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Housing policies in the Clydebank Local Plan

as expected after modifications made following the Public Inquiry in November 2003


6.1 The main issues in relation to housing are the need to identify additional opportunities for private housing in appropriate locations, to support the provision of social rented housing and to ensure that existing residential areas are protected from inappropriate development. In recent years there has been a significant amount of new development within the Plan area, particularly on the Dalnottar Park site in Old Kilpatrick. There has also been significant housing association activity, in terms of stock transfer, rehabilitation and new build. The identification of specific areas for investment in housing has also been significant. The revised plan conforms to current national policy, the 1995 Strathclyde Structure Plan, which was approved in October 1997, and the Glasgow & the Clyde Valley Joint Structure Plan 2000.

6.2 The main aims of the housing policies within the Plan, therefore, are to set a framework which

These in turn will support the Key Goals and Objectives of the Plan, as outlined in the Development Strategy.

Proposals for new buildings, extensions or the change of use of existing buildings within the Green Belt will have to pay particular regard to design, siting, landscaping, nature conservation and protection of habitats.

National Policy Guidance

6.3 Government guidance is given in NPPG 3 Land for Housing. This indicates that the Government wishes to ensure that there is a suitable range of housing made available to support national housing policies, whilst environmental quality is maintained and enhanced. In terms of providing additional housing land, the local plan must take into consideration demand assessments, as well as local considerations such as the availability of infrastructure, community facilities and environmental impact.

6.4 NPPG 3 also states that full and effective use should be made of previously developed sites within existing built up areas to meet as much of the demand for new housing as possible. Priority should be given to re-using derelict and vacant land in preference to greenfield sites, provided a satisfactory residential environment can be created.

Structure Plan Policy

6.5 The 1995 Strathclyde Structure Plan supports the national policy of directing development to brownfield land wherever possible to encourage urban renewal in the conurbation and protect the Green Belt. The assessment of demand for private housing within the Structure Plan indicated that there is a surplus of supply over demand within the Local Plan area, and therefore there was no context for additional greenfield land to be allocated for housing. The demand assessments within the approved Structure Plan were updated for the period up to 2003, again indicating that there was no requirement for additional land release in Clydebank.

6.6 The Glasgow and the Clyde Valley Joint Structure Plan 2000 was submitted to the Scottish Ministers for approval in July 2000. The Plan incorporates a Metropolitan Development Strategy, which applies a presumption in favour of the redevelopment of urban land and property. The Plan also highlights the Clydebank Riverside as a priority area for urban renewal. The Clydebank Riverside is a component part of the Clyde Waterfront Initiative - one of the Metropolitan Flagship Initiatives - which seeks to reclaim the waterfront for communities along the river by inter alia developing mixed use developments, of which housing is an important part. The low levels of owner occupied housing and relatively poor housing conditions within the Plan area are also recognised by the Structure Plan, which identifies the West Dunbartonshire Social Inclusion Partnership Area as a Structure Plan Priority Area for promoting social inclusion.

6.7 The replacement Structure Plan incorporates the latest assessment of supply and demand for private housing up to 2006. It has also revised the network of Housing Market Areas (HMAs), based on an analysis of house-buying moves from the Sasines. Further details can be found in the Glasgow and the Clyde Valley Joint Structure Plan 2000 Technical Reports 3 and 5, concerning 'Demand & Supply for Owner Occupied Housing' and 'Housing Market Area Framework'. The Plan area constitutes a part of the Greater Glasgow North and West sub-market area, within which local demand and supply for private housing is to be compared. This area includes Clydebank, Bearsden, Milngavie and the north, west and central areas of Glasgow City. The sub-market in turn is part of the wider Central Conurbation and Conurbation HMAs, where more mobile demand can be met. The assessment of demand for the period 1999-2006 indicates that there is an adequate supply of effective land for private housing within Greater Glasgow North and West, and therefore that there continues to be no strategic context for the release of additional land for housing in the Local Plan area. At the wider market area level, however, a need for additional land is highlighted to address a shortfall as a result of mobile demand. An assessment of a large number of sites across the area, taking amongst other matters environmental impact and accessibility into consideration, has concluded that this shortfall would be more appropriately met in other parts of the conurbation outwith the Plan area.

6.8 The Structure Plan does, however, indicate a requirement for the Plan area to provide an additional 250 houses within the period 2006-2011, again to meet a shortfall at the wider conurbation level. It is intended that an element of the housing planned within the Clydebank Riverside area will provide sites for these houses in this latter period. Residential development in this area will continue the process of urban renewal by developing an area within which there is a significant amount of vacant and derelict land. It will also protect the Green Belt and other important resources which cannot be regenerated or reproduced.

The Housing Plan

6.9 Currently Housing Plans are prepared in full every four years, with key information updated annually. For private sector housing, the West Dunbartonshire Housing Plan acknowledges and accepts the methodology and figures from the Structure Plan. For public sector and special needs housing, the plan deals with the public sector investment strategy, and the Council's enabling strategy for housing association and special needs development. The new Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 requires that local authorities must prepare a local housing strategy, which will replace the current separate local authority Housing Plans and Scottish Homes Regional Plans. The new local housing strategies are expected to provide an analysis of housing stock and local needs and to produce a strategic framework for development and funding. They should complement other local authority plans. A Strategic Agreement currently exists between the Council and Scottish Homes, setting out jointly agreed objectives and priorities for investment. A Joint Forum has been established with the Housing Associations in West Dunbartonshire to ensure common goals, and a number of Council initiatives have been set up to improve the availability of suitable housing for all.

6.10 In 1996 West Dunbartonshire was awarded Priority Partnership Area (PPA) status, in recognition of the significant social and economic problems facing the area. The Scottish Office confirmed the transition from PPA to Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) status in March 1999. Within the Plan area, the areas with SIP status are as follows: Mountblow, Drumry Radnor Park, Dalmuir, Barns Street, Whitecrook, Faifley, John Knox Street

Policy Hl - Private Housing Opportunities

The sites identified in Schedule Hl and shown on the Proposals Map represent the main opportunities for private housing development.

6.11 The Council aims to ensure that within the Plan area there is an adequate supply, distribution and range of effective land for housing available for private sector development. Preference will be given to development on infill or previously developed sites within the built-up area (brownfield sites) in order to encourage urban renewal, protect the Green Belt and make use of existing infrastructure.

Since 1999, 343 private houses have been built in the Local plan area, with a further 89 under construction at March 2003. Schedule H1 lists the remaining undeveloped sites.

Reasoned Justification

6.12 The Development Plan must provide for a minimum of five years supply of land for housing. Demand for private housing is assessed within the context of the Structure Plan. The housing provision within the Plan, including the sites specified in Schedule H1, contributes to a significant surplus in terms of locally generated demand within the relevant sub-market area of Greater Glasgow North and West. It also provides a substantial contribution to mobile demand generated by the wider conurbation Housing Market Areas. New development opportunities which are clearly identified in this plan, as required by NPPG 3 and set out in PAN 49, together with existing sites, therefore provide an adequate supply of housing land, as well as providing a wide range of location and choice of market sector for developers. The identification of a range of development opportunities meet the Objectives of the Local plan and assists in delivering the Key Goals. The opportunity to extend tenure choice is particularly important in Clydebank given the relatively low level of owner occupation in the area which stands at around 43% of total stock. Private developers are encouraged to provide affordable housing within their developments as well as via joint venture schemes with registered social landlords.

Schedule Hl - Opportunities for Private Sector

Housing ReferenceLocationCapacity
H1(1)Whiteinch Demolition75
H1(2)Miller St84
H1(3)354-394 Dumbarton Rd28
H1(4)Auld St/Beardmore Place16
H1(6)Erskine Ferry Road55
H1(7)Former Union Church30
H1(8)Cart Street20
H1(9)Cochno Road40

Policy H2 - Housing Land Supply

If additions to the housing land supply are required, preference will be given to sites on brownfield land.

Reasoned Justification

6.13 The private sector land supply will be monitored and updated on an annual basis. If a clear shortfall in the supply of housing land becomes evident in relation to an updated assessment of demand through the Structure Plan, sites will be identified to address the shortfall. They may be brought forward through the granting of planning permission or via an Alteration to the Local Plan. In line with national and strategic policies, and Local Plan Key Policy RD1, preference will be given to sites on brownfield land, excluding defined open space. The priority given to brownfield land will not only aid urban regeneration and protect the Green Belt, but will allow use to be made of the existing infrastructure and public transport, and foster a pattern of land use which will help to reduce the need to travel. This approach also meets the Objectives of the Local Plan in securing regeneration and embracing a sustainable approach to development.

6.14 A primary role of the Local Plan is to identify those sites with a particular suitability for rented and special needs housing and ensure their availability for such purposes.

Policy H3 - Social Housing Opportunities

The Council will encourage developments by Registered Social Landlords and the private sector by allocating the following sites, as shown in Schedule H2 and on the Proposals Map, for social rented housing.

Reasoned Justification

6.15 The Council are unlikely to be building any new houses in the foreseeable future. Registered Social Landlords such as Housing Associations therefore have a key role in providing and retaining suitable housing for local needs. In order to encourage this type of development and reconcile competing pressures for development land, the Council has allocated a number of sites for social rented housing. When the current Housing Needs Study is finalised, it may possible to identify more specific housing needs in terms of affordability, location and numbers. Meanwhile, the Council will continue to support the provision of affordable and social rented housing of a suitable size, type and location to match the best available information on need.

Schedule H2 - Opportunities for Social Rented Housing
Sites under construction92
H2(1)South Douglas Street8
H2(2)The Terraces, Clydebank62
H2(3)Fullers Gate Ph7/9,Faifley71
H2(4)Collins Street Faifley20
H2(5)Cluny Avenue Faifley32
H2(6)Dunn St North, Duntocher10
H2(7)Bryson Street Faifley27
H2(8)Durban Avenue8
H1(9)Cochno Road40

Policy H4 - Housing Development Standards

New housing developments will be expected to meet the following requirements:
• high quality design will be required in terms of the shape, form, layout and materials used. Careful consideration must be given to both privacy standards and the need for security.
• open space should be provided in accordance with the standards specified within the Plan (see Policy R2). All planting should be completed not later than the end of the first planting season following the completion of the last house in the development.
• existing features such as trees, hedgerows, shrubs and other natural and man-made features, should be incorporated into layouts wherever possible.
• road and parking standards will normally be required to be met as laid down by the Council. Consideration will be given to relaxing parking standards where housing developments are proposed to provide accommodation for people who tend to have low levels of car ownership, in areas well-served by public transport and where the reduction of onstreet parking can be ensured. New development should be linked into the local footpath and cycle network wherever possible.
• layouts and designs should allow for subsequent house extensions within 'permitted development' limits without adversely affecting the amenity of surrounding buildings.
• density should be similar to the density of surrounding residential areas. However, there will be a general presumption against developments in excess of 4 storeys unless exceptional townscape benefits can be demonstrated.
• disabled access should be possible to all new houses, allowing homes to be visited by disabled people, and to be suitable for the elderly when they become less mobile.

6.16 The Council wishes to promote and encourage attractive, good quality new residential areas, which will enhance the Plan area. In order to achieve this, a number of requirements, indicated in Policy H4, will be expected to be met in all new housing developments.

Reasoned Justification

6.17 Policy H4 provides developers with a clear indication of the standards that will be expected within proposed new residential developments. Design and density requirements are intended to ensure that new housing developments will provide a high quality living environment and enhance the quality of the existing area. The importance of design is reflected in the revised NPPG1, which indicates that a proposal may be refused solely on design grounds. Open space and car parking facilities are essential elements of acceptable housing layouts, and the Council will expect developers to conform to the standards laid down by Policy R2 and the Roads Development Guide respectively. Existing trees, hedges, shrubs and other natural and man-made features can contribute to landscape quality and should be retained and enhanced. In relation to access to new dwellings, developers will be strongly encouraged to provide homes which are accessible to all, and are referred to the Scottish Homes publication "Housing for Varying Needs" for guidance.

Policy H5 - Development within Existing Residential Areas

Development within existing residential areas will be considered against the following criteria:
• the relationship with the character of the surrounding area in terms of scale, density, design and materials
• the requirement to avoid over-development which would have an adverse effect on local amenity, access and parking or would be out of scale with surrounding buildings
• the need to retain trees, hedgerows and open space
• with regard to non-residential uses, whether they can be considered ancillary or complementary to the residential area, and would not result in a significant loss of amenity to the surrounding properties. A significant loss of amenity might be expected to occur as a result of increased traffic, noise, vibration, smell, artificial light, litter, and general disturbance.
• other Local Plan policies

6.18 As well as ensuring that new residential development reaches a high standard, it is also vital that the amenity of existing residential areas is protected and enhanced by any new development which is proposed. This is particularly important when, as a matter of policy, development is being actively promoted within the existing built up area.

Reasoned Justification

6.19 This policy seeks to ensure that the character of existing residential areas is protected and that all development proposals within these areas will maintain or enhance their amenity. It is considered that using sympathetic design, avoiding over-development and retaining existing landscape features is the best way of achieving this. It is particularly important that the development of infill and gap sites should not be at the expense of defined open spaces, which make an important contribution to the quality of local environments.

6.20 The introduction of small-scale non-residential uses to existing residential areas may be acceptable, but their impact on the residential environment will be the overriding consideration. Policy H5 indicates the factors which might lead to a loss of amenity in an existing area. However, there may be many benefits in encouraging some non-residential uses into existing residential areas, for example nursing homes, children's nurseries and offices, which could provide small-scale local services and employment opportunities.

Policy H6 - Renewal Areas

The Council, in conjunction with other housing agencies and the private sector, will encourage housing development opportunities and environmental improvements within or adjacent to those areas recognised for priority treatment.

6.21 There are a number of Social Inclusion Partnership areas identified within the Plan area as previously noted. Public and private policies and investment will be co-ordinated within these areas to ensure the most efficient use of resources to improve the housing stock and the general residential environment.

Reasoned Justification

6.22 In recent years, major refurbishment and new build schemes have transformed some of the SIP neighbourhoods, and considerable work is continuing in others. The Council, through Policy H6, seeks to continue to support development within these areas. It is accepted, however, that the same objectives may also be met by encouraging development close to but outwith the boundaries of the SIP areas, which are acknowledged as being very tightly defined. This may increasingly become necessary as development opportunities within the SIP areas become scarce. The current Housing Needs Study, which is due to be completed in early 2002, is likely to identify priorities for action.

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