What we need to consider – homes, jobs and infrastructure
3.1 Setting a strategy for where we develop land to provide new affordable and other types of homes and jobs, will be a key feature of our new Local Plan and is a central part of this current consultation. We need to plan for new homes, jobs and infrastructure in locations which respond to the climate emergency, achieves biodiversity net gain and assists with cost of living issues.
3.2 The starting point to discuss ideas for a new strategy is to understand how many new homes, how much and what types of employment and what infrastructure we need to plan for, which can be delivered and funded during our plan period. We have set out introductions on these topics and explain the key targets and issues that our new strategy and key planning policies will need to consider.
Section 3a Planning for new homes – how many and what type
We set out in this section how many new homes we need to find, the different types of homes including Affordable Housing we need to plan for and the sources of supply which will help meet our targets for new homes.
Section 3b Planning for economy and jobs
This section explains the current approach to employment land, some of the issues our plan needs to consider, such as the role of existing safeguarded employment land in different areas of the authority and how much new employment land our strategy would need to accommodate.
Section 3c Planning for town centres
We do not think we need to create or designate any new town centres as part of our strategy. However, our town centres will keep evolving to meet the demands of existing and new communities, while diversifying the range offer and range of uses, services and facilities. New homes and jobs will however need local services and facilities, found in our town and local centres. Our plan will also need to consider how larger scale town centres and facilities are considered in the planning policies, accessed and how our town centres may change and grow in the future.
Section 3d Planning for infrastructure
We set out in this section the issues around planning for new infrastructure, to support new homes and jobs. It is a particularly challenging time due to pressure on funding for new infrastructure because of the Covid pandemic, followed by high inflation. Therefore moving forward, we don’t think it is realistic to rely heavily on very expensive ‘big ticket’ publicly funded infrastructure items. We therefore need to be very careful to ensure that any infrastructure which is required will have a reasonable prospect of being funded and delivered in a timely manner to support our new strategy.
3.3 In planning how and where to meet our need for new homes and jobs we also need to consider a wide range of issues in order to meet our plan objectives set out in section 2. Particularly ensuring development locations chosen assist and can be adaptable to climate change, support a net gain in biodiversity and help to address cost of living issues. Other key considerations, include flood risk, avoiding harm to natural and historic assets, enabling sustainable travel choices, establishing a network of Green Infrastructure, and finding land for renewable energy.
3.4 We will be considering all these objectives as we explore different choices and approaches to build our new strategy. This will help us consider the challenges, opportunities and requirements of different approaches.
Building a new strategy – Step 1: New homes and jobs in urban areas and market towns
3.5 To provide the new homes and jobs required, we have first looked at making the most effective use of land within the existing boundaries of our urban areas and our market towns. We set out which sites could be allocated to deliver new homes in the plan period and how much small-scale windfall development we can expect within the urban areas and market towns. You can read more in section 4.
3.6 We also identify some larger scale development sites and areas of regeneration where evolution and change may come forward and provide new homes, jobs, facilities and services in the later part of the plan period and beyond. We have not included allocations for these opportunities, but these areas could in future bring forward positive change and sustain our 5 year rolling supply of homes.
3.7 We have previously consulted on a planning policy which, in future, will require sites to optimise density unless it would cause harm, to further minimise green field release and support future urban regeneration.
3.8 We do know that we will not be able to meet all our needs for new homes and jobs in the plan period within the existing boundaries of our existing urban areas and our market towns. Our new strategy for homes, jobs and infrastructure will need to explore approaches, places and sites for development beyond these areas.
Building a new strategy – Step 2: Strategy lenses and sites
3.9 Based on the knowledge we have of the number of homes and jobs to find, and how many new homes we think can be accounted for from our urban areas, our new Local Plan will still need to explore other locations and areas to meet our need for new homes and jobs.
3.10 A key focus of this consultation, which we welcome your views on, is where beyond our existing urban areas and market towns we should plan for:
- 7813 new homes
- new employment land to provide a balanced portfolio for economic growth and address imbalances in employment access, particularly for communities in the urban area of the East Fringe
- new or enhanced infrastructure for transport, education, utilities, playing pitches and other services and facilities will be needed to support existing and new communities where new development takes place
3.11 To show the council’s current thinking on where and which sites should be utilised to meet the needs for new homes and jobs beyond the urban area, we have prepared an emerging preferred strategy. You can find out more and comment on the places, sites, challenges and opportunities of our emerging strategy.
3.12 We developed our emerging preferred strategy by looking at 3 different lenses. Each lens explored an alternative approach to locating new homes and jobs. This helped us to explore the choices we have and understand the opportunities and challenges of different sites and locations. Our emerging preferred strategy is a combination of locations and sites identified through these lenses. As well as the preferred strategy we welcome your views on the three lenses and the locations and sites within them. This will help us to confirm a preferred strategy for the next stage of consultation, our draft plan (Regulation 19).
3.13 Below are links to each of the lenses. For each we explain the focus, the places within, the potential sites, along with the opportunities and challenges of each. We used these alternative lenses to inform our emerging preferred strategy.
Read the next section – Planning for new homes – how many and what type
Or return to the contents page.