Developers may need to take heed of new planning guidance

Developers will need to take heed of new guidance on when submitting planning applications to Powys County Council.

Newtown Draft Place Plan
Newtown Draft Place Plan

At the cabinet meeting on Tuesday, councillors will discuss adopting Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) for Archaeology, Historic, Environment and the Newtown Place Plan.

A working group of councillors had scrutinised the proposals which, if adopted will help beef up Powys’ Local Development Plan (LDP).

A draft version of both the Archaeology and Historic Environment SPGs were published and  a six-week period of public consultation took place from January 20 to  February 28, 2020.

At a meeting in March 2020 the working group looked at the consultation responses.

Principal planning policy officer, Dr Adrian Humpage, said: “Thereafter, the coronavirus outbreak impacted upon the preparation and adoption schedule.”

Dr Humpage explained that work on the SPGs restarted earlier this year and updates on both drafts were re-examined by the working group in April.

The Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn Place Plan which had been consulted upon from January 26 to March 9 was also discussed at the meeting and recommended to go to cabinet for approval.

Dr Humpage said: “Place Plans are about delivering local outcomes, helping build consensus and buy-in within the wider development plan process”.

“This is the first official place plan in Powys.”

Dr Humpage added that evidence from the Place Plan will help shape the LDP review and how it could apply to Newtown when the new version of the LDP is adopted from 2026 onwards.

The Historic Environment SPG explains to applicants how proposals are supposed to ensure that the historic environment is appropriately considered, preserved and, where appropriate, enhanced.

Scheduled monuments and other archaeological remains such as Offa’s Dyke and castles in the county are considered to be important strategic assets that require protection from unacceptable development so as to protect the economic, environmental and social well-being of Powys.

The Newtown place plan is broken down into three main areas:

Newtown – a great place to live, learn and work – this looks at what development has been happening recently and suggests making more of the town’s historic buildings.

Green Newtown – a key policy would be that development that could result in the “loss or affect the use of public open space” would not be supported.

Destination Newtown – this is about trying to make Newtown attractive to visitors.

It has been recommended that cabinet approve all three SPG’s.

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