East of England Local Plan & Housing Delivery Test Update released
We are pleased to publish Boyer’s April 2022 Local Plan and Housing Delivery Test update for the East of England. The document is presented in a user-friendly, interactive PDF format and is a useful reference guide for the latest updates on all local authorities across the Eastern region.
The document is informed by the latest Local Development Scheme for each authority area, as well as website updates and our own intelligence.
A lot has happened in the past three months.
South Essex is currently experiencing a wave of uncertainty regarding the progression of local development plans due to the backlash councils are receiving, both internally and externally, concerning the projected levels of Green Belt release to meet the identified housing need. Whilst Brentwood Borough Council were able to secure the adoption of their emerging local plan, Councillors in nearby Basildon and Castle Point voted overwhelmingly in opposition to either the adoption, or progression, of their emerging plans. Thurrock Council have experienced severe delays in the production of their local plan, failing to undertake an opening consultation and receiving support from the Planning Advisory Service. Meanwhile in North Essex, the consequences of poor quality decision-making on applications has seen Uttlesford Council be placed in special measures, the first local authority for this to happen to in seven years. As a result, applications can be made directly to the Planning Inspectorate for the foreseeable future. The Council has acknowledged that alongside improvements to the planning service, emergence of a new local plan will be critical to turning matters around.
In Norfolk, nutrient neutrality has been the topic of conversation. In March, Natural England wrote to the affected authorities about nutrient pollution in the protected habitats of the River Wensum Special Area of Conservation and the Broads Special Area of Conservation and Ramsar Site. The letter advised that new development comprising overnight accommodation in these habitats can cause adverse impacts to nutrient pollution. It is likely to take some time to establish mitigation solutions, which could cause significant delays to development in the affected areas. This has implications for emerging Local Plans (such as the Greater Norwich Local Plan for which the Inspector’s Report is currently awaited), and amendments to housing delivery trajectories are also anticipated.
The key headlines and dates are summarised below:
- On 10 February, at an Extraordinary Council meeting, members of Basildon Borough Council voted to withdraw their emerging local plan, primarily due to heightened concerns over the proposed allocations of green belt release.
- At an Extraordinary Council meeting on 23 March, Brentwood Borough Council voted to adopt the Brentwood Local Plan 2016-2033.
- On 23 March, at a meeting of Castle Point Borough Council, members voted against the adoption of their emerging local plan, due to concerns over proposed green belt releases.
- On 23 March, Ipswich Borough Council adopted the Ipswich Local Plan Review 2018-2036.
- The Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk submitted their Local Plan Review 2016-2036 to the Secretary of State on 29 March.
urrent consultations include:
- Breckland Council are undertaking a Call for Sites exercise that is due to close on 20 May.
- West Suffolk Council are holding a Regulation 18 Local Plan Preferred Options consultation from 26 May to 26 July.
Alongside our East of England Local Plan Update, Boyer are introducing Local Plan Updates for the Thames Valley, South-West and Wales. Please feel free to contact us if you feel such documents would be of use and you would like to receive a copy.