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Development & Planning Authority removes requirement for Development Frameworks for smaller housing sites

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Wednesday 19 May 2021

Responding to current economic conditions and after listening to industry feedback, the Development & Planning Authority (D&PA) has taken action and removed the requirement for Development Frameworks for smaller housing proposals of less than 20 dwellings in the Main Centres and Main Centre Outer Areas and less than 10 dwellings in Local Centres. This will remove a step in the process for smaller, less complex sites and achieve a more streamlined planning service while freeing up resources.

The Island Development Plan (IDP) requires Development Frameworks to be approved for certain sites to guide developers and other interested parties when considering development within certain areas or in particular circumstances. Each Framework goes out to public consultation to take into consideration feedback from the community before a final document is approved by the D&PA. The purpose of a Development Framework is to provide, at the very beginning of the development process, a clear interpretation of IDP policies and the opportunities and expectations for a site or area to guide the development.

The previous thresholds at which a Development Framework was required were for developments comprising 10 or more new dwellings in Main Centres and Main Centre Outer Areas and 5 or more new dwellings in the Local Centres.

The IDP allows a flexible approach to be taken and with this in mind the D&PA considered the island's current economic conditions, industry feedback and the experience gained since the IDP was approved by the States in 2016.

D&PA President, Deputy Victoria Oliver, said;

"I am really pleased that the Committee has been able to act swiftly after listening to the feedback we have received from industry.

"Development Frameworks will only be needed now for developments of 20 or more dwellings in the Main Centres and Main Centre Outer Areas and 10 or more dwellings in Local Centres.

"Our evidence concluded that for smaller housing sites the benefits of Development Frameworks can generally be achieved through the planning application process and the public will still be able to comment on or object to any given application.

"By increasing the thresholds as we have this will reduce the burden on developers, get proposed housing developments to site more quickly and free up resources within the States. We will still ensure that appropriate consultation with the community takes place through the planning application process and that the views of the public are listened to. The Committee will continue to monitor this new approach."

A Development Framework will still be required for larger housing developments of 20 or more dwellings in the Main Centres and Main Centre Outer Areas and 10 or more dwellings in Local Centres, and for other sites or forms of development where a Development Framework is currently required under the IDP.

However the D&PA will retain discretion to waive the requirement for a Development Framework for other sites where it does not consider that it would be beneficial or to require a Development Framework for smaller housing sites falling below the new thresholds if it considers that particularly complex issues exist which cannot be satisfactorily addressed only through the planning application process.

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