On 6 August 2020, the government published ‘Changes to the current planning system’. The consultation paper set out four policy proposals to improve the effectiveness of the current system, amongst them changing the standard method for assessing local housing need, to plan for the delivery of 300,000 new homes a year and plan for more homes in the right places.
Having taken the responses into account, the Government have decided the most appropriate approach is to retain the standard method in its current form. However, in order to meet our principles of delivering more homes on brownfield land we will apply a 35 per cent uplift to the post-cap number generated by the standard method to Greater London and to the local authorities which contain the largest proportion of the other 19 most populated cities and urban centres in England. This is likely include London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Leicester, Coventry, Bradford, Nottingham, Kingston upon Hull, Newcastle upon Tyne, Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Wolverhampton; but perhaps more relevant to you Bristol, Southampton, Plymouth, Reading, Brighton and Hove. Brett Spiller, Director of Chapman Lily Planning added ‘.. this pledge fulfils the Governments promise of growth and investment in the northern cities, whilst responding to the concerns of the Shire’s that were due to take a greater proportion of the growth. Interestingly the Government response also recognises the important correlation between density and efficient infrastructure’.
This announcement will also be significant to Council’s which were due to see big increases or decreases in housing numbers under the tabled revisions. The reversion to the current method will have profound implications for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole [“BCP”]. Brett explained ‘The standard housing method requires a significant uplift in BCP Council’s housing figures – meaning that they need to take a far more proactive stance on taller buildings, Green Belt release and duty to cooperate (i.e. asking Dorset to take some of its growth). This is good news for those looking to promote new development as should transform the potential of the BCP city region. Lets just hope elected members and officers embrace the opportunity to deliver vibrant places, homes for all and a resilient local economy. I have been impressed by Cllr Drew Mellor and Cllr Phillip Broadhead who clearly recognise the opportunity in BCP and the fact that its not a binary choice between growth and protecting our environment – there is scope to do both. There is no longer any excuse to delay the new BCP Local Plan It is a disgrace that decisions are based on plans dating from 2002 and 2014 in Bournemouth – they lack ambition and do not reflect todays challenges and opportunities’.
To find out more on how the Governments approach affects your proposals, please contact us.