Things you need to know:
1. It is understood that preparation of the Greater Norwich Local Plan is unhindered by the COVID-19 outbreak, with the next stage for the Publication of the Draft Local Plan (Reg 19) still scheduled to commence between January - February 2021.
2. The Greater Norwich Growth Board published their Annual Monitoring Report (2018-19) in February, 20. The Report advised that the Greater Norwich Authorities can demonstrate a housing supply of 5.89 years.
3. Norwich, along with Portsmouth and Stoke-on-Trent, have been awarded £117m as part of the Transforming Cities Fund to improve transport infrastructure. The Council had hoped for more, having submitted bids for £75m, £90m and £162m worth of projects.
4. South Norfolk Council are preparing a Village Clusters Housing Allocations Document and have asked developers and landowners to submit details of sites that could accommodate up to 25 units. It is understood that in excess of 350 potential sites have already been submitted.
5. In North Norfolk, small sites for residential development (sites under 1ha and for less than 10 dwellings) are being encouraged by the Council for consideration as part of the emerging Local Plan.
King's Lynn and West Norfolk
The Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk consulted on a Regulation 18 draft Local Plan between March-April 2019. The Council will prepare its pre-submission Local Plan (Reg 19), for publication and consultation in summer/autumn 2020. Adoption is currently expected during April-June 2022.
Bidwells are currently advising on the regeneration of Chapel Street Car Park, a strategic site in the centre of King’s Lynn.
30 March and 27 April Planning Committees cancelled. Options for hosting virtual Planning Committees are being explored. The Duty Planner service has been cancelled for 12 weeks, and delays in validating planning applications are being experienced.
North Norfolk District Council published a First Draft Local Plan (Part 1) for consultation in May–June 2019. This detailed the proposed planning policies and preferred strategic site allocations in the higher order settlements, such as Holt and Fakenham. The Council’s timeline is currently delayed, with the First Draft Local Plan (Reg 19) expected to be published for consultation later in 2020/early 2021. This will detail the preferred development sites in the Small Growth Villages, which will comprise sites of less than 1ha and provide between 0-20 dwellings, to meet the NPPF’s 10% small sites requirement. Adoption of the Local Plan is scheduled for mid/late 2022.
Small sites for residential development (sites under 1ha and for less than 10 dwellings) are being sought by the Council for consideration as part of the emerging Local Plan.
NNDC has hosted its first virtual Planning Committee. Applications are still being processed, and officers are working remotely, though many planners have been seconded to other Council services. The pre-application advice service will continue remotely. Site visits are not taking place.
Breckland Council adopted their new Local Plan to guide development in the District to 2036, in November 2019. The next Local Plan review is expected in 2024.
All Council meetings cancelled until 14 May. Applications still being validated, and officers working remotely, though applications will not be processed within statutory time periods. Site visits are not being undertaken.
Greater Norwich Local Plan (Broadland, Norwich City and South Norfolk)
The draft Greater Norwich Local Plan (Stage C Reg 18) was consulted on between 29 January and 16 March 2020. This included preferred policy options and draft site allocations. The next stage for the Publication of the Draft Local Plan (Reg 19) is scheduled to take place between January and February 2021. Adoption of the Local Plan is scheduled for August/September 2022. South Norfolk Council are preparing a Village Clusters Housing Allocations Document and have asked developers and landowners to submit details of sites that could accommodate up to 25 units. The Village Clusters document is due to allocate in the region of 1,200 units.
Norwich, South Norfolk and Broadland Councils are all working remotely, and applications are being processed. Norwich City Council have taken early steps to modify their scheme of delegation to enable officer determination of almost all planning applications, to prevent delays caused by postponed Committee meetings. It is understood that all three authorities are exploring opportunities to host virtual Committees, with announcements expected soon.
Great Yarmouth Borough Council are preparing Part 2 of their Local Plan. This document will eventually sit alongside the Local Plan Part 1: Core Strategy and will provide detailed policies and allocations to help deliver the broad distribution and type of growth for the period to 2030. Great Yarmouth Borough Council are currently consulting on their Final Draft Local Plan Part 2 (Reg 19). The consultation runs until 22 May 2020. Submission of the Final Draft Local Plan Part 2 for examination is expected in later in 2020, with Adoption in February 2021.
On behalf of Persimmon Homes, Bidwells Norwich have submitted a planning application, incorporating EIA, to take forward the early delivery of a key strategic site in Caister-on-Sea. This is the largest draft allocation for residential development in the draft Local Plan (725 dwellings).
Planning Committees postponed indefinitely. Options for hosting virtual Planning Committees are being explored.
Sarah Hornbrook and Iain Hill provide a brief overview of Local Plan preparation in Norfolk, together with an update on the determination of planning applications during the COVID19 pandemic.