The West of England Combined Authority (WECA) is consulting locals as a first step towards preparing a new high-level spatial strategy, following the failure earlier this year of the region’s joint spatial plan.
A revised draft of Greater Manchester’s emerging spatial plan has further cut the amount of green belt land due to be allocated for housing – representing a 60 per cent cut compared to the first draft of the document.
The inspector examining the troubled South Oxfordshire local plan has concluded that it is “justified” in setting a homes target at a higher level than would arise from the standard housing need method, its spatial strategy is “sound” and there are “no reasonable alternatives” to the document’s proposed releases of green belt land.
Reorganising England’s local government into larger county-wide unitary authorities would help strategic planning for housing and infrastructure, according to a new report commissioned for the County Councils Network by multinational professional services firm PwC.
A planning inspector has formally approved a local plan review in Oxfordshire after the council agreed to increase the amount of land proposed for removal from the green belt from 253 to 275 hectares.
Radical proposed changes to local plans, which would see them zone land into three development categories, is likely to mean more work for under-resourced council planning teams and could limit local authority control, some observers suggest. However, developers should welcome the greater certainty provided by the new system.
Greater London authorities will face the greatest pressure to increase delivery of new homes, according to an analysis of the government’s proposed new methodology for calculating housing need.
A secretary of state concession in a High Court case widens the scope of ‘deliverable’ housing sites that local authorities can add to their land supply, experts agree, but opinion is divided as to whether the long-debated issue has now been put to bed.
Under the existing planning system, ever-lower household projections can be ignored by most planners. But many experts predict that councils and communities will use them to undermine the credibility of the government’s standard method of assessing housing need.
Preston City Council has formally adopted a masterplan which is intended to deliver 1,600 homes in the Stoneygate area of the city centre.