting it, there is a statutory period of 6 weeks for individuals and organisations to make representations as to its ‘soundness’. All duly-made representations will be submitted alongside the Core Strategy. A Hearing will follow, as part of the examination process.

1.13 This ‘Proposed Submission’ version of the Core Strategy is the third stage in its preparation. The Council consulted on the ‘Issues and Options’ between October and December 2006 and on ‘Strategy Directions’ in November and December 2008. An overview of all feedback, and the Council’s consideration of that, is contained in its Consultation Statement. Summaries of individual responses to the ‘Consultation on Strategy Directions’ document, together with officer responses to them, are also viewable on the Council’s website.

(1) 1.14 It is noted that the Core Strategy has been subject to a combined Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). Its purpose is to help planning authorities contribute to achieving sustainable development in preparing their plans. SEA examines the plan primarily for significant environmental effects, while the Sustainability Appraisal considers the wider range of social and economic as well as environmental issues. The review is against a set of sustainability criteria reflecting local problems, and against the plan’s objectives to deliver sustainable development.

1.15 All supporting information, including the Sustainability Appraisal/SEA Report, as well as the Consultation Statement and background evidence studies, is available to view on the website at www.rother.gov.uk/ldf and at the Council’s Community Help Points.

1.16 Following consideration of its soundness by an independent Planning Inspector, he/she will consider the changes suggested in representations and produce a report with recommendations. Under current legislation, these will be binding on the Council and must be incorporated into the final ‘adopted’ Core Strategy, although the Localism Bill proposes to give the Council the final say.

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