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News Update – December 2013

Wednesday 4th December, 2013

Call for Sites

The Council is inviting submissions of potential sites for employment, housing and gypsy and traveller accommodation as part of the update of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).

The SHLAA identifies and assesses sites for their development potential in order for the Council to be confident of enough suitable sites being available in future years to fulfil identified need. It does not prioritise or allocate sites: this is the job of the Local Development Framework. A SHLAA  assessment will not replace the need for planning permission, although it may be considered a material consideration in planning decisions.

Sites are more likely to be considered suitable for general housing, where

a) they are over 0.15ha in size and

b) they are previously developed land and/or are within or adjacent to an urban area or to a rural settlement named in the Core Strategy and

c) are available for development within the next 15 years.

Sites submitted for employment/business use or for gypsy and traveller accommodation will be considered on their individual merits.

If you have land which you think may be suitable for development and you would like it assessed through this process, please visit www.sedgemoor.gov/ldf to download the submission form. Alternatively, contact the LDF team on 01278 436436 for a paper copy of the form.

CIL EXAMINATION.

The CIL Drafting Schedule has been submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for examination. The Inspector appointed is Mr Nigel Payne BSc (Hons) and hearings are scheduled for 10th and 11th December 2013. See www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/CIL

EASTOVER.

Following a second round of consultation earlier in the year, and subsequent changes in response to comments made, a final draft of the Eastover Supplementary Planning Document is currently being prepared which is expected to go before the Council’s Executive for approval in December, followed by Full Council for adoption early next year. www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/eastover

SHLAA UPDATE.

A Strategic Housing Land Availability was last prepared by the Council in 2009 and is now due to be updated. Local Planning Authorities are required to undertake regular SHLAA updates in order to identify a sufficient supply of housing land over the coming years. A Call for Sites is therefore being undertaken as the first stage in this process. See the box opposite for further information.

CANNINGTON NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN.

Cannington Parish Council have taken the first step in preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the parish by submitting an application for Area Designation. The application was approved by the Council in

September 2013.  www.sedgemoor.gov.uk/neighbourhoodplanning

Hinkley Point C Update

Consent was granted back in March this year for EDF Energy to build two new nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point and although the company already had permission to prepare the site early, no work has been done since the spring. The reason is that EDF Energy has not taken the final decision as to whether or not to invest in the construction, likely to cost around £16bn. One of the considerations for the company was the price it would be able to charge for the electricity produced by the new plant and this was only clarified in October when EDF Group and the Government reached agreement on the key commercial terms. It was also announced that new partners from China had been invited to take a share in the investment. EDF has said it will take a decision on the project by the end of the year. 

The permissions granted for the development of the power station include legal agreements worth almost £100m that are designed to reduce or compensate for the impacts the project is likely to have on the local communities during the construction which could take up to ten years. Sedgemoor District Council took an active part in negotiating these packages of mitigation and also took a lead in persuading the Government to offer financial reward to communities hosting new nuclear power generation. Under a regime known as Community Benefit, areas around the plant stand to receive around £128m over 40 years of the plant’s operation.

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