The government’s cancellation of a planned expressway linking Oxford and Cambridge indicates that other major road projects may now be called into question due to conflict with climate change targets, observers suggest. But local plan preparation and development work are likely to benefit now that the uncertainty the road project had created is over.
Only three councils have this year expressed an interest in submitting a housing land supply annual position statement to the Planning Inspectorate to confirm their five-year target for 12 months. Practitioners say the tight timescales for preparing such documents so soon after local plan adoption and the risk of an inspector removing sites from a local authority’s claimed pipeline make it an unappealing option for many.
Three local authorities have succeeded in getting their five year housing land supplies confirmed by a planning inspector up to 31 October this year, but one council’s bid to do the same was not approved. Here we look at how the inspectors reached their conclusions.
Two councils in Kent are challenging inspectors’ verdicts that their local plans failed the duty to cooperate – one via the courts, the other through a request for ministerial intervention. Practitioners suspect the moves are a political tactic to avoid implementing unpopular development strategies but say they face little chance of success.
The government has temporarily blocked granting previously-promised strategic planning powers to the new West Yorkshire city region elected mayor due to the ongoing changes to the planning system.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) has launched a new online data tool that includes data from planning applications for development proposals across the capital in real time, the first time that such live updates have been used.
A council has refused to withdraw its local plan from the examination process, and said that it will “challenge” the conclusion of inspectors that the document fails to meet the duty to cooperate.
The number of local plans failing to pass examination reached its highest level in 2020 for six years. Observers have pinpointed political difficulties around releasing green belt and meeting the duty to cooperate as two key factors that are derailing councils’ development strategies.
Almost one in five English local authorities have failed to issue a single permission for a self or custom build plot more than three years after being legally required to do so, according to new government figures. But some of the councils concerned say they are struggling to find appropriate plots and trying to balance self build requirements with wider housing supply needs.
The housing ministry last week announced it would be preparing a new spatial framework for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, the first time the department has produced such a strategy itself. But some experts have claimed that the two-year timescale for the document’s production will be a big challenge and expressed concerns that local plan production might be held up.