Planning policy - FAQ

Why does the council need to prepare a Local Plan?

The Council has a statutory responsibility to prepare a Local Plan as part of the overall development plan for the whole of the Borough under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended). New legislation and regulations in 2012 through the enactment of the Localism Act 2011 abolished Regional Spatial Strategies (RSSs) which set out housing and employment targets for each local authority. The Localism Act places greater control in the hands of local authorities with locally based targets and a new style of Local Plans including Neighbourhood Planning. The East Staffordshire Borough Local Plan in turn has evolved to become more strategic with the abolition of the RSS and the Staffordshire Structure Plan. By preparing an up-to-date Local Plan the Council has set out clearly how much development should take place to meet the needs of the Borough's residents and where this development should take place.

Why are so many houses proposed in East Staffordshire?

The main criterion for this level of housing development is the government’s household projections. It is also important that housing delivery associated with the delivery of new jobs. The housing requirement for the Local Plan is for 11,648 new dwellings over the Local Plan period 2012-31.

Why are so many houses proposed in Burton upon Trent?

Burton upon Trent is the main settlement in East Staffordshire with the majority of residents living in or around the town. Burton upon Trent as the largest settlement, therefore it is considered to be the most sustainable location for new homes, employment and other commercial buildings. Uttoxeter is also capable of accommodating some additional development growth relative to its size and function and the growth of both towns will help to maintain the existing town centres and existing facilities and their viability. Where necessary, additional services and facilities will be provided such as new schools, doctors surgeries and community centres and this is set out in the adopted Local Plan (2012-2031) and accompanying evidence base.

Why does so much greenfield land need to be used?

East Staffordshire Borough has been successful in developing brownfield sites in the few years which is evident in the housing completions stated in Annual Monitoring Reports. Although there are some large brownfield sites in East Staffordshire that may still come forward for development, there is not an unlimited supply of brownfield land. Therefore, while some new homes will be built on brownfield sites (where possible and if they are viable), there is a need to develop greenfield land.

What is the difference between greenfield and Green Belt land?

The Green Belt land is a specific designation in planning that refers to land designated around towns to prevent urban sprawl. East Staffordshire Borough has a very small area of green belt on the eastern edge of Burton upon Trent, inherited from South Derbyshire District through boundary changes, though this forms part of a larger area of greenbelt between Burton upon Trent and Swadlincote. Greenfield land is land that has not been previously developed and can be found both within and outside development boundaries, including back gardens. As part of the adopted Local Plan, the council have allocated Strategic Green Gaps which are areas of development restraint and aim to prevent coalescence of the towns of Burton upon Trent and Uttoxeter and surrounding villages from merging into each other.

What options for the Local Plan have been considered?

Different options have been explored over the last few years with various consultations taking place. The options considered focused development in Burton upon Trent as the principal settlement, as well as to the north and south, and dispersed to the western edge of Burton upon Trent. Options for development at Uttoxeter and the larger villages was also set out. We used previous consultation responses and an assessment of the constraints such as location on the edge of the East/West Midlands boundary, flood risk and other considerations to inform the final development strategy as set out in the adopted Local Plan.