Norfolk Local Plan Watch - Spring 2023
A mixed picture across Norfolk when it comes to Plan-making progress, and political changes may mean further uncertainty.
Following considerable delays, progress has resumed on the Greater Norwich Local Plan, with further Hearing Sessions to consider the Housing Trajectory, and the impact of Nutrient Neutrality requirements amongst other things, taking place in Spring 2023. Having identified additional land for Gypsy/Traveller Sites, further Hearing Sessions are scheduled for the Summer, with Adoption anticipated early next year.
Elsewhere, following delays again primarily as a result of Nutrient Neutrality considerations, North Norfolk District Council have resolved to submit their Plan to the Secretary of State, with Hearings expected to be held later in the year. King’s Lynn and West Norfolk’s hearings are expected to resume in Autumn 2023 after being adjourned to ensure their spatial strategy can be justified.
Meanwhile, in Breckland work continues on both a Partial and Full Review of the Local Plan. If the Partial Review is not accepted by Inspectors, Breckland’s policies will be deemed ‘out of date’ and the presumption in favour of sustainable development will apply. An Issues and Options consultation on the Full Review ran until 19th May 2023, and Preferred Options are expected to be published in late 2023/ early 2024.
Great Yarmouth are continuing to undertake a review of the whole Local Plan, with consultation on the first Draft Local Plan expected in Summer 2023.
Having grappled with the challenges of Nutrient Neutrality over the past 12 months, the recent Local Election results are likely to lead to further uncertainty in parts of the County as three of the seven Local Authorities now find themselves under No Overall Control.
Five Year Land Supply
Five-year land supply opportunities continue to remain relatively limited across Norfolk. Whilst the supply in both South Norfolk and Norwich currently falls below 5 years, this is due to delays resulting from Nutrient Neutrality requirements. As the Authorities continue to make progress on a package of mitigation solutions, it is likely that the supply position will improve relatively quickly, meaning the window of opportunity is fairly limited.
In addition, North Norfolk’s housing land figure continues to fall below 5 years, and as a consequence they are continuing to consider applications on sites allocated in the emerging Local Plan favourably. Opportunities are constrained by the Nutrient Neutrality catchment, although progress continues on mitigation options.
Breckland continue to claim a supply in excess of 5 years, whilst King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and Great Yarmouth continue to hold comfortable housing supply figures of 5.59 years (as of December 2022) and 7.24 years respectively (as of April 2022).
For detail on emerging Local Plan position in Norfolk please click on the map below.