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You are here: Penwith on the Web/Living in Penwith/Sustainable Development and Improvement (Planning and Building Control)/Local Plan
Penwith District Local Plan
Adopted 2004
8 HOUSING
This Chapter in PDF format (295Kbs)
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INTRODUCTION
POLICY BACKGROUND
POLICIES AND PROPOSALS
Level of Provision
POLICY H-1
Means of Provision
Location of Housing
Protecting the Built Environment
POLICY H-2
Development in Towns
POLICY H-3
PROPOSAL H-A
PROPOSAL H-B
PROPOSAL H-C
PROPOSAL H-D
PROPOSAL H-E
PROPOSAL H-F
PROPOSAL H-G
PROPOSAL H-H
PROPOSAL H-I
PROPOSAL H-J
Rural Areas
POLICY H-4
POLICY H-5
POLICY H-6
POLICY H-7
POLICY H-8
POLICY H-9
Sub-division of Existing Dwellings
POLICY H-10
Conversion of Non-Residential Buildings
POLICY H-11
POLICY H-12
Affordable Housing
POLICY H-13
POLICY H-14
POLICY H-15
Other Special Needs Housing
POLICY H-16
Gypsy Sites
POLICY H-17
Design, Layout and Densities
POLICY H-18
Supply of Land for Housing
TABLE 1/B: SUPPLY OF LAND FOR HOUSING
Summary of POLICIES and PROPOSALS
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Local Plan Menu
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1 Introduction
2 The Local Plan Area
3 Plan Strategy
4 Objectives
5 General Development Guidance
6 Coast and Countryside
7 Towns and Villages
8 Housing
9 Employment
10 Tourism
11 Recreation
12 Transportation
13 Community Services
14 Environmental Appraisal
15 Monitoring and Review
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Proposals Map
Inset Map
Glossary
Plan Help
Terms and Conditions
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8. HOUSING
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8.1 INTRODUCTION

8.1.1 The requirement for housing relates to various factors in addition to the estimated increase in population. Decreasing household size, the number of households sharing dwellings, the number of demolitions, the number of losses to holiday or second home use and the number of vacant dwellings all contribute to the overall requirement.

8.1.2 Census based estimates for 1981 and 1991 indicate that the population of Penwith increased by 10.7%, or approximately 5,800 people, which compared with an 11.2% increase over the same period in Cornwall as a whole. This increase mostly resulted from net in-migration, rather than from natural change in terms of births and deaths, and took place mainly in Penzance and Hayle parishes with, in percentage terms, the increase in Hayle being considerably greater. Significant growth, in percentage terms, also took place in the villages in the Hayle area and in some of the rural parishes. Between 1991 and 2001 indications from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) were that population growth was slowing down and the 2001 Census showed that the total population had risen to 63,013 an increase of 5%, or approximately 3,112 people. Again the increase took place mainly in Penzance and Hayle with, in percentage terms, the largest increase being in Hayle.

8.1.3 The Census results also show that the number of households in Cornwall increased by about 16% between 1981 and 1991, and by 12.8% between 1991 and 2001, as a result of a decrease in household size as well as the growth in population. In Penwith the average household size is below the County average and reflects the higher proportion of elderly people who live in smaller households. Characteristics of special needs in the District can be identified such as a high proportion of adults with a limiting long term illness, at 23.6% in Penwith which is the highest proportion in Cornwall. One person households occupied 28.5% of the housing stock with the District also having the highest proportion, within Cornwall, of single pensioner households. Penwith also had the highest proportion of social housing in 2001 at 13.4% with 17.6% in private rented accommodation. The local authority housing stock was transferred to Penwith Housing Association in 1994.

8.1.4 The total number of dwellings indicated by the 1991 Census was 24,436 and by 2001 this figure was 28,080. The District Council monitors the number of dwellings granted planning permission and built and these records show that between 1991 and 2001 more than 2,435 additional dwellings had been completed; 49% in the Penzance area, 26% in the Hayle area, 15% in the St Ives area and 10% in the St Just area. Between April 2001 and April 2003 a further 496 new dwellings had been provided.

8.1.5 While a significant number of new dwellings has been provided in the District in recent years, there are still serious housing problems. The Council's Housing Needs Appraisal statement (HIPl) in April 1991 indicated that the total number of households on the waiting list was 651 and by April 2001, this figure had risen to 868. During 2003 a district wide Parish Housing Needs register was established to provide an ongoing record of those in need of affordable housing, beyond those who choose to register on the waiting list for, predominantly, social rented housing. The total estimate of need, taking account of both sources, was approximately 2,688 (January 2004) based on current need and that anticipated over the next 5 years.

8.1.6 Of the factors which contribute to the need for housing the competition in the market for seasonal and second home use has a marked effect with Cornwall as a whole having a higher concentration of such properties than anywhere in England. To some extent the provision of purpose built tourist accommodation may absorb some of the demand for seasonal use but this cannot be quantified or controlled. In addition to these factors, the inward migration of, often retired, people has resulted in further competition for market housing. The main factors contributing to housing need in the District are the low average level of earnings and the high, still rapidly increasing, levels of house prices. A household on average earnings in the District, £18,147 in 2003 (Source: New Earnings Survey), could afford a mortgage of only £81,662 based on 3 times the income of 1.5 earners, while the median (average) price of properties was more than double this figure. This “affordability gap” has increased significantly in recent years; for example, based on 2000 house prices it was estimated to be £33,500 compared with £89,959 in 2003.

8.1.7 A significant need for 'affordable' housing exists, therefore, and is not being met by the majority of new dwellings built or available in the market. However, a much stronger approach than previously can be adopted towards the provision of affordable housing to meet needs in the area following from the statement in PPG 3 that "A community's need for affordable housing is a material planning consideration which may properly be taken into account in formulating Local Plan policies".

8.1.8 The Council has a duty "to consider all matters relating to housing in the private sector and to secure an adequate and proper provision and distribution of satisfactory housing accommodation to meet the social economic and environmental needs of the District" (Council's Constitution Part 3 (3) 4). Policies in the Local Plan have an important role to play with other corporate policies in carrying out this duty.

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8.2 POLICY BACKGROUND

8.2.1 Planning Policy Guidance "Housing" (PPG 3) is the most important source of planning policy advice from Central Government on housing matters. It provides guidance on a range of issues relating to the provision of housing and incorporates some significant changes from previous advice. These include further emphasis on the re-use of urban land, in order to relieve pressure on the countryside; the importance of local choice, through the Local Plan process, in deciding how to meet the need for new housing development; encouragement for local authorities to take account of planning policies in preparing housing strategies, and vice versa, and the withdrawal of the previous presumption in favour of releasing land for housing. In addition PPGs/ PPSs 7, 12, 13 and 17 are relevant to matters such as the conversion of rural buildings, housing in rural areas, infrastructure provision, the location of new development having regard to energy conservation, reducing reliance on use of the private car and the retention of recreational and amenity open space in urban areas.

8.2.2 The current Regional Planning Guidance (RPG 10) relates to the accommodation of development in the Region during the period to 2011 and anticipates a continuing increase in population as a result of inward migration. The proposed level of housing development is identified by the Secretary of State subject to it being tested through the Structure Plan process. Emphasis is placed on a range of matters which reflect both the national policy background and the issues that are carried forward in the Structure and Local plans. The guidance identifies that the location, scale and rate of housing development should accord with the principles of sustainable development and focuses new housing in and around main urban areas and where there is easy access to main centres by public transport. The continued relevance of environmental constraints is recognised, together with the need to balance the use of land in urban areas with protection of the historic environment and amenity space, while ensuring that the needs of all sections of the population are met and sufficient provision is made in plans for both general housing and the local need for affordable housing in urban and rural areas. The need to improve residential environments and make the best use of land, particularly previously developed land, and the existing housing stock is also emphasised. In rural areas, housing provision should be related to settlements where employment opportunities and community services can be provided with continuing strict control over new house building in the countryside. RPG 10 will be replaced by the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) which will set out policies, including the amount of housing to be provided in each District, for the period to 2026 and will be part of the development plan.

8.2.3 The Cornwall Structure Plan incorporates strategic policies on most of the issues identified in paragraph 8.2.2 and provides more specific guidance on the scale and location of new housing in each area. The emphasis is on providing new housing mainly in towns, particularly those which are important employment and service centres, with provision in rural areas being made in the main villages and closely related to the needs of the existing population. The importance of providing housing which meets local needs is reflected in policies accepting small scale affordable housing schemes in or adjoining villages on land that would not normally be released for development and seeking an appropriate proportion of housing on development sites to be accessible to those on low incomes, including those with special needs. Other policies relate to development in villages and rural areas, the conversion of existing buildings and the retention of open spaces that contribute to the recreational amenity or environmental quality of an area. The emerging Structure Plan (2004) carries forward this general approach.

8.2.4 In its Housing Strategy, Homes for Life in Penwith 2003 – 2008, the Council sets out the various means by which it seeks to improve both the quantity and quality of the housing available to the people of the District. Partnership with a wide range of bodies is emphasised; these include Social Services and Health Authorities, special needs housing forums, Housing Associations and the Housing Corporation, private developers and land owners, the voluntary sector and tenants. The aims of the Housing Strategy for Penwith are:

  • to provide improved housing and opportunities to access housing for all residents;
  • to understand who homes are being prepared for, to assist those in housing need and to understand housing demand in all tenures;
  • to work in partnership with housing associations and developers to promote affordable housing in towns and sustainable rural communities;
  • to work in partnership with all agencies to provide high quality support services, address inequality and match service provision to local needs;
  • to ensure that everyone has the opportunity of a decent home in the social sector and increase the proportion of private housing in decent condition occupied by vulnerable groups;
  • to make the best use of all available housing and rescue vacant properties for housing;
  • to maximise the opportunity for promoting social inclusion and sustainability through housing investment and secure better community engagement and involvement at the local level.

8.2.5 The Strategy identifies that, as a result of the combination of low wages and high house prices, people in housing need largely require affordable rented housing rather than other forms of tenure. The large scale Voluntary Transfer of the Council's housing stock to a new Penwith based Housing Association has provided resources to improve existing housing and, during the 1990s, supported a substantial 'new build' programme. While some of the Strategy proposals have little relationship with the planning system, others require a supportive and co-ordinated planning policy approach to be effective.

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8.3 POLICIES AND PROPOSALS

8.3.1 The policies in this section carry forward a number of the Local Plan Objectives. Those objectives specific to housing seek to relate development to the estimated growth in population and number of households and to meet the needs of the whole community in terms of general market, affordable and other special needs housing. The Government intends that everyone should have the opportunity of a decent home. These objectives are part of the Local Plan's response to this intention. Others relate to the efficient use of land and existing buildings, reduction in the need to travel and reliance on use of the private car and maximising services provision as well as avoiding adverse impact on the special character of Penwith, its countryside and built environment.

8.3.2 In order to achieve these objectives, the strategy for housing development in the Local Plan can be summarised as follows:

  • to allow for development of a scale that can be well integrated with existing settlements and meets the requirements of the Structure Plan;
  • to place emphasis on the provision of locally affordable housing in order to meet the housing needs of the whole community;
  • to focus development on the main towns of Penzance, Newlyn, St. Ives and Hayle and, to a lesser extent, in St. Just and the principal villages where there is a range of services including public transport;
  • to give priority to the re-use of previously developed land and buildings;
  • to meet the needs of different types of households by providing a mix of housing types and sizes; and
  • to maximise the use of sites for housing, in terms of densities, while ensuring that attractive, safe and accessible living environments are achieved.

This approach seeks to reconcile the requirement for housing development with environmental factors. In considering the use of previously developed land and buildings it will remain important to take account of the location of the site. The main emphasis will be on sites in the towns where the generation of trips can be less and alternatives to use of the private car are available. In villages, where the availability of larger previously developed sites is generally less, the emphasis will remain on meeting local needs in line with the approach to the distribution of development in the Structure Plan. Previously developed sites outside towns and villages may have naturally re-vegetated or, in former mining areas for example, may contribute to the character of the landscape. Housing development on such sites will not be acceptable, therefore, in terms of both impact on the open countryside and trip generation.

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Level of Provision

8.3.3 During the period 1976 to 1991 the rate of new house building significantly exceeded the rate of growth approved in the Structure Plan. The levels of provision approved for Penwith in the first Structure Plan (1976-91) and the First Alteration (1986-2001) equated to an average annual rate of 233 additional dwellings; completions, however, amounted to 4,650 units (1976-91) an annual average of 310 additional dwellings. The rate of development, therefore, exceeded that required to meet population growth and avoid unnecessary pressure on environmental values by more than 1000 dwellings. In addition, the 1991 survey of housing sites indicated that the supply of dwellings either under construction or with outstanding planning permission totalled more than 2000.

8.3.4 The rate of housing development between 1991 and 1996 slowed down and this is likely to be due to both the then depressed housing market and the effect of stricter planning polices in the Penzance Local Plan (adopted 1991) and through complementary non-statutory policies in the remainder of the District. However, in 1996 the number of dwellings under construction or with planning permission still amounted to more than 1700, equivalent to 6.9 years' supply.

8.3.5 The level of housing provision approved for Penwith in the Cornwall Structure Plan is 4,800 dwellings during the period 1991 – 2011. The Structure Plan recognises that “the environmental assets and resources of Penwith perhaps influence development patterns more than any other district in the County.” and concludes that a similar rate of development to that in the previous plan, which reflects Penwith's special environment, is appropriate. This level of provision has been accepted by the District Council and is carried forward in the Local Plan.

8.3.6 The Council has recognised the requirement for a broader approach in establishing the real extent of housing need in the area. A number of surveys has been carried out including a district-wide Housing Need Survey in 1995-96. The surveys indicate that, generally, the need for 'affordable' housing is considerably greater than that identified by the Housing Waiting List, or Register as it is now termed. The Penwith Housing Need Survey report identified a shortfall of more than 700 affordable housing units for the period 1996-2001 taking into account demand and supply projections across both the public and private sectors, and recommended the provision of up to 813 additional affordable dwellings during the five year period.

8.3.7 Updated projections for the period 1999 to 2004 (para. 8.3.70) have shown more clearly that the gap between earnings levels and the lowest paid market housing is significant and increasing with a potential shortfall of more than 1600 units. It is unlikely, unless local economic circumstances change significantly during the plan period, that the continuing need will be less than that projected and the 2003 Parish Housing Needs Register (para. 8.1.5) has confirmed that the need and range of people in need, has substantially increased alongside increased house prices. However, the extent to which the need identified can be met will be dependent on both the amount of public sector funding that becomes available to the District and the response of developers in providing housing that is appropriate to the needs identified.

8.3.8 It is considered realistic to identify a target for the provision of affordable housing which is based on an average completion rate of approximately 70 dwellings a year. This figure takes account of past completion rates as well as what is considered achievable in the future and will include different types of affordable housing provision. Projections of need will be regularly rolled forward as part of the ongoing monitoring and review process which relates to both the Local Plan and the Council's Housing Strategy. More detail on the range and types of need and approach to affordable housing provision is set out in paragraphs 8.3.69 to 8.3.83.

8.3.9 The following policy provides the 'key' approach to housing development in the District and seeks to closely relate the number of dwellings to be provided to the level of provision approved in the Structure Plan. In addition, the policy identifies the target for provision of affordable housing during the Plan period, 1400 dwellings, which will be sought within the overall level of development.

8.3.10 POLICY H-1:

PROVISION WILL BE MADE FOR ABOUT 4,800 NEW DWELLINGS IN PENWITH DISTRICT DURING THE LOCAL PLAN PERIOD (1991-2011). THIS FIGURE WILL INCLUDE A TARGET OF ABOUT 1,400 AFFORDABLE DWELLINGS TO MEET IDENTIFIED LOCAL NEEDS.

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Means of Provision

8.3.11 Of the 4,800 new dwellings required between 1991 and 2011 more than 2,200 had been provided by April 2000 which is slightly above the annual rate implied by the Structure Plan figure and has compensated for the lower building rates in the early part of the Plan period. After taking into account almost 300 dwellings under construction and about 1,000 more that had been granted planning permission (April 2000 Survey), there was a remaining requirement for approximately 1,300 additional units during the Plan period. By 2001 the completions total had risen to 2435, the supply of units under construction or with planning permission was 1193 and there was a remaining requirement for 1172. New dwellings are provided in a number of ways. The development of small sites within towns and villages and the re-use of previously developed sites, including the conversion of non-residential buildings and sub-division of large dwellings into smaller self-contained units, make a significant contribution to the provision of additional housing. Of the dwellings provided in the District between 1991 and 2000 more than 50% were the result of small schemes (up to 5 units) and conversions, with a similar proportion of the supply of housing under construction or with planning permission being comprised of such schemes. The re-use of previously developed land has been monitored since 1997 and the indications over the period to 2000 were that between 50% and 60% of completions were being achieved on previously developed sites including conversions. Between 2000 and 2003 this figure had increased to more than 70% which is above the national target and significantly above those for Cornwall and the South West of England.

8.3.12 The general approach to housing provision in the plan is based on two main factors – the significant contribution coming forward through small scale development within the towns and villages and the availability of sites for more major redevelopment in the main towns, particularly in Hayle. As well as reducing the need to build on “new” land which encroaches on the countryside, this kind of development can generally be integrated within the existing form of towns and villages with limited impact on the built environment. A survey of potential previously developed sites was first carried out for Phase 1 of the National Land Use Database (NLUD) in 1998 and has since been integrated with the monitoring of housing development. This work has confirmed the significance of small sites in meeting the requirement for housing and that sites frequently come forward as a result of a change in the personal circumstances of an owner or occupier.

8.3.13 The Plan's approach was reviewed in the context of PPG3 (revised March 2000) with which it already had a lot in common. The emphasis on use of previously developed land, already identified in PPG13, RPG10 and “Planning for Communities of the Future”, is given high priority in the PPG and a sequential approach was introduced focussing on the re-use of land and buildings before using greenfield sites. This priority was incorporated more specifically in the Plan's policies. The emphasis on the provision of housing in urban areas is an integral part of the Plan's approach and will be achieved through POLICY H-3 (para. 8.3.22) and the complementary limitations on development in the rural area in POLICIES H-4, H-5, H-6 and H-7 (paras. 8.3.47, 8.3.52, 8.3.53 and 8.3.54). The PPG advises that Local Plans should make an allowance for “windfalls”, or sites that are not specifically identified as available, and manage the release of land over the Plan period. As identified in paragraph 8.3.14 allowances for unidentified sites have been made and these are currently based on a percentage of past rates of development on appropriate sites, that is those sites which meet present policy guidelines, together with surveys of previously developed sites. The PPG places emphasis on urban capacity studies in determining likely future “windfall” potential as well as on past trends and the importance of such studies is fully recognised. An Urban Capacity Study for the main towns was carried out jointly with the County Council and the other District Councils in Cornwall in 2001 and the results, together with subsequent assessments of the smaller settlements, have been incorporated into the ongoing monitoring of housing provision and the Plan's approach, particularly through the allocation of specific previously developed sites (paras. 8.3.24 to 8.3.43).

8.3.14 After taking these sites into account, including the areas proposed for redevelopment at Hayle harbour, which are likely to contribute more than 400 dwellings within a mixture of town centre uses (PROPOSAL TV-D), as well as making allowances for the likely continuing contribution from small scale sites, including conversions, it is considered that the remaining requirement for housing during the Plan period can be met without allocating any greenfield sites for general market housing. The survey figures used as the basis for the Plan's approach were updated to April 2001 for the Local Plan Inquiry (2002) and are reflected in Table 1: Supply of Land for Housing. The District Council regularly monitors the number of dwellings granted planning permission and built and publishes an Annual Monitoring Report on housing land availability. In line with advice in PPG 3 to 'plan, monitor and manage' housing supply, the results of annual surveys are taken into account in the approach to determining planning applications and will contribute to the future review of policies. Proposals for mobile homes and residential caravans will be considered in the context of housing policies in the plan in the same way as permanent housing, taking into account their visual and other effects on the surrounding area.

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Location of Housing

8.3.15 Both Government advice (PPG 3) and Policy H 2 in the Structure Plan (1997) place emphasis on the provision of housing in the urban areas close to job opportunities and other facilities and advise that the location of housing should be closely related to the existing or proposed pattern of public services. This approach has become even more important with the increased need for, and emphasis on, energy efficiency in terms of reducing the need to travel and reliance on the use of private cars. In line with the spatial strategy of the Plan, therefore, (para. 3.3.6) most new housing development will be concentrated in the main towns – Penzance, Newlyn, St Ives and Hayle. The housing distribution in the Structure Plan (1997) is based on achieving about two thirds of the housing required in the County's main towns. This implies a slight increase compared with past development trends but one which is considered realistic. In Penwith, while the proportion of housing provided in the main towns has been increasing, less than 60% has so far been achieved. After taking account of completions, together with the supply of land under construction or with planning permission, as at April 2000, approximately 90% of new housing should be provided in the urban areas during the remaining period of the plan if this target is to be met. In other towns and villages, therefore, housing should only be provided on a small scale and, in line with Policy H 2 of the Structure Plan (1997), should be closely related to the needs arising from the existing population.

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Protecting the Built Environment

8.3.16 National and regional guidance place high priority on the re-use of previously developed and urban land and this is fully recognised in the Plan. However, within this approach it remains important to safeguard the amenity and character of urban areas if they are to remain attractive places to live. POLICY TV-1 (para. 7.3.5) seeks to protect the setting and character of towns and villages and to ensure that new development is well integrated into the form of the settlement, while POLICIES TV-2 and TV-3 (paras. 7.3.9 and 7.3.11) protect open areas which contribute to the character, local amenity or environmental quality of their surroundings. In addition POLICY R-3 (para. 11.3.22) safeguards open areas in formal or informal recreational use.

8.3.17 In Conservation Areas the requirements of POLICY TV-6 (para. 7.3.19) must be met in terms of preserving or enhancing the special character of the area. However, the character and amenity of existing residential areas are also important and, while there may be scope for further housing within developed areas, such proposals must be balanced against their impact on their surroundings through the following policy.

8.3.18 POLICY H-2:

THE INTENSIFICATION OF RESIDENTIAL USE IN EXISTING RESIDENTIAL AREAS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT WOULD HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE CHARACTER OR AMENITY OF THE AREA.

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Development in Towns

Development in Penzance (Link to Map 1), Newlyn (Link to Map 8), St. Ives (Link to Map 2 and Link to Map 15 and Link to Map 16) and Hayle (Link to Map 3 and Link to Map 17 and Link to Map 18)

8.3.19 In view of the supply of housing land committed or expected to come forward (paras. 8.3.11 to 8.3.14) compared with the level of provision identified in POLICY H-1 (para. 8.3.10) no additional “greenfield” sites are allocated for market housing and it is intended that provision for housing in the main towns will be made within the existing built up areas, predominantly through the re-use of previously developed land and buildings. PROPOSALS H-A, H-B, H-C, H-D, H-E, H-F, H-G, H-H, H-I, H-J (paras. 8.3.24 to 8.3.43) follow from this approach. The major redevelopment proposals for Hayle harbour (PROPOSAL TV-D) are likely to make a significant contribution to the requirement for housing both within and beyond the Plan period while PROPOSAL TV-A allows for a mixture of uses including housing in Penzance town centre. References to St Ives include Carbis Bay. The definition of previously developed land in PPG3 (Annexe C) includes open areas that comprise the curtilage of a building; however, the guidance makes it clear that this does not mean that the whole area should necessarily be redeveloped. POLICIES H-2 (para. 8.3.18), TV-2 (para. 7.3.9), TV-3 (para. 7.3.11) and TV-4 (para. 7.3.13) will be important in balancing the use of such sites for housing with the protection of the built environment. Where industrial sites or premises are proposed for housing development, the suitability of the site for continued industrial or business use will be considered in the context of POLICY E-10 (para. 9.3.72). Other urban sites will also make a contribution, subject to the provisions of POLICY R-3 (para. 11.3.22) which safeguards recreational areas, but it is considered that the requirement for housing is likely to be met without the need for larger scale schemes on sites that are not previously developed. A size threshold of 0.3 hectare, which would accommodate schemes for about 10 to 15 dwellings at reasonable densities, is considered appropriate to the level of provision required during the Plan period and will allow for the sustainable use of potential sites.

8.3.20 Where proposals are acceptable in principle within the main towns the design and layout must be in keeping with the character of the surrounding area and meet the requirements of policies in the General Development Guidance section (Section 5) and relevant policies in the Towns and Villages section (Section 7). In addition to proposals permitted by POLICY H-3, new dwellings will be provided in towns by the conversion and re-use of existing buildings as permitted by POLICIES H-10, H-11 and H-12 (paras. 8.3.63, 8.3.66 and 8.3.68).

8.3.21 The overall level of housing required, and the amount of development coming forward through small scale sites, results in fewer opportunities for seeking the provision of affordable housing through the “element” approach (POLICY H-13, para. 8.3.74). While this approach will be pursued where appropriate and has been incorporated in the proposals for specific sites, the need for affordable housing in the District, particularly in the main towns, may result in a requirement for some larger scale proposals on undeveloped or “greenfield” sites in or on the edge of the urban areas. However, such proposals will only be acceptable where they wholly and directly meet identified needs in the area, through the requirements of POLICY H-14 (para. 8.3.78), and reflect the presumption in PPG3 that previously developed sites should be utilised before greenfield sites. The Council's Housing Strategy includes emphasis on using previously developed land within its objectives and seeks to prioritise such sites when they become available. Proposals to develop greenfield sites, therefore, will only be acceptable where there is an insufficient supply of suitable previously developed land to meet the need identified in the locality.

8.3.22 POLICY H-3:

PROPOSALS FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED IN PENZANCE (Link to Map 1), NEWLYN (Link to Map 8), ST. IVES (Link to Map 2 and Link to Map 15 and Link to Map 16) AND HAYLE (Link to Map 3 and Link to Map 17 and Link to Map 18) PROVIDED THAT THE PROPOSAL IS FOR THE RE-USE, RENOVATION OR REDEVELOPMENT OF PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED LAND OR BUILDINGS ON SITES WITHIN THE TOWNS.

IN ADDITION, PROPOSALS FOR THE FOLLOWING WILL BE PERMITTED ON GREENFIELD SITES:-

(i) THE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL SITES, 0.3 HECTARE OR LESS IN AREA, WITHIN THE TOWNS; OR

(ii) SCHEMES TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING WHICH MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY H-14.

DEVELOPMENTS PROPOSED IN THE CONTEXT OF CRITERION (ii) OF THIS POLICY WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTABLE WHERE THERE IS AN INSUFFICIENT SUPPLY OF PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED LAND TO MEET THE NEED IDENTIFIED IN TERMS OF LOCATION AND TIMESCALE FOR PROVISION.

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8.3.23 In addition to the general approach to housing provision in POLICY H-3 (para. 8.3.22) a number of specific sites in the main towns are proposed for housing development. The allocation of the sites followed from completion of the Joint Urban Capacity Study. Where the number of units that could be provided is above the threshold in POLICY H-13 (Para. 8.3.74) a percentage of affordable housing will be sought.

Penzance (Link to Map 1)

8.3.24 A key previously developed site in the centre of Penzance is owned by the Council and is proposed to be redeveloped for affordable housing. The timescale for development is dependent on the relocation of the existing uses on the site, but is envisaged for the period 2001 – 2006. Redevelopment would allow for a positive contribution to be made to the built environment, particularly the Conservation Area, and POLICY TV-6 (para. 7.3.18) must be taken into account. Approximately 20 to 30 units could be provided, based on the site's suitability for higher density terraced development, in character with the surrounding area. While parking provision could be limited in this accessible town centre location the problems associated with on street parking in this area of the town will also need to be taken into account.

8.3.25 PROPOSAL H-A:

AN AREA AT PENWITH STREET-CROSS STREET, PENZANCE (0.37 HECTARE) (Link to Map 1) IS PROPOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY H-14. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE OF A SCALE AND DESIGN THAT REFLECTS THE CHARACTER OF THE AREA AND THE SURROUNDING CONSERVATION AREA.

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8.3.26 A high quality but underused Georgian building provides the opportunity for conversion to about 10 flats. The proposal would retain this Listed Building and enable its restoration, making a positive contribution to the townscape and Conservation Area.

8.3.27 PROPOSAL H-B:

ST. ERBYN'S, CLARENCE STREET, PENZANCE (Link to Map 1) (0.13 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR CONVERSION TO HOUSING. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO RESPECT THE LISTED BUILDING AND SURROUNDING CONSERVATION AREA.

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8.3.28 A large previously developed site in different ownerships, close to the Promenade and on the edge of a residential area, is currently unused and semi derelict. Access could be provided, by agreement, through adjacent sites or directly on to Alexandra Road. Redevelopment could provide about 30 units at a relatively high density which would be appropriate in this location. Proposals for the site will need to take account of the risk of flooding in this area in terms of layout and design and will be required to comply with relevant Environment Agency guidance. Policies GD-4 and CS-4 (paras. 5.3.11 and 13.3.19) will be particularly relevant. It is envisaged that the site could be developed during the period 2006 – 2011.

8.3.29 PROPOSAL H-C:

AN AREA AT ALEXANDRA ROAD – WESTERN PROMENADE, WHERRYTOWN, PENZANCE (Link to Map 1)(0.61 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR HOUSING. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO INCORPORATE AN ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF ACCESS TO THE NARROW LANE BEHIND THE BEACHFIELD HOTEL. AT LEAST 30% OF THE UNITS TO BE PROVIDED WILL BE SOUGHT, THROUGH NEGOTIATION TO BE AFFORDABLE, MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY H-14.

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8.3.30 An underused site within a predominantly residential area provides an opportunity for redevelopment. Proposals must take account of the Conservation Area (policy TV-6, para. 7.3.18) and nearby Listed Buildings.

8.3.31 PROPOSAL H-D:

AN AREA AT QUEEN STREET, PENZANCE (Link to Map 1) (0.22 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR HOUSING.

PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO RESPECT THE SETTING OF NEARBY LISTED BUILDINGS AND THE SURROUNDING CONSERVATION AREA.

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Newlyn (Link to Map 8)

8.3.32 The site of the former primary school and adjacent land in Newlyn provides the opportunity for about 10 to 12 units through conversion and additional terraced housing in character with surrounding development.

8.3.33 PROPOSAL H-E:

AN AREA AT CHYWOONE HILL, NEWLYN (Link to Map 8) (0.22 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR HOUSING. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT SHOULD PROVIDE FOR CONVERSION OF THE FORMER SCHOOL BUILDING AND REFLECT THE CHARACTER OF THE SURROUNDING AREA.

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Hayle (Link to Map 17)

8.3.34 An existing industrial site in a predominately residential area within Copperhouse could be redeveloped for housing if the present use ceased or was relocated. The site would be suitable for a high density development, in view of its location and surrounding densities, and could provide approximately 70 dwellings. It is considered unlikely that the site will become available before the period 2006-2011. Whilst the present buildings were constructed within the last thirty years the site includes remnants of Hayle's industrial history, for example, the characteristic boundary walls. Redevelopment proposals should provide, therefore, for historical site investigations to be carried out and for the retention of such distinctive features.

8.3.33 PROPOSAL H-F:

AN AREA BEHIND MADISON TERRACE AND BEATRICE TERRACE, HAYLE (Link to Map 17) (1.34 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR HOUSING. AT LEAST 30% OF THE DWELLINGS TO BE PROVIDED WILL BE SOUGHT, THROUGH NEGOTIATION, TO BE AFFORDABLE, MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY H-14.

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8.3.36 A similar, former industrial, site in Copperhouse could also be redeveloped for housing and could provide about 35 dwellings. Development is unlikely to take place before the period 2006-2011. As with the previous proposal, site investigations should be undertaken to identify and retain distinctive features relating to the industrial history of the area.

8.3.37 PROPOSAL H-G:

AN AREA BEHIND COPPER TERRACE, HAYLE (Link to Map 17 and Link to Map 18) (0.70 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR HOUSING. AT LEAST 30% OF THE DWELLINGS TO BE PROVIDED WILL BE SOUGHT, THROUGH NEGOTIATION, TO BE AFFORDABLE, MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY H-14.

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8.3.38 A former playing field adjacent to residential development in Hayle would allow for the provision of about 12 new dwellings. Although the site is not previously developed, it is owned by the Council and is proposed to be developed for affordable housing which would be in line with criterion (ii) of Policy H-3. Development is envisaged to take place during the period 2001-2006.

8.3.39 PROPOSAL H-H:

AN AREA AT LOGGANS WALK, HAYLE (Link to Map 17) (0.32 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING. PROPOSALS FOR DEVELOPMENT SHOULD PROVIDE FOR RETENTION OF TREES ON THE SITE.

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St. Ives (Link to Map 15)

8.3.40 The Council's depot site in St. Ives is proposed for redevelopment for affordable housing and provides an opportunity to utilise an underused previously developed site within the town. At a higher density, in line with PPG3 guidance, between 10 and 14 dwellings could be provided. Development is envisaged during the period 2006-2011.

8.3.41 PROPOSAL H-I:

AN AREA AT ALEXANDRA ROAD, ST. IVES (Link to Map 15) (0.27 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

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8.3.42 A privately owned car parking area close to the town centre would be suitable for redevelopment for housing if the present use ceased. About 12 dwellings could be provided at a higher density which would be appropriate in this location. Development is unlikely to take place before the later part of the Plan period.

8.3.43 PROPOSAL H-J:

AN AREA ADJACENT TO THE OLD STENNACK SCHOOL, ST. IVES (Link to Map 15) (0.26 HECTARE) IS PROPOSED FOR REDEVELOPMENT FOR HOUSING. PROPOSALS FOR REDEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE OF A SCALE AND DESIGN THAT REFLECTS THE CHARACTER OF THE SURROUNDING AREA.

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Rural Areas

8.3.44 PPG 3 advises that new development in rural areas should be sensitively related to the existing pattern of settlement and have proper regard for protection of the countryside. PPG 7 "The Countryside - Environmental Quality and Economic and Social Development" also advises that the main focus of new development should be on existing towns and villages where employment, housing (including affordable housing) and other facilities can be provided close together. PPS 7 'Sustainable Development in Rural Areas' has been published for consultation; it will supersede PPG7 and will also advise that most development should be focused in, or next to, existing towns and villages.

8.3.45 In Penwith almost half of the population live outside the main town areas, in settlements of less than 3,000 population. A significant number of these settlements have less than 1,000 population. However, the number of settlements, and their location throughout the District, allows for a considerable amount of housing to be provided through small scale developments that can be well integrated with existing small towns and villages and will not intrude into the surrounding countryside.

Development in St. Just (Link to Map 4)

8.3.46 St. Just is located in a prominent position within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Heritage Coast. Previous policies have sought to limit housing proposals to redevelopment and smaller sites within the town and this approach is to be continued. Development will be restricted, therefore, to small sites within the limits of the town, or the conversion of existing buildings as permitted by POLICIES H-10, H-11 and H-12 (paras. 8.3.63, 8.3.66 and 8.3.68). A size threshold of 0.15 hectare, which would provide for about 5 dwellings at an acceptable density, is considered appropriate to the level of provision required. However, the St. Just Parish Housing Survey indicated a substantial need for alternative accommodation with more than two thirds of those in need wanting to remain in the area. The district wide surveys have also identified a significant local need in the St. Just area and proposals for development which would meet this need will be considered as 'exceptions' to normal policies in the terms of POLICY H-15 (para. 8.3.83). Any such proposals must be carefully considered in the context of the town's sensitive setting and character. All development must be of a scale and design which is in keeping with the traditional character of the town, especially where the site is within the Conservation Area, and meet the relevant requirements of policies in the General Development Guidance section (Section 5).

8.3.47 POLICY H-4:

HOUSING DEVELOPMENT IN ST. JUST (Link to Map 4) WILL BE LIMITED TO SMALL SITES, UP TO 0.15 HECTARE IN SIZE, WITHIN THE TOWN.

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Development in Villages

8.3.48 The principles in PPG 3 and PPG 7 are carried forward in the Structure Plan which allows, in principle, for schemes comprising the construction of one or two dwellings, or the conversion, restoration or redevelopment of outworn properties, on sites wholly within any village that has easily definable physical boundaries, a readily identifiable centre and at least some basic community facilities including public transport (Policy H 10). Structure Plan Policy H 9 identifies that housing beyond that permitted by Policy H 10 may be acceptable in larger villages which have sufficient employment opportunities, community facilities and services to avoid undue dependency on the need to travel to other centres. The Structure Plan's aim is to relate future development much more closely to the needs of individual communities on a scale which is compatible with maintaining the character of settlements. This approach is carried forward in the emerging Structure Plan (Policies 10 and 26, 2004).

8.3.49 An assessment has been carried out in the light of these and other policies and the Local Plan's approach to development in villages in Penwith is set out in POLICIES H-5, H-6 and H-7 (paras. 8.3.52 to 8.3.54). POLICY H-5 relates to the main villages which have a range of community facilities and services including a reasonable all purpose public transport service which provides a number of daily journeys for peak start and finish times for work, school and shopping trips. POLICIES H-6 and H-7 relate to other villages which meet the requirements of Policy H 10 in the Structure Plan for some limited development; however, POLICY H-7 limits new housing development to the conversion of existing buildings in certain villages in order to protect their special character and setting. The capacity of services and level of facilities available in villages is regularly monitored; where a particular village no longer meets the criteria identified in paragraph 8.3.48, for example through the loss of public transport services or a general shop, is not considered suitable for further housing development.

8.3.50 A number of factors have been taken into account in determining the scale of development that is appropriate. The emphasis on housing provision being mainly within towns, while in rural areas it should be closely related to the needs arising from the existing population (Structure Plan Policy H2), establishes the basis for the distribution of housing between towns and villages. This must be considered in the context of the overall requirement for housing in the District, the supply of sites coming forward and the number of villages that can provide some housing. In addition, the impact of individual proposals on the character of villages and community life must be considered together with the requirement for sites to be well integrated with the existing form of the village without intrusion into surrounding countryside (Structure Plan Policy H9). As a result it is considered that individual proposals for about 5 dwellings, defined by a site size of 0.15 hectare, within the present limits of the main villages, will be appropriate in terms of both limiting the amount of housing provided outside towns and making provision for the needs of rural areas and the overall requirement for population and household growth during the Plan period. The scale of development allowed for in villages relates equally to previously developed and 'greenfield' sites, for the reasons of distribution referred to above. In addition the site of a proposal should not form part of a larger undeveloped area. The sub-division of larger areas of land within, or on the edge of, villages into smaller parcels that cumulatively would exceed the scale of development provided for, will not be acceptable therefore. The scale of proposal appropriate in the villages listed in Policy H-6, in the context of the overall distribution of housing within the District, is for one or two dwellings. As in the larger villages, the sub-division of areas into smaller sites will not be acceptable.

8.3.51 The requirements of policies in the General Development Guidance section (Section 5) must be met by individual proposals together with the relevant policies in the Towns and Villages section. In particular the proposal must be of a scale and design which is in keeping with the character of the village, be capable of being well integrated into the form of the settlement and not have an adverse effect on areas of amenity, recreational or wider environmental value (POLICY TV-1, para. 7.3.5). In some areas localised sewerage, sewage treatment or water supply problems may restrict development unless improvements are carried out or alternative facilities can be agreed. In St. Buryan the sewage treatment works serving the village is overloaded and development is restricted to 10 additional dwellings beyond commitments at the 1991 base date unless alternative arrangements can be agreed. Such arrangements will be assessed against the requirements of Policy CS-6 (para. 13.3.24).

8.3.52 POLICY H-5:

PROPOSALS FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED WITHIN THE MAIN VILLAGES LISTED BELOW PROVIDED THAT THE PROPOSAL IS FOR A SMALL SITE, UP TO 0.15 HECTARE IN SIZE, WHICH DOES NOT FORM PART OF A LARGER UNDEVELOPED AREA.

MADRON (Link to Map 9)
HEAMOOR (Link to Map 9)
GULVAL (TREVARRACK) (Link to Map 10)
LUDGVAN (LOWER QUARTER) (Link to Map 11)
CROWLAS (Link to Map 11)
LONG ROCK (Link to Proposal Map East (West)) AND
THE TOWN OF MARAZION (Link to Map 12
ST. BURYAN (Link to Proposal Map West (Central))
PENDEEN (Link to Map 6)
GOLDSITHNEY (Link to Map 13)
ST. ERTH (Link to Map 14)
LELANT (Link to Proposal Map East (Central))
CONNOR DOWNS (Link to Proposal Map East (East))

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8.3.53 POLICY H-6:

PROPOSALS FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED IN THE FOLLOWING VILLAGES PROVIDED THAT THE PROPOSAL IS FOR ONE OR TWO DWELLINGS, ON A SITE WHOLLY WITHIN THE VILLAGE WHICH HAS BUILT DEVELOPMENT ON AT LEAST THREE SIDES AND DOES NOT FORM PART OF A LARGER UNDEVELOPED AREA.

MOUSEHOLE (Link to Map 7)
PAUL (Link to Map 7)
NEWBRIDGE (Link to Proposal Map West (Central))
NANCLEDRA  (Link to Proposal Map East (West))
TREWELLARD (Link to Map 6)
SENNEN COVE (Link to Proposal Map West (West))
SENNEN CHURCHTOWN (Link to Proposal Map West (West))
PORTHCURNO (Link to Proposal Map East (Central))
RELUBBUS (Link to Proposal Map East (Central))
PERRANUTHNOE (Link to Map 13)
ROSUDGEON-PERRAN DOWNS (Link to Map 13)
CANONSTOWN (Link to Map 14 and Link to Proposal Map East (West))
PHILLACK (Link to Map 17)
ANGARRACK (Link to Proposal Map East (Central))
CARNHELL GREEN (Link to Proposal Map East (East)) AND
WALL - REAWLA (Link to Proposal Map East (East))

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8.3.54 POLICY H-7:

PROPOSALS FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT, OTHER THAN THE CONVERSION OF SUITABLE EXISTING BUILDINGS, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED IN THE FOLLOWING VILLAGES.

GULVAL CHURCHTOWN (Link to Map 10)
LUDGVAN CHURCHTOWN (Link to Map 11)
SANCREED CHURCHTOWN (Link to Proposal Map West (Central))
LAMORNA (Link to Proposal Map West (West))
TREEN (Link to Proposal Map West (Central))
GWINEAR CHURCHTOWN (Link to Proposal Map East (East))
GWITHIAN CHURCHTOWN (Link to Map 19)
ZENNOR CHURCHTOWN (Link to Proposal Map West (East))
HALSETOWN (Link to Map 16)

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Housing Outside Towns and Villages

8.3.55 PPG 7 advises that new house building and other new development in the open countryside, away from established settlements, should be strictly controlled. New dwellings require special justification, for example where they are essential for farm or forestry workers to live close to their place of work. PPG 7 also suggests that sensitive infilling in groups of houses may be acceptable but that this would depend on the character of the surroundings and the number of such groups in the area. However, Policy H 11 in the Structure Plan requires that, for a new dwelling to be built other than in a village meeting the requirements of Policy H 10, there must be an essential, employment related, need which cannot be met in any other way. Given the number and dispersed pattern of settlements in Penwith, and the quality and distinctive character of the landscape, the greater control incorporated in the Structure Plan approach is considered justified. The following policy will apply, therefore, to all proposals for housing outside the towns and the villages listed in POLICIES H-5, H-6 and H-7 (paras. 8.3.52 to 54).

8.3.56 In Penwith the pattern of towns and villages provides a focus for housing and employment related development throughout the rural area. There are some instances where new dwellings could be acceptable outside towns and villages through the sub-division of existing dwellings, as permitted through POLICY H-10 (para. 8.3.63), or the conversion of a non-residential building as part of a scheme for employment use, as permitted by POLICY H-11 (para. 8.3.66). In addition where it is essential for a person working in agriculture or forestry to live at or very close to their place of work the provision of a new dwelling may be justified. In such cases the County Land Agent will be consulted to establish the functional need for the dwelling as part of the business operation.

8.3.57 Advice in PPG 7 Annexe I, which is to be replaced by PPS 7 'Sustainable Development in Rural Areas', is relevant in this respect and identifies a number of requirements including that the dwelling's size should be commensurate with its intended use and occupancy conditions should be imposed. In order to minimise further impact of new development on the countryside every effort should be made to accommodate such dwellings by the conversion of existing buildings. Only where there is no suitable building available should the construction of a new dwelling be agreed. Where the requirement for a new building is accepted its siting should have minimum impact on the surrounding landscape and be closely related to the need identified. Where permission is granted an appropriate occupancy restriction will be applied. Applications for the removal of such an occupancy condition will take into account the local need for the accommodation. A recognised local need will be for either accommodation which meets the agricultural occupancy condition or for affordable accommodation meeting an identified community need in the locality, which would be subject to secure arrangements to ensure that it would be retained for local needs in the long term. Justification for removing the occupancy condition must be supported by evidence of a lack of need, based on appropriate marketing of the property over a reasonable period of time.

8.3.58 POLICY H-8:

NEW DWELLINGS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED OUTSIDE THE TOWNS AND THE VILLAGES LISTED IN POLICIES H-5, H-6 AND H-7 UNLESS:-

(i) THE PROPOSAL MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICIES H-10 OR H-11 OR

(ii) THERE IS AN ESSENTIAL NEED FOR A PERSON WORKING IN AGRICULTURE OR FORESTRY TO LIVE AT THE PROPOSED LOCATION.

WHERE AN ESSENTIAL NEED EXISTS THE DEVELOPMENT MUST BE ACCOMMODATED, WHEREVER POSSIBLE, BY THE CONVERSION OF AN EXISTING BUILDING. IF THE CONSTRUCTION OF A NEW BUILDING IS NECESSARY IT SHOULD BE SITED IN AN EXISTING COMPLEX.

THE OCCUPANCY OF DWELLINGS PERMITTED BY CRITERION (ii) OF THIS POLICY WILL BE CONTROLLED THROUGH THE USE OF CONDITIONS.

THE SUBSEQUENT REMOVAL OR VARIATION OF SUCH A CONDITION WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS REASONABLE AND SUSTAINED ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO SELL OR LET THE PROPERTY AT A PRICE THAT REFLECTS THE OCCUPANCY CONDITION. THIS SHOULD BE FOR CONTINUED AGRICULTURAL OCCUPANCY OR, WHERE THIS IS UNSUCCESSFUL AND WHERE THE PROPERTY IS SUITABLE IN TERMS OF SIZE AND TYPE, TO ASSIST IN MEETING AN IDENTIFIED COMMUNITY NEED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING WHICH MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY H-14. IN SUCH A CASE THE AGRICULTURAL OCCUPANCY CONDITION WILL BE REPLACED BY A CONDITION LIMITING OCCUPATION TO THOSE IN NEED OF SUCH ACCOMMODATION.

Note: In order to assess fully that reasonable and sustained attempts to sell or let the property have been made the applicant will be required to market the property, normally for a period of at least 12 months, and a statement of the efforts that have been made must be submitted.

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Replacement or Extension of Dwellings Outside Towns and Villages.

8.3.59 The replacement of existing dwellings in the countryside has, in a number of cases, resulted in a small inconspicuous dwelling being replaced with a significantly larger one of totally different character and which has a greater impact on the landscape. Similarly, proposals to extend dwellings can completely change the type and character of the original dwelling and its impact on the countryside. The replacement of Listed Buildings is not likely to be acceptable and, in other cases, existing dwellings should be retained and improved as they are wherever possible. However, where such a course of action is not practicable a replacement dwelling will generally be acceptable provided it is of a similar size to the existing and the design and materials are appropriate to the location. Where extensions are proposed their size and design should not dwarf the scale of the original building and should respect its character. POLICIES GD-l and GD-2 (paras. 5.3.3 and 5.3.7), which relate to the scale and design of development, will be particularly relevant to such proposals while POLICIES TV-10 and TV-12 (paras. 7.3.27 and 7.3.31) are relevant to development affecting Listed Buildings. An extension to a dwelling to provide a separate unit of accommodation outside a town or village will be considered under POLICY H-10 (para.8.3.63).

8.3.60 POLICY H-9:

THE ON-SITE REPLACEMENT OF DWELLINGS OUTSIDE TOWNS OR THE VILLAGES LISTED IN POLICIES H-5, H-6 AND H-7 WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:-

(i) THE REPLACEMENT DWELLING WOULD NOT CAUSE SIGNIFICANT HARM TO THE CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE LANDSCAPE OR THE COUNTRYSIDE.

(ii) THE RETENTION OF THE DWELLING, WHERE IT MAKES A POSITIVE CONTRIBUTION TO THE LANDSCAPE OR CHARACTER OF THE AREA, IS IMPRACTICABLE THROUGH RENOVATION OR IMPROVEMENTS.

THE EXTENSION OF EXISTING DWELLINGS IN SUCH AREAS WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THE PROPOSAL WOULD NOT HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THE SCALE, RURAL CHARACTER OR APPEARANCE OF THE ORIGINAL BUILDING. IN ALL CASES THE DEVELOPMENT MUST NOT HARM THE CHARACTER OF THE COUNTRYSIDE OR ITS NATURAL RESOURCES.

Note: This policy does not apply where the residential use of the dwelling has been abandoned, to the replacement of a listed building or of a residential caravan or mobile home by a new permanent building.

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Sub-division of Existing Dwellings

8.3.61 The conversion, or sub-division, of existing dwellings to provide smaller units of accommodation can provide for more effective use of larger properties, the needs of a growing number of smaller households and, to an extent, a source of affordable housing to rent or purchase. In towns and villages the most usual problems associated with such proposals are inadequate off street parking space, a lack of outdoor amenity space and the potential for seasonal use. Useful advice on car parking and outdoor privacy is set out in the Cornwall Design Guide for Residential Development. The use of front gardens for parking areas must be weighed against the resulting loss of amenity, especially in Conservation Areas. Outside towns and villages the impact of any changes to the building on the landscape, and the distance from services and consequent need to travel, must be taken into account. The creation of new separate units of accommodation will, therefore, be related to the existing pattern of services and community facilities in a similar way to proposals for new dwellings.

8.3.62 The conversion of properties to houses in multiple occupation can make a significant contribution to the housing stock and provide for a certain type of housing need and this must be balanced against the potential problems resulting from the development. A code of practice and set of standards for space and amenities has been adopted by the Council for the purpose of notices under the Housing Acts and the health and safety of occupants must be the primary consideration. In this respect a joint approach between the Planning and Health Departments is necessary. The increased number of households, although often comprising only one person, is likely to result in a greater level of activity and the main problems, other than those which should be dealt with through the Housing Acts, are increased traffic, inadequate parking, effect on the character of the property or area and, in some cases, loss of holiday accommodation. A policy has been included in the Tourism section (POLICY TM-2, para. 10.3.7) which seeks to safeguard holiday accommodation where its loss would have an adverse effect on the tourism resource. It is also important that those that are permitted are located close to basic community facilities.

8.3.63 POLICY H-10:

THE SUB-DIVISION OF DWELLINGS INTO SMALLER SELF-CONTAINED UNITS OR THE CHANGE OF USE OF PREMISES TO HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION WILL BE PERMITTED WITHIN TOWNS AND THE VILLAGES LISTED IN POLICIES H-5, H-6 AND H-7 PROVIDED THAT THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT HAVE AN ADVERSE IMPACT ON THE CHARACTER OF THE BUILDING OR ITS SURROUNDINGS.

IN OTHER LOCATIONS SUCH DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT THE BUILDING IS WITHIN SAFE AND CONVENIENT WALKING DISTANCE OF A RANGE OF COMMUNITY FACILITIES AND SERVICES.

WHERE PROPOSALS INVOLVE THE CHANGE OF USE OF A GUESTHOUSE OR HOTEL THEY MUST NOT BE IN CONFLICT WITH POLICY TM-2.

Note: For the purpose of this policy a house in multiple occupation is defined as a property occupied by more than one household and divided into separate letting units which are not self-contained.

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Conversion of Non-Residential Buildings

8.3.64 As already identified (para. 8.3.11) the conversion and re-use of existing buildings can make a significant contribution in providing new dwelling units. However, there are implications of such development which must be taken into account. Firstly, conversion to residential use can result in the loss of buildings which provide an important stock of employment opportunities. Secondly, while an appropriate re-use is important in securing the retention of buildings, particularly those of architectural or historical value, the effect of the conversion should not have an adverse impact on the character of the building or its surroundings, especially in Conservation Areas and the countryside. In addition, the location of the building must be taken into account in relation to traffic and trip generation. These and other considerations are reflected in national policy guidance, primarily PPG7, and in Structure Plan Policy ENV11. In rural areas PPG7 advises that the re-use and adaptation of existing buildings has an important role in meeting the need for commercial, industrial, tourism and recreational development. The PPG (Annex G) also advises that, while residential conversions have a minimal impact on the rural economy, conversions for holiday use can contribute more and may reduce pressure to use other houses in the area for holiday use. Policies E-4 (para. 9.3.25), TM-12 (para. 10.3.50) and TM-13 (para. 10.3.54) allow for conversions to business and tourism related uses including holiday accommodation. This approach leads to an emphasis on employment uses rather than on residential; this is carried forward in Structure Plan Policy ENV11 which requires that, in rural areas, priority should be given to provision for employment needs. While the focus for activity will remain on towns and villages, some uses will be appropriate outside main settlements and can make an important contribution to the rural economy.

8.3.65 After taking into account the advice in PPG7, relevant Structure Plan policies and the objectives of the Local Plan the following approach to the re-use of buildings has been developed. In towns and villages listed in POLICIES H-5, H-6 and H-7 the conversion of buildings for residential use will usually be acceptable in principle and will make a significant contribution to the amount of housing provided on previously developed sites. However, the use of existing buildings for employment purposes is also important and the provisions of POLICY E-10 (para. 9.3.72), which seek to retain buildings in industrial or business use where their loss would harm employment opportunities, must also be considered. The suitability of a building for continued employment related use will be assessed, therefore, in considering applications for change of use to residential (paras. 9.3.70 and 71). Outside towns and villages, where the provision of new housing is strictly controlled unless there is a special justification to live at the location, every reasonable attempt should be made, in line with advice in the PPG, to secure business re-use before residential use is considered. The type of use that is appropriate will depend on the location of the site in relation to traffic and trip generation but could include conversion to holiday accommodation. More advice is contained in the Employment section (paras. 9.3.21 to 9.3.24) and the Tourism section (paras. 10.3.48 to 10.3.49). Where a scheme for business use is proposed, for example where a complex of buildings could provide a number of individual workspaces or a larger amount of floorspace, it may be necessary for a dwelling to be provided as part of the scheme. However, the need to live at the location should be justified and the residential element must be both subordinate to the business element and closely linked to it in terms of occupation. In all locations details of how the building is converted, in terms of scale, design and materials used, must meet the requirements of POLICY GD-7 (para. 5.3.20).

8.3.66 POLICY H-11:

THE CONVERSION OF NON-RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS TO DWELLINGS WILL BE PERMITTED WITHIN TOWNS AND THE VILLAGES LISTED IN POLICIES H-5, H-6 AND H-7.

OUTSIDE TOWNS AND THE VILLAGES REFERRED TO ABOVE SUCH DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE PERMITTED UNLESS THE BUILDING IS:-

(i) OF A FORM, BULK AND GENERAL DESIGN WHICH IS IN KEEPING WITH ITS SURROUNDINGS AND

(ii) IS A SUBORDINATE PART OF A SCHEME FOR THE REUSE OF A BUILDING, OR COMPLEX OF BUILDINGS, FOR EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES, OR

(iii) REASONABLE AND SUSTAINED ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO SECURE SUITABLE BUSINESS RE-USE.

WHERE A PROPOSAL MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF CRITERION (ii) OF THIS POLICY PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED UNLESS OCCUPANCY OF THE DWELLING IS TIED, THROUGH THE USE OF CONDITIONS OR A PLANNING OBLIGATION, TO COMPLETION OF THE WORKS NECESSARY FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ENTERPRISE AND ITS SUBSEQUENT OPERATION.

Note: In order to assess fully that reasonable and sustained attempts to secure employment re-use have been made, the applicant will be required to show, by submitting a statement of the efforts made, that the building, or its location, are suitable or that as a result of marketing the property, normally for a period of at least 12 months, there is no demand in the locality. Employment re-use could include tourism proposals which meet the requirements of Policy TM-12.

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Dwellings Over Premises in Town Centres

8.3.67 Vacant or under used space above shops or offices can often be renovated or converted to provide useful housing accommodation with other advantages in terms of additional income for the owner, better security and property maintenance and increased activity, especially relevant in town centres. The 1988 Housing Act allows registered Housing Associations to own part-commercial property, either freehold or on a fixed-term lease. Associations can then renovate the property, using relevant grant aid, and subsequently manage its letting. The 'Living Over the Shop' (LOTS) consultancy provides an information service to promote, and demonstrate the feasibility of, such schemes. Individual LOTS schemes which meet a local housing need are encouraged by both the Housing and Planning Departments of the Council in conjunction with Housing Associations. Whether or not the proposal is achieved through the involvement of a Housing Association, the use or re-use of unused space above town centre premises for residential purposes makes better use of existing buildings to provide housing. Proposals for one dwelling unit can be carried out as permitted development while those that require planning permission will be supported through the following policy, provided relevant requirements of the General Development Guidance policies (Section 5) are met.

8.3.68 POLICY H-12:

THE CONVERSION OF VACANT OR UNDER USED SPACE ABOVE TOWN CENTRE PREMISES TO RESIDENTIAL USE WILL BE PERMITTED.

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Affordable Housing

8.3.69 'Affordable' housing is defined in Circular 13/96 "Planning and Affordable Housing" as encompassing both low-cost market and subsidised housing (irrespective of tenure, ownership – whether exclusive or shared – or financial arrangements) that will be available to people who cannot afford to rent or buy houses generally available on the open market. The overall need for affordable housing in the District is identified in paragraphs 8.3.6 to 8.3.8 and, in line with advice in PPG3 a target of 1400 affordable dwellings for the Plan period is included in POLICY H-1 (para. 8.3.10).

8.3.70 There is a number of ways in which low cost housing can be provided including the conversion of existing properties into smaller units or houses in multiple occupation (POLICY H-10, para. 8.3.63), the use of empty or underused space above premises in town centres (POLICY H-12, para. 8.3.68) and, on appropriate sites, higher density development. However, low cost housing is not necessarily “affordable” in the Penwith context because of the local disparity between earnings and house prices. The Housing Need Survey in 1996 identified that more than half of those in housing need had a total household income of less than £150 per week, with a further 15% in receipt of £150 to £200 per week and 10% between £200 and £250 per week. Assuming a mortgage of 95%, and a lending multiple of 3, 80% of those in need would be unable to purchase properties costing more than about £40,000. Within these levels the majority of those in need could afford much less – the Survey indicated that more than half the projected need was for rent (at £60 per week or less), 10% of the requirement would be for market housing at between £26,000 and £40,000 with about 20% only able to afford £25,000 or less. While it was estimated that some market housing would become available at or below £40,000 (based on additions to Council Tax records of Band “A” properties) this fell significantly short of the need. In reality very little general market housing is available at £40,000 or less in the District with properties at this price not usually being “affordable” because of their type or state of repair and, therefore, suitability for mortgage. Research based on 2000 Land Registry Data (January to June) indicated a median price for properties in Penwith of £72,000 with the lower quartile figure being £50,000. In comparison, using New Earnings Survey data for Cornwall, together with the 1995 study by the University of Bristol of poverty in West Cornwall, it is estimated that 5.7% of households could afford a mortgage of only £23,868 with 4.3% of households able to afford only £47,736. Revised average “affordability” levels of £38,500 to buy, £57 per week to rent, have been calculated based on 1.5 earners per household. These affordability levels have been incorporated in the projections of need for the period 1999 to 2004 referred to in paragraph 8.3.7. More recent indicators are that average house prices in 2003 had almost doubled and the gap between the mortgage that could be afforded on average earnings and the average house price had accordingly increased, from an estimated £33,500 in 2000 to £89,959 in 2003. Calculations of the levels of affordability will be regularly updated throughout the Plan period as new data becomes available and will be reflected in the Council's Housing Strategy. In conclusion therefore, while low cost market housing is an important element in the overall mix of provision, it is unlikely to meet the need for affordable housing in the area unless it is significantly discounted through shared ownership or other arrangements, and the need for rented accommodation is likely to remain substantial.

8.3.71 A number of key findings about the nature of housing need in the District emerged from the 1996 district wide survey as follows:

  • Nearly 12% of households or their occupants expressed a housing need. This represents up to 3,300 households and up to 6,000 people in the District.
  • Of those households who expressed a housing need, 30% were in immediate need of accommodation.
  • At least 1 in 10 of all those who had indicated a need for alternative accommodation had already moved between the completion of the questionnaire in November 1995 and the commencement of interviews in February 1996. This appears to confirm expectations that those in the greatest need often have to be prepared to be highly mobile.
  • Nearly a third of all households in need were concealed within other households and would be emerging – i.e. they were individuals, families or groups who were seeking accommodation separately from the rest of the household.
  • Only 26% of all those seeking alternative accommodation were hoping to buy a house and this fell to just 8% of those considered to fall within the narrower definition of being “in need”.

8.3.72 The Survey also identified that households with children formed a significant proportion of those in need across the District but that there was also a need by single person households which varied between locations from approximately 23% in Penzance and St Ives to only 8% in Hayle. The range of findings about the type of households in need translated into recommendations on the type of accommodation to be provided by location, including 22% across the District for disabled or elderly people. The Council's Housing Strategy identifies a number of sources of information on housing needs, including the Special Needs Register, which enables provision to be closely matched to needs in the area through, for example, nomination rights. The assessment of local needs will continue to be developed through joint working in support of the Strategy. Since the Parish Housing Needs Register was established during 2003, it is being used to identify the need in each area and it is the Council's intention to combine the Parish Needs Register and the Common Housing Register into one Homeseekers Register which is continuously updated.

8.3.73 It is proposed, in PPG 3, that where there is a demonstrable lack of affordable housing to meet local needs, the local plans should include a policy seeking affordable housing in suitable housing developments. More detailed advice on this approach is set out in Circular 6/98 “Planning and Affordable Housing” including thresholds for the size of site relevant to the policy. In rural settlements with a population of 3,000 or fewer the threshold is not specified but should be related to assessments of local needs and the available supply of land for housing. St Just and all the main villages in Penwith fall within this population band. In larger settlements a threshold of 25 or more dwellings or a site area of 1 hectare or more is identified; however, the circular allows for the adoption of a lower threshold, provided that this is not below 15 dwellings or 0.5 hectare, in these settlements where exceptional local constraints can be demonstrated. The overall approach to the provision of housing means that the available supply of land for housing in St Just and the villages will be limited to the re-use of existing buildings and small sites. Provision for affordable housing can be made through schemes that meet the requirements of POLICIES H-4, H-5 and H-6 (paras. 8.3.47, 8.3.52 and 8.3.53), or, where justified, by rural exception sites (POLICY H-15, para. 8.3.83). Where there is a need, but not of a scale which is likely to justify a new development scheme, the purchase of existing satisfactory properties is encouraged through the Council's Housing Strategy. However, the rural white paper “Our Countryside: the future”, published in November 2000, identifies that in villages where there is a clear need for affordable housing, local authorities can seek a proportion of affordable housing even on the smallest site and emphasises that, if there is evidence of need and subject to financial viability, there is no reason why they should not seek “to match every new market house with an affordable home”. It is considered appropriate, therefore, in seeking to closely relate provision in rural areas to needs arising from the existing population, to adopt a threshold of 2 or more dwellings. In the towns the circumstances are very similar in that, in order to relate housing provision closely to that required to meet population and household growth, the supply of general housing land will be limited to previously developed sites and small sites within the urban area. While some previously developed sites will be of a size that can accommodate 25 or more dwellings most are likely to be smaller. It is considered relevant, therefore, taking into account the extent of need in the towns for a range of types of households and the supply of sites coming forward, to adopt a threshold of 15 or more dwellings or 0.5 hectare or more in area.

8.3.74 POLICY H-13:

AN ELEMENT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING WHICH MEETS THE REQUIREMENTS OF POLICY H-14 WILL BE SOUGHT THROUGH NEGOTIATION IN PROPOSALS FOR:-

(i) 15 OR MORE DWELLINGS, OR 0.5 HECTARE OR MORE IN AREA,

(ii) 2 OR MORE DWELLINGS, SUBJECT TO FINANCIAL VIABILITY, IN SETTLEMENTS WITH A POPULATION OF 3,000 OR LESS.

THE NUMBER AND TYPE OF DWELLINGS SOUGHT IN EACH CASE WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE SUITABILITY OF THE SITE, THE NEED TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL HOUSING DEVELOPMENT; THE IDENTIFIED NEED FOR SUCH HOUSING AND THE PROVISION PERMITTED OR PROPOSED IN THE LOCALITY.

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8.3.75 If the need for affordable housing is to be met, while remaining in line with the Local Plan's objectives, it is necessary to focus on an alternative to the "negotiated element" approach in POLICY H-13. PPG 3 identifies that in rural areas, where there are unlikely to be development sites of a sufficient scale to trigger this approach, special provision through the rural 'exceptions' scheme can be made (POLICY H-6 para. 8.3.53). However, while this situation exists throughout Penwith, Annex 'A' to PPG 3 limits the scheme to sites within or adjoining villages. In line with the principles of locating most new housing in the main towns (para. 8.3.12) and with meeting the demonstrated need for affordable housing in these towns, the Council actively encourages, through close working links between its planning and housing functions, the development or redevelopment of urban sites for affordable housing as allowed for by POLICY H-3 (para. 8.3.22). In this way a relevant proportion of the total number of dwellings provided should be developed for affordable housing.

8.3.76 Where housing is equally available to those from outside the area there is no guarantee that a 'local need' will be met. It is therefore necessary to ensure, through the use of planning conditions or obligations, that affordable housing to meet an identified local need is available to, and occupied by, those who need it and that it remains available to successive occupiers. It may also be relevant in this respect to consider the withdrawal of permitted development rights relating to extensions and alterations to ensure that the property remains at an 'affordable' value. In shared ownership schemes the Government's restriction on the right to staircase to full ownership, in settlements with a population of less than 3,000, is relevant. Where occupancy criteria are applied to a development of affordable housing, a cascade approach will be adopted. Under this approach the eligibility criteria will initially be restricted to local residents, people employed locally or people with local connections. If the housing remained unallocated after a certain time the criteria would widen to ensure that a suitable occupant is found. The initial locality would normally be the village or parish and subsequently would include neighbouring parishes or the District as a whole. In the main towns of Penzance and Hayle, however, it would initially include the whole District. Supplementary Planning Guidance on affordable housing issues is to be prepared to provide further advice on the interpretation and implementation of the relevant policies.

8.3.77 It is equally important that schemes for affordable housing provide a mix of housing types which meet a clearly identified local need. The Housing Needs Survey indicates that, while most of the identified need is for two person or family accommodation, there is a clear requirement for single person accommodation as well as for housing designed for elderly or physically disabled people. The Council's Housing Register also provides an indication of the type of accommodation needed.

8.3.78 POLICY H-14:

PROPOSALS FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING WILL BE REQUIRED TO:-

(i) GENUINELY PROVIDE FOR AN IDENTIFIED NEED IN THE LOCALITY OF THE SITE IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER AND TYPE OF DWELLINGS; AND

(ii) INCLUDE SECURE ARRANGEMENTS, THROUGH THE INVOLVEMENT OF A REGISTERED SOCIAL LANDLORD OR WHERE OTHER AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDERS ARE INVOLVED THROUGH THE USE OF CONDITIONS OR A PLANNING OBLIGATION, TO ENSURE THAT THE DWELLINGS WILL BE RETAINED AS AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE LONG TERM.

Note: In Penzance and Hayle the locality will be the whole District; in St. Ives it will be the parish and the parishes of Towednack and Zennor; elsewhere it will be the relevant settlement.

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Rural 'Exception' Sites

8.3.79 While affordable housing schemes may come forward in St. Just and villages through other policies in the Plan (Policies H-4, H-5, H-6 paras. 8.3.47 to 8.3.53) there are particular difficulties in securing the provision of appropriate and sufficient affordable housing in rural areas where the achievement of even 50% of new housing on planned sites is inadequate to meet the need identified. However, PPG 3 allows for the release of small sites, which would not normally be granted planning permission, within or adjoining villages where they would be developed for local needs housing. Such proposals will be considered as an exception to normal policies for housing development and it will be essential for the local planning authority to satisfy itself that the housing could not be provided by other means and that arrangements to reserve the housing for local needs, both initially and on subsequent changes of occupant, are adequate. Such an approach is supported by Structure Plan Policy H 12.

8.3.80 It will also be important to establish that the housing being provided will meet a genuine need to live in the locality of the site. To meet this requirement potential occupiers of the development should fall within one of the following categories - existing residents needing separate accommodation in the locality; people who have employment in the locality and, as a result, need to live there; and people who have 'long-standing' links with the local community, for example to move back to be near their family. Government advice is very clear that affordable housing should be related to 'a community need' not to an individual's need.

8.3.81 While there is no definition 'a village' in the PPG, in terms of size, a population level of 3,000 or fewer is included in the criteria in paragraph 10 of Circular 6/98 relevant to the provision of affordable housing in rural areas. In Penwith, apart from the towns of Penzance, Newlyn, St Ives and Hayle, all settlements currently fall within this size threshold. Those with an appropriate level of basic community facilities, including safe access to a primary school and a general shop, provide a basis for the sustainable location of housing to meet the community need. The locality of the site will normally be the settlement or parish but could include adjacent parishes which have no villages with suitable services. In Penzance, St. Ives and Hayle parishes, which contain the main towns as well as villages, the locality of the site relevant to the application of this policy will only include the village. The conversion of rural buildings which are outside towns and villages for affordable housing runs contrary to the overall objective of developing housing in sustainable and accessible locations and is not provided for, therefore, by the policy. However, it may be possible occasionally to meet the objectives of the Plan and Government guidance through the conversions and the circumstances could be treated as 'other material considerations' in assessing the proposal.

8.3.82 While the policy allows for the development of sites as exceptions to the Plan's housing policies, other policies in the Plan relating to the protection of landscape, amenity, nature conservation, archaeological, historic and geological values, the setting and character of villages, the safeguarding of open areas important to the quality of the built environment and other important environmental considerations including accessibility to public transport services and the design and layout of development will still apply. The proposed Supplementary Planning Guidance on affordable housing will provide more detailed guidance on the implementation of the policy.

8.3.83 POLICY H-15:

AS AN EXCEPTION TO OTHER POLICIES IN THE PLAN FOR THE PROVISION OF GENERAL HOUSING, PROPOSALS FOR SMALL SITES, WHICH WOULD NOT OTHERWISE BE GRANTED PLANNING PERMISSION, WILL BE PERMITTED WHERE THEY WOULD GENUINELY PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDED THAT:-

(i) THE SITE IS LOCATED IN, OR ON THE EDGE OF, ST. JUST (Link to Map 4) OR A VILLAGE WHICH HAS A GENERAL SHOP, A PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICE AND, WHERE FAMILY DWELLINGS ARE PROPOSED, A PRIMARY SCHOOL WITHIN SAFE AND CONVENIENT WALKING DISTANCE;

(ii) THE NUMBER AND TYPE OF DWELLINGS PROPOSED ARE RELATED TO AN IDENTIFIED NEED IN THE LOCALITY OF THE SITE THAT WOULD NOT OTHERWISE BE MET; AND

(iii) THE OCCUPANCY OF THE DWELLINGS WILL BE SECURED, THROUGH THE USE OF CONDITIONS OR A PLANNING OBLIGATION, TO MEET LOCAL NEEDS IN PERPETUITY.

Note: In the parishes of Penzance, St. Ives and Hayle the locality will be the relevant village; elsewhere it will include the relevant settlement or parish or an adjacent parish which has no villages meeting criterion (i) of this policy;

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Other Special Needs Housing

8.3.84 The requirement for special needs housing is assessed by the Special Needs Accommodation Panel (SNAP) for Cornwall, a group made up of officers from the Health and Social Services Authorities, District Councils and the Probation Service. Local Special Needs Accommodation Groups (SNAGs) work in consultation with the Panel and reflect the particular issues in each District Council area. Priorities are based on the need identified jointly by the members of the Panel and include provision for those with physical and mental health disabilities, vulnerable women and homeless young people, ex-offenders, those with a history of substance abuse and people currently in long term institutional care which no longer meets their needs. Provision of housing for people with disabilities, therefore, will normally be made according to the requirements indicated by the Panel and local Group but additional provision for individual needs will be considered sympathetically on sites acceptable in the context of the Plan's policies. Specific design requirements, where they are the subject of control, are set out in the Building Regulations. However, the importance of 'lifetime homes' which can be appropriate to differing needs is being recognised increasingly.

8.3.85 In considering housing for special needs a number of matters must be taken into account including the type of housing, accommodation arrangements, design and special modifications. In particular, the location should not be on the outskirts of population centres, away from amenities and services. Housing Associations are the main providers of new accommodation for people with special housing needs and proposals will normally come forward following consideration by the Panel of their suitability.

Housing for the elderly

8.3.86 The local requirement for housing includes that of elderly people needing smaller or specialised accommodation. Such housing can be provided within both market and affordable provision and specific proposals will be considered in the context of the Plan's housing policies.

Residential Care and Nursing Homes

8.3.87 The number of privately run residential and nursing homes increased considerably in the 1990s, mainly through the conversion of existing properties. Many of these properties were previously hotels and guesthouses and concern has been expressed about the loss of holiday accommodation in the District. The Area Health Authority and Social Services Department of the County Council have the responsibility for registering privately run homes and can take into account the demand on health and social care services. However, planning control can relate to the suitability of the premises and site location for the proposed use. Structure Plan Policy H 14 identifies the importance of easy access to services and facilities and of avoiding significant new building in the countryside or loss of hotel accommodation. The Council's policy requires that the consideration of applications takes into account matters such as accessibility without undue reliance on the private car and the location being well related to local facilities and services. Where a proposal involves the change of use of a hotel or guesthouse, the significance of the loss of holiday accommodation will be taken into account as required by POLICY TM-2 (para. 10.3.7).

8.3.88 In considering specific schemes for residential care and nursing homes the Local Planning Authority must be satisfied that the development will be suitable for the need identified. Proposals will, therefore, be the subject of consultation, where relevant, with the Special Needs Accommodation Panel or local Group, the Health Authority, Social Services department and Chief Fire Officer. Safe access and parking for community transport vehicles or ambulances will be required and other relevant requirements of the General Development Guidance policies (Section 5) must be met.

8.3.89 POLICY H-16:

PROPOSALS FOR RESIDENTIAL CARE AND NURSING HOMES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:-

(i) THE SITE IS LOCATED WITHIN A TOWN OR THE PROPOSAL RELATES TO THE CONVERSION OF AN EXISTING PROPERTY IN A VILLAGE LISTED IN POLICIES H-5 OR H-6 WHICH IS CONVENIENTLY ACCESSIBLE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT; AND

(ii) THE ACCOMMODATION INCLUDES AN AREA OF PRIVATE OPEN SPACE FOR RESIDENTS' EXCLUSIVE USE WHICH IS ADJACENT AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE.

WHERE PROPOSALS INVOLVE THE CHANGE OF USE OF A GUESTHOUSE OR HOTEL THEY MUST NOT BE IN CONFLICT WITH POLICY TM-2.

EXTENSIONS TO PROPERTIES OUTSIDE THE TOWNS WILL NOT BE PERMITTED WHERE IT IS LIKELY THAT THERE WOULD BE AN INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TRIPS GENERATED.

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Gypsy Sites

8.3.90 While local authorities have a discretionary duty to provide gypsy sites, no sites have been provided in Penwith. However the County Council recommends that appropriate types of sites are provided within each District in accordance with the need identified. The emerging Housing Act (2004) is likely to require local authorities to carry out a needs assessment relevant to gypsies and travellers.

8.3.91 Circular 1/94 "Gypsy Sites and Planning" intends that the planning system recognises the need for accommodation which is consistent with gypsies' lifestyle, and refers to gypsies as "persons of nomadic habit of life, whatever their race or origin." Local Plans are required to include locational or criteria based policies for gypsy site provision to provide guidance in dealing with planning applications, whether from local authorities or private individuals. The Circular accepts that it will not normally be appropriate to make provision for sites in areas where development is severely restricted, for example in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and other protected areas.

8.3.92 The location of gypsy sites needs to take account of many of the factors relevant to the location of permanent residential development, such as accessibility to local services and facilities; the proximity of a school will be relevant to the location of a permanent site for example. The impact on the countryside will be an important consideration but it is accepted that sites within existing settlements will not usually be appropriate. Sites should therefore be located where they are unobtrusive in the landscape. Structure Plan Policy H 15 identifies that provision should have regard to the number and distribution of gypsies in Cornwall and their differing accommodation requirements, the relationship with local services and the effect on other land uses, landscape, nature conservation or the historic environment.

8.3.93 Where relevant the requirements of the General Development Guidance policies (Section 5) must be considered, especially in relation to scale and siting, landscaping, screening, conflict with other interests, access, approach roads and the provision of essential services. While the County Council's approach in recommending the provision of transit and permanent sites across Cornwall is noted, the District Council has not accepted the necessity of making such provision within the Penwith area. As with other kinds of development, therefore, the importance of protecting the character of the District will be weighed against the importance of the development.

8.3.94 POLICY H-17:

PROPOSALS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF GYPSY SITES WILL BE PERMITTED PROVIDED THAT:-

(i) THE PROVISION IS RELATED TO THE REQUIREMENT IDENTIFIED IN THE DISTRICT BY THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES;

(ii) THE SITE SHOULD HAVE WELL DEFINED BOUNDARIES AND BE CAPABLE OF BEING EFFECTIVELY SCREENED BY LAND FORM, TREES OR PLANTING;

(iii) THE USE OF THE SITE WOULD NOT BE LIKELY TO HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON OTHER LAND USES IN THE VICINITY;

(iv) PERMANENT SITES HAVE SAFE AND CONVENIENT ACCESS TO SCHOOLS, SHOPS, OTHER COMMUNITY FACILITIES AND EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND

(v) TRANSIT SITES ARE LOCATED CLOSE TO, AND ACCESSIBLE FROM, THE PRIMARY ROUTE NETWORK.

PROVISION WILL NOT BE APPROPRIATE IN, OR WHERE THERE WOULD BE AN ADVERSE IMPACT ON, THE AREA OF OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTY, HERITAGE COAST OR OTHER AREAS DESIGNATED AS BEING OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE FOR THEIR NATURE CONSERVATION, ARCHAEOLOGICAL, HISTORIC AND GEOLOGICAL VALUE.

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Design, Layout and Densities

8.3.95 The design and layout of residential development are significant factors in achieving sustainable development and a wide range of issues requires consideration in this respect. The style of development and use of materials, energy efficient design, provision for walking and cycling, the avoidance of pollution, landscaping, tree planting and the creation of attractive and safe surroundings for housing are all relevant in reducing the impact of development, conserving local and global resources and improving environmental quality.

8.3.96 Supplementary Planning Guidance in the form of the Cornwall Design Guide for Residential Development provides useful advice on design and layout issues. The Guide is prepared by the County Council and emphasises the importance of good design in achieving safe, attractive, convenient and nuisance-free environments for people to live in and providing a clear basis for negotiations between the highway and planning authorities and developers. It includes criteria and ideas on a wide range of issues including design for sustainable development; roads, footpaths and cycleways; landscaping and trees; and security as well as the grouping and design of buildings.

8.3.97 Structure Plan Policy ENV 12 and the Cornwall Design Guide emphasise the importance of local distinctiveness in design and the use of materials and these principles are carried forward in POLICIES GD-1 and GD-2 of the Local Plan (paras. 5.3.3 and 5.3.7). It is intended that the District Council will produce its own Design Guide to relate more specifically to issues in Penwith and with the aim of assisting in the achievement of more sustainable design and use of materials.

8.3.98 The conservation of energy is a key issue which the Government has asked local authorities to have regard to in preparing development plans. The location of new housing, and the effect on travel patterns, has already been referred to (para. 8.3.12). However, the effect that housing design can have on the efficiency of energy consumption should also be considered, for example the materials used, the degree of insulation and the inclusion of specific energy saving ideas, such as solar collection, as well as house types and orientation. Many such aspects of design are covered through the Building Regulations but there remains a requirement to focus attention on energy conservation considerations as well as the wider environmental implications of certain aspects of house design such as the use of non-polluting materials from managed and sustainable sources. POLICY GD-2 (para. 5.3.7) includes a requirement for design measures to promote energy efficiency and the proposed Design Guide will provide more detailed guidance on implementation.

8.3.99 Making provision for walking and cycling which is safe, convenient and attractive is required in new development by POLICY GD-2 (para. 5.3.7). Footpaths are features that should not only be retained but enhanced within the layout of the site. The importance of safeguarding the enjoyment, practicality and convenience of existing rights of way, and of providing satisfactory footpath networks within areas of development, is required by POLICIES TP-5 and TP-6 (paras. 12.3.28 and 12.3.30). Parking provision will be considered in the context of POLICY TP-12 (para. 12.3.56).

8.3.100 Emphasis will be required on tree planting and landscaping as well as the provision of communal amenity space wherever possible. The need to protect existing trees is emphasised in POLICIES CC-12 and TV-4 (paras. 6.3.59 and 7.3.13). New planting should focus on native species which help to integrate development into its surroundings and should encourage the establishment of natural habitats for wildlife. POLICY GD-3 (para. 5.3.9) requires the incorporation of landscaping and planting which reflects the character of the surroundings and, where practicable, supports a variety of species. The District Council has a policy of adoption of communal open space, when requested, provided that the requirements of the Operational Services Department relating to the size and laying out of the site is first obtained and a lump sum payment, based on a 20 year maintenance period, is deposited with the Council.

8.3.101 Circular 5/94 "Planning Out Crime" draws attention to the contribution appropriate design, layout and landscaping of new development can make to the prevention of crime and POLICY GD-2 (para. 5.3.7) requires that the design and layout of development should include measures to reduce the risk of crime. Design guidance can be provided by Police Architectural Liaison Officers while police forces promote the "Secured by Design" scheme which includes advice on new housing. The Council has agreed a “Designing out Crime Protocol” with the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary to ensure that crime and disorder issues are fully considered when making planning decisions. POLICY GD-4 (para. 5.3.11) requires that adequate essential services are available and that measures are taken to prevent noise, light, air or water pollution and flooding.

8.3.102 The provision of housing specially designed for those who are disabled is referred to in paras. 8.3.84 to 8.3.85. However, the practicalities of providing an accessible environment for those with mobility problems, including wheelchair users, as well as for those with young children in pushchairs, must also be considered in designing housing layouts and is required by POLICY GD-2 (para. 5.3.7).

8.3.103 Issues relevant to the design, layout and density of residential development that are not covered by other policies in the Plan are included in the following policy. Low density development often tends to result in higher cost housing which is inappropriate to local needs and does not make the best use of available sites. PPG13 advises that the density of development should be increased at and around places with good accessibility to public transport and that low density development should be avoided. PPG3 defines developments of less than 30 dwellings per hectare as an inefficient use of land and advises local authorities to encourage development at between 30 and 50 dwellings per hectare. The relevance of higher density development to the provision of 'affordable' housing has been considered (para. 8.3.70) while the Government has called for a greater emphasis on the provision of smaller, lower priced housing which avoids wasteful use of land. Building at higher densities can also be more energy efficient and it may be easier to achieve a development more sympathetic in scale and character to existing traditional housing. The characteristics of sites will vary across the District but higher densities will be sought in town centres and will also often be appropriate on small sites in villages where they would be in keeping with the character of the village. It will remain important to achieve a good standard of design and the provision of both private and public amenity space; the Cornwall Design Guide provides valuable advice on how this can be achieved. Densities will usually be calculated by including the areas of the dwellings together with ancillary uses such as gardens, garages, residents' play or amenity space, parking and access roads within the site.

8.3.104 The importance of providing 'affordable' housing which is relevant to identified local needs is emphasised in the Plan but there remains a requirement for general housing development to include provision of smaller and lower cost dwellings, within a range of dwelling types and sizes, and to redress any imbalance in the available housing stock. The number of one or two person households has increased in recent years and proposals for new development should include housing relevant to their needs. A significant proportion of new housing is provided on small sites and the efficient use of such sites in line with the density objectives in PPG3 will be compatible with the provision of dwellings suitable for smaller households. On larger sites (10 or more units in urban areas) and within the overall provision of housing the mix of housing should reflect the composition of households in the area. The more detailed results from the 2001 Census will provide additional guidance in this respect and will be reflected in development briefs and supplementary planning guidance. Monitoring the size of dwellings completed will also provide information on the overall mix to be sought.

8.3.105 POLICY R-2 (para. 11.3.20) places emphasis on the provision of children's playspace in locations which are appropriate in terms of safe access and visibility and seeks to protect such provision from other uses. Suitable playing space should be provided in any housing development where there are likely to be children. The Cornwall Design Guide identifies that appropriate road design in residential areas can help create a safe and nuisance free environment. The provision of adequate and convenient car parking, the restriction of vehicle speeds and the discouragement of non-access traffic are all important in this respect; specific requirements are the subject of consultation with the Highways Authority while planning policies identify the principles to be followed.

8.3.106 POLICY H-18:

THE DESIGN AND LAYOUT OF RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE REQUIRED TO:-

(i) MAKE THE MOST EFFICIENT USE OF THE LAND AVAILABLE AND ACHIEVE A DENSITY OF BETWEEN 30 AND 50 DWELLINGS PER HECTARE NET OR, ON SITES WITH GOOD PUBLIC TRANSPORT ACCESSIBILITY, MORE;

(ii) DISCOURAGE EXTRANEOUS TRAFFIC FROM USING RESIDENTIAL ACCESS ROADS AND BE COMPATIBLE WITH 20 MPH ZONES; AND

(iii) PROVIDE FOR DWELLING TYPES AND SIZES THAT ARE APPROPRIATE TO THE MIX OF HOUSEHOLDS IN THE AREA.

GENERAL AMENITY SPACE AND, WHERE FAMILY DWELLINGS ARE PROPOSED, CHILDREN'S PLAY SPACE WILL BE REQUIRED WHERE PROVISION IN TERMS OF GARDEN SPACE OR IN THE IMMEDIATE LOCALITY IS INADEQUATE TO SERVE THE DEVELOPMENT.

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Supply of Land for Housing

8.3.107 The supply of land at the April 1991 base date, approximately 2,000 dwellings, had increased by April 2000 to almost 3,500 dwellings including 2,200 units completed between 1991 and 2000 and equated to approximately 5.4 years' supply in the context of the Structure and Local Plan requirement. By April 2001 this figure (the survey data referred to at the Local Plan Inquiry) had increased to 3628. Table 1 summarises the various elements of the supply of land for housing during the Local Plan period, including allowances for unidentified small sites. The allowances are based on 50% of the past rate of development on such sites which are defined as those providing up to 10 units in urban areas, up tp 5 units in rural areas and for which continuing provision is made in the Plan's policies. The results of the Urban Capacity Study (paragraphs 8.3.14) have informed the allowances made which will be regularly assessed as part of the ongoing monitoring of housing provision and the Plan's approach.

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TABLE 1/B: SUPPLY OF LAND FOR HOUSING

  Number of Dwellings
General Market Affordable Target Total
Local Plan Requirement About 3400 1400 About 4800
Completions 1991-2001:- 1771 664 2435
Allowance for future completions on small sites:-
Filler Graphic Urban (up to 10units) (476) (100) 576
  Rural (up to 5 units) (689) (50 ) 739
Under Construction April 2001 (not including small sites):-
  Urban (11+ units) 62 - 62
  Rural (6+units) 21 - 21
Dwellings with planning permission (not including small sites):-
  Urban (11+ units) 284 66 350
  Rural (6+ units) 145 - 145
Proposals:-
  Hayle Harbour 300 100 400
  Penwith Street-Cross Street - 20-30 20-30
  St. Erbyns 10 - 10
  Newtown Lane-Wharf Road 20 10 30
  Queen Street 12 - 12
  Alexandra Road/W. Promenade 20 10 30
  Chywoone Hill 10 - 10
  Madison Terrace 49 21 70
  Copper Terrace 25 10 35
  Loggans Estate - 12 12
  Alexandra Road-St. Ives - 10-14 10-14
  The Stennack 12 - 12
Target for additional affordable housing schemes on windfall sites (Policy H-3) - 320 320
  3906 1400 5306

Notes:
(1) No allowance has been included for larger "windfall" sites meeting the requirements of Policy H-3.
(2) The distribution between market and affordable within the allowance for small sites is indicative.

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Summary of POLICIES and PROPOSALS

TOPIC LOCAL PLAN

POLICIES/PROPOSALS

STRUCTURE PLAN POLICIES 1997 (2004)
Level of provision and affordable housing target H-1 H 1, H 3, SP 1 (Policy

8)

Location of housing   H 2 (Policy 10)
Protecting the built environment H-2 (TV-1, TV-2, TV-3,

TV-6, R-3)

 
Development in towns   H 2 (Policy 10)
Penzance, Newlyn, St. Ives and Hayle H-3 (TV-A, TV-D)  
Allocated Sites H-A, H-B, H-C, H-D, H-E, H-F, H-J H-G, H-H, H-I,
Rural areas    
St. Just H-4  
Development in villages H-5, H-6, H-7 H 9, H 10 (Policies 10 & 26)
Housing outside towns and villages H-8 (H-10, H-11 H 11
Replacement or extensions in rural areas H-9 (GD-1, GD-2, TV-10,

TV-12)

 
Sub-division of existing dwellings H-10 (TM-2)  
Conversion of non-residential buildings H-11 (E-10, TM-12, GD-7) ENV 11 (Policy 10)
Dwellings over town centre premises H-12  
Affordable housing   H 12, H 13 (Policy 9)
Planned sites H-13, H-14,  
'Exception' sites H-15  
Other special needs housing    
Residential care and nursing homes H-16 (TM-2) H 14
Gypsy sites H-17 H 15
Design, layout and densities H-18, (GD-1, GD-2, GD-3, GD-4, CC-12, TV-4, R-2, TP-6, TP-7) H 3, ENV 12 (Policies 16, 21, 25 & 26)
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