Since our autumn update, Suffolk Coastal has adopted their local plan to guide development until 2036, while Babergh and Mid Suffolk completed their pre-submission consultation in December 2020 and can expect examination of their joint local plan to progress this summer.
Northamptonshire’s unitary merger has come into force where the eight councils have formed two. North Northamptonshire is formed of East Northants, Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough while West Northamptonshire is made up of Daventry District, South Northamptonshire and Northampton Borough.
The publication of the Oxford to Cambridge Arc Strategic Framework in February 2021 notes Bedfordshire to be an area of opportunity and identified growth. Alongside the implementation of the East West Rail scheme, opportunities are arising for employment, housing and infrastructure within the borough.
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.
With investment, there is an expectation for growth and for Local Plans to spearhead it. The ongoing Local Plan process will start to show if individual authorities share overarching economic aspirations.
While the Greater Norwich Local Plan captures strategic policies and site allocations across Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk authority areas, a separate South Norfolk village clusters housing site allocations plan is being prepared to identify development sites to deliver a minimum of 1,200 homes in South Norfolk’s villages to 2038.
Buckinghamshire continues to be a mixed bag with a delay in the review of Plan:MK due to Covid-19 and the White Paper announced. However, some progress has been made on the adoption of the VALP and background evidence on the unitary Buckinghamshire New Local Plan.
The January 2021 meeting of the Hertfordshire Growth Board outlined the ongoing work programme for the South West Hertfordshire Joint Strategic Plan. Hemel Garden Communities and Watford Junction Quarter are examples of the emerging development within the strategic growth corridors going forward.
The Housing Delivery Test (2020) results for Hertfordshire engages the presumption in favour of sustainable development for seven local planning authorities including North Hertfordshire, Stevenage and St Albans.
Riding the coat tails of the new London Plan, we expect significant activity across London’s local plans in the next 18 months. As the capital looks to recover from the pandemic, the competing priorities will be a challenge to policy officers London-wide.