2029 Vision for Royal Leamington Spa
“Royal Leamington Spa’s vibrant and diverse history gives our town its unique character and distinctive identity. It has become a thriving base of creative, cultural and technological innovation whilst nurturing its valued green spaces and community assets.
Looking to our future, we will continue to conserve and protect our built heritage whilst promoting enhancements which allow us to reduce our impact on climate change, support sustainable economic development, build innovative housing, support effective integrated transport systems and contribute to a healthy town.”
1 Jephson Gardens
Royal Leamington Spa is a Town with a brief but relatively rich history. It owes much to the Victorian fascination with the curative properties of Spa water which was the principal reason for its rapid growth from a small hamlet of only 300 people in 1801 to over 27,000 one hundred years later. Throughout the period of the industrial era of the late 19th Century and the expansion of the railways, Leamington remained at the forefront of the growth in urbanisation with much of the architectural diversity seen today a result of this expansion.
Throughout its history, the Town has embraced change and continues to do so. This is seen in the decline of traditional manufacturing industries and the rise of new technological solutions, evidenced in the establishment of a growing digital media sector which has earned the Town the soubriquet “Silicon Spa”. The desirability of Leamington as a place to live has further attracted investment on the periphery of the Town by large employers such as National Grid and Jaguar Land Rover. It is a place that is vibrant and distinctive, offering opportunities for business and individuals to prosper in a safe and attractive environment. Leamington is widely regarded for the beauty of its green open spaces; its Parks and Gardens being a particular feature and the legacy of its Victorian past which continues to attract visitors to the Town.
In common with many other Towns, Leamington faces significant challenges. The residential expansion planned over the period to 2030 will place increasing pressure on local infrastructure. The continued demand for accommodation by young people attending the University of Warwick and the challenges to the retail sector posed by changes in peoples’ shopping habits, means that the Town cannot stand still – it must, as it always has, embrace change.
The Royal Leamington Spa Neighbourhood Development Plan has been prepared as a means of delivering policy solutions to the challenges that the Town will face in the future. It acknowledges the key planning policies adopted in the Warwick District Local Plan in 2017 and seeks to add context to these in pursuit of development that will carry the support of those who live in our Town. The Leamington Spa Neighbourhood Development Plan is an opportunity to influence the development of our Town to provide a safe, secure, prosperous and carbon neutral future for all who live and work here.
2 Leamington Spa Railway station (David Heathfield)
Figure 1. Designated Neighbourhood Area
The 2011 Localism Act gives local communities the power to produce their own neighbourhood plans. These Plans are concerned with land use and influence future development in the local area.
Such plans are focused on shaping the built environment and can:
- Identify a shared vision and common goals for a neighbourhood.
- Define where new homes, shops, offices and other development should be built.
- Influence what new buildings should look like and set design standards.
Neighbourhood Plans cannot propose or oppose development contrary to that provided for in the District Local Plan for the area to which they relate. They are therefore subordinate documents but nevertheless provide an important local context to the strategic policies contained within the District Local Plan. The Neighbourhood Plan will have effect from the date when it is made until 31st March, 2029.
Royal Leamington Spa Town Council is the body designated to prepare the Neighbourhood Plan for Leamington Spa. It has done so with the support of a Steering Group made up of local people and representatives of local organisations.
Royal Leamington Spa has a strong historic legacy and a rich heritage. It is a Town founded on the entrepreneurial vision of the Victorians which has embraced change throughout its development, now evidenced as home to many new innovative digital businesses. It is important that the future development of the Town meets the aspirations of our community and contributes to the delivery of the vision that we have evolved.
The Plan has been Submitted to Warwick District Council NDP and is published for further consultation from 06 Jan until 17 Feb.
The Plan is set out as follows:
|Introduction and Background||This explains the Neighbourhood Plan process and the timetable||Pages 8-9|
|Our Vision and Key Themes||All Neighbourhood Plans have a vision for their
Neighbourhood. This informs our 5 key themes on which the Plan is based
|Spatial Portrait||This provides an overview of the Town including
key statistical evidence which has been considered in developing the Plan
|Policy Context||This describes the Planning Policy context and constraints which influence Neighbourhood Plans||23-25|
|Planning Policies||The Neighbourhood Plan is broken down into a series of Policies within each of the 5 key themes. Each theme is expressed as a number of policy objectives accompanied by a justification of the Policy. In this Section you will also find a number of supporting actions. These are not Planning Policies but improvements or projects that may be implemented with collaboration between various
partners utilising developer contributions.
|How to comment||Provides details of the consultation process and how the public and stakeholders can respond||71|
|Monitoring and Review||This section states how the Plan will be measured
|Glossary||Neighbourhood Plans, if approved, form part of the Development Plan for an area. As such they are therefore statutory documents and are worded in a manner that sometimes uses technical jargon. We
have therefore included a glossary to explain these terms in simple language
1.1 The Localism Act 2011 gives Town Councils the power to prepare a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) to set planning policy for their local area. Through NDPs, local people now have the opportunity to shape new development. This is because planning applications are determined in accordance with the development plan, unless material considerations indicate otherwise. This document, the Royal Leamington Spa Neighbourhood Development Plan (RLSNDP), once made, will become part of the statutory development plan for Warwick District.
Neighbourhood Plan Process and Preparation
1.2 Royal Leamington Spa Town Council as a qualifying body decided to prepare an NDP for the town and Warwick District Council (WDC) designated the whole Town Council area as a Neighbourhood Area on 14th September 2016. The designated Neighbourhood Area is shown on Figure 1.
1.3 A Committee comprising Town Councillors, key stakeholders and residents was established to progress work on preparing the RLSNDP.
1.4 The steps in preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan are set out in Figure 2 below. The RLSNDP has now reached formal Regulation 16 submission consultation stage.
Figure 2 Neighbourhood Development Plan Process
1.5 The Regulation 16 RLSNDP has been developed following a thorough consultation and engagement process beginning in September 2016, all of which has been actively supported using web and social media. The work completed to date is set out in Table 1.
Table 1. RLSNDP Consultation and Engagement 2016-2019
|September 2016||Stakeholder engagement (businesses,
community groups, local interest groups, councillors)
|November 2016||Creation of Steering Group|
|January 2017||Public launch event|
|May/June 2017||Public drop-in sessions|
|June/August 2017||Attendance at 4 community events|
|November 2017||Web site launched|
|January/February 2018||Stakeholder/Steering Group Theme Workshops|
|June/August 2018||Attendance at 5 community events|
|August-December 2018||Local Green Space Designation Working Group outreach work.|
|February/March 2019||Informal consultation on Draft Plan|
|June/August 2019||Regulation 14 consultation|
|December 2019||Submission to Warwick District|
1.6 This consultation and engagement work has culminated in the publication of the Regulation 16 Draft RLSNDP. The Regulation 16 Draft will be subject to 6 weeks of formal consultation by Warwick District Council– 06 January-17 February 2020. This consultation provides residents, businesses, land owners and others an opportunity to make further formal comments on the RLSNDP. Planning can be full of technical phrases and jargon, so we have also included a Glossary on page 101 to help you when reading the plan. We welcome your comments on the Regulation 16 Draft RLSNDP.
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