FOI Disclosure Log

Customer Request Details

13 February 2019

Please can you answer the following questions:

1.            Do you take into account the noise maps published by DEFRA when allocating land in your local plan for residential development (Noise maps developed to meet the requirements of Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC and the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006).?

Yes/No/Don’t Know

2.            Do you take into account air quality data published by DEFRA when allocating land in your local plan for residential development.?

Yes/No/Don’t Know

3.            Do you have supplementary planning guides for noise, air quality or green space allocation, please state each one.

Yes/No/Don’t Know

If Yes   Air Quality: Y/N    Noise:Y/N  Green Space Y/N

4.            In your local plan, what percentage do you set for affordable homes on a development site and when would this quota be used ( eg 35 % of the total homes built to be affordable where the development is greater than 30 homes).

5.            Does your local plan give advice or specify where affordable homes should be located on a development site ( eg affordable homes should be distributed throughout the site )? If so, please provide this advice or specification.

Yes/No/Don’t Know

If Yes what is the advice or Specification:

6.            Have you refused any residential development on air quality grounds or noise grounds in last 12 months, if so how many on noise, how many for air quality?

Yes/No/Don’t Know

If Yes  How Many for Noise:     How many for Air Quality:

 

7.       Do you allow the offset of affordable homes from one development site to another development site?

Yes/No/Don’t Know

If Yes How Many have been offset in last 12 months:

 

8.       How do you determine the area allocated to green space on a residential development site.

9 .       On  planning applications in the last year, If there was a noise source that could affect the amenity of a residential property, did you set noise limits on the façade of the residential development ?

Yes/No/Don’t Know

If yes, has the noise limit  been assessed following completion of the residential property to see that the limit has not been breached?

10.       On sites that require Radon protection, do you require the developer to provide Radon Monitoring results  once homes are built, or do you advise the occupiers to have a test done once they occupy the site?

Yes/No/Don’t Know

11.          How many planning applications in the last 12 months have been referred to the valuation office because the developer has specified the site is not viable to build any affordable homes or a reduced number of affordable homes from the quota requested in your local plan.

12.          Have you approved a residential development in the last 12 months where some or all of the homes require non openable windows as a means of mitigation because of a nearby noise source.?

Yes/No/Don’t Know

13.          Have you adopted or do you have regard to the  new WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region 2018  when considering the impact of road, railway or aircraft noise on new developments.

 

14.        In the last 12 months, have you had an appeal for refusing residential development on noise or air quality grounds overturned by the secretary of state? If so how many.

Yes/No/Don’t Know.



East Herts Council Response

13 February 2019

I am writing to acknowledge your written request for information.

Your request is being considered and you will receive the information requested within the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of Information Act 2000, subject to the information not being exempt or containing reference to a third party.

The Act defines a number of exemptions, which may prevent release of the information you have requested.  There will be an assessment of your request and if any of the exemption categories apply then the information will not be released.  You will be informed if this is the case, including your rights of appeal.

If the information you request contains reference to a third party then they may be consulted prior to a decision being taken on whether or not to release the information to you.  You will be informed if this is the case.

There may be a fee payable for this information, this will be considered and you will be informed if any fees are payable.  In this event the fee must be paid before the information is processed and released.  The 20 working day time limit for the response is suspended until receipt of payment.

If you have any queries about the processing of your request then please do not hesitate to contact me.

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all correspondence related to this request.

Your personal details will be held within out Information Request case management system, and only used for the purposes of evaluating and processing your request.

While details of your information request may be published on the council website, your personal details will never be published or released to anyone outside the council unless it is required by the Information Commissioners Office.

Thank you for your request.

 



East Herts Council Response

13 March 2019

Thank you for your request for information, this has now been processed and the information that we hold is enclosed.

1.  Do you take into account the noise maps published by DEFRA when allocating land in your local plan for residential development (Noise maps developed to meet the requirements of Environmental Noise Directive 2002/49/EC and the Environmental Noise Regulations 2006).?

The DEFRA noise maps specifically are not used when allocating land in the local plan for residential development however the East Herts District Plan 2018 policy Eq2 (Noise Pollution) states that applications should be supported by a Noise Assessment in line with the Council’s emerging Noise Assessment Planning Guidance Document. The policy also requires development to be designed and operated in a way that minimises the direct and cumulative impact of noise on the surrounding environment. It also requires noise sensitive development, such as residential uses, to be located away from existing noise generating sources or programmed development where possible. Use of design, layout, landscaping tools and construction methods are encouraged to reduce the impact of surrounding noise sources.


2. Do you take into account air quality data published by DEFRA when allocating land in your local plan for residential development.?

Yes


3.  Do you have supplementary planning guides for noise, air quality or green space allocation, please state each one.

 

The Council has emerging supplementary planning guidance for air quality and open space which are likely to be adopted in December 2019. The Council also has an emerging Noise Assessment Planning Guidance Document being produced by the Council’s Environmental Health team. 

4. In your local plan, what percentage do you set for affordable homes on a development site and when would this quota be used ( eg 35 % of the total homes built to be affordable where the development is greater than 30 homes).

 

Affordable housing provision is expected on all development sites that propose development that falls within Class C3 (Dwelling Houses) as follows:
(a) up to 35% on sites proposing 10 or fewer gross additional dwellings, where the dwellings would have a combined gross floor space greater than 1,000 square metres;
(b) up to 35% on sites proposing 11 to 14 gross additional dwellings;
(c) up to 40% on sites proposing 15 or more gross additional dwellings


5. Does your local plan give advice or specify where affordable homes should be located on a development site ( eg affordable homes should be distributed throughout the site )? If so, please provide this advice or specification.

 

The Local Plan states that affordable housing units should be integrated into the open market housing development using appropriate design methods, i.e. tenure blind, and ‘pepper-potted’ across the site in clusters appropriate to the size and scale of the development. Further guidance can be found in the emerging East Herts Affordable Housing SPD (2019).

6.  Have you refused any residential development on air quality grounds or noise grounds in last 12 months, if so how many on noise, how many for air quality?

We are not aware of any. To confirm this  would require a manual search which would take more than the  18 hours imposed by the FOIA.

7.  Do you allow the offset of affordable homes from one development site to another development site?

The Council expects that, in accordance with the District Plan Policy HOU3, the required affordable housing will be provided on-site. In exceptional circumstances, the Council may permit a proportion of, or the entire affordable housing requirement to be delivered on an alternative site within the District. Applicants proposing off-site provision should provide justification, setting out why off site provision is necessary, as part of a planning application. Further guidance can be found in the emerging East Herts Affordable Housing SPD (2019).


8.  How do you determine the area allocated to green space on a residential development site.


Individual open space requirements are assessed on a site by site basis however the cumulative impacts of development on the wider network are also considered. Open space is expected to be central to the design of a scheme, be located to achieve good access for all residents and be designed to ‘Active Design’ standards. Open space is expected to be seen as crucial to providing community cohesion and meeting the Council’s health and wellbeing aspirations.


9 .  On  planning applications in the last year, If there was a noise source that could affect the amenity of a residential property, did you set noise limits on the façade of the residential development ?

 

We are not aware of any. To confirm this would require a manual search which would take more than the 18 hours imposed by the FOIA.


10.  On sites that require Radon protection, do you require the developer to provide Radon Monitoring results  once homes are built, or do you advise the occupiers to have a test done once they occupy the site?


None in East Herts

11.  How many planning applications in the last 12 months have been referred to the valuation office because the developer has specified the site is not viable to build any affordable homes or a reduced number of affordable homes from the quota requested in your local plan.

 

The Council does not use the validation office. However, it does use a consultancy, Bailey Venning Associates (BVA) and has referred 10 applications since April 2018.

12.  Have you approved a residential development in the last 12 months where some or all of the homes require non openable windows as a means of mitigation because of a nearby noise source.?

 

Not aware of any. To confirm this would require a manual search which would take more than the 18 hours imposed by the FOIA.

13.  Have you adopted or do you have regard to the  new WHO Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region 2018  when considering the impact of road, railway or aircraft noise on new developments.

 

The  Planning Service has not adopted.
 
14. In the last 12 months, have you had an appeal for refusing residential development on noise or air quality grounds overturned by the secretary of state? If so how many.

Not aware of any.

If you have any queries or complaint about the processing of your request please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Alternatively for more information on the Freedom of Information Act contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Telephone 0303 123 1113

https://ico.org.uk/

 

It is important that you include the above FOI reference number on all correspondence related to this request.

 

Thank you for your request.