Implementation and Monitoring Framework


Under the new planning system the Local Development Plan is intended to be a responsive, dynamic document which has a focus on implementation and achievement in place-shaping. As such, the framework for implementation of policies and proposals and mechanisms for monitoring achievement are critical to the success of the Conwy LDP.


This section outlines how the LDP policies will be implemented in the context of infrastructure constraints and how the aims and objectives will be monitored.  Many of the policies in the LDP will be implemented through other Development Plan Documents such as the Colwyn Bay Masterplan. The Conwy Community Strategy (CS), the Local Service Board (LSB) and key partners will also play a significant role in the delivery of the policies in the LDP. The key agencies and partners likely to have a role in the delivery of the policies are identified in Table 15.


The presence of clear mechanisms for implementation and monitoring forms part of the test of soundness of the LDP. Monitoring helps to answer several key questions:

  • Are policies achieving their objectives?
  • Have policies had unintended consequences?
  • Are the assumptions and objectives behind policies still relevant?
  • Are the desired outputs being achieved?


In order to assess the effectiveness of the policies in the delivery of development and protection of the environment, it is important that continuous monitoring and review of policies in the Local Development Plan is undertaken throughout the Plan period. Monitoring and review will take place on an annual basis through the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR). If, as a result of monitoring and review, it appears that policies and allocations are not being met and development is not coming forward in a sustainable or timely manner, the Council will be proactive in using its powers to respond to changing circumstances. The following mechanisms can be triggered:

  • Actions to bring forward sites for development, wherever possible, in partnership with landowners and developers
  • Action to bring forward development sites on previously developed land
  • Use of Compulsory Purchase Orders to unlock sites
  • Working with partners to bring forward investment in infrastructure
  • Review of land allocations or policies in the Local Development Plan


Implementing the phasing policies, to enable the plan, monitor and review approach will be used to guide the phasing of development and performance against the previously developed land target. Where monitoring shows that sites are not coming forward as anticipated, other sites will be brought forward in the programme, having particular regard to the priority for previously developed land. If land supply significantly exceeds estimated take up rates it may be necessary to refuse applications until the Plan is reviewed.  It will also be necessary to guide windfall development, in particular where there is clear need for affordable housing, to settlements in need over the Plan period.


Responding to Delivery Issues


In the event that the Annual Monitoring Report identifies delivery issues in relation to the development strategy, where key policy targets are not being met, these would need to be assessed as part of the Annual Monitoring Report process and a decision reached on whether any change was required to the LDP, or through other mechanisms.


A key aspect of monitoring the Conwy LDP is the number of homes being built. The number of homes coming forward in Conwy, in the urban accessible locations, will need to be assessed in the Annual Monitoring Report. Other policies will also be monitored at relevant spatial levels in the settlement hierarchy, or as appropriate to the specific policy.


The survey results from BP/31 ‘Capacity of the House Building Industry’ indicate that developers could build up to a maximum of 75 dwellings per annum during the Plan period on any one site and dependant on the number of developers building on site. The results of this survey have informed the phasing of sites in Table 11.


Whilst it is not anticipated, if the situation were to arise where delivery in the priority urban development areas could not meet the housing needs of the area, this would trigger mitigation, as highlighted in the implementation plan (Table 15), with the identification of contingency sites allowing extra capacity to be brought forward if necessary.


Where infrastructure capacity issues are highlighted, developer contributions and funding will ensure delivery of the sites as detailed in the next section.


Capacity Constraints


A key factor in the successful implementation of the LDP is the infrastructure required to bring forward development. There is widespread acknowledgement that past public under-investment has lead to pressure on a range of public utilities across the country. In Conwy, key infrastructure constraints include poor public transport in some locations, limited sewage treatment works capacity and energy supply in rural areas and the lack of open space.  This follows consultation with infrastructure providers in developing the LDP.


Following this consultation, it is apparent that there are no capacity issues for education and health provision. The issues raised by infrastructure providers have been taken into account in the development of the LDP, however, there remain outstanding issues that lead to a requirement to phase new development in order to ensure that it is not built / occupied until the infrastructure is available.


Where issues are apparent with capacity, developers will be subject to meeting those capacity issues through developer contributions in line with Policies DP/4 ‘Development Criteria’ and DP/5 ‘Infrastructure and New Developments’.  The main constraints affecting delivery of sites are outlined below.


Constraints on access

All sites will require some works to access, in the form of constructing estate roads or junctions on to existing highways.  Some sites require more significant work, which must be considered when phasing their development.  This may be in the form of road widening, improving visibility at a junction or changes of levels on steeper ground.  Sites where access is a consideration have this constraint coloured red in table 11.


Constraints on services to a site

A lack of services to a development site, in particular in the form of capacity constraints on sewerage networks or waste water treatment works will delay development.  If the development is to go ahead, but improvements are not scheduled within Welsh Water’s Capital Investment Programme, then the cost of the necessary improvements will have to be borne by the developer.  These constraints are coloured blue.


Constraints on flood risk

If a site is at risk of flooding, it will often mean that development cannot take place, or will be restricted to those parts of the site outside the flood risk zone.  On some sites, development may be allowed if mitigation methods are implemented, such as raising the ground level outside the flood risk zone.  Further detail on flood risk within the Afon Conwy and Afon Clwyd areas can be found in BP/17 –  ‘Strategic Flood Risk Assessment’ Sites where flood risk affect their phasing are coloured purple.


Constraints on site availability

Some sites are suitable for development, however, are not immediately available because of current uses on the site.  If the current occupiers have a timescale for vacating the site, for example if a lease is due to expire within the Plan period, then this is coloured orange in table 11.


In some circumstances, a compulsory purchase order (CPO) may be required to enable a development to proceed. In this situation, a minimum of six months should be allowed, or for more complex developments, and with objections leading to public inquiry, 12 – 18 months is a more appropriate timescale.


Conwy Housing Delivery and Phasing Plan


Housing provision, particularly AHLN is a key priority of this Plan. As evidenced in BP/9 – ‘Affordable Housing Viability Study’ and set out in HOU/2 – ‘Affordable Housing for Local Need’, all housing allocations and new applications will be required to provide a maximum of 30% affordable housing in the Urban Development Strategy Area and Tier 1 Villages and 100% within the remaining settlements falling within the Rural Development Strategy Area. Policy HOU/2 is flexible enough to encourage developers to submit evidence base where they feel that the maximum 30% is unviable.



The priority for the Council is to make affordable housing provision on-site.  However, in exceptional circumstances, payment of a commuted sum will be acceptable, as detailed in Policy HOU/2.  To ensure delivery of affordable housing in areas of need, commuted sums will be delivered County Borough wide as detailed in the Council’s adopted ‘Commuted Sums Protocol’.


In order to ensure that approximately 6,800 (450 dwellings a year) dwellings are built in the County by 2022 it is necessary to identify the varying sources of additional housing and devise policies and proposals which will facilitate its provision. A housing delivery and phasing plan has been produced for the LDP which sets out an indicative assessment of annual build rates for the period up to 2022 to demonstrate a 15 year supply for Conwy. The plan has been prepared in support of the housing policies within this LDP but will also be updated through the preparation of the Conwy Annual Monitoring Report (AMR). An element of contingency (15% - 1100 dwellings) has been applied to the Plan to take account of housing development which may not come forward over the Plan period (Table 12).


Recent completions and projected completion rates for sites currently with planning permission provide an important contribution to the housing supply.  These are demonstrated in BP/5 – ‘Housing Land Availability Study’, BP/21 – ‘Site Deliverability Assessment’ and BP/30 – ‘Phasing Plan’.


The Phasing Plan below illustrates how the allocated housing supply will contribute to provision and when it is expected that development will occur, with priority given to Previously Developed Land in a settlement.  Annual review allows the Council to monitor progress and identify any need to intervene.  The Implementation and Monitoring Section details the trigger points for such intervention for housing development and all other policies.


Phasing of Development


As a result of the above capacity constraints in some areas, the priority for Previously Developed Land and AHLN delivery, there is a need to phase residential development in order to ensure that the supporting infrastructure is available. However, if the situation alters there may be opportunity to bring development forward earlier than anticipated. Further, there may be instances where the developer is able to address deficiencies to overcome the problem. More detailed site specific phasing work is set out in BP/30 – ‘Phasing Plan’.


The housing delivery and phasing plan below shows the approach taken to the phasing of new residential development.  The Plan assumes that for during the first part of the Plan period, dwelling completions will comprise mainly the development that already has planning permission.  An explanation of the housing completion and commitment figures is available in BP/4 – ‘Housing Land Supply’ and BP/21. It is anticipated that the AHLN delivery will be less in the short term of the Plan due to commitments and greater in the medium to long term when windfall and new allocations come forward.


In addition to ensuring that essential site requirements come forward as a priority, the phasing plan has also been designed to ensure a constant 5 year housing land supply.



Employment Phasing and Delivery


Policy EMP/2 – ‘New B1, B2 & B8 Employment Development’ states that the Council will plan, monitor and review the delivery of between approximately 32 hectares of employment land (26 hectares in the Urban Development Strategy Area and 6 hectares in the Rural Development Strategy Area) with a contingency level of up to 4 hectares in the Urban Development Strategy area and 1 hectare in the Rural Development Strategy Area over the Plan period to meet the predicted change in population.


A further additional land requirement of 14 hectares, with a contingency of 2 hectares in addition, will be accommodated in the Urban Development Strategy Area to contribute to the reduction in out-commuting levels and to take account of bringing empty homes back into use.


It is important to note the difference between the provision of up to 37 hectares based on demand generated by predicted population change and up to 16 hectares based on demand generated to reduce out-commuting levels. Further explanation of these figures is provided in section 4.3 ‘The Economic Strategy’ (and associated policies) as well as Background Papers 13 – ‘Employment Land Monitoring Report’ and 14 – ‘Employment Land Study’.


Table 13 sets out the phasing plan for the delivery of employment land during the Plan period. As explained in BP/14, there will be greater demand and a shift towards B1 and B8 uses in the short to medium terms of the Plan period and B2 use in the longer term. The phasing of employment land has taken this factor into account, however, there are also interrelated issues regarding housing availability and infrastructure. Employment development is subject to the same restrictions outlined in the housing phasing sections (apart from Education), however, energy supply requirements are much harder to predict without knowing the precise details of business needs.


Conwy, in particular the Urban Development Strategy Area, experiences a high level of committed employment sites.  The committed sites have all been phased for the short to medium period as the principle of development has been established and, in some cases, commenced. New sites have been split according to B1/B8 and B2 demand based on BP/14 and deliverability constraints identified in BP/21 – ‘Site Deliverability Assessment’. 


As with the deliverability of housing sites, employment contingency sites have also been identified, outlined in table 14 below. These sites are not allocated in the LDP, however, they have been identified in BP/21 as sites which could be developed should any site(s) in table 13 not come forward when planned. The release of either of these sites will be in line with the trigger points identified in the monitoring framework, which would be included in the Annual Monitoring Report. This means that a trigger level for review of the delivery of employment land has been identified and, depending on the issues and location, one of the sites in table 14 below could be brought forward during the Plan period.



Implementation Plan


The Implementation Plan shows how particular policies will be implemented and which agencies will contribute towards this.  In many cases the detailed implementation of the policies will be via allocations and policies as shown in Table 15 below. In other instances, an SPG, such as LDP4: Planning Obligations SPG, Development Briefs, and the Colwyn Bay Masterplan, will provide more detailed implementation of the policies.  However in many other cases the delivery depends on integrated working with other agencies and partnerships.  Conwy County Borough Council are actively involved in several delivery partnerships such as the Local Service Board (LSB), which brings together service providers to work in a co-ordinated way.


A key factor to the delivery of the LDP Deposit policies is the provision of vital infrastructure required for new development. Infrastructure providers have indicated a range of constraints in Conwy (detailed in Section 5.3 and in BP/21) and development has been phased in accordance with the likely funding and programme of works anticipated at this time (see tables 11 and 12 in the previous section). If infrastructure is able to be provided ahead of anticipated timescales, or alternative supply such as renewable energy can be provided, then development may be able to be provided earlier than shown in the housing trajectory.


The policies on Development Criteria (DP/4) and Infrastructure and New Developments (DP/5) are key to infrastructure provision. However, in some cases utility providers need to complete a programme of facility upgrading before development can take place. At present the planning obligations protocol administered by Conwy County Borough Council provides for funding for education, library, fire hydrants and social service provision. Transport infrastructure improvements are negotiated individually, based on the transport impacts of the development. The Government is also considering the introduction of a Community Infrastructure Levy which would require the uplift of value in land on obtaining planning permission to be used for community benefits. At present the details of how such a scheme might work in practice are unclear. However, the LDP acknowledges that the way planning obligations, community benefits and infrastructure improvements are provided is likely to change during the lifetime of the Plan. These changes will be reflected in updates to the SPG on Planning Obligations, which will include AHLN contributions. This may have an impact in relation to the timing of large scale infrastructure upgrading programmes.


Table 15 ‘Implementation Plan’ shows how particular policies will be implemented and which agencies will contribute towards this.













Monitoring Framework


Preparation of any plan should never be seen as a once and for all activity. It is essential to check that the plan is being implemented correctly, assess the outcomes that result, and check if these still remain as intended and as currently desired. This requires a process of continual monitoring, and the potential to review the Plan’s policies and proposals as and when necessary.


The new planning system places great importance on the process of continual Plan review. The components of the LDP mean that each part can be reviewed and amended individually  leading to a more rapid and responsive planning system. A key component of this process is the requirement to produce an Annual Monitoring Report (AMR). Each year this will need to be submitted to the Government, and relate to information up to the end of March of that year. It will assess the extent to which policies in local development documents are being achieved. LDP Regulation 37 requires the AMR to identify any policy that is not beingimplemented and to give the reasons, together with any steps the authority intends to take tosecure the implementation of the policy and any intention to revise the LDP to replace oramend the policy.


Monitoring Indicators


Planning Policy WalesEdition 3states that development plan policies should be kept up to date by means of regular monitoring and review. To date, there has been no guidance issued by the Welsh Assembly Government in relation to monitoring of LDPs. For comparative purposes guidance used in England, known as ‘Local Development Framework – Monitoring Guidance’ is used to formulate a robust monitoring framework for the Conwy LDP.


Progress towards any plans vision should be measured against a number of Performance Indicators (PI). The monitoring guidance issued in England advises that a structured approach to developing indicators is necessary, recognising their different types and purposes. This reflects the recommended approach of establishing objectives, defining policies, setting targets and measuring indicators. Contextual indicators should be monitored to describe the social, environmental and economic background, and provide a basis for checking the continued relevance and approach. These will be included within the Annual Monitoring Report. Output indicators should be identified to measure the performance of policies, by measuring quantifiable physical activities that are directly related to, and are a consequence of, the implementation of planning policies. Their selection needs to be guided by the key spatial and sustainability objectives.These are of three types: Core output indicators - which are identified by the Government, and must be collected, in order to provide a comprehensive regional and national data set; local output indicators - which address matters not covered by the core indicators, but which are important locally; and significant effects indicators  - which assess the significant social, environmental and economic effects of policies, and are linked to the sustainability appraisal, and will be developed through that analysis.


The development of a monitoring framework will be gradual and evolutionary, as the Conwy LDP is put into place, and as the spatial approach to planning is developed. The set of indicators collected, with associated targets, should be kept short, to enable collection to be achieved and to provide a simple but robust set of measures of the plan’s performance. Monitoring indicators will be the primary criteria for measuring the implementation of polices and allocations. In addition to this, a series of targets and trigger points will be implemented alongside monitoring indicators to highlight the performance of policies. The following features will form the monitoring framework and will collectively ensure the appropriate implementation of policy in the tables below.


Monitoring Aim

The monitoring aim details the purpose of the policy if it is implemented as anticipated over the plan period. It is closely aligned with the overarching spatial objectives of the LDP to ensure that these objectives are adhered to.


Source Data

This identifies where data will be sourced from in order to measure policy performance and implementation. The Council’s M3 is an electronic planning application system which provides mechanisms to record vital planning application data related to elements of the Plan and the Monitoring Section. The Council will work with Development Control to ensure data related to the Monitoring Section is recorded through all submitted planning applications.



It is important to define the area to which the monitoring indicator relates as some polices are specific to certain areas. To assess these polices as county wide could distort the findings and obscure the measurement of that policy.



The target will be used to monitor policy progress against the monitoring indicators. It will detail what the policy should achieve if it is being implemented as expected.


Base Level

This is the level at which the policy should be working at if it is being implemented as anticipated. Any deviation from this base level may indicate that the policy is not being implemented appropriately.


Trigger Level

A series of trigger levels have been designed to highlight policies which are not being fully implemented, deviation from the base level will highlight these trigger levels. Once a policy has activated its trigger level it will be assessed through the AMR process to determine the factors which may be affecting the implementation of that policy. These trigger points will ensure that prompt and responsive action is taken to any policy implementation issues so that they can be amended accordingly. Where housing and employment allocations fail to come forward for development in line with the phasing plan, trigger points will prompt a review of including the contingency sites in order to ensure the continuous release of land for housing and employment development. 









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