Cardiff’s Local Development Plan annual report shows good progress made

The sixth annual report on Cardiff’s Adopted Local Development Plan (LDP) shows good progress has made across the range of indicators, with the findings being discussed by Cardiff Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on October 20th.

The council is required to submit an LDP monitoring report to Welsh Government each year to test and check the plan is still fit for purpose, with this latest report relating to the period between April 1st2021 and March 31st2022.

The Adopted LDP, adopted in January 2016, acts as a blueprint for the future of the city up until 2026, and allows the council to have control over the different types of development that are built in different areas of the city. The plan responds to the current issues and needs the city faces, by setting out a strategy, proposals, and policies on how the city will change in the future.

The report assesses the updated position on employment, housing, affordable housing, transport, gypsy and travellers’ sites, supplementary planning guidance and any changes to the plan.

The key highlights are:

Employment:The trend is positive, particularly around job creation. Between 2006 and 2015, 20,900 new jobs have been delivered, with a further 8,000 jobs created in the last eight years, although it needs to be emphasised that this period covers the time of the pandemic.

Housing: Houses are now being built on many of the strategic sites since the plan was adopted in 2016, with:

  • 954 properties built in St Edyryns Village
  • 739 properties in Northwest Cardiff
  • 216 properties in Northeast Cardiff and.
  • 213 properties on the site North of Junction 33.

Between 2006 and 2022, 19,642 new dwellings have been built.

Affordable Housing:The monitoring report purely looks at the number of new build properties rather than acquisitions. Since 2014, 1,797 new affordable homes have been delivered, but 1,288 further affordable homes have been delivered through new build and acquisitions by the housing team and Registered Social Landlords over the last three years. The rate of new-build properties will increase further over the next four years, as construction on the greenfield sites is gathering pace.

Transportation:In the last year, sustainable travel (public transport, cycling, walking) has increased by 5%, bringing the overall percentage of people using sustainable transport since the plan was adopted up to 53%. Over the last year, bus and rail use has increased by 2%, as people start to get used to public transport again after the pandemic; walking has increased by 8% but cycling has decreased by 2%,nevertheless cycling levels remain higher than relative to prior to the pandemic. Traffic levels on the road network have decreased by 20% since the pre-pandemic levels.

Gypsy and Travellers sites:Work is progressing to identify sites for permanent Gypsy and Travellers sites. Discussions are ongoing with Welsh Government and work continues to secure appropriate outcomes.

Supplementary Planning Guidance:since the plan has been adopted in 2016, 18 SPG’s have been produced to support planning policy.

Contextual changes:Significant changes have taken place in the National Planning Framework over the last six years. These changes will need to be considered in the preparation of the new Replacement LDP for the city which will cover the period up to 2036.

Cllr Dan De’Ath, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, said: “What we are now seeing in Cardiff in terms of housebuilding, investment and development is the policies set out in the LDP becoming a reality, with development taking place across the city, and on most of the strategic sites.

“There is always a delay between an LDP being adopted and development taking place on the ground, due to a variety of reasons, but it is reassuring to see that the rate of build in our housing stock is at a level that hasn’t been seen in 10 years. This is also being reflected in the delivery of new affordable homes in Cardiff with just under 1,800 units completed since 2014.

“This rate is set to continue, as we move into the final four years of the plan, as most developers building on the strategic sites have all the consents required.

“The current adopted LDP responded to an extremely limited local housing supply which meant we needed to bring forward a high number of new homes to meet the city’s needs. Without this housebuilding, and associated affordable and social housing, our housing crisis would be far worse, with even more people unable to afford to buy or rent a home.

“The latest annual report shows us that we are making good progress with the targets that have been set. Through the ongoing monitoring and contextual changes to national planning policy, a decision has been taken to embark on a new LDP up until 2036, while keeping the current adopted plan in place until the new plan is adopted.”