Bidwells' latest webinar provided an update on the progress of local plans coming forward across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and London, plus strategic planning opportunities arising from the Planning White Paper.
There are efforts to make Cambridgeshire and Peterborough more connected and to spread the economic success of Cambridge across the County. As a growth area, it continues to receive central Government commitment for significant infrastructure improvements.
A number of London LPAs are focussing their efforts on reviewing the White Paper, analysing housing numbers and waiting for updates on the London Plan. This means that many Local Plans have been faced with delays.
Bedfordshire is an area of opportunity and a focus for growth given its location at the centre of the Oxford-MK-Cambridge Arc. The combination of East-West Rail infrastructure with the provision of new train stations and road infrastructure provides the platform for significant employment and housing led growth.
Emerging local plans are now at an advanced stage across the majority of Essex, with a few notable exceptions. However, many of the draft plans are being examined against the requirements of the 2012 NPPF and will require early review to address the current standard housing need methodology, or its replacement if confirmed by the Government. This will provide widespread opportunity across the county.
The proposed changes to the Government’s standard methodology would increase development requirements across the majority of Essex, with particularly significant increases in Chelmsford, Maldon, Colchester and Uttlesford, as shown on our annotated map.
It continues to be a mixed bag across Buckinghamshire with the Local Plans of Aylesbury and Chiltern/South Bucks stalled at examination but progress looking to be made on the review of Plan:MK in Milton Keynes with the ongoing preparation of the Mk Futures 2050 Growth Strategy.
Moving forward, the proposed revisions to the standard methodology suggest a significant increase in housing need for the upcoming strategic plan for Buckinghamshire to address.
The proposed standard method suggests the new unitary authorities will have to grapple with an increased housing need as they review their Part 1 plans. The next key consultation in the area should be on the spatial options for West Northants early in 2021. In the meantime, ongoing speculative applications and appeals in South and East Northamptonshire should clarify the land supply positions of the authorities.