Revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan 2018 – 2033

 

 

Draft Initial Sustainability Appraisal

 

Report to Executive Board

 

 


 

Contents

1. Introduction. 2

SA/SEA and the LDP process. 2

Progress and Compliance with Regulations. 3

2. Appraisal Methodology. 5

Approach. 5

The Sustainability Framework. 5

Determining effect significance. 6

Timescales. 6

Baseline Scenario. 7

Impact Matrices. 8

4. Appraisal of the Strategic Objectives. 10

The Draft Revised LDP vision. 10

Sustainability Appraisal of the Strategic Objectives. 11

5. Appraisal of Strategic Options and Alternatives. 17

Assessment of Strategic Growth Options. 17

SA of Growth Options - Summary. 38

Sustainability Appraisal of Spatial Options. 39

Summary of Sustainability Appraisal of Spatial Options. 65

Hybrid Option – Balanced Community and Sustainable Growth. 67

6. Appraisal of Strategic Policies. 72

7. Overall Effects and Mitigation. 101

8. Sustainability Appraisal Monitoring Framework. 105

9. Conclusions and Next Steps. 110

Conclusions. 110

Next Stages of the SA Process. 110

Appendices. 111

Appendix 1Sustainability Appraisal Framework. 111

Appendix 2 Sustainability Monitoring Framework – Data Sources. 115

Appendix 3. Review of Relevant Plans, Programmes and Policies. 124

Appendix 4. Strategic Policy 16:Settlement Hierarchy. 142

 

1. Introduction

This Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Report forms part of the Council’s pre-deposit proposal documents for the Revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan (LDP). The purpose of the SA is to identify any likely significant economic, environmental and social effects of the LDP, and to suggest measures to minimise the positive ones. This process promotes more sustainable development and foster a more inclusive and transparent process of producing a LDP, and helps to ensure that the LDP is integrated with other policies.

Sustainability Appraisal is a statutory requirement for Local Development Plans under Section 62(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004. The purpose of Sustainability Appraisal is to assess the social and economic effects of the component policies, proposals and strategy elements of the Local Development Plan to ensure that decisions accord with the principles of sustainable development.

The Welsh Government define sustainable development in Wales through the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 as:

the process of improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales by taking action, in accordance with the sustainable development principle, aimed at achieving the well-being goals”.

Welsh Government Guidance on the Preparation of Local Development Plans identifies that a Sustainability Appraisal must integrate the requirements of the Strategic Environmental Assessment Regulations. The requirements of EU Directive 2001/42/EC (also known as the SEA Directive) have been transposed into Welsh Law through The Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes (Wales) Regulations 2004. Strategic Environmental Assessment requires the formal assessment of certain plans and programmes that are likely to have significant effects on the environment; this includes LDPs.

The SA process also integrates the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Process, the Welsh Language Impact Assessment, and the Equalities Impact Assessment. It is undertaken in parallel to the Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA).

SA/SEA and the LDP process

The LDP Manual outlines five main stages in undertaking an SA (see Table 1). SA is an iterative process, resulting in comment and feedback at each stage of the LDP and thus allowing the potential sustainability implications of proposed options/policies to be considered and the process to be transparent. If necessary, the LDP can be refined throughout its preparation to ensure it is a sustainable document.


 

Table 1Stages in the SA Process and their relationship to LDP. Adapted from the LDP Manual (2nd Edition).

SA/SEA Stage

LDP Stage

Stage A: Setting the context and objectives, establishing the baseline and deciding on the scope

Evidence Gathering and objectives

A1 Identifying other relevant policies, plans and programmes; and sustainability objectives

A2 Collecting baseline information

A3 Identifying sustainability issues and problems

A4 Developing the Sustainability Appraisal framework

A5 Consulting on the scope of the Sustainability Appraisal

Stage B: Developing and refining options and assessing effects

Strategic Options and Preferred Strategy

B1 Testing the LDP objectives against the Sustainability Framework

B2 Developing the LDP options

B3 Predicting the effects of the LDP options

B4 Evaluate the effects of the LDP options

B5 Considering ways of mitigating adverse effects and maximising beneficial effects

B6 Proposing measures to monitor the significant effects of implementing the LDP

Stage C: Preparing the Environmental Report

C1 Preparing the Environmental Report

Stage D: Consultation on the Draft LDP and the Environmental Report

D1 Consulting on the LDP Preferred Strategy and the Initial SA report

D2(i) Appraise any significant changes form consultation

Update the SA Report

LDP preparation and Deposit

Examination

Submission, Examination and Adoption

D2(ii) Appraising significant changes resulting from representations

D3 Making decisions and providing information

Adoption statement and final SA report

Stage E: Monitoring the significant effects on implementing the LDP

Monitoring and Review

E1 Finalising aims and methods for monitoring 

E2 Responding to adverse effects

Progress and Compliance with Regulations

Stage A

The Council completed Stage A in July 2018 with the publication of the draft Scoping Report for consultation. The draft Scoping Report contained:

·         A1 Plan/Policy/Programme Review and Sustainability Objectives

A number of Plans, Policies and Programmes that could have an impact upon the LDP were examined, including those at international, national, regional and local levels, as well as adjacent authorities Local Development Plans. An updated version of the list is presented in Appendix 3.

·         A2 Baseline Information

The draft scoping report an up to date collation of the state of the environment, economy and society in Carmarthenshire. This also forms the baseline for monitoring the outcomes of the LDP post adoption.  

·         A3 Identifying issues and problems

The report highlights sustainability issues, problems but also opportunities which can be addressed via the revised LDP.

·         A4 Developing the Sustainability Framework

The SA Framework provides a way in which sustainability effects can be described, analysed and compared and was developed in considerations of the issues and opportunities raised. This framework provides a basis by which the sustainability of the LDP can be tested.

·         A5 Consulting on the Scope of the Sustainability Appraisal

The Scoping Report was published for consultation on 18th July 2018 for a six week period. It was available to view on the Carmarthenshire County Council website and notifications emails and letters were sent out to inform consultation bodies and persons who had registered for updates on the LDP process.

Comments were received from a number of stakeholders, all of which are collated in Appendix XX. Amendments to the SA have been made as a result of these comments, where appropriate, and any comments considered to relate more to the LDP were noted and passed on to the LDP team for their consideration.

Stage B

This initial SA report has been prepared to comply with Stage B of the SA process.

·         B1 Testing the LDP objectives against the Sustainability Framework

This report will test the objectives of the LDP preferred strategy against the Sustainability Framework. This is documented in Chapter 3 of this report.

·         B2 Developing the LDP options

B3 Predicting the effects of the LDP options

B4 Evaluate the effects of the LDP options

This report will develop, predict and evaluate the LDP strategic options, for both growth and spatial distribution, as well as the strategic policies that will be put in place to implement them.

This process is documented in Chapter 5 and 6 of this report.

·         B5 Considering ways of mitigating adverse effects and maximising beneficial effects.

This is discussed in Chapter 7 of this report

·         B6 Proposing measures to monitor the significant effects of implementing the LDP

This is discussed in Chapter 8 of this report.


 

2. Appraisal Methodology

Approach

The SA methodology has referenced guidance provided in a number of documents. These include:

§  Welsh Government LDP Manual, Edition 2 (2015)[1],

§  ODPM Sustainability Appraisal of Regional Spatial Strategies and Local Development Documents (2005)[2]

§  ODPM A Practical Guide to the Strategic Environmental Assessment Directive (2005)[3]

§  RTPI Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of SEA/SA for Land Use Plans (2018)[4]

The Sustainability Framework

The SA Framework provides a consistent basis for describing, analyzing and comparing the sustainability effects of the objectives, options and specific proposals of the LDP. The SA Framework is objective-led and is therefore each of the revised LDP’s strategic objectives and options are assessed on its contribution to achieving the SA objectives.

The framework sets out sustainability objectives that are based on sound evidence and reflect the challenges faced within the plan area. The objectives were developed in consideration of the following inputs, all of which are detailed in the SA Scoping Report:

§  The Review of Plans, Programmes and Policies

§  Baseline information

§  Identified sustainability issues and opportunities

The Sustainability Appraisal (SA) Framework was presented within the SA Scoping Report[5]. The objectives were selected in order to assess how the revised LDP will meet the criteria of the SEA Directive and contribute to sustainable development. The full SA framework is provided in Appendix 1. In summary, the objectives reflect the themes identified within Schedule 2 of the SEA Regulations as well as additional objectives relating to climate change and socio-economic factors.

The 15 SA Objectives that make up the framework are:

§  SA1 Sustainable Development

§  SA2 Biodiversity

§  SA3 Air Quality

§  SA4 Climactic Factors

§  SA5 Water

§  SA6 Material Assets

§  SA7 Soil

§  SA8 Cultural Heritage and Historic Environments

§  SA9 Landscape

§  SA10 Population

§  SA11 The Welsh Language

§  SA12 Health and Well-being

§  SA13 Education and Skills

§  SA14 Economy

§  SA15 Social Fabric

To aid in the assessment process each objective is supported by a number of sub-objectives and accompanying ‘decision making criteria’, which will facilitate the assessment process and assist in the interpretation of the main objective.

Determining effect significance

The Environmental Report must document any Annex II of the SEA Directive sets criteria for the determining of likely significant effects. Prediction of effects involves identifying changes to the environmental baseline which are predicted to arise from the implementation of the plan, including alternatives. Prediction of effectsshould also include consideration of the following:

§  The magnitude of the plan’s effects, including the degree to which the plan sets a framework for projects, the degree to which it influences other plans, and environmental problems relevant to the plan.

§  The sensitivity of the receiving environment, including the value and vulnerability of the area, exceeded environmental quality standards, and effects on designated areas or landscapes.

§  Effect characteristics, including probability, duration, frequency, reversibility, cumulative effects, transboundary effects, risks to human health or the environment, and the magnitude and spatial extent of the effects.

Given the broad nature of plan proposals and the difficulty of separating other causes of the effects, a qualitative approach is considered to be the most meaningful approach. However, qualitative does not mean ‘guessed’ and predictions need to be supported by evidence. Once the evidence has been considered, a judgement must be formed on whether or not the predicted effect is considered significant. Figure 1 provides a framework by which judgements of significance can be made consistently and ensuring prediction, evaluation and mitigation are all incorporated into the appraisal.

Timescales

The SEA Directive also requires the analysis of effects to include “short, medium and long-term, permanent and temporary … effects” (Annex I(f)). Effects may vary over different timescales, e.g. adverse short term effects from disturbance of habitats but beneficial ones in the long term from reductions in air pollution or greenhouse gases. With this in mind, the SA will consider effects over three timescales.

 

§  Short Term (S): 0 – 5 years

§  Medium Term (M): 6 – 10 years

§  Long Term (L): 11 – 20 years

Figure 1 The Sustainability Appraisal Process

Baseline Scenario

To meet SEA requirements (SEA Regulations – Regulation 12 and Schedule 2(2)) it is necessary to identify the likely evolution of the plan area without implementation of the plan. Establishing what the situation might be without the plan, i.e. the business-as-usual scenario, involves asking how current policies, practices and trends might change in the future in the absence of any active intervention through the LDP. The business as usual situation should be used as a benchmark against which to compare the implications and performance of other options. As this is a revision of the current LDP the baseline against which all options and policies are considered is how the area would change under the current development plan in the absence of new policies being introduced.

This appraisal has been carried out with consideration of existing plans, programmes and policies in place as part of the baseline scenario. It is important to be aware that some of these plans, programmes and policies may already mitigate some of the negative effects that have the potential to occur as the result of the LDP and this has been considered as part of the assessment. A full list of relevant plans, programmes and policies is included in Appendix 3. Particular regard is had to existing national planning policy including associated Technical Advice Notes (TANs).

Impact Matrices

In order to test the compatibility of the strategic options and policies with the SA Framework, matrices have been used to summarise the appraisal using the criteria outlined in Table 2. The manner in which the objectives, options and sites contribute to achieving the SA Framework objectives is indicated by the following symbols:

Table 2 Sustainability Appraisal Criteria

Symbol

Predicted Effect

Suggested action/response

++

Very positive effect – the subject of the appraisal would significantly help in achieving the Sustainability objective.

Consider whether very positive effect can be further enhanced

+

Positive effect - the subject of the appraisal would help in achieving the Sustainability objective.

Consider whether positive effect can be further enhanced

+/-

Positive and negative effects – the subject of the appraisal would help some elements of the Sustainability objective whilst hindering others.

Consider mitigation for negative effects and whether positive effects can be enhanced

-

Negative effect - the subject of the appraisal would be in conflict with the Sustainability objective.

Consider mitigation such as delete/reconsider/amend the policy or site allocation; reconsider the policy or proposed use.

--

Very negative effect - the subject of the appraisal would be in significant conflict with the Sustainability objective.

Significant mitigation measures to reduce severity or effect; reconsider the policy or proposed use

l

Effect on the Sustainability objective depends on how the policy and allocation are implemented

Suggestions for implementation

?

Uncertain effect – need more information

Consider where this will come from – who has it? What will be done about collecting it? When will it be collected?


 

4. Appraisal of the Strategic Objectives

The LDP Vision and Objectives must accord with sustainability principles and have been assessed against each of the SA objectives, in order to identify if there will be any significant effect on the environment, or unsustainable outcomes. This process has helped to refine the Vision and Objectives to ensure that they embody and reflect the principles of sustainability.

The Draft Revised LDP vision

Figure 2 The Draft Revised LDP vision
The role of the Vision is to establish the core purpose of the revised LDP and to provide a framework for developing policies and measuring the extent to which the implementation of the plan is successful. The LDP vision provides a spatial perspective which gives the plan purpose and direction and to ensure delivery through the land use planning system. The revised LDP vision draws on strategic planning priorities identified in national policy and local strategies, as well as the identified Key Issues for the County (Figure 2).

One Carmarthenshire
 Carmarthenshire 2033 will be a place to start, live and age well within a healthy, safe and prosperous environment, where its rich cultural and environmental qualities are valued and respected.
 It will have prosperous, cohesive and sustainable communities providing increased opportunities, interventions and connections for people, places and organisations in both rural and urban parts of our County.
 It will have a strong economy that reflects its position as a confident and ambitious driver for the Swansea Bay City Region.
The vision was assessed against the SA framework and is shown in Table 3. This assessment concluded that the Draft Vision performed well against most aspects of sustainable development, in particular against Biodiversity, Material Assets, Population, Health and Well Being, Education and Skills, Economy and Social Fabric.

It is difficult to establish what effect the vision will have on more specific environmental sustainability objectives, such as Air Quality, Climatic Factors, Water, Soil, Cultural Heritage and Landscape as there is no direct reference made to these factors in the Vision. There is however reference to Carmarthenshire’s ‘environmental qualities [being] valued and respected’ which does establish a basis for a positive effect on these sustainability objectives.

There is also no direct reference made to the Welsh Language so at this time there is no link between the LDP Vision and the Welsh Language SA objective.


 

Sustainability Appraisal of the Strategic Objectives

The LDP Objectives should provide clear statements of intent and focus on how the LDP Vision is to be delivered. They provide a framework by which the strategic policies are formed, and will later inform the formulation of detailed policies for the Deposit Plan. The Strategic Objectives also set the context for the development of the Strategic Growth and Spatial Options.

The draft Strategic Objectives are set out in full in Table 3 below, and a summary of their performance against the SA framework is summarised in Figure 3. A detailed commentary is provided in Table 4.

Table 3 Draft Revised LDP Objectives

Healthy Habits – People have a good quality of life and make healthy choices about their lives and environment

·         SO1 To ensure that the natural environment, including habitats and species, are safeguarded and enhanced

·         SO2 To assist with widening and promoting wellbeing opportunities through access to community, leisure and recreational facilities as well as the countryside

·         SO5 To safeguarded and enhance the built and historic environment and promote the appropriate reuse of redundant buildings.

Early Intervention – To make sure that people have the right help at the right time; as and when they need it

·         SO3 To assist in widening and promoting education and skills training opportunities for all.

·         SO4 To ensure that the principles of equal opportunities and social inclusion are upheld by promoting access to a high quality and diverse mix of public services, healthcare, shops, leisure facilities and work opportunities, as well as vibrant town centres.

Strong Connections – Strongly connected people, places and organisations that are able to adapt to change

·         SO6 To ensure that the principles of spatial sustainability are upheld by directing development to sustainable locations with access to services and facilities and wherever possible encouraging the reuse of previously developed land.

·         SO7 To make a significant contribution towards tackling the cause and adapting to the effect of climate change, including promoting the efficient use and safeguarding of resources.

·         SO8 To contribute to the delivery of an accessible integrated and sustainable transport system, including links to alternative transport methods

Prosperous People and Places – To maximise opportunities for people and places in both urban and rural parts of our county

·         SO9 To protect and enhance the diverse character, distinctiveness, safety and vibrancy of the County’s communities by promoting a place making approach and a sense of place.

·         SO10 To make provision for an appropriate mix of quality homes across the County based around the principles of sustainable socio-economic development and equality of opportunities.

·         SO11 To assist in protecting, enhancing and promoting the Welsh Language and the County’s unique cultural identity, assets and social fabric.

·         SO12 To encourage investment & innovation in rural and urban areas by making adequate provision to meet employment need and to contribute at a regional level to the delivery of the Swansea Bay City Deal.

·         SO13 To make provision for sustainable & high quality all year round tourism related initiatives.

·         SO14 To reflect the requirements associated with the delivery of new development, both in terms of hard and soft infrastructure (including broadband).


 

Overall, the 14 Strategic Objectives show positive alignment with the principles of Sustainable Development and perform well against the Sustainability Framework, with very few potential conflicts highlighted. This demonstrates that aspects of sustainability have been fully considered throughout the development of the Strategic Objectives.

For many of the Sustainability Objectives the impact of the LDP Objectives are unknown as the outcome depends on the type of development, activity or location. The appraisal also highlights some potential conflicts, in particular with regards to Biodiversity, Air Quality, Water and Cultural Heritage. These uncertain and potentially negative impacts should, where possible, be resolved through the detailed LDP policies and appropriate mitigation.

Table 4 Commentary of Sustainability Appraisal of Strategic Objectives

SO1

·         Directly supports the protection of biodiversity, habitats and species (SA2).

·         Aligns positively with improving air quality (SA3) and resilience to climatic factors (SA4) by safeguarding green spaces, trees and other natural vegetation that contribute to air purification and reduction of greenhouse gases.

·         Ensuring the safeguarding and enhancement of species and habitats, of which there are many riverine, estuarine, coastal and marine examples in Carmarthenshire. Their protection should require that water quality be improved which aligns positively with SA5.

·         Encouraging sustainability and sustainable modes of transport (SA6) aligns positively with reducing transport and congestion related impacts on species and habitats.

·         Protection of the natural environment increases access to green spaces for the purposes of wellbeing (SA12), however this could encourage unsustainable recreational pressures to habitats and species that are highly sensitive to external pressures.

SO2

·         Biodiversity and its protection and enhancement in rural and urban areas (SA2) increases access to the natural environment for recreational and wellbeing purposes. However, this may lead to unsustainable recreational pressures to habitats and species that are highly sensitive to external pressures.

·         Maintaining a high level of water quality (SA5) ensures water based community, leisure and recreational facilities are accessible at a high standard. However, increased recreational use of water resources could place increase pollution pressures on sensitive water bodies.

·         Promotion and integration of different modes of transport (in particular cycling and walking) (SA6) is positively aligned with SO2.

·         SO2 contributes positively to promoting social inclusion of disadvantaged and minority groups in society thorough promotion of access to wellbeing opportunities and facilities (SA10/SA15).

·         This objective directly aligns with SA12.

SO3

·         Aligns positively with the inclusion of disadvantaged and minority groups, as well as promoting the retention of young people in the community (SA10/SA12/SA15) by promoting access to education and skills training opportunities for all.

·         Carmarthenshire supports both Welsh and English medium learning facilities, and their promotion will aligned positively with the promoting of the Welsh Language throughout the County (SA11).

·         The objective directly aligns with SA13.

·         Supporting a more educated and skilled population positively supports a sustainable economy with good employment opportunities (SA14).

SO4

·         Ensuring services and facilities are accessible as well as promoting vibrant town centres encourages needs to be met locally, reducing the distances people will be required to travel and increasing access to public transport (SA3/SA4/SA6)

·         Equal opportunities and social inclusion align positively with SA10 and SA15.

·         Establishing vibrant town centres with a diverse mix of facilities supports the enhancement of townscapes (SA9).

·         Access to services and facilities provides encouragement for the retention of young people (SA10) and Welsh speakers (SA11) within the County, and supports sustainable economic growth throughout Carmarthenshire (SA14).

SO5

·         This objective directly aligns with SA8.

·         Both SO4 and SA9 promote the reuse of derelict land and redundant buildings and the enhancement of local townscapes.

·         This objective also aligns with SA7 as it offers potential to ensure brownfield sites are redeveloped, and minimises development of greenfield sites and river corridors where soils of high agricultural value are located

·         Safeguarding and enhancement of the built and historic environment ensures that Welsh cultural assets are protected (SA11) and are accessible to people in Carmarthenshire for wellbeing purposes (SA12).

SO6

·         Limits the potential for extensive rural development and resulting habitat fragmentation (SA2) as development is concentrated in sustainable locations.

·         Needs provided locally reduces the distances people are required to travel and increases access to public transport (SA4, SA6), contributing to reducing the reliance on the private car which leads to positive impacts on air quality (SA3).

·         It also ensures that development is focussed in areas with existing infrastructure to support development e.g water resources (SA5), access to health, education and training facilities (SA12,SA13, SA15).

·         Encouraging the reuse of previously developed land aligns positively with SA9 and SA7.

SO7

·         The objective directly aligns with SA4.

·         Tackling the causes of climate change aligns positively with promoting access to alternative transportation and public transport infrastructure (SA6) and as a result can have positive effects on other elements such as air quality (SA3).

·         Adapting to the effects of climate change includes making space for water and minimising flood risks (SA5).

·         Promotion of efficient use and safeguarding of resources also aligns positively with SA6.

SO8

·         Establishing an accessible and sustainable transport system, including alternative transport methods aligns positively with improving air quality (SA3) and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (SA4)

·         The objective aligns directly with SA6

·         Access to public transport promotes the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in society (SA10, SA15), allowing them to access facilities and services regardless of social situation.

·         Encouragement of alternative methods of transportation such as walking and cycling aligns positively with SA12.

SO9

·         Carmarthenshire’s biodiversity, natural environment (SA2), cultural heritage (SA8) and unique landscape (SA9) all contribute to a sense of place and should be protected.

·         Creating a strong sense of place and vibrant communities within Carmarthenshire are important the retention of young people in the county (SA10).

·         The County has a strong Welsh identity that must be protected and enhanced (SA11) to maintain Carmarthenshire’s distinctiveness and character.

·         Placemaking should improve social fabric by removing barriers and creating opportunities for positive interactions, especially for disadvantaged and minority groups in society (SA10, SA15).

SO10

·         Provision for a mix of high quality homes across the county aligns positively with both SA8 and SA9.

·         Equality of opportunities will ensure that disadvantaged and minority groups as well as young people are given the opportunity to access suitable housing across the county (SA10, SA15), which may also lead to the retention of Welsh speaking residents in the County (SA11).

SO11

·         This objective directly aligns with SA11 and SA15.

·         Aligns positively with SA10, as Carmarthenshire’s population has a strong Welsh identity, with a high proportion of the population born in Wales.

·         Promotion of the Welsh language will positively impact on levels of Welsh literacy (SA13).

SO12

·         Proposed plans for the support the regional delivery of the Swansea Bay City deal focusses new developments in Llanelli and Carmarthen, both of which have a number of sensitive biodiversity (SA2) and air quality (SA3) and water quality (SA5) areas which could be negatively impacted.

·         Creation of employment opportunities in both rural and urban areas throughout the county may lead to a positive reduction in the requirement for private car use for outward commuting (SA4/SA6). However, initial plans for developments situated in Carmarthen and Llanelli do not currently support this.

·         It is difficult to determine what effect this objective will have on SA11 as economic development and the resulting job creation has the potential to retain skilled Welsh speaking residents in the County. However, this may also encourage an inward migration of non-Welsh speakers to the county, which could dilute the Welsh speaking culture in Carmarthenshire.

·         This objective will have a positive effect on job creation, which in turn will promote economic growth and sustainable business in Wales (SA14).

·         This will also contribute towards the education, upskilling and retention of young people and professionals within Carmarthenshire (SA10/SA13) as good quality employment opportunities are made available for all sections of the population (SA15).

·         The plans for a life science and wellbeing village as part of the Swansea Bay City deal will be a strong positive driver of Health and wellbeing throughout Carmarthenshire.

SO13

·         Increasing levels of tourism in the county has the potential to increase recreational pressure on some of Carmarthenshire’s biodiversity and cultural heritage designated sites, in particular coastal and marine sites with high recreational value (SA2/SA5/SA8). 

·         The increasing traffic pressures associated with tourism is likely to have a negative impact on areas with existing air quality issues as well as habitats/species that are sensitive to such pressures (SA2/SA3).

·         Provision for year round tourism related initiatives is likely to result in an increase in employment and associated education, skills and training opportunities (SA13), which in turn will have a positive effect on the local economy (SA14) and the retention of young people in the county (SA10)

SO14

·         Ensuring new development is supported by sufficient hard and soft infrastructure ensures that water resources are used sustainably and that systems have sufficient capacity to deal with sewerage and diffuse pollution.(SA5)

·         It is also likely that SO14 will positively align with SA3, SA4 and SA6 in encouraging needs to be met locally and reducing the need to travel to access facilities and services.

·         This objective is likely to have a positive alignment with increased access to services, in particular for those disadvantaged or minority groups in society (SA10/SA15).

·         It is also likely to support access to wellbeing facilities and services (SA12) as well as education, skills and training facilities and quality employment opportunities (SA14).

 


Vision and objectives

SA1

SA2

SA3

SA4

SA5

SA6

SA7

SA8

SA9

SA10

SA11

SA12

SA13

SA14

SA15

Vision

+

+

?

?

?

+

?

?

?

+

 

+

+

+

+

SO1

+

+

+

+

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

?

 

 

 

SO2

+

?

 

 

?

+

 

 

 

+

 

+

 

 

+

SO3

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+

+

 

 

 

+

SO4

+

 

+

+

 

+

 

 

+

+

+

 

 

+

+

SO5

+

 

 

 

 

 

+

+

+

 

+

+

 

 

 

SO6

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

 

+

 

 

+

+

 

+

SO7

+

 

+

+

+

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SO8

+

 

 

+

 

+

 

 

 

+

 

+

 

 

+

SO9

+

+

 

 

 

 

 

+

+

+

+

 

 

 

+

SO10

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

+

+

+

+

 

 

 

+

SO11

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

+

+

 

+

 

+

SO12

+

-

-

?

-

?

 

 

 

+

?

+

+

+

+

SO13

+

-

-

 

-

 

 

-

 

+

?

+

+

+

 

SO14

+

 

+

+

+

+

 

 

 

+

 

+

+

+

+

Figure 3 Testing of Revised LDP Strategic Objectives against the Sustainability Objectives framework

 

+

Positive alignment between Revised LDP Strategic Objective and Sustainability Objective

?

Unknown alignment between Revised LDP Strategic Objective and Sustainability Objective

 

No direct link between Revised LDP Strategic Objectives and Sustainability Objective

-

Potential conflict between Revised LDP Strategic Objectives and Sustainability Objective

 


5. Appraisal of Strategic Options and Alternatives

The LDP must identify land use strategy and policy options to achieve its Vision. In formulating the Preferred Strategy variations in the overall levels of growth and the spatial distribution of new development were assessed

The SEA Directive requires an environmental report to describe and evaluate the environmental impacts of the plan 'and reasonable alternatives taking into account the objectives and the geographical scope of the plan' (Article 5.1), and to include 'an outline of the reasons for selecting the alternatives dealt with' (Annex Ih). The Welsh Assembly Government's LDP Manual explains that:

"The purpose of this task is to predict the social, environmental and economic effects of the options being considered in the LDP preparation process. The main technique is to predict both positive and negative effects of each option on the environmental baseline and objectives set out in the SA framework. The performance of each option can then be compared, taking account where necessary of the “business as usual” scenario, i.e. how sustainability would change under the current development plan" (Sec. 6.4.1).

The results of the SA of the Strategic Growth Options and the Spatial Options are discussed below.

Assessment of Strategic Growth Options

The revised Carmarthenshire Local Development Plan will need to consider population, housing and economic growth within the County over the fifteen year plan period. In order to inform the number of dwellings that will need to be provided for by the LDP, Edge Analytics were commissioned to provide a range of different demographic projection scenarios termed ‘Strategic Growth Options’. The growth options and the trends on which they are based are summarised in Table 4 below.

The report considered the latest demographic evidence published by Welsh Government, the Office of National Statistics and the Office for Budget Responsibility, as well as drawing on existing economic strategies including the Swansea Bay City Deal[6], Carmarthenshire’s Strategic Regeneration Plan [7]and Employment Sectoral Study[8], linking economic growth, population change and housing.

The demographic scenarios considered by Edge Analytics include:

§   WG 2014 based principal projection

§   Long Term (16 years of migration data)

§   Medium Term (10 years of migration data)

§   Short Term (Last 6 years of migration data)

§   Pre-Recession (pre 2008) migration data

 

They also considered two employment-led scenarios:

§  Fixed Commuter Rate

§  Reducing Commuter Rate

The demographic scenarios take into consideration trends in population, migration, household membership, births and deaths and the vacancy rate of current housing in Carmarthenshire in order to project population change and how many dwellings will be needed over the revised LDP plan period. It is the timescales over which these trends are considered that result in the different scenarios listed above.

Household and dwelling growth under the demographic scenarios has been estimated using assumptions from the WG 2014-based household projection model in conjunction with a percentage vacancy rate, which takes into account the number of vacant properties or second homes in Carmarthenshire. The 2011 Census records a vacancy rate of 6.3%1 for Carmarthenshire, however more recent statistics from Welsh Government and council tax data indicate a lower dwelling vacancy rate for Carmarthenshire of 3.4%, which is the rate used in this analysis.

The employment-led scenarios include these factors but attempt to link changes in population to employment growth. To do this, they also consider rates of economic activity, employment and the balance between the size of the resident workforce and local employment (commuting ratio).

The summary of the resulting projections is provided in Table 5.

The growth options should be compared against a ‘business as usual’ scenario which is considered as the baseline. For a revised LDP, business as usual will mean a continuation of an existing plan or programme, as an alternative to preparing a new one. The current LDP makes provision for 1,013 dwellings to be delivered per year, based on Welsh Government 2008 projection levels.

The social, environmental and economic effects and overall sustainability of each option was tested against the SA framework. A summary of the assessment is shown in Figure 4. A commentary on the main impacts of each option are discussed in Table 6.

 

Table 5 Carmarthenshire Demographic Scenario Projections 2018-2033

Growth Option 1: Welsh Government 2014 based

This option is based on migration assumptions on a five year period between 2009/10 and 2013/14, which recorded notably lower net in migration to Carmarthenshire.

Change over plan period (2018 – 2033)

Dwellings Required

Population (%)

Households (%)

Annually

Total over plan period

1.7%

4.0%

224

3,367

 

Growth Option 2: Welsh Government (based on 10 year average migration data)

This option replicates the WG 2014-based 10yr average migration variant population projection. Migration assumptions are based on the ten year period prior to 2014 (i.e. 2004/05–2013/14).

Change over plan period (2018 – 2033)

Dwellings Required

Population (%)

Households (%)

Annually

Total over plan period

5.8%

7.7%

436

6,542

 

Growth Option 3: Short Term (based on 6 years of migration data)

This option is based on internal migration rates and international migration flow based on a six year historical period (2011/12 – 2016/17). This is a similar time period to that covered in Option 1, however includes the most recent three years of data. This option results in the lowest population change over the plan period, as a result of the lower net migration flows evident in 2011/12-2013/14.

Change over plan period (2018 – 2033)

Dwellings Required

Population (%)

Households (%)

Annually

Total over plan period

5.7 %

8.4 %

470

7,044

 

Option 4: Medium Term (based on 10 years of migration data)

This option is based on internal migration rates and international migration flow based on a ten year historical period between 2007/08 and 2016/17.

Change over plan period (2018 – 2033)

Dwellings Required

Population (%)

Households (%)

Annually

Total over plan period

6.3%

8.6%

482

7,236

 

Option 5 Long Term (based on 16 years of migration data)

This option is based on internal migration rates and international migration flow based on a sixteen year historical period (2001/02 – 2016/17). This provides some ‘smoothing’ of annual peaks and troughs. Under this scenario, higher net migration flows are estimated, resulting in a higher population change and subsequent dwelling growth.

Change over plan period (2018 – 2033)

Dwellings Required

Population (%)

Households (%)

Annually

Total over plan period

9.4 %

11.7 %

659

9,887

 

Option 6: Pre-Recession (based on pre-2008 data)

This option is based on internal migration rates and international migration flow assumptions are based on the period pre-2008 recession (2001/02 – 2007/08), in which higher in-migration flows to Carmarthenshire were recorded. As a result, estimations of future net migration is highest under this option.

Change over plan period (2018 – 2033)

Dwellings Required

Population (%)

Households (%)

Annually

Total over plan period

14.2%

16.6 %

939

14,090

 

Option 7: Commuter Rate (CR) Reducing

This option assumes a reduction in the commuting ratio from 1.09 to 1.06 by the end of the plan period

Change over plan period (2018 – 2033)

Dwellings Required

Population (%)

Households (%)

Annually

Total over plan period

19.3%

20.5%

1,160

17,396

 

Option 8: Commuter Rate (CR) Fixed

This option applies the 2011 Census commuting ratio of 1.09, fixed throughout the plan period.

Change over plan period (2018 – 2033)

Dwellings Required

Population (%)

Households (%)

Annually

Total over plan period

22.2%

23.2%

1,313

19,690



Figure 4 Testing of Strategic Growth Options against the Sustainability Objectives framework

Growth Option

SA1 Sustainable Development

SA2 Biodiversity

SA3 Air Quality

SA4 Climatic Factors

SA5 Water

SA6 Material Assets

SA7 Soil

SA8 Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

SA9 Landscape

SA10 Population

SA11 Welsh Language

SA12 Health and Well-being

SA13 Education and Skills

SA14 Economy

SA15 Social Fabric

Option 1

224 dwellings a year

-

+/-

+/-

+/-

+

 

+

l

l

--

-

--

?

--

--

Option 2

436 dwellings a year

-

+/-

+/-

+/-

+

 

+/-

l

l

-

-

-

?

-

-

Option 3

470 dwellings a year

-

+/-

+/-

+/-

+

 

+/-

l

l

-

-

-

?

-

-

Option 4

482 dwellings a year

-

+/-

+/-

+/-

+

 

+/-

l

l

-

-

-

?

-

-

Option 5

659 dwellings a year

+

+/-

+/--

+/-

+

 

+/-

l

l

+

+

?

?

+

+

Option 6

939 dwellings a year

+

+/-

+/-

+/-

-

 

+/-

l

l

+

+

?

?

+

+

Option 7

1,160 dwellings a year

-

-

-

-

-

 

-

l

l

+

+/-

+

?

++

+

Option 8

1,313 dwellings a year

-

-

-

-

--

 

-

l

l

+

+/-

+

?

++

+

 

 

 


Table 6 Sustainability Commentary for the Strategic Growth Options

Option 1 – Welsh Government 2014 based

This option is based on migration assumptions on a five year period between 2009/10 and 2013/14, which recorded notably lower net in migration to Carmarthenshire.

Population Change

·         This option sees a net outflow of -282 persons in the 15-19 age group per year from the County, over the plan period. This is linked to out-migration for higher education opportunities.

·         This option will see a decrease in 0-15 and 16-64 age groups by -4% and -7% respectively over the plan period.

·         This option would see an increase of 28% in 65+ age group and 66% increase in 80+ age group over the plan period.

·         This option sees a move to a more elderly population on balance, with the number of people aged 65+ equivalent to 56% of the labour workforce (ages 16-64) by 2033. This is an increase from 40% in 2018.

Employment Growth

·         This option would support an employment growth of -55 jobs per year. This is significantly less than the projected annual employment growth of +1,182, estimated in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study. This reflects a decline in the labour force projected over the plan period, driven by an aging population and lower in-migration.

 

SA Objective

Appraisal

Comments

SA1 – Sustainable Development

-

This option is unlikely to contribute towards a sustainable economy or supporting a healthy, balanced society.

SA2 – Biodiversity

+/-

The choice of site and the manner in which they are developed will influence the impact of this growth option on SA2. However, this option sees a decrease in the number of dwellings required from the current LDP number of 1,013, to 231 per year which would significantly reduce the need for development on greenfield land and resulting pressure on biodiversity assets in the county.

SA3 – Air Quality

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is significantly lower than the current LDP requirement and so may alleviate some pressure on areas of poor air quality.

SA4 – Climatic Factors

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity, with associated carbon emissions. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is significantly lower than the current requirement and so may result in less greenhouse gas emissions.

SA5 – Water

+

This growth option projects a household growth of 4.0%, which is within the 14.6% capacity provided for in Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Resource Management Plan.

SA6 – Material Assets

 

No direct link

SA7 - Soil

+

Any development infers the loss of soil/permeable surfaces to hard standing. However, the number of dwellings required under this growth option is significantly lower than the current LDP requirement and so loss of high quality soils and greenfield land to non-permeable surfaces will be reduced.

SA8 – Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

l

The alignment of this option with SA8 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed

SA9 – Landscape

l

The alignment of this policy with SA9 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed

SA10 – Population

--

This option sees a significant decline in the number of young people in the County, with a decrease of 1,373 in the 0-15 year age groups and 7,735 in the 16-64 year age group over the plan period.

SA11 – Welsh Language

-

This option will see a drastic decline in young people in the County over the plan period, which is likely to result in a decline of Welsh speakers, most of which are taught Welsh through the education system.

SA12 – Health and Well-being

--

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with a decline in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County. 

SA13 – Education and Skills

?

This option sees a decline in the population of school going age which has the potential to ease pressure on the education system in areas that are near capacity. However, lower demand for school places may result in some education facilities closing due to declining pupil numbers.

SA14 – Economy

--

This option sees a decline in employment growth, as a result of the projected decline of the labour workforce under this option. A low level of growth will have a significant impact on local building trade.

SA15 – Social Fabric

-

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with a decline in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County. This could affect accessibility to services, particularly for disadvantages sections of society. Low growth will also reduce contribution of the LDP to affordable housing.

Option 2 –Welsh Government (based on 10 year average migration data)

This option is based on migration assumptions on a ten year period prior to 2014 (2011/12 – 2016/17)

Population Change

·         This option sees a net outflow of -358 persons in the 15-19 age group per year from the County, over the plan period. This is linked to out-migration for higher education opportunities.

·         This option will see an increase in 0-15 age cohort of 1% by a decrease of -2% of 16-64 age groups.

·         This option would see an increase of 29% in 65+ age group and 67% increase in 80+ age group over the plan period.

·         This option sees a move to a more elderly population on balance, with the number of people aged 65+ equivalent to 53% of the labour workforce (ages 16-64) by 2033. This is an increase from 40% in 2018.

Employment Growth

·         This option would support an employment growth of +198 jobs per year. This is significantly lower than the projected annual employment growth of +1,182 in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study.

 

SA Objective

Appraisal

Comments

SA1 – Sustainable Development

-

This option is unlikely to contribute towards a sustainable economy or supporting a healthy, balanced society.

SA2 – Biodiversity

+/-

The choice of site and the manner in which they are developed will influence the impact of this growth option on SA2. However, this option sees a decrease in the number of dwellings required from the current LDP number of 1,013, to 436 per year which would significantly reduce the need for development on greenfield land and resulting pressure on biodiversity assets in the county.

SA3 – Air Quality

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is lower than the current LDP requirement and so may alleviate some pressure on areas of poor air quality.

SA4 – Climatic Factors

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity, with associated carbon emissions. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is significantly lower than the current requirement and so may result in less greenhouse gas emissions.

SA5 – Water

+

This growth option projects a household growth of 7.7%, which is within the 14.6% capacity provided for in Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Resource Management Plan.

SA6 – Material Assets

 

No direct link

SA7 - Soil

+/-

Any development infers the loss of soil/permeable surfaces to hard standing. However, the number of dwellings required under this growth option is significantly lower than the current LDP requirement and so loss of high quality soils and greenfield land to non-permeable surfaces will be reduced.

SA8 – Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

l

The alignment of this option with SA8 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA9 – Landscape

l

The alignment of this policy with SA9 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA10 – Population

-

This option sees a decrease of young people across the plan period, which, matched by significant increases in the 65+ age cohort does not result in a balanced population demographic.

SA11 – Welsh Language

-

This option will see a decline in young people in the County over the plan period, which is likely to result in a decline of young Welsh speakers that currently make up the highest proportion of Welsh speakers in the County.

SA12 – Health and Well-being

-

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with a decline in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County.

SA13 – Education and Skills

?

This option sees a decline in the population of school going age which has the potential to ease pressure on the education system in areas that are near capacity. However, lower demand for school places may result in some education facilities closing due to declining pupil numbers.

SA14 – Economy

-

This option sees an increase in employment growth, however there is still a projected decline of the labour workforce under this option.

SA15 – Social Fabric

-

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with a decline in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County. This could affect accessibility to services, particularly for disadvantages sections of society. Low growth will also reduce contribution of the LDP to affordable housing.


 

Option 3 – Population Growth (PG) Short Term

This option is based on internal migration rates and international migration flow based on a six year historical period (2011/12 – 2016/17). This is a similar time period to that covered in Option 1, however includes the most recent three years of data. This option results in the lowest population change over the plan period, as a result of the lower net migration flows evident in 2011/12-2013/14.

Population Change

·         This option sees a net outflow of -358 persons in the 15-19 age group per year from the County, over the plan period. This is linked to out-migration for higher education opportunities.

·         This option will see a decrease in 0-15 and 16-64 age groups by -2% and -4% respectively over the plan period.

·         This option would see an increase of 35% in 65+ age group and 71% increase in 80+ age group over the plan period.

·         This option sees a move to a more elderly population on balance, with the number of people aged 65+ equivalent to 56% of the labour workforce (ages 16-64) by 2033. This is an increase from 40% in 2018.

Employment Growth

·         This option would support an employment growth of +126 jobs per year. This is significantly lower than the projected annual employment growth of +1,182 in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study.

 

SA Objective

Appraisal

Comments

SA1 – Sustainable Development

-

This option is unlikely to contribute towards a sustainable economy or supporting a healthy, balanced society.

SA2 – Biodiversity

+/-

The choice of site and the manner in which they are developed will influence the impact of this growth option on SA2. However, this option sees a decrease in the number of dwellings required from the current LDP number of 1,013, to 484 per year which would significantly reduce the need for development on greenfield land and resulting pressure on biodiversity assets in the county.

SA3 – Air Quality

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is significantly lower than the current LDP requirement and so may alleviate some pressure on areas of poor air quality.

SA4 – Climatic Factors

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity, with associated carbon emissions. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is significantly lower than the current requirement and so may result in less greenhouse gas emissions.

SA5 – Water

+

This growth option projects a household growth of 8.4%, which is within the 14.6% capacity provided for in Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Resource Management Plan.

SA6 – Material Assets

 

No direct link

SA7 - Soil

+/-

Any development infers the loss of soil/permeable surfaces to hard standing. However, the number of dwellings required under this growth option is significantly lower than the current LDP requirement and so loss of high quality soils and greenfield land to non-permeable surfaces will be reduced.

SA8 – Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

l

The alignment of this option with SA8 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA9 – Landscape

l

The alignment of this policy with SA9 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA10 – Population

-

This option sees a decline in the number of young people in the County, with a decrease of 533 in the 0-15 year age groups and 4,126 in the 16-64 year age group over then plan period.

SA11 – Welsh Language

-

This option will see a decline in young people in the County over the plan period, which is likely to result in a decline of young Welsh speakers that currently make up the highest proportion of Welsh speakers in the County.

SA12 – Health and Well-being

-

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with a decline in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County.

SA13 – Education and Skills

?

This option sees a decline in the population of school going age which has the potential to ease pressure on the education system in areas that are near capacity. However, lower demand for school places may result in some education facilities closing due to declining pupil numbers.

SA14 – Economy

-

This option sees an increase in employment growth, however there is still a projected decline of the labour workforce under this option.

SA15 – Social Fabric

-

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with a decline in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County. This could affect accessibility to services, particularly for disadvantages sections of society. Low growth will also reduce contribution of the LDP to affordable housing.

Option 4 – Population Growth (PG) Medium Term

This option is based on internal migration rates and international migration flow based on a ten year historical period between 2007/08 and 2016/17.

Population Change

·         This option sees a net outflow of -330 persons in the 15-19 age group per year from the County, over the plan period. This is linked to out-migration for higher education opportunities.

·         This option will see a 1% increase in 0-15 age groups but a decrease of -3% of 16-64 age groups over the plan period.

·         This option would see an increase of 33% in 65+ age group and 72% increase in 80+ age group over the plan period.

·         This option sees a move to a more elderly population on balance, with the number of people aged 65+ equivalent to 55% of the labour workforce (ages 16-64) by 2033. This is an increase from 40% in 2018.

Employment Growth

·         This option would support an employment growth of +178 jobs per year. This is significantly lower than the projected annual employment growth of +1,182 in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study.

 

SA Objective

Appraisal

Comments

SA1 – Sustainable Development

-

This option is unlikely to contribute towards a sustainable economy or supporting a healthy, balanced society.

SA2 – Biodiversity

+/-

The choice of site and the manner in which they are developed will influence the impact of this growth option on SA2. However, this option sees a decrease in the number of dwellings required from the current LDP number of 1,013, to 497 per year which would significantly reduce the need for development on greenfield land and resulting pressure on biodiversity assets in the county.

SA3 – Air Quality

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is lower than the current LDP requirement and so may alleviate some pressure on areas of poor air quality.

SA4 – Climatic Factors

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity, with associated carbon emissions. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is significantly lower than the current requirement and so may result in less greenhouse gas emissions.

SA5 – Water

+

This growth option projects a household growth of 8.6%, which is within the 14.6% capacity provided for in Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Resource Management Plan.

SA6 – Material Assets

 

No direct link

SA7 - Soil

+/-

Any development infers the loss of soil/permeable surfaces to hard standing. However, the number of dwellings required under this growth option is significantly lower than the current LDP requirement and so loss of high quality soils and greenfield land to non-permeable surfaces will be reduced.

SA8 – Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

l

The alignment of this option with SA8 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA9 – Landscape

l

The alignment of this policy with SA9 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA10 – Population

-

This option sees a decrease of young people across the plan period, which, matched by significant increases in the 65+ age cohort does not result in a balanced population demographic.

SA11 – Welsh Language

-

This option will see a decline in young people in the County over the plan period, which is likely to result in a decline of young Welsh speakers that currently make up the highest proportion of Welsh speakers in the County.

SA12 – Health and Well-being

-

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with a decline in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County.

SA13 – Education and Skills

?

This option sees a decline in the population of school going age which has the potential to ease pressure on the education system in areas that are near capacity. However, lower demand for school places may result in some education facilities closing due to declining pupil numbers.

SA14 – Economy

-

This option sees an increase in employment growth, however there is still a projected decline of the labour workforce under this option.

SA15 – Social Fabric

-

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with a decline in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County. This could affect accessibility to services, particularly for disadvantages sections of society. Low growth will also reduce contribution of the LDP to affordable housing.


 

Option 5– Population Growth (PG) Long Term

This option is based on internal migration rates and international migration flow based on a sixteen year historical period (2001/02 – 2016/17). This provides some ‘smoothing’ of annual peaks and troughs. Under this scenario, higher net migration flows are estimated, resulting in a higher population change and subsequent dwelling growth.

Population Change

·         This option will see an increase in 0-15 and 16-64 age groups by +3% and +1% respectively over the plan period.

·         This option would see an increase of 36% in 65+ age group and 75% increase in 80+ age group over the plan period.

·         This option sees a move to a more elderly population on balance, with the number of people aged 65+ equivalent to 54% of the labour workforce (ages 16-64) by 2033. This is an increase from 40% in 2018.

Employment Growth

·         This option would support an employment growth of +353 jobs per year. This is lower than the projected annual employment growth of +1,182 in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study.

 

SA Objective

Appraisal

Comments

SA1 – Sustainable Development

+

This option is likely to contribute positively to supporting a sustainable economy and a healthy, balanced society.

SA2 – Biodiversity

+/-

The choice of site and the manner in which they are developed will influence the impact of this growth option on SA2. This option sees a decrease in the number of dwellings required from the current LDP number of 1,013, to 680 per year which may alleviate pressure somewhat on biodiversity assets.

SA3 – Air Quality

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is lower than the current LDP requirement and so may alleviate some pressure on areas of poor air quality.

SA4 – Climatic Factors

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity, with associated carbon emissions. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is significantly lower than the current requirement and so may result in less greenhouse gas emissions.

SA5 – Water

+

This growth option projects a household growth of 11.7%, which is within the 14.6% capacity provided for in Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Resource Management Plan.

SA6 – Material Assets

 

No direct link

SA7 - Soil

+/-

Any development infers the loss of soil/permeable surfaces to hard standing. However, the number of dwellings required under this growth option is significantly lower than the current LDP requirement and so loss of high quality soils and greenfield land to non-permeable surfaces will be reduced.

SA8 – Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

l

The alignment of this option with SA8 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA9 – Landscape

l

The alignment of this policy with SA9 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA10 – Population

+

This option goes some way to addressing the balance of the population, with an increase projected in the 0-15 and 16-64 age groups.

SA11 – Welsh Language

+

Increasing numbers of young people is likely to have a positive effect on the Welsh language as more young people are education through the medium of Welsh in the County.

SA12 – Health and Well-being

?

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with low growth in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County.

SA13 – Education and Skills

?

This option sees a projected increase in the population of school going ages which has the potential to increase pressure on the education services in areas that are near capacity. However, increased demand for school places may result in some education facilities being able to remain open if pupil numbers increase.

SA14 – Economy

+

This option falls short of reaching the growth target set out in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral study. However, this option sees increases in labour workforce ages which go some way to balancing the increase in 65+ age groups.

SA15 – Social Fabric

+

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with increases in the labour workforce age groups which would go some way to balancing the population in the County. Higher growth levels will also support contribution of the LDP to affordable housing.


 

Option 6 – Population Growth (PG) Pre-Recession

This option is based on internal migration rates and international migration flow assumptions are based on the period pre-2008 recession (2001/02 – 2007/08), in which higher in-migration flows to Carmarthenshire were recorded. As a result, estimations of future net migration is highest under this option.

Population Change

·         This option will see an increase in 0-15 and 16-64 age groups by +8% and +6% respectively over the plan period.

·         This option would see an increase of 40% in 65+ age group and 82% increase in 80+ age group over the plan period.

·         This option sees a move to a more elderly population on balance, with the number of people aged 65+ equivalent to 53% of the labour workforce (ages 16-64) by 2033. This is an increase from 40% in 2018.

Employment Growth

·         This option would support an employment growth of +632 jobs per year. This is lower than the projected annual employment growth of +1,182 in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study.

 

SA Objective

Appraisal

Comments

SA1 – Sustainable Development

+

This option is likely to contribute positively to supporting a sustainable economy and a healthy, balanced society.

SA2 – Biodiversity

+/-

The choice of site and the manner in which they are developed will influence the impact of this growth option on SA2. This option sees a slight decrease in the number of dwellings required from the current LDP number of 1,013, to 969 per year which may alleviate pressure somewhat on biodiversity assets.

SA3 – Air Quality

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is lower than the current LDP requirement and so may alleviate some pressure on areas of poor air quality.

SA4 – Climatic Factors

+/-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity, with associated carbon emissions. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is significantly lower than the current requirement and so may result in less greenhouse gas emissions.

SA5 – Water

-

This growth option projects a household growth of 16.6%, which is above the 14.6% capacity provided for in Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Resource Management Plan.

SA6 – Material Assets

 

No direct link

SA7 - Soil

+/-

Any development infers the loss of soil/permeable surfaces to hard standing. However, the number of dwellings required under this growth option is slightly lower than the current LDP requirement and so loss of high quality soils and greenfield land to non-permeable surfaces will be reduced.

SA8 – Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

l

The alignment of this option with SA8 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA9 – Landscape

l

The alignment of this policy with SA9 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA10 – Population

+

This option goes some way to addressing the balance of the population, with an increase projected in the 0-15 and 16-64 age groups.

SA11 – Welsh Language

+

Increasing numbers of young people is likely to have a positive effect on the Welsh language as more young people are education through the medium of Welsh in the County.

SA12 – Health and Well-being

?

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with low growth in the labour workforce age groups which could result in significant challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County.

SA13 – Education and Skills

?

This option sees a projected increase in the population of school going ages which has the potential to increase pressure on the education services in areas that are near capacity. However, increased demand for school places may result in some education facilities being able to remain open if pupil numbers increase.

SA14 – Economy

+

This option falls short of reaching the growth target set out in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral study. However, this option sees increases in labour workforce ages which begins to balance increases in 65+ age groups.

SA15 – Social Fabric

+

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with increases in the labour workforce age groups which would go some way to balancing the population in the County. Higher growth levels will also support contribution of the LDP to affordable housing.


 

Option 7 – Commuting Ratio (CR) Reducing

This option considers the population and housing implications of Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study, which estimates an average annual employment growth of +1,182 per annum. This option applies the 2011 Census commuting ratio, but assumes a reduction from 1.09 to 1.06 by the end of the plan period.

Population Change

·         This option will see an increase in population of 19.3% over the plan period.

·         This option would see a net-in migration of 2,483 per year.

·         This would result in a requirement of 1,196 dwellings per year throughout the plan period, in order to support the 1,182 jobs per year estimated by Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study.

SA Objective

Appraisal

Comments

SA1 – Sustainable Development

-

This option is not likely to result in a sustainable level of development in the County.

SA2 – Biodiversity

-

The choice of site and the manner in which they are developed will influence the impact of this growth option on SA2. This option sees an increase in the number of dwellings required from the current LDP number of 1,013, to 1,196 per year which may place additional pressure on biodiversity assets.

SA3 – Air Quality

-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is higher than the current LDP requirement and so is likely to increase pressures on air quality.

SA4 – Climatic Factors

-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity, with associated carbon emissions. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is higher than the current LDP requirement and so is likely to result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

SA5 – Water

-

This growth option projects a household growth of 20.5%, which is above the 14.6% capacity provided for in Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Resource Management Plan.

SA6 – Material Assets

 

No direct link

SA7 - Soil

-

Any development infers the loss of soil/permeable surfaces to hard standing. However, the number of dwellings required under this growth option is above that of the current LDP requirement and so may result in an increase of loss of high quality soils and greenfield land to non-permeable surfaces.

SA8 – Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

l

The alignment of this policy with SA8 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA9 – Landscape

l

The alignment of this policy with SA9 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA10 – Population

+

This option would see a high number dwellings required to accommodate high employment growth. This is likely to provide an attractive housing and employment market for young people in the County.

SA11 – Welsh Language

+/-

This option would see high housing and employment growth which is likely to create an attractive market by which to retain young people in the County. Higher in migration has the potential to dilute the Welsh language.

SA12 – Health and Well-being

+

This option would see a high number dwellings required to accommodate high employment growth. Which are likely to help retain and grow the labour workforce age groups and may address challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County.

SA13 – Education and Skills

?

This option sees a projected increase in the population of school going ages which has the potential to increase pressure on the education services in areas that are near capacity. However, increased demand for school places may result in some education facilities being able to remain open if pupil numbers increase.

SA14 – Economy

++

This option aligns with the target set out in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral study, supporting the level of employment growth projected for the County over the plan period. This option would see increases in labour workforce ages which begins to balance increases in 65+ age groups.

SA15 – Social Fabric

+

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with increases in the labour workforce age groups which would go some way to balancing the population in the County. Higher growth levels will also support contribution of the LDP to affordable housing.


 

Option 8 – Commuting Ratio (CR) Fixed

This option considers the population and housing implications of Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study, which estimates an average annual employment growth of +1,182 per annum. This option applies the 2011 Census commuting ratio of 1.09, fixed throughout the plan period.

Population Change

·         This option will see an increase in population of 22.2% over the plan period.

·         This option would see a net-in migration of 2,814 per year.

·         This would result in a requirement of 1,354 dwellings per year throughout the plan period, in order to support the 1,182 jobs per year estimated by Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral Study.

SA Objective

Appraisal

Comments

SA1 – Sustainable Development

-

This option is not likely to result in a sustainable level of development in the County.

SA2 – Biodiversity

-

The choice of site and the manner in which they are developed will influence the impact of this growth option on SA2. This option sees an increase in the number of dwellings required from the current LDP number of 1,013, to 1,354 per year which may place additional pressure on biodiversity assets.

SA3 – Air Quality

-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is higher than the current LDP requirement and so is likely to increase pressures on air quality.

SA4 – Climatic Factors

-

Any level of growth infers increasing transport and economic activity, with associated carbon emissions. However, the number of dwellings required under this option is higher than the current LDP requirement and so is likely to result in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

SA5 – Water

--

This growth option projects a household growth of 23.2%, which is above the 14.6% capacity provided for in Dwr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Resource Management Plan.

SA6 – Material Assets

 

No direct link

SA7 - Soil

-

Any development infers the loss of soil/permeable surfaces to hard standing. However, the number of dwellings required under this growth option is above that of the current LDP requirement and so may result in an increase of loss of high quality soils and greenfield land to non-permeable surfaces.

SA8 – Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

l

The alignment of this option with SA8 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA9 – Landscape

l

The alignment of this option with SA9 is dependent on the choice of sites and manner in which they are developed.

SA10 – Population

+

This option would see a high number dwellings required to accommodate high employment growth. This is likely to provide an attractive housing and employment market for young people in the County.

SA11 – Welsh Language

+/-

This option would see high housing and employment growth which is likely to create an attractive market by which to retain young people in the County. Higher in migration has the potential to dilute the Welsh language.

SA12 – Health and Well-being

+

This option would see a high number dwellings required to accommodate high employment growth. Which are likely to help retain and grow the labour workforce age groups and may address challenges in the funding and delivery of health and social care services throughout the County

SA13 – Education and Skills

?

This option sees a projected increase in the population of school going ages which has the potential to increase pressure on the education services in areas that are near capacity. However, increased demand for school places may result in some education facilities being able to remain open with increasing pupil numbers.

SA14 – Economy

++

This option aligns with the target set out in Carmarthenshire’s Employment Sectoral study, supporting the level of employment growth projected for the County over the plan period. This option would see increases in labour workforce ages which begins to balance increases in 65+ age groups.

SA15 – Social Fabric

+

This option sees high growth in the 65+ age cohort, coupled with increases in the labour workforce age groups which would go some way to balancing the population in the County. Higher growth levels will also support contribution of the LDP to affordable housing.


 

SA of Growth Options - Summary

In summary, the Growth Options present the following issues and opportunities:

·         Growth Options 1 and 2 perform better with regard to preserving the County’s natural environmental resources. However neither option sufficiently address existing socio-economic issues within the County, including the need for affordable housing, accessibility to community and health facilities and the retention of young people. Both options also provide for significantly lower employment growth than that projected in the Councils, Employment Sectoral study, and would not provide sufficient employment opportunities. The level of growth under Options 4 and 5 are more likely to deliver these social and economic benefits.

·         Options 4 and 5 have the most potential for negative environmental impacts, compared to other options. These impacts could be mitigated by sustainable site selection and sensitive implementation, with consideration for Carmarthenshire’s largely rural landscape and habitats of high biological value.

·         All options have the potential to impact negatively on the County’s air quality due to increased transport and economic activity. Again, these impacts can be mitigated by sustainable site location with sufficient access to public transport. It is also important that Green Infrastructure (GI) is considered and where possible protected as GI assets can have air purification functions.

·         All options support growth in the population and are therefore likely to contribute to increases in consumption, waste and other activities such as transport. This could be addressed through sustainable design, integrating sustainable waste and transport solutions into new development. Protecting green infrastructure is also important to mitigate the effects of growth across the County, providing important carbon sink functions as well as providing land drainage and cooling effects.

·         All of the options have the potential to impact negatively on historic and cultural assets and landscape, depending on the selection of sites and implementation of development. These impacts could be mitigated by ensuring that design of new developments is sympathetic to local character and distinctiveness, and that the cultural and historic assets are protected.


 

Sustainability Appraisal of Spatial Options

The Council has identified and developed a range of strategic spatial options which demonstrate different ways in which the strategic objectives can be achieved, whilst best reflecting development needs and constraints, and supporting the aims of other international, national and local level strategies, plans and policies.

The development of these options has been informed by the available baseline evidence, as well as stakeholder views and the integrated objectives. These options are based on an understanding of the development potential of the County and the need to accommodate future growth requirements. In developing the options regard has also been had to the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and the wellbeing objectives developed by Carmarthenshire County Council and the Public Service Board.

The options identified assume that housing development without employment opportunities in the same broad location, and vice versa, is less sustainable and is to be avoided. Similarly, infrastructure improvements need to be aligned with new development, including improvements to transport networks, utilities, green infrastructure, health, education and social facilities. Consequently, the term ‘development’ is used in the Spatial Options for Growth to refer to the balance of housing, employment opportunities and the accompanying infrastructure.

The SA process helps to inform the selection of the spatial strategy contained in the Preferred Strategy and provides a mechanism through which reasonable alternatives are considered. It is acknowledged that following SA appraisal, no single option may be considered as ‘preferable’ and there is scope and flexibility for options to be adapted and new option to be devised, that may be a combination of existing options.

The spatial options have been assessed against the sustainability objectives and a detailed commentary is presented in the subsections below. Figure 5 summarises the results of the appraisal but note does not consider the effects of existing or potential mitigation. In the absence of certainty that mitigation measures would be implemented and be successful, a precautionary approach has been taken to the appraisal. A detailed commentary is provided on pages 41 – 63. Suggested mitigation measures to reduce negative impacts are discussed in Section 7 of this report.



 

Figure 5 Summary of the Sustainability Appraisal of the Spatial Options

SA Objective

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

Option 5

Option 6

SA1 Sustainable Development

+

-

-

+

?

?

SA2 Biodiversity

l

+

l

l

+

l

SA3 Air Quality

-

-

-

-

-

-

SA4 Climatic Factors

+/-

+/-

+/-

+/-

-

-

SA5 Water

+/-

+

-

+

-

-

SA6 Material Assets

+

-

-

+

-

-

SA7 Soil

l

+

-

l

+

+

SA8 Cultural Heritage

l

l

l

l

l

l

SA9 Landscape

l

l

-

l

l

l

SA10 Population

++

-

-

++

+/-

+/-

SA11 Welsh Language

+

-

-

+

+/-

-

SA12 Health and Wellbeing

+

-

-

++

+/-

+/-

SA13Education and Skills

+

-

-

+

++

?

SA14 Economy

+

-

-

+

++

?

SA15 Social Fabric

+

-

-

++

-

-

 



This option focusses growth proportionally across a hierarchy underpinned by the principles of sustainability. In doing so, this option:
 § Encourages the dispersal of employment, housing and other types of development to identified settlements and village groups or clusters in a manner reflective of their existing scale, population and availability of facilities and services.
 § Reflects the diversity of the County and growth is apportioned appropriately to urban and rural use areas.
 § Focusses the majority of employment growth in larger towns and villages.

SA Objective

Timescale

1. Sustainable Development

2. Biodiversity

3. Air Quality

4. Climactic Factors

5. Water

6. Material Assets

7. Soil

8. Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

9. Landscape

10. Population

11. The Welsh Language

12. Health and Wellbeing

13. Education and Skills

14. Economy

15. Social Fabric

Overall

SO1

S

+

+

+

+

-

+

-

+

+

+

+/-

+

+

+

+

+

M

+

l

-

+

+/-

+

l

l

l

++

+

+

+

+

+

+

L

+

l

-

+/-

+/-

++

l

l

l

++

+

+

+

+

+

+


Spatial Option 1 – Sustainability Commentary

SA1. Sustainable Development

This option is likely to contribute positively to achieving a sustainable economy and addressing local need throughout the County.

SA2 Biodiversity

Limits the potential for extensive rural development and habitat fragmentation as development is concentrated within identified urban centres and rural clusters. Some urban growth areas such as Llanelli and Carmarthen are in close proximity to designated sites and focussed development in these areas will increase the potential for negative impacts. Some rural development will be required and uncertainty remains as to how this would impact biodiversity in the medium to long term. The choice of development sites and the manner in which they are developed would determine the way in which features of biodiversity importance would be affected.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

l

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA3 Air Quality

Focus of development on urban centres and rural clusters based on need means that services can be provided locally, reducing the distances people are required to travel and increases access to public transport services. Concentrated development in urban growth areas may exacerbate air quality issues due to increasing congestion, in particular in the established AQMA’s in Carmarthen, Llanelli and Llandeilo. It is predicted that it would lead to a negative effect in the medium to long term without mitigation measures.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA4 Climatic Factors

Focus of development on urban centres and rural clusters based on need means that services will be provided and retained locally, reducing the distances people are required to travel and increases access to public transport services. However, directing growth to urban growth areas has the potential to increase development in coastal areas such as Llanelli, Burry Port and Pembrey, which are partially or wholly within C1 and C2 areas and at a higher risk of flooding in the medium to long term.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+/-

Long Term

+/-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA5 Water

Limits the potential for development outside of previously developed areas, thereby minimising the risk to waterbodies and diffuse pollution. Increased concentration of development in existing urban centres and rural centres has the potential to increase pressure on water resources, in areas that have historically seen high levels of growth.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

+/-

Long Term

+/-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA6 Material Assets

This spatial option increases the potential to encourage means to be met locally. It would also support the use of the public transport network and use of different modes of transport.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+

Long Term

++

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA7 Soil

Increasing development outside of urban growth areas increases the probability of greenfield land being used for development as opposed to the redevelopment of brownfield sites.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

l

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA8 Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

This option would reduce potential impacts on areas with less development with high numbers of cultural assets and townscapes. Concentrating development in urban centres and rural clusters may result in pressure on existing townscapes and archaeological heritage interests. The choice of development sites and the manner in which they are developed would determine the way in which features of cultural heritage importance would be affected.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

l

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA9 Landscape

Development within existing settlements reduces the likelihood of features of landscape importance and natural landscapes being disturbed. This option does however, provide some flexibility to avoid sensitive areas, which would depend on choice of development sites and the manner in which they are developed

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

l

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA10 Population

Development distributed within identified urban centres and rural clusters based on need would support the viability of existing settlements and provide development including education and employment facilities where required. This option would also maximise the viability of existing public transport infrastructure and promote access based on distribution of local services.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

++

Long Term

++

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA11 Welsh Language

Locating development in urban and centres and rural clusters based on need would support the viability and growth of existing settlements, providing employment and education opportunities for Welsh speakers in the county, and helping to retain young Welsh speakers.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+/-

Medium Term

+

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA12 Health and Well-being

This option would encourage access to health services on a local basis and ensure that services are supported by the local population and accessible by alternative modes of transport to the private car.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA13 Education and Skills

This option would encourage access to education services on a local basis and would maximise the use of public transport networks.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA14 Economy

Development within existing urban centres and rural clusters would support existing economic development as well as supporting inward investment by creating viable economic centres supported by a local workforce and market. Concentrating development in areas where, previously development has been focussed may lead to a lack of economic growth in smaller rural communities

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA15 Social Fabric

This option would largely support the delivery of services required by the local population. Access to services would be increased, and the future viability is likely to be enhanced, as the location of facilities is driven by identified need.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



This option looks at the existing provision of utility infrastructure and the highway network across the County and aims to focus the majority of growth in areas with the capacity for growth. This option seeks to encourage growth in areas which it can most feasibly be accommodated by:
 § Encouraging growth along the key transport routes and junctions of the M4, A40, A48, A484, A474 and A485, as well as in locations accessible to other modes of transport including the rail network, cycle network and pedestrian linkages.
 § Encouraging growth in areas where there is either current or planned capacity for the supply and treatment of water and waste water.
 § Encouraging growth in areas where there are sufficient services and facilities to support communities.

SA Objective

Timescale

1. Sustainable Development

2. Biodiversity

3. Air Quality

4. Climactic Factors

5. Water

6. Material Assets

7. Soil

8. Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

9. Landscape

10. Population

11. The Welsh Language

12. Health and Wellbeing

13. Education and Skills

14. Economy

15. Social Fabric

Overall

SO2

S

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

+

-

+/-

+

+

+

-

+

M

-

+

-

+/-

+

-

+

l

l

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

L

-

-

--

-

-

-

l

l

l

--

-

-

-

-

-

-


Spatial Option 2 – Sustainability Commentary

SA1. Sustainable Development

This option would address needs locally in the short term, however in the long term development would not be sustainable as it would lead to disparity between rural and urban economies and would not address the needs of rural communities.

SA2 Biodiversity

In the short term, it is likely that due to the avoidance of rural and greenbelt development, this option will have a largely positive effect on biodiversity. However, concentration of growth along transport corridors has the potential to encroach on green spaces and habitats, and direct growth to areas that have historically seen high levels of urbanisation, to the detriment of biodiversity.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA3 Air Quality

Siting growth in locations accessible to alternative modes of transport will reduce the need for private car use, and therefore transport related pollutants. However, aligning development with transport corridors is likely to concentrate transport related emissions and pollutants to areas already at high risk of air quality objectives being compromised. This is of particular risk in Carmarthenshire’s three existing AQMA’s in Carmarthen, Llanelli and Llandeilo. .

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

-

Long Term

--

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA4 Climatic Factors

Access to alternative modes of transport and growth in areas where there are sufficient services and facilities may reduce the need for private car use, leading to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. However, some major transport routes (e.g. A40) follow river corridors and focussed development in such areas is likely to fall somewhat within C1 and C2 flood zones. Focus of development in urban centres has the potential to increase development in coastal areas such as Llanelli, Burry Port and Pembrey, which are partially or wholly within C1 and C2 areas, which could result in climate related flooding in the long term.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+/-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA5 Water

Focus of growth in areas with current or planned capacity for supply and treatment of water and waste water reduces the likelihood of negative impacts on water resources. However, increasing urbanisation of areas means an increase in hard standings which will result in high surface water runoff and associated pollution issues.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA6 Material Assets

Concentration of development along transportation corridors is unlikely to encourage needs to be met locally, which could lead to an increase in the need to travel, especially in rural areas. However, focussing development along major transport routes would increase access to established public transport services and cycle routes, promoting the integration of different modes of transport.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

SA7 Soil

Development along transportation corridors may not favour the redevelopment of brownfield sites or contaminated land. Some major transport routes (e.g. A40) follow river corridors and focussed development in such areas may impact on land with high agricultural value. However this option will largely avoid rural development and is therefore less likely to impact on greenfield sites.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

+

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA8 Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

Focussed development along transportation corridors, would avoid impacting on more rural areas that have high quality cultural assets and townscapes. This option does limit provision to site development away from sites of cultural heritage importance and place increasing pressure in areas that have historically seen most development. The choice of development sites and the manner in which they are developed would determine the way in which features of cultural heritage importance would be affected in the medium to long term.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

l

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA9 Landscape

Focussed development along transportation corridors would limit flexibility to take sensitive landscape locations into account when siting development, however this option would reduce the likelihood of impacts on rural and natural landscapes by siting growth in largely urban areas.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

l

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA10 Population

Development along transportation corridors is unlikely to address existing community needs and could increase the relative deprivation of areas currently facing social exclusion

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

--

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA11 Welsh Language

This option would see development directed to areas that have historically seen high levels of development. These areas may not have the potential to absorb changes in character and so Welsh language could be adversely effected.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+/-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA12 Health and Well-being

Siting growth in areas with access to cycle networks and pedestrian linkages will encourage walking and cycling as alternative means of transport. However, development along transportation corridors is unlikely to address existing community needs which may result in an increase of private car use in the long term.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA13 Education and Skills

Development along transportation corridors is unlikely to result in equal access to education services between rural and urban areas, and will not address rural need in the medium to long term.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA14 Economy

This option would site growth in areas that have previously seen population and employment growth and so aligns with existing market growth in the short term. Does not address economic issues in more rural areas of the county in the long term.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA15 Social Fabric

Development along transportation corridors is unlikely to result in equal access to services and facilities between rural and urban areas and will not address rural needs. Would not respect the existing pattern of development which will increase barriers to positive social interactions.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



This option distributes housing, employment and other forms of development on a broad basis between settlements within the County, both urban and rural. It allows settlements to grow incrementally without necessarily taking account of the availability of services or facilities nor the impact which growth could have upon the existing communities and their capacity to accommodate and absorb growth. 
 This option would see a higher proportion of the County’s growth being directed to the rural areas and a lower proportion to the existing urban areas.

SA Objective

Timescale

1. Sustainable Development

2. Biodiversity

3. Air Quality

4. Climactic Factors

5. Water

6. Material Assets

7. Soil

8. Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

9. Landscape

10. Population

11. The Welsh Language

12. Health and Wellbeing

13. Education and Skills

14. Economy

15. Social Fabric

Overall

SO3

S

-

l

-

+/-

+/-

-

l

+

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

M

-

l

-

+/-

-

-

-

l

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

L

+

-

+

+/-

-

+

-

l

-

+

-

+

+

-

+

+


Spatial Option 3 – Sustainability Commentary

SA1. Sustainable Development

Dispersal of growth does not consider supporting infrastructure and so is largely unsustainable in the short and medium terms. In the long term, facilities and services may become established around areas of growth and may result in clusters of sustainable communities.

SA2 Biodiversity

Dispersal of development is likely to result in no discrimination of growth between rural and urban areas, increasing the potential for currently undisturbed and biodiversity sensitive areas to be developed in short, medium and long term. The choice of development sites and the manner in which they are developed would determine the way in which features of biodiversity importance would be affected.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

l

Medium Term

l

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA3 Air Quality

Dispersal of growth would result in a lack of access to public transport and would not address existing need for availability of services as they would be provided disparately. Both of these factors would reinforce the need for residents to rely on the private car as a means of transport in the short to medium term. However, in the long term, established rural settlements may be better able to retain services and facilities, meaning they are more accessible locally.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA4 Climatic Factors

This option would relieve pressure in urban growth areas, some of which are partially or wholly in C1/C2 flooding zones in the short term although increasing development in rural areas with no regard to existing services is likely to reduce access to public transport and increase reliance on the private car. However in the longer term, dispersal of growth is likely to increase development of greenfield land which may reduce upland flood storage areas, but could increase access to services as they become more established around growth areas and so would reduce private car use.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+/-

Medium Term

+/-

Long Term

+/-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA5 Water

This option would relieve pressure in urban growth areas, many of which are partially or wholly in C1/C2 flooding zones in the short term, but dispersal of growth is likely to increase development of greenfield land which may reduce upland flood storage areas and places development outside of previously developed areas which increases risk to water bodies and diffuse pollution. Development will not be located in areas where there are sufficient water treatment services and would therefore likely have a detrimental effect on water quality.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+/-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA6 Material Assets

This option does not consider access to public transport networks or location of services and facilities. It is therefore likely to contribute to an over reliance on private cars. However, services and facilities may develop and be retained in rural areas and so may led to a reduction of private car use in the long term

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA7 Soil

Dispersal of development in settlements across the county reduces the potential to redevelop previously used land and increases the potential for undeveloped areas and soils to be lost.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

l

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA8 Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

In the short term, dispersing new settlement across the county would relieve development pressure on existing urban townscapes and archaeological or built heritage interests that have historically seen the most development. However, in the medium to long term, higher development within rural settlements may affect the setting of a greater number of cultural assets and townscapes across the county.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+

Medium Term

l

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA9 Landscape

Dispersal of new settlement across the county would increase the likelihood of impacts on sites designated as special landscape areas which are predominantly rural. This option would also limit the ability to encourage future use of derelict land.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA10 Population

This option does not discriminate between growth in rural and urban areas and so may increase access to services across the County, however growth is not responsive to local needs specifically, so is unlikely to have a positive effect in the short to medium term. However, services and facilities may develop and be retained in rural areas and so may led to a reduction of private car use in the long term.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA11 Welsh Language

This option will see high growth directed to rural areas at a level that is unlikely to be absorbed without negative effects.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA12 Health and Well-being

This option does not discriminate between growth in rural and urban areas and so may lead to a broader access to services across the County, simply by chance in the longer term. However growth is not responsive to specific local needs and so is unlikely to have a positive effect in the short to medium term. This option also does not consider access to infrastructure or public transport.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA13 Education and Skills

This option does not consider access to services including education facilities and is therefore unlikely to have a positive effect on access to Education and Skills services and facilities

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA14 Economy

This option has no regard to local need, the market or the supporting infrastructure and is therefore unlikely to create attractive areas for investment and economic growth.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA15 Social Fabric

This option does not consider access to services when locating growth and therefore is unlikely to improve general accessibility in the short to medium term. However, because this option does not discriminate between growth in urban and rural areas, it may result in improved access to services in rural areas in the longer term.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

-

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



This option focusses on the role of settlements within their wider locality and community, acknowledging the relationships and interdependency between settlements and considers how the local communities work and live.
 This option will encourage growth in areas which play a significant role in the wider community; through the provision of facilities and services seeking to reflect the needs of communities, including their demand for housing. 
 This option should reflect an understanding of local communities and focus growth in areas where it is needed to support communities and their aspirations for future growth and ongoing sustainability of facilities and services. This is likely to result in the allocation of smaller sites and a higher proportion of growth being directed to smaller settlements.

SA Objective

Timescale

1. Sustainable Development

2. Biodiversity

3. Air Quality

4. Climactic Factors

5. Water

6. Material Assets

7. Soil

8. Cultural Heritage and Historic Environment

9. Landscape

10. Population

11. The Welsh Language

12. Health and Wellbeing

13. Education and Skills

14. Economy

15. Social Fabric

Overall

SO4

S

?

-

-

+/-

+

-

-

+

-

+

+

+

+

+

+

?

M

+

l

-

+/-

+

+

l

l

l

++

+

++

+

+

++

+

L

+

l

+

+/-

+

++

l

l

l

++

+

++

+

++

++

++


Spatial Option 4 – Sustainability Commentary

SA1. Sustainable Development

This option is likely to contribute positively to achieving a sustainable economy and addressing local need throughout the County.

SA2 Biodiversity

This option would see increased development in rural areas and so may have a negative impact on currently undisturbed and biodiversity sensitive areas. Effects in the medium to long term would be dependent on the choice of development sites and the manner in which they are developed.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

l

Long Term

l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA3 Air Quality

In the short term, encouragement of growth outside of urban centres is likely to result in an increase in public car use and associated emissions. However, in the medium to long term, facilities, services and public transport links are likely to become more established and retained in rural areas following growth and so the need for private cars will likely reduce.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

+/-

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA4 Climatic Factors

This option would relieve pressure in urban growth areas in the short term, some of which are partially or wholly in C1/C2 flooding zones. However, growth outside of urban centres is likely to result in an increase in public car use and associated emissions in the short term. In the longer term, growth in rural areas is likely to increase development of greenfield land which may reduce upland flood storage areas. However, services and public transport links are likely to become more established and retained in rural areas following growth and so the need for private cars will likely reduced.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+/-

Medium Term

+/-

Long Term

+/-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA5 Water

This option would relieve pressure in urban growth areas in the short term, some of which are partially or wholly in C1/C2 flooding zones in the short term. This option also takes into consideration the existing infrastructure when apportioning growth to rural settlements although this may need to be address in some areas in the short term. In the medium to long term, it is likely that sufficient infrastructure and water issues addressed will become established in areas of growth and so positive effects are predicted.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

+/-

Medium Term

+

Long Term

+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA6 Material Assets

In the short term, growth outside of urban centres is likely to result in services and facilities needing to be accessed by private car due to areas not being serviced by public transport or having sufficient facilities to support growth. However, in the medium to long term, facilities, services and public transport links are likely to become more established and so needs are more likely to be met locally or access via alternative transport methods.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-

Medium Term

+

Long Term

++

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA7 Soil

Increasing development outside of urban growth areas increases the probability of greenbelt land being used for development as opposed to the redevelopment of brownfield sites. The choice of development sites and the manner in which they are developed would determine the way in which features of soil would be affected.

Predicted Impacts:

Short Term

-