The purpose of the Core Strategy is to set the overall strategic direction for planning the area over the period 2010 to 2026, in line with national policies.
A key part of that direction is establishing where major development and other forms of investment should be located so as to be sustainable, meet local needs and take full advantage of opportunities.
The adopted Core Strategy PDF documents are broken down into three parts, due to the size of documents, you can download these documents below:
Enable sufficient provision of affordable and special housing to meet needs in the following ways:
'Aside from rural exception sites the minimum site size threshold will be 15 dwellings (0.5 hectares or part thereof) but a lower threshold of 5 dwellings (0.15 hectares or part thereof) is required in rural areas.'
4. Since adoption of the Central Lancashire Core Strategy, the Central Lancashire Authorities have collectively interpreted this aspect of the policy as applying a lower threshold of 5 dwellings to developments outside of the Preston urban area in Preston. Outside of the key service centre of Leyland and main urban areas in South Ribble, and, Chorley Town, the Buckshaw Village Strategic Site and the Urban Local Service Centres in Chorley.
5. In May 2016, following a successful Court of Appeal Judgement, the Government re-introduced revisions to National Planning Practice Guidance originally set out in a Written Ministerial Statement dated November 2014.
The Written Ministerial Statement provided restrictions on developer contributions as follows.
'Due to the disproportionate burden of developer contributions on small scale developers, for sites of 10-units or less, and which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of 1,000 square metres, affordable housing and tariff style contributions should not be sought'.
6. This approach highlighted a partial conflict with Policy 7(b) and prevented the Central Lancashire Authorities requiring affordable housing contributions from developments of 10 units or less unless the gross floorspace proposed exceeded 1,000 square metres. As a result, from May 2016, developments proposed in rural areas in Preston and South Ribble were only bound by the provisions of Policy 7 if they proposed over 10 units or if they proposed over 1,000 square metres of residential floorspace.
7. In Chorley the provisions of Policy 7 continued to be applied to developments of 5 or more dwellings in rural areas following Member approval, as it was considered that the borough wide need for affordable housing outweighed the guidance set out in the National Planning Practice Guidance.
8. The revised National Planning Policy Framework, published in July 2018, includes provisions which now fundamentally conflict with Policy 7(b), to the point where the Central Lancashire Authorities consider this part of the Policy to be redundant. Paragraph 63 of the revised National Planning Policy Framework states:
'Provision of affordable housing should not be sought for residential developments that are not major developments, other than in designated rural areas (where policies may set out a lower threshold of 5 units or fewer)'.
9. The glossary to the National Planning Policy Framework (Annex 2) defines 'major development' in terms of housing, as development proposing 10 or more homes or where a site area is of 0.5 hectares or more.
10. The National Planning Practice Guidance defines 'designated rural areas' as those prescribed under Section 157 of the Housing Act 1985 . The Central Lancashire area contains no such designations.
11. As such it therefore follows that a direct conflict exists between Policy 7(b) and the National Planning Policy Framework. On this basis, the recently published National Planning Policy Framework takes precedence and the Central Lancashire Authorities hereby collectively agree to not implement the lower threshold contained in Policy 7(b) to housing developments proposed in the areas defined in Paragraph 4 (above). For the avoidance of doubt, the section of Policy 7(b) which will no longer be implemented is highlighted bold below:
'(b) Aside from rural exception sites the minimum site size threshold will be 15 dwellings (0.5 hectares or part thereof) but a lower threshold of 5 dwellings (0.15 hectares or part thereof) is required in rural areas.'
12. Proposals for housing development in the areas defined in Paragraph 4 (above) will now, from an affordable housing perspective, be assessed with reference to Paragraph 63 of the National Planning Policy Framework.
13. This approach will continue to be implemented until adoption of a new affordable housing policy or until further changes are made to national policy and guidance.
14. No other parts of Policy 7 are impacted by this altered approach.
Affordable housing contributions will not be sought for developments incorporating less than 10 dwellings, or with a site area of less than 0.5 hectares, within the rural areas of Central Lancashire.
Affordable housing contributions will continue to be sought for developments incorporating 10 dwellings or more, or with a site area of 0.5 hectares or more, within the rural areas of Central Lancashire. In these circumstances the level of provision sought will be equivalent to 35% of the total number of dwellings proposed, in accordance with Policy 7(a).