Buckinghamshire Local Plan Watch - Spring 2023

17.5.23 2 MINUTE READ

Image of Bucks spring

As we move into 2023, it is expected that both Milton Keynes City and Buckinghamshire County Councils will start to engage communities and the development industry in the spatial elements of their Local Plans.

Although Milton Keynes has the 2050 Growth Strategy in place which provides a starting point for the Council’s plan making, the draft New City Plan, expected to be published for comment this summer, is likely to include more detail on the level of growth in the area and importantly the site specific elements of the emerging spatial strategy.

We are expecting to see draft place shaping polices which will guide the future growth and help to achieve the ambitions set out in the most recent consultation, particularly around rapid transport and the environment. 

In Buckinghamshire, we know that the original timetable for adopting the strategic plan has slipped. This has left the authority vulnerable to speculative applications such as that approved in Little Chalfont.

The proposed changes to national policy provide an element of uncertainty around Green Belt release to meet housing need and this will be a key issue for the authority given the extent of Green Belt in the south of the county.

Whilst Milton Keynes seems to have moved ahead of Buckinghamshire with plan making given their ongoing delays, there remains an opportunity for the authorities 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. It will be interesting to see how this matter is dealt with in the spatial options consultation expected towards the end of the year.

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 Housing Land Supply

The latest Milton Keynes Council position is 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 over 3,000 completions in the period April 2022-March 2023, with a further 3,000 homes also under construction.

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


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Mark Harris

Partner, Planning

A town planner with nearly two decades of experience.

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