Strategic Infrastructure Delivery Partnership (SIDP)

SIDP Protocol
The Strategic Infrastructure Delivery Plan project comprises three phases.
The first phase established baseline information, and was reported in November 20091.
The second phase sets out, amongst other things, an initial schedule of infrastructure requirements.
These are based upon a notional “growth” scenario that itself is derived principally from proposals in the
now-revoked Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West (“the RSS”) supplemented by information from
the Strategic Land Availability Assessments undertaken by district councils. The purpose of Phase 2 is to
inform the evolution of development plan policies and proposals, and to ascertain infrastructure
requirements as part of a process of iteration between the development plan and SIDP. The notional
scenario – and Phase 2 in general - does not therefore represent the infrastructure requirements of any
site referred to in the document and should not be regarded in that light. The schedule is simply the
starting point from which, through a process of refinement and filtration informed by the policy
objectives and requirements of the development plans, a final schedule of requirements that have been
subject to viability assessment will be arrived at.
That process – the third phase of the project – is yet to begin. It has been delayed due to major change in
the structure of the development planning system that has yet to be clarified by central government or
resolved locally. The revocation of the RSS – which, to a very great extent, set the entire context for
development in Gloucestershire to 2026 - means that much of the basis for Phase 2 will need to be
revised when the development plans of the district councils begin to re-orientate themselves with the
“localism” agenda and a new suite of policy objectives begins to take shape in response to that.
Having regard to the context set out above, the County Council as lead authority for the SIDP project
advises that this report on Phase 2 is a premature basis for decision making on planning applications. The
outputs from Phase 3 of the project will, in conjunction with the development plans as they come
forward, provide the solid foundation required to support those decisions.
The County Council looks forward to continuing its work on this important initiative. It wishes to thank the
wide range of stakeholders who continue to contribute to the project and whose continued participation
in the future will be essential to its eventual success.
Nigel Riglar
Director – Environment
Gloucestershire County Council
The Gloucestershire Strategic Infrastructure Delivery Plan (SIDP) Phase1 Report can be viewed via the County Council web page at:
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The Gloucestershire Strategic Infrastructure Delivery Plan (SIDP) comprises three interrelated parts or
phases. Phase 1 established the ‘baseline’ of existing information relating to the project’s three
component infrastructure categories: physical infrastructure, social & community infrastructure and
green infrastructure. A report on Phase 1 was produced in November 2009 which set out the information
obtained and indicated issues that needed to be addressed in subsequent phases of the project.
Phase 2 has focussed upon future infrastructure delivery needs. Consideration of future infrastructure
needs has to take account of possible future development, and therefore a central basis for this phase of
the project has been a ’development scenario’ consisting of a range of possible development sites within
Gloucestershire. The spatial content of the scenario is derived from two principal sources: the Strategic
Housing Land Availability Studies (‘SHLAAs’), and the Employment Land Reviews (ELRs) or similar available
economic evidence exercises, undertaken by district council partners. In order to arrive at a plausible
development profile, existing and draft policy documents (including the draft Regional Spatial Strategy for
the South West (RSS)) were applied to the outputs of these two sources as a ‘filter’. The data
accompanying the spatial profile of residential sites within the scenario (housing tenure and mix,
anticipated population) were derived from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (‘SHMA’), Housing
Needs Assessment (’HNA’) and the Gloucestershire Local Population Projection undertaken in 2008. It is
important to note that the development scenario was formulated purely for technical assessment
purposes and is without prejudice to the contents of development plan documents currently being
prepared by district council partners. The indicative future infrastructure needs identified here reflect the
development planning context and the requirements of stakeholders in response to the scenario derived
from that context as at the end of June 2010. Changes since then may result in the need for revisions to
this report. The scenario details are reproduced at Appendix 1
This document is a reflection of work in progress. It reports on the output of an initial scoping of possible
infrastructure requirements using the development scenario detailed above and the priorities of
providers only. This exercise is effectively ‘Phase 2a’ of the project, and it takes the project to the point
where an assessment of infrastructure requirements exists without any influence from the local planning
policy which is currently being developed by district council partners. In other words, it sets out
hypothetical requirements in a raw and unrefined state so that their broad scale and extent can begin to
be understood. These requirements may be used to inform the development of planning policies, which
can then be used to undertake a more refined assessment of infrastructure requirements (Phase 2b)
followed eventually by a comprehensive viability assessment of the preferred schedule (Phase 3). In this
way, through a process of iteration, a final schedule of infrastructure can be developed that is fully
integrated with the policies and proposals of the development plan.
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Gloucestershire County Council has consistently maintained its robust opposition to the extent and
distribution of growth put forward in the RSS, and the council’s lead role in producing the SIDP should not
be interpreted as entailing endorsement of the RSS in any way. However, the council is a major
infrastructure provider, and has the responsibility to serve the public interest through the proper planning
of this infrastructure. At the time that the SIDP Phase 2a exercise was undertaken, it was appropriate to
undertake this planning with full awareness that the RSS growth aspirations could be imposed by central
government upon the county regardless of local opposition. In that event, it would clearly have been of
great importance to ensure that the imposed growth did not take place without supportive infrastructure
investment, thus putting existing infrastructure under strain to the detriment of the social, economic and
environmental well being of the county and its residents.
In May 2010, following substantial completion of Phase 2a of the SIDP project, the Conservative/Liberal
Democrat Coalition government took office. The government has made clear that it intends to abolish
the regional tier of local government and with it the Regional Spatial Strategies. At the time of writing it is
unclear what a new national forward planning regime may entail, other than that it may be more locally
determined than previously. What is plain is that, whilst SIDP has thus far been focused on the RSS in
terms of sites and figures, the project has inherent flexibility and a great deal of the work undertaken is
readily applicable to any new forward planning regime that may come forward in due course.
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