Buckinghamshire Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2023

01.11.23 2 MINUTE READ

Image of Bucks autumn

2023 has seen somewhat of a hiatus in plan making in the area with no more than limited outward progress made on plan preparation. However, as we move towards 2024, it is expected that we will start to see the spatial elements of the plans for both Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire start to emerge.

Although Milton Keynes has the 2050 Growth Strategy in place, which provides a starting point for the Council’s plan making, they still need to undertake due progress and produce a technical evidence basis to underpin the draft emerging New City Plan. This work is ongoing, including the completion of 30 evidence base documents and the use of AI to assist with the site assessment process. The results of the initial sifting of sites are expected to be presented to Members shortly with proposed allocations identified by the end of Q1 2024, ahead of the Regulation 18 consultation. The call for sites process does however remain open for additional sites to be put forward for consideration.

In Buckinghamshire, we know that the original timetable for adopting the strategic plan has slipped. This has left the authority vulnerable to speculative applications. The ongoing delays have led to the Council confirming that they now cannot demonstrate a deliverable 5-year land supply in the former Aylesbury Vale area, following on from the existing shortfalls in Chilterns and South Buckinghamshire.

The lack of progress on national planning reforms continues to provide an element of uncertainty around Green Belt release to meet housing need. This will be a key issue for the authority given the extent of Green Belt in the south of the county.

There remains an opportunity for Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire Councils to work together on plan making in the north of Buckinghamshire. This is likely to be a key area given the Green Belt and other environmental constraints in the south of Buckinghamshire. Although it will not be site specific, the Growth Scenarios Consultation in early 2024 should provide an insight into this working relationship – as well as wider issues, such as the extent to which Buckinghamshire Council are planning to meet their calculated local housing need.

It is worth noting that the call for sites in Buckinghamshire remains live, providing an opportunity to propose sites to the Council for consideration as they develop their plan.

Five Year Land Supply


The latest Milton Keynes Council position continues to be the Assessment of Five Year Housing Land Supply 2022/23 to 2026/27, published in October 2022, which identifies a 5YHLS position of 6.1 years.

Supply and delivery remains strong in Milton Keynes with nearly 1,300 completions in the first half of the monitoring year 2023/2024, with a further 2,600 homes under construction.

For detail on emerging Local Plan position in every authority please click on the map below.


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