MEMBERS of Neath Port Talbot Council have agreed to delay the delivery of their replacement Local Development Plan until next year to give officers more time to search for potential housing development sites.
The latest version of the RLDP was initially set to be delivered in November of this year, however members agreed to “reset the clock” on the submission of the plans to give themselves more time.
A Local Development Plan is delivered by all local councils and sets out each local planning authority’s proposals for future development and use of land in their area, with the plans reviewed every four years.
Officers at Neath Port Talbot Council told councillors they believed it was “absolutely the right approach” to reset the clock on the replacement LDP timetable, and said they had been in constant dialogue with Welsh Government officials who were supportive of the plans.
The report read: “Work formally commenced on the RLDP in January 2022 with the publication of the original delivery agreement. Due to a lack of deliverable/viable housing land however to meet the authority’s economic growth needs over the plan period (2021-2036), there is a fundamental risk in progressing the plan towards preferred strategy consultation, initially scheduled for November of this year.
“This report therefore seeks agreement of a revised draft delivery agreement which in effect restarts the RLDP process with an amended plan period (to allow additional time to undertake further evidence base studies and explore potential solutions to the existing housing deliverability issues), along with the approval of the consultation arrangements and suggested delegated powers post consultation.”
The report added that while the current Neath Port Talbot LDP covers the time period between 2011-2026, there had been a “significant under delivery of housing within Neath Port Talbot over the current LDP Period,” with only 223 homes per annum built on average.
While members in attendance agreed unanimously to pass the new timeline for the plans, there were questions asked over what could be done differently in order to get a better results, and provide the substantial level of housing that would be required to support their economic aspirations.
Officers said with the extra year added would give them the time to work on these solutions, with more calls put out for candidate housing sites as well as undertaking a sub-regional analysis to find the best locations for future growth.
Council bosses agreed that the plans would be in the best interest of the borough, adding how the approved development of the £250m Wildfox adventure resort, and successful Freeport bid, could also attract more developers to the area.