The Conwy Local Development Plan (LDP) covers that part of the Conwy County Borough that is outside the Snowdonia National Park (known as the Plan Area). The Plan Area is rich in historic assets, has a buoyant tourism industry, excellent transport links, good water and air quality and a high quality natural environment (including coast, countryside and National Park).  However, population projections have demonstrated that the population of the Plan Area could increase by as much as 7,850 people by 2022.  The main characteristics of this population change and associated concerns are:

  • The number of people within the 18-64 age group is declining resulting in a reduction in those of economically active age at the detriment to the economic performance of the County Borough;
  • The number of people aged 65+ is increasing significantly resulting in increased pressure on social care, health facilities and services at the detriment to economic performance;
  • The number of children is projected to decrease significantly at the detriment to future economic performance, school pupil levels and community identity;
  • The number of people living together in households is projected to decrease resulting in a requirement for new housing to support the existing population and a decline in family sized homes;
  • The number of people in-migrating into Plan Area far exceeds those out-migrating resulting in an increased need for more housing and employment opportunities and;
  • The number of people residing the County Borough who out-commute to work in locations outside of the County Borough is unsustainable resulting in a need to increase employment opportunities.


The impact of these impending population changes creates a number of priority issues for the Council.  There is a need to:

  • Accommodate a sustained and deliverable level of housing and employment growth which reflects the principal natural population change, household size change and net in-migration;
  • Accommodate additional employment opportunities to contribute to reducing out-commuting levels;
  • Encourage a more balanced age structure and promote a more stable economic position through housing and employment offer, skills development, jobs creation and creative housing design.  Whilst at the same time, adjusting to an ageing population in terms of health, social care, housing and employment need,
  • Contribute to the current requirements for Affordable Housing for Local Need (AHLN) and maximise future provision;
  • Protect Conwy’s outstanding natural and built environment;
  • Safeguard and promote the Welsh language and community identity, and
  • Encourage development which seeks to achieve the priority objectives of the Plan.

The population projections indicate by 2022 land would be required to accommodate between approximately:

  • 5,500 and 8,150 new housing units.
  • 3,330 Jobs – 4790 Jobs.


Evidence indicates that out-commuting levels can be reduced through the accommodation of additional jobs, without impacting on the need for further housing development of approximately:

  • 1675 Jobs


The Conwy Local Housing Market Assessment concludes that over the plan period provision would need to be made to accommodate:

  • 8640 Affordable Housing Units.


Through a sustained level of growth the Council propose to contribute positively to these challenges.  However, a number of other key pieces of evidence base have also determined the sustainable level of growth proposed over the plan period:

  • The capacity of the building industry to deliver the proposed level of growth.
  • The availability of suitable and deliverable land to accommodate the growth.
  • The views of the community and stakeholders.
  • Social, economic and environmental impacts.


Having had regard to all these factors, the Council proposes a sustainable level of growth consisting of between approximately:

  • 5500 and 6800new housing units with a contingency level of up to 7900 new housing units to reflect natural population change, household size change and net in-migration
  • 3300 and 3690 new jobs with a contingency level up to 4650 new jobs to reflect natural population change, household size change and net in-migration
  • 1675 Jobs with a contingency level up to 1925 new jobs to contribute to reducing out-commuting levels
  • 1800 and 2200 new affordable housing units

From this point forward within the Plan, reference is only made to the maximum level of growth within the range (i.e. 6800 Dwellings and 3690 Jobs) and not the lower range (i.e. 5500 Dwellings and 3300 Jobs).


The creation of sustainable communities is paramount to the success of the Plan and the future of the County Borough. Therefore, in line with criteria that underpins the creation of sustainable communities, the Council propose that the only satisfactory spatial solution is to direct the majority of new development to either within oradjacent to existing urban settlements through an Urban Development Strategy, predominantly along the coastal belt of the County Borough.  These locations provide the greatest accessibility to key facilities and services, are closely linked to employment areas and are supported by a strategic road and rail network.  The Urban Development Strategy is supported by a Rural Development Strategy setting out the approach to meeting the needs of the rural settlements within the Plan Area.


The Conwy Local Development Plan (LDP)


The LDP process is intended to speed up the delivery of development plans.  There are three important stages in the plan making process – plan preparation, plan production and plan scrutiny.  Plan preparation has already resulted in an approved Delivery Agreement (DA), which sets out the Community Involvement Scheme (CIS) and the timetable for the production of the LDP.  This Revised Deposit LDP now represents a key stage in the plan production and is the result of extensive consultation undertaken with the community and stakeholders.  It sets out the key challenges facing Conwy, identifies the Vision, Objectives and the Spatial Strategy for development in the area over the period 2007 to 2022.


A Colwyn Bay Area Masterplan, Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) and Site Development Briefs will support the policy approach in the LDP. Together, these documents will provide the framework for the development and use of land within the Plan Area and will deliver the spatial planning strategy for Conwy until 2022. When adopted, the LDP will replace existing Structure Plans and Local Plans.


Previous Consultation on the Deposit LDP


The former consultation on the Deposit LDP and the Sustainability Appraisal / Strategic Environmental Assessment (SA / SEA) took place between April and July 2009 resulting in the submission of 13,154 representations from 3,161 organisations and members of the public.


The majority of objections to the Deposit LDP were made to the proposed development sites.  However, a significant objection was raised by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) relating to the evidence base used to support the level of growth proposed in the Deposit LDP in light of new evidence base coming from the 2006 based Population and Household Projections.


It was clear from the consultation that the proposed strategy was not tackling the priority issues impacting on Conwy and, in particular, the changes to the population structure, the demands it will create and the need for local affordable housing. This Revised Deposit LDP is formed in light of these comments, other consultation responses, new national planning policy and new evidence base.


The Deposit LDP and Preferred Strategy also established the spatial distribution strategy of the Plan following the appraisal of alternative spatial distribution strategies.  These included an emphasis upon greater levels of development in both urban and rural areas and consideration being given to the establishment of new settlements in urban and rural locations.   The conclusion was to concentrate development within the urban coastal belt locations, particularly within Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Colwyn Bay and Abergele.


The structure of the plan is such that clearly demonstrates how the needs and issues facing Conwy are to be tackled and delivered by 2022.


The Deposit Plan is set out as follows:

Section 2: Vision and Objectives

Section 3: The Preferred Spatial Strategy and Key Diagram

Section 4: Spatial Policies and Supporting Development Control Policies

Section 5: Implementation and Monitoring Framework


Background Evidence Papers


Various background papers and other technical data have provided the evidence base for the approach taken in this Deposit LDP.  These are:

Background Paper NumberBackground Paper Title
1.Related Plans and Strategies
2Population and Household Projections
3The Growth Level Options Report
4Housing Land Supply Study
5Housing Land Availability Study
6Housing Mix
7Local Housing Market Assessment (Phase 1)
8Hierarchy of Settlements and Settlement Boundaries Assessment
9.Affordable Housing Viability Study
10Sustainability Appraisal/Strategic Environmental Assessment
11The Habitats Regulations Appraisal
12Green Barriers Assessment
13Employment Land Monitoring Report
14Employment Land Study
15Retail Study
16Primary & Secondary Retail Areas and Hierarchy Study
17Conwy Strategic Flood Risk Assessment
18.Primary Holiday Accommodation Areas Study
19.Open Space Assessment
20.Waste Management
21.Site Deliverability Assessment
22.Gypsy and Traveller Site Demand Assessment
23Colwyn Bay Masterplan Baseline Report
24.Conwy Primary School Modernisation Report
25.Allotment Site Demand and Supply Report
26.Landfill Feasibility Study
27Landscape Character Areas
28Historic Environment
29Safeguarding Aggregate Resources
30Phasing Plan
31Capacity of the House Building Industry
32Burial Grounds Demand and Supply Report
33Welsh Language
34Site Viability Assumptions Paper
35Justification for the removal of proposed development sites detailed in the deposit LDP (April 2009)
36Affordable Housing Needs Calculation
37Growth Distribution Options Report
38Abergele Traffic Study: Traffic Appraisal of the LDP Allocation Proposals at Abergele

The most up-to-date evidence base has been used where certain studies are not to be finalised until after the Revised Deposit LDP consultation. Where a particular background paper (‘BP’ from this point forward) has provided the evidence base to the Revised Deposit LDP or an individual policy, this is included as supporting text to each policy. All documents are available for public inspection, either by visiting the Council’s website (www.conwy.gov.uk/ldp), at main Council Offices, Libraries or by requesting a copy of the LDP CD using the contact details and consultation arrangements set out in the supporting correspondence.


Sustainability Appraisal and Strategic Environmental Assessment


An important element of the new LDP system is the emphasis on identifying realistic options for meeting the needs of the community and testing each of the options through the process of Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal (SEA/SA). A Sustainability Appraisal (SA) has been carried out on this Revised Deposit LDP to ensure that it meets social, economic and environmental objectives.   The SA/SEA highlights areas where the plan is not contributing to sustainable development and identifies where changes or mitigation measures can be included which make the LDP more sustainable. The results of the SA/SEA are presented in BP/10.


Habitat Directive Assessment


The Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EEC) sets out the requirement for assessment of plans or projects affecting Natura 2000 sites. Article 6(3) establishes the requirement for Habitats Directive Assessment (HDA) and states: “ (3) Any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to themanagement of the site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, eitherindividually or in combination with other plans and projects, shall be subject toAppropriate Assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site’sconservation objectives…”


Under the terms of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, & c.) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 Conwy County Borough Council is required to undertake appropriate assessment of its land use development plans.


Appropriate Assessment is an assessment of the potential effects of a plan on European Sites (Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection areas and Offshore Marine Sites) and a plan should only be approved after determining that it will not adversely affect the integrity of such sites. An initial Habitats Regulations Appraisal (HRA) Screening Exercise for the Revised Deposit LDP has been undertaken to assess its overall impact. It has been prepared by the Council as the relevant competent authority and outlines the purpose of appropriate assessment, the methodology to be employed, relevant plans or programmes and provides an overview of the relevant Natura 2000 sites.


The HRA is available to this Revised Deposit LDP in BP/11.  Following consultation with the Countryside Council for Wales and the Council’s Countryside Services, the  ‘screening exercise’ concludes that there are no significant impacts on the Natura 2000 sites from the development sites proposed in this Revised Deposit LDP.  In conclusion, it is not considered that a full Appropriate Assessment is required. 


Tests of Soundness


As an integral part of the new development plan system it is the responsibility of the independent Inspector to consider the soundness of the Development Plan as a whole during the Examination into the Plan. A straightforward interpretation of “sound” is that it “shows good judgement” and “is able to be trusted”. Local Development Plans Wales (Dec 2005), provides ten criteria for assessing ‘Soundness’. These criteria are in effect consistency, coherence and effectiveness. An Inspector will carry out an early screening of the LDP to ensure that it has been prepared in accordance with the Delivery Agreement including the Community Involvement Scheme. A self assessment in respect of the soundness of the LDP has been undertaken and can be viewed at www.conwy.gov.uk/ldp


Collaborative Working with Neighbouring Councils


In preparation of the Conwy LDP, there has been substantial collaboration and consultation with Snowdonia National Park, Denbighshire and Gwynedd Councils, and with other essential organisations, in order to consider the cross-boundary issues and wider context.


Collaborative work between Councils has informed the LDP preparation in the following areas::

  • Planning Policy Liaison: Regular Policy Officer Liaison meetings to discuss matters relating to population change and household formation, including population projections. Further regular liaison with neighbouring Councils has taken place in the preparation of documents and involvement in regular meetings:
  1. Regular Officer meetings
  2. Conwy Denbighshire Sub Regional Study
  3. Regional Housing Market Assessment
  4. Conwy LDP Focus Group Event in July 2005
  5. Regional Waste Strategy
  6. North Wales Pathfinder Group
  • economic opportunities: This has included the general location of strategic employment sites in partnership with neighbouring Councils which has lead to the identification of Foryd Harbour as a Marina location.  Further cross boundary collaboration has taken place with Snowdonia National Park to promote the former Aluminium Works at Dolgarrog as mixed use tourism and leisure site which takes account of the natural environment.
  • transport links and accessibility: The plan promotes the integration of transport modes including Public Rights of Way, Coastal Paths and SUSTRANS routes between Conwy, Denbighshire and Snowdonia National Park
  • rural change:  An approach has been agreed to ensure that rural settlements and their facilities and services are protected. Conwy and Snowdonia National Park have worked closely in preparing similar settlement hierarchies to ensure that the objectives of shared settlements are compatible
  • broad measures of housing need and distribution:  An agreed framework for the delivery of AHLN in the rural cross boundary settlements between the Snowdonia National Park and Conwy Council.  Policies have been formed to ensure deliverability of AHLN in shared-settlements where land is unavailable as a result of various constraints.
  • affordable housing viability: Joint working and collaboration between the SNPA and CCBC has been paramount in drawing up the Conwy Affordable Housing Viability Study.

The Status of the Document and Cancellations


This Revised Deposit Plan document is the most up-to-date version of the Conwy Local Development Plan and the Council resolved to approve it for formal public consultation purposes in April 2009.


When the LDP is adopted in 2012, for the purposes of Section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 the following plans will be cancelled:

Structure Plans

  • Adopted Gwynedd Structure Plan (1993)
  • Adopted Clwyd Structure Plan - Second Alteration (1999)

Local Plans

  • Adopted Colwyn Borough Local Plan (1999)
  • Adopted Llandudno Conwy District Plan (1982/1994)

Unitary Development Plan

  • Draft Conwy Unitary Development Plan (2001)


  • Affordable Housing Delivery Statement

Policy Framework


This Revised Deposit LDP has been prepared in the context of national and regional policy, as well as other local strategies and programmes as shown in Diagram 1 below. All of these strategies and policies informed the development of the Deposit LDP and the subsequent policies in this document.  The main implications of these matters on the Plan are summarised in BP/1. However, throughout this LDP the relevant documents are referred to in the reasoning and justification for the policy approach, where appropriate.



The Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 and accompanying regulations require that the Plan must have regard to the following matters:

  • The Wales Spatial Plan
  • Current national policies (including, for example, Planning Policy Wales, Technical Advice Notes and Local Development Plans Wales 2005)
  • The Community Strategy
  • The resources likely to be available for implementing the plan
  • Local transport plans and policies
  • The objective of preventing major accidents and limiting the consequences of such accidents
  • National and regional policies on waste
  • Local housing strategies


Plan Area Context


Conwy County Borough covers an area of 1,130 sq. km. with an estimated resident population of approximately 111,700 people. The narrow coastal belt contains a number of settlements housing around 80% of the overall population, whilst around 5% of the population reside in the Snowdonia National Park, which is located outside of the Plan Area.


Llandudno is a traditional Victorian seaside resort, which combines its existing tourism role with a thriving commercial centre and acts as the sub-regional shopping centre for the area. Colwyn Bay is one of the largest settlements with an increasingly important role in the commercial and business sector. Conwy Town Centre falls within a designated World Heritage Site and is important in terms of its contribution to the tourist economy, whilst Llandudno Junction is emerging as an important location for office and business-led investment. Other settlements include Llanfairfechan and Penmaenmawr to the west and the towns of Abergele and Kinmel Bay to the east.


The Plan Area is an area of outstanding landscape ranging from sandy beaches and headlands to sheltered valleys, open moors and natural woodland which borders the mountains of Snowdonia National Park. There are a number of Historic Landscape areas as well as five designated nature conservation sites of international importance, which are offered the highest level of environmental protection. The Plan Area also includes a number of locally designated sites which contribute to the overall character and quality of the natural environment.


In general terms, the economy relies heavily upon tourism and service industries, and is largely evident within the urban coastal settlements and the attraction of the rural area. Industrial employment, although limited to a certain extent and predominately located near the coast, includes manufacturing and research, and is found in places such as Kinmel Bay, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction.  Agriculture and forestry are important employment activities in the predominately Welsh speaking rural areas. Some of these rural settlements are either partly or wholly within the National Park.


Conwy is faced with the challenge of improving socio-economic conditions in areas of multiple deprivation, such as Colwyn Bay. In order to meet this challenge, a Strategic Regeneration Area (SRA) has been designated to foster an economic and social upturn especially in central and eastern Conwy.  The SRA is wide reaching and extends into the neighbouring county borough of Denbighshire. The Welsh Assembly Government has committed to spend £38million in the North Wales Coastal Strategic Regeneration Area within four years commencing in 2009.


The Key Issues in Conwy


In order to ensure a robust basis for the development strategy of the plan, a review was undertaken of the social, economic and environmental information available for issues affecting the Plan Area.  A detailed discussion on the broad issues that are relevant to the LDP has been formulated from the following sources:

  • Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal: Draft Scoping Report;
  • The results of pre-deposit consultation with key stakeholders, including a Focus Group Event held in July 2005,;
  • A review of baseline social, economic and environmental information;
  • Community Strategy and Corporate Plan Workshops/LDP Visioning Event held between 2004 – 2009;
  • Consultation with specific stakeholders held between 2005 – 2009;
  • A Review of the Conwy LDP Growth Strategy (March 2010);
  • Consultation with the LDP Advisory Panel (2005 – 2010).

These issues are tackled through the Revised Deposit LDP and have formed the basis of the vision, objectives, spatial strategy, spatial policies and monitoring and implementation framework.  Further details of these issues are set out in the LDP Consultation Report and BP/1 available on the Council’s website www.conwy.gov.uk/ldp



The Issues Facing Conwy


Taking account of the above documents and consultation events, it is evident that there are priority issues that need to be tackled through the LDP.    The table below provides a list of the issues, their source, related spatial objective and relevant policies in this Revised Deposit LDP to contribute to tackling them.

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