Committee for the Environment - Responses
Committee response re Emerging Findings from review of draft PPS14
Environment Committee Office
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Minister of the Environment
18 March 2008
I enclose the response of the Committee for the Environment to the Emerging Findings from the review of draft Planning Policy Statement 14 (PPS14).
COMMITTEE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT - RESPONSE TO EMERGING FINDINGS
The Minister of the Environment announced to the Assembly on 25 October 2007 that she would chair the Executive Sub Committee to oversee the review of draft Planning Policy Statement 14 (PPS14).
The Committee for the Environment were forwarded an updated version of the emerging findings from the review of draft PPS 14 on 19 February 2008.
The Minister has announced that it is her intention to produce a revised draft PPS14 at the end of April 2008. Publication of the revised draft will be followed by four months of full public consultation.
The Committee for the Environment met on Tuesday 11 March 2008 to agree a response to the Emerging Findings document. The Committee also discussed the response at the Committee meeting on Thursday 13 March 2008. The following is the response from the Committee.
Paragraphs 9 -14 – A Balanced Policy
Paragraph 12 states, ‘there has been no reduction in development pressure since draft PPS14 was introduced’. It is the Committee’s view that this statement is unclear and inconclusive. The Committee requests clarification on this statement.
The Committee’s response to paragraph 13 is as follows, ‘we believe that any new PPS14 should not leave any part of Northern Ireland in a disadvantaged position’.
It is the Committee’s view that this statement is unclear. The Committee requests clarification on this statement.
Paragraphs 15 – 16 – A Policy for the Whole Rural Community
Paragraph 15 - 16
The Committee seeks further clarification and detail on the implications of the Emerging Findings document from the review of draft PPS14 on non farming rural dwellers.
By a majority vote the Committee supports a presumption against development in the countryside with a range of exceptions.
Paragraphs 17 – 21 – Dispersed Rural Communities
The Committee requests clarification on the definitions of ‘dispersed rural communities’ and ‘clachans’. The Committee also requests that further work is undertaken to explore how ‘dispersed rural communities’ and, ‘clachans’
(which the Committee believes is a separate concept) can be accommodated outside the constraints of the area planning process.
The Committee welcomes the statement at paragraph 21.
Paragraphs 22 – 24 – Affordable and Social Housing
The Committee agrees to paragraph 22 subject to the following statement; ‘the opportunity to build affordable and social housing should be available in all settlement limit cases’.
The Committee welcomes the statement at paragraph 23 but would request further detail on this.
The Committee welcomes paragraph 24 subject to the comments outlined above regarding paragraph 22.
Paragraphs 29 – 33 – Policy on the Replacement of Dwellings (CTY5)
The Committee welcomes the statement at paragraph 31 but requires further information regarding the access and service requirements.
The Committee welcomes the statement at paragraph 32 but would request further detail on this.
The Committee welcomes the statement at paragraph 33 but recommends that the statement is amended to read ‘.under Dispersed Rural Community, clachan, or Affordable Housing policies already mentioned.’
Paragraphs 34 – 35 – Ribbon Development
The Committee believes that it would be difficult to meet the criteria for ribbon development and believes that this area should be revisited and clarification provided on the impact of the criteria for ribbon development as referred to in paragraphs 34 – 35, in the context of a substantial and continuously built up frontage.
Paragraphs 36 – 38 – Business in the Countryside
The Committee is of the view that the overlap between PPS4 and PPS14 has a very important impact on the economic development of rural areas, especially for home based and indigenous industry. It is the Committee’s view that the PPS14 review must be considered in the context of the other Planning Policy Statements in this section. The policy overlap must be recognised and maintained.
Paragraphs 39 – 49 – Agriculture and Forestry
The Committee agrees with the Subcommittee’s view as stated in the first sentence in paragraph 41.
The Committee is of the view that more work is required regarding the basis of any new assessment and the Committee requests further details and clarification of any proposed new assessments. The Committee also seeks clarification of how any abuses of the system will be addressed.
The Committee requests clarification on the final sentence of paragraph 43.
The Committee welcomes paragraph 44.
The Committee requests further clarification on paragraph 45.
Paragraphs 46 – 47
The Committee welcomes paragraphs 46 – 47.
The Committee can identify certain circumstances where it may not be appropriate to site new buildings on farms adjacent to, or integrated with, the principal group of farm buildings. The Committee acknowledges the use of the phrase ‘where appropriate’ and believes this is an important qualification for paragraph 48. The Committee seeks further detail and clarification on when it is, and is not, appropriate to site new buildings in or around the principal group of farm buildings.
The Committee requests clarification on paragraph 49.
Paragraphs 50 – 53 – Rural Character and Vernacular Buildings
The Committee welcomes the statement in paragraph 50.
The Committee would welcome an input into a design guide for rural housing which would take account of the interpretation of local vernacular styles.
The Committee is of the view that in retaining and replacing non- listed vernacular buildings difficulties may arise in developing on the original footprint and in accommodating its visual impact within the existing curtelage, in circumstances where the retention of the original dwelling is insisted upon.
See comments at paragraph 51.
Chairperson – Committee for the Environment