South Norfolk Village Clusters Housing Allocations Plan (Reg. 19 Pre-submission Draft)

Ended on the 8 March 2023
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Evidence Base

A.30. Much of the evidence base to the Village Cluster is shared with the GNLP. Of particular relevance are those listed below:

  • Greater Norwich Water Cycle Study (March 2021), which indicated that sites in some Village Clusters locations may need to be phased in order for infrastructure to be suitably upgraded prior to development, which has subsequently been supplemented by a specific South Norfolk Village Clusters Addendum;
  • The Level 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (November 2017), which has been used as part of the Village Clusters Site Assessment Process; and
  • The GNLP Viability Appraisal (December 2020), which demonstrates that the type of sites being allocated through the Village Clusters Plan can be viably delivered with the relevant supporting infrastructure and affordable housing which has subsequently been supplemented by an Appraisal using more recent data specifically for the South Norfolk area.

(4) A.31. Specific supporting evidence base documents have been prepared to accompany this plan, these are listed below:

  • Sustainability Appraisal (SA);
  • Habitats Regulation Assessment (HRA);
  • Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA);
  • Landscape and Visual Appraisal (LVA);
  • Stage 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessments (SFRA);
  • South Norfolk Village Clusters Water Cycle Study (WCS) and
  • South Norfolk Village Clusters Viability Appraisal (VA).

Sustainability Appraisal

(4) A.32. The preparation of the Scoping Report for the SA involved consultation with specified bodies in accordance with legal requirements. This consultation was undertaken in September and October 2020. A number of SA commentaries have been produced for the Council as part of the decision making process of selecting the preferred sites, these have subsequently been incorporated into the published Sustainability Appraisal. The final SA presents an assessment of the likely sustainability impacts of the proposals set out in the Village Cluster Plan, as well as an assessment of the Reasonable Alternative (RA) options for development.

Habitats Regulation Assessment

(1) A.33. The Habitat Regulations Assessment (HRA) has been prepared to identify European sites within or near the Village Cluster area that may be directly, or indirectly, affected by the allocations within this Plan and concludes on whether there are any significant effects likely as a result of the Plan proposals.

Heritage Impact Assessments

(5) A.34. The Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) have been prepared following comments received from Historic England during the Regulation 18 consultation. These comments identified several preferred and shortlisted sites that should be subject to a HIA to review the impact that they may have on designated and non-designated heritage assets and ultimately their suitability for inclusion in the Plan. As well as these sites, the Council reviewed the additional sites submitted in response to the 'Call for Sites' during the Regulation 18 period and identified others that would benefit from an HIA. These documents have helped to shape the site selection process, as well as informed the detailed allocation policies for the preferred sites.

Landscape and Visual Appraisals

(2) A.35. Similarly, in response to comments received during the Regulation 18 consultation, it was determined that the site selection process would benefit from landscape and visual appraisals to consider in greater detail the landscape and visual impact of the proposed development sites. Landscape Visual Appraisals (LVAs) have been completed for all of the preferred sites with the findings of these appraisals being incorporated into the site-specific policies where appropriate.

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment

(2) A.36. Stage 2 Strategic Flood Risk Assessments (SFRAs) specifically focusing on sites within the South Norfolk Village Clusters area were undertaken as part of the evidence base to inform the production of the Plan, and were updated following legislative changes made in Autumn 2022. These assessments continued the work that commenced as part of the GNLP evidence base.

Water Cycle Study

(2) A.37. The South Norfolk Water Cycle Study (WCS) builds upon the WCS produced to support the production of the GNLP. The South Norfolk addendum provides specific information relating to the sites within the Village Cluster Plan area, taking into account existing commitments and development outside the Plan area that connects to Water Recycling Centres (WRC) within the Village Cluster Plan area.

Viability Appraisal

(1) A.38. An updated Viability Appraisal (VA) has been prepared to support the Village Clusters Plan, which also looked at the potential impact of addressing Nutrient Neutrality. The purpose of the South Norfolk VA was firstly to confirm that the small-scale sites in the South Norfolk Village Clusters locations remain viable taking into account the latest data, including increased building costs, and secondly to identify whether the development typologies identified would generate sufficient surplus, over and above a normal developer profit to cover any increased costs associated with Nutrient Neutrality.

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