Brentwood Local Plan 2016 - 2033 (Pre-Submission, Regulation 19)
4. Managing Growth
Managing Sustainable Growth
4.1 The following cross-cutting policies implement the Council's strategy for sustainable growth. They set out how sustainable development is to be achieved, where development is best placed to ensure accessible and sustainable growth, and what development proposals must respond to.
4.2 The section contains the following policies:
- Policy SP01: Sustainable Development
- Policy SP02: Managing Growth
- Policy SP03: Health Impact Assessments
- Policy SP04: Developer Contributions
- Policy SP05: Construction Management
- Policy SP06: Effective Delivery of Development
4.3 These policies are supported by the site allocation policies (Chapter 9), which give more detail about each of the growth areas. The site allocation policies detail the amount and type of development expected to be provided, and the specific supporting infrastructure and other requirements needed for each of the sites.
POLICY SP01: Sustainable Development
- When considering development proposals, the Council will take a positive approach that reflects the presumption in favour of sustainable development contained in the National Planning Policy Framework.
- The Council will always work proactively with applicants to jointly find solutions which mean that proposals for sustainable development can be approved wherever appropriate, and to secure development that improves the economic, social and environmental conditions in the area.
- Planning applications that accord with policies in this Local Plan (and, where relevant, with polices in relevant Development Plan Documents, and Neighbourhood Plans) will be approved without delay, unless material considerations indicate otherwise.
- Development will be supported and is considered to
contribute towards delivering the Strategic Objectives
- preserves and enhances the character and settlement setting of our borough of villages;
- has no unacceptable effect on visual amenity, the character appearance of the surrounding area;
- provides satisfactory means of access to the site for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians and parking and servicing arrangements;
- ensures the transport network can satisfactorily accommodate the travel demand generated and traffic generation would not give rise to adverse highway conditions or highway safety concerns or unacceptable loss of amenity;
- has no unacceptable effect on health, the environment or amenity due to the release of pollutants (such as light, noise pollution, vibration, odour, smoke, ash, dust and grit) to land, water or air;
- causes no unacceptable effects on adjoining sites, properties or their occupiers through excessive noise, activity or vehicle movements; overlooking or visual intrusion; harm to or loss of outlook, privacy or daylight/sunlight enjoyed by occupiers of nearby properties;
- takes full account of opportunities to incorporate biodiversity in developments;
- delivers good design;
- preserves, and where appropriate, enhances heritage asset and conservation area;
- results in no net loss of residential units; and
- mitigates impact on local services and community infrastructure.
4.4 The NPPF (2018) is clear that the purpose of the planning system is to act positively to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development. We have set out four overarching strategic objectives that define how sustainable growth is to be achieved, and how development should take positive steps to secure gains in economic, social and environmental objectives. Figure 1.1 illustrates how Brentwood's Local Plan is positively framed and aligned to achieve sustainable development.
4.5 For the purposes of this policy, the Council will consider the application in its entirety and how it relates to its immediate context. Impacts will be considered unacceptable when they do not meet the standards, principles and requirements provided in the Local Plan policies or where they result in negative impacts that cannot be adequately mitigated.
4.6 The Council seeks to promote and secure sustainable development, including in windfall locations, in line with Local Plan policies. This means directing development to locations which are supported, or capable of being supported, by effective transport provision, leisure, community and other essential services, while minimising harm to the environment and preserving the Green Belt.
4.7 Development should not harm the amenities of occupiers in nearby properties. Therefore, protecting the privacy and amenity space of nearby properties by avoiding excessive overlooking or loss of light resulting from new development are key considerations. New development should be sympathetic to the character and form of neighbouring properties and surroundings, ensuring they are not overbearing and do not look out of place. New development is likely to result in some impacts or changes, but this should be limited wherever appropriate and not be unacceptable.
4.8 Considering the imperative to deliver sustainable development, the Council expects development to adopt environmental best practice and pollution prevention measures in relation to groundwater, drainage, lighting, noise, impacts on health, the environment and amenity to avoid, address or mitigate adverse impacts that might otherwise arise. It will be important that all development proposals consider the environmental impact of proposed activities at an early stage in the planning process and incorporate measures needed to address this.
4.9 For a scheme to be acceptable, development will be required to make satisfactory arrangements for vehicular, cycle and pedestrian access into the site and for parking and servicing within the site. Any traffic generated by the development should be capable of being satisfactorily accommodated by the transport network and not give rise to unacceptable highway conditions, safety and amenity concerns.
4.10 Changes of use from residential, especially within or adjoining commercial centres, can involve the loss of smaller accommodation, for example flats above shops and small terraced units, which make a valuable contribution to the housing stock offering housing choice and affordability and responding to demographic change, notably a fall in the average household size. A residential presence in commercial areas maintains activity after shops and offices close, enhances community safety and retains the mixed-use feel of shopping areas. Such locations are sustainable being near services, facilities within walking distance and public transport. Making the best use of existing housing helps resist pressure to release additional land from the Green Belt. The Council therefore aims to retain existing dwellings and resist their loss. Similarly, the Council will seek to retain community facilities and services where needed, or secure their replacement, to at least an equivalent standard and convenience.
Local Housing Need
4.11 The government introduced a standardised methodology for calculating local housing need alongside the NPPF in July 2018. This calculates local housing need and is based on household projections published by the Office for National Statistics, applying an uplift for areas considered to need more affordable housing on the basis of high house prices.
4.12 In preparing the Local Plan the Council has continued to update its Strategic Housing Market Assessment SHMA (Part 1) in identify local housing need from which strategic policies have been informed. The Standard Method number for Brentwood, as calculated in the SHMA following current national guidance (2018), is 350 new homes per year using the annual average growth over years 2019-2029.
4.13 On this basis, 350 new homes per year forms the Council's housing requirement figure, this is the starting point in establishing the amount of housing to be planned for.
.4.14 The Council is committed to planning positively for new homes to help significantly boost the supply of housing to meet the needs of the area. Taking into account the government's ambitions for housing growth, it is appropriate to consider the government's response document to the revised NPPF, and its intention to adjust the standardised methodology to ensure that the starting point in the plan-making process is consistent with ensuring that 300,000 homes are built per year by the mid-2020s nationally
4.15 Mindful of the above and to provide flexibility in the supply of housing sites, helping boost delivery, the Council proposes to allocate development sites in the Local Plan to provide an uplift from the 350 dpa minimum housing requirement.
 (calculated on the basis as set out in Figure 4.1). The buffer allows for an additional housing supply in the borough to be maintained throughout the Local Plan period and is an approach supported in national planning guidance. When taking the supply buffer into account, provision is made for a total of 7,752 new homes in the period 2016-2033; an annualised housing target of 456 new homes per year.4.16 The Council is committed to provide a housing supply buffer
Figure 4.1: Annual housing requirement and supply buffer
4.17 Based on past delivery records, windfall sites will make a contribution towards provision. These are sites expected to come forward throughout the Plan period and as such are taken into account in determining the residual housing requirement. The Council has assessed the contribution of windfall sites on past housing supply in the borough. The evidence shows that at least 41 new homes have been built on windfall sites each year. For future housing supply, a windfall allowance of 41 new homes a year has been applied from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2033 (final 10 years of the Plan period). This is considered robust and represents a modest contribution to the overall supply.
4.19 The high proportion of designated Green Belt within the borough (89% of the total Brentwood Borough area) makes it extremely difficult to achieve a five-year supply, due to the fact that sites on the edge of settlements, currently within the Green Belt are not available for development purposes until the adoption of the Plan.
4.20 As a consequence, a greater proportion of the required homes are forecast to be delivered in the period beyond 2023, when the sites on the edge of settlements (previously within the Green Belt) begin to benefit from the detailed planning consent, enabling infrastructure and construction commences on these sites.
4.21 Therefore, this Plan sets out a pragmatic response to the matter, by proposing an initial housing delivery target of 310 homes per year to 2023, followed by a higher target of 584 homes per year thereafter for the remainder of the plan period; this combination provides for 7,752 homes in accordance with Policy SP02.
POLICY SP02: Managing Growth
- Provision is made for 7,752 new residential dwellings (net) to be built in the borough over the Plan period 2016-2033 at an annual average rate of 310 dwellings per year to 2022/23, followed by 584 dwellings per year from 2023/24-2033.
- New development within the borough will be directed
- the site allocations set out in Chapter 9; and
- highly accessible locations along transit/growth corridors.
Sequential Land Use
4.22 The spatial strategy informs the allocation of sites for development. This considers each location in terms of a sequential land use test, in line with guidance and best practice, and should be a key consideration in determining applications. It prioritises growth based on brownfield land and land in urban areas first; and only then brownfield land in Green Belt areas where deemed appropriate according to policies in the Plan.
4.23 Figure 4.2 sets out how different types of land use will contribute towards overall housing needs to be met according to Policy SP02.
Completions 2016/17 & 2017/18
Extant permissions (as at 1st April 2018) and minus non-implementation discount (10% of permission supply)
Windfall Allowance (from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2033)
Brownfield Land within Brentwood Urban Area / Settlement Boundary
Greenfield Land within Brentwood Urban Area / Settlement Boundary
Brownfield Land within settlement boundary – Other Locations
Green Belt Land – Edge of Brentwood Urban Area
Green Belt Land – Edge of Ingatestone
Green Belt Land – Larger Villages
Strategic Allocation – Dunton Hills Garden Village
Figure 4.2: Demonstrating Housing Provision
4.24 Local planning policy has a crucial role to play in ensuring that the opportunities exist for people to be able to make healthier life choices and addressing health inequalities (as per the role of health and well-being in plan-making 2017, plan-making guidance 2018 and the NPPF 2018). The policies within the Brentwood Local Development Plan use both local and national evidence, strategy and policy with the aim to create and support strong, vibrant, sustainable and healthy communities. These will be delivered by promoting and facilitating healthy living, and creating environments which offer opportunities for healthy choices across generations. The health and well-being of communities must begin with the planning process and it is agreed that if a community has access to well-designed places, access to appropriate health and community services and facilities set out above, health and well-being should be positively influenced.
4.25 Development which are expected to prepare a Health Impact Assessment include:
- Residential developments of 50 or more units;
- Non-residential developments of 1000m2 or more; and
- C2 class developments.
POLICY SP03: Health Impact Assessments (HIAs)
- Brentwood Borough Council is committed to ensuring all
new developments promote healthier and inclusive
environments. This includes regeneration proposals. The
design of the built environments and use of the natural
environments play a key role in ensuring that health
inequalities are not exacerbated and can support people to
live healthier lives. The evidence suggests that the
following issues impact on the physical, social, and mental
health and well-being of communities:
- the location, density and mix of land use;
- street layout and connectivity;
- access to public services, employment, local fresh food, education, leisure and recreation activities, and other community services;
- safety and security;
- open and green space;
- affordable and energy efficient housing;
- air quality and noise;
- extreme weather events and climate change;
- community interaction; and
- The majority of proposals will be required to assess their impacts on health and well-being, upon the capacity of existing health and social care services and facilities, the environmental impacts, and the promotion of health improvement activities. For use class C2 developments comprising residential care homes and nursing homes, and use class C3 residential, developments of any size are encouraged to illustrate how health and well-being have been considered within the development. For use class A5 hot food takeaways, a Health Impact Assessment will be required to be included in an application. Where an unacceptable adverse impact on health is established, permission will not be granted. Planning proposals should adhere to the requirements set out in the most up to date Essex Planning Officer's Association (EPOA) Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Guidance Notes or any latest iteration of the document.
- Developments that are 50 or more units (or less than 50 units at the discretion of the planning authority where the number of units could propose a significant impact on the community and infrastructure) and non-residential developments in excess of 1,000m2, are required to submit a Health and Well-being Impact Assessment as required by the EPOA HIA Guidance Note, which will measure the impact on health and well-being, the demand on the capacity of health and social care services and facilities arising from the development. Where significant impacts are identified, planning permission will be refused unless infrastructure provision and/or funding to reasonably meet the health and well-being and service requirements of the development are provided and/or secured by planning obligations, or by CIL, as appropriate.
- Brentwood Borough Council will require a Health and Well-being Impact Assessment to be prepared and carried out in accordance with the advice and best practice for such assessments as published locally through the Essex Planning Officers Association (EPOA). Developers will be expected to contact the Council at pre-application stage to complete the Healthy Communities Checklist (as part of the validations checklist), to enable joint discussions to take place on the likely health and well-being impacts and environmental impacts of proposals. This is an opportunity to strengthen the process of spatial planning through partnership working, community engagement, evidence sharing and coordination and the impacts on health and well-being and the environment.
4.26 Chapter 9 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2018) acknowledges that the planning system can play an important role in facilitating social interaction and creating healthy, inclusive communities. Local planning authorities (LPAs) are expected to use their planning powers to ensure that health and well-being inequalities are reduced and mitigated where appropriate, to ensure positive social, economic, and environmental benefits are achieved.
4.27 Health and well-being inequalities have been recognised as having a significant impact on communities. The government has clearly signalled its commitment to promoting Health Impact Assessment since 2003 with the publication on Tackling Health Inequalities by the London Department of Health, followed by Choosing Health White Paper (2004), the Department of Health Guidance on Planning for NHS staff, and the inclusion of Health and Well-being requirements as set out in the NPPF (2018).
4.28 In response to the government's priorities placed on health and well-being, the Essex Planning Officers Association (EPOA) published a guidance note on Health Impact Assessments (2008) which set out targets for all local authorities to ensure that their Local Development Frameworks (or equivalent development plan documents) contain a policy requiring HIA for relevant planning applications. The EPOA Guidance Note on HIA is currently being update; once published, developers should refer to the most up to date guidance to ensure that health and well-being impacts have been fully considered as part of the proposal.
4.29 The updated Essex Design Guide (EDG) includes the principles of health and wellbeing and a common theme embedded throughout the document. The EDG encourages all developments to employ the principles of Building Regulations Part M4 Category 2 (Accessible and Adaptable Dwelling) so as to promote independent living. The provision of access to open spaces, natural environments and informal and formal recreation opportunities contributes significantly to prevention of ill health. Transport corridors should be well-established to encourage cycling and walking as safer, more active alternatives to the car for local journeys.
4.30 The joint Essex health and wellbeing strategy 2018-2022 is supported by partners including district councils and health. The priorities within this are:
- improving mental health and wellbeing;
- addressing obesity, improving diet and increasing physical activity;
- influencing conditions and behaviours linked to health inequalities; and
- enabling and supporting people with long-term conditions and disabilities.
Figure 4.3: How to assess if a planning application requires to undertake an HIA and the steps involved
POLICY SP04: Developer Contributions
- All new development should be supported by, and have good access to, all necessary infrastructure. Permission will only be granted if it can be demonstrated that there is sufficient appropriate infrastructure capacity to support the development or that such capacity will be delivered by the proposal. It must further be demonstrated that such capacity as is required will prove sustainable over time both in physical and financial terms.
- Where a development proposal requires additional
infrastructure capacity, to be deemed acceptable,
mitigation measures must be agreed with the local planning
authority and the appropriate infrastructure provider. Such
measures may include (not exclusively):
- financial contributions towards new or expanded facilities and the maintenance thereof;
- on-site provision (which may include building works);
- off-site capacity improvement works; and/or
- the provision of land.
- Developers and land owners must work positively with the Council, neighbouring authorities and other infrastructure providers throughout the planning process to ensure that the cumulative impact of development is considered and then mitigated, at the appropriate time, in line with their published policies and guidance.
- Applicants proposing new development will be expected
to make direct provision or contribute towards the delivery
of relevant infrastructure as required by the development
either alone or cumulatively with other developments.
Developers may be required to:
- pay Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charges in order to mitigate on-site and off-site impacts of growth as required by the Council's charging schedules; and
- enter into Section 106 (S106) agreements to make provisions to mitigate the impacts of the development where necessary or appropriate. Section 106 will remain the appropriate mechanism for securing land and works along with financial contributions where a sum for the necessary infrastructure is not secured via CIL.
- For the purposes of this policy the widest reasonable definition of infrastructure and infrastructure providers will be applied. Exemplar types of infrastructure are provided in the glossary appended to this Plan.
- Where proposals do not meet planning policy
requirements or do not propose to deliver required S106
planning obligations, applicants will be required to:
- prove that the benefits of the development proceeding without full mitigation outweigh the collective harm;
- submit a fully transparent open book Financial Viability Assessment to the Council. The viability assessment may be subject to an independent scrutiny by appointed experts, at the applicant's cost;
- prove that a full and thorough investigation has been undertaken to find innovative solutions to issues and all possible steps have been taken to minimise the residual level of unmitigated impacts; and
- obligations are entered into by the developer that provide for appropriate additional mitigation in the event that viability improves prior to completion of the development.
4.31 The spatial vision and strategic objectives emphasise the importance of managing growth and shaping change sustainably. This puts planning for appropriate and adequate infrastructure at the heart of sustainable development. In ensuring that the policies of the Local Plan are delivered in a manner that achieves sustainable development, the Council seeks contributions from developers to fund improvements to existing infrastructure and the environment, or where necessary, new infrastructure. Contributions will be made through the Community Infrastructure Levy, which applies a standard charge to developers to fund supporting infrastructure such as transport, schools, community facilities and health facilities, and/or Section 106 agreements which address the provision of affordable housing and more site-specific infrastructure requirements.
4.32 The Council wishes to work collaboratively with appropriate infrastructure providers, our partners and developers to deliver the infrastructure necessary to support the level of growth required to meet objectively assessed housing need.
4.33 The Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) identifies the types of infrastructure required to support the anticipated growth in the borough and includes a summary of the current identified infrastructure projects.
4.34 The IDP will be required regularly and where necessary updated in consultation with both the internal and external stakeholders such as other service areas and infrastructure providers.
4.35 This policy must be read in conjunction with Policy NE02 Recreational Disturbance avoidance Mitigation Strategy (RAMS).
POLICY SP05: Construction Management
- All major development should sign up to the Considerate
Constructors Scheme, or equivalent. During construction,
major development is required to:
- minimise levels of noise, vibration, artificial light, odour, air quality, fumes, or dust pollution;
- consider the routing, timing and frequency of heavy goods vehicle movements to reduce their impact on vulnerable road users, local amenity and congestion;
- use, where available, construction and or freight consolidation centres; and
- consider the impact of construction on water supply, flood risk and drainage and implement suitable mitigation measures where required.
- Major development must consider the cumulative impacts of other major development occurring in the vicinity on levels of noise, vibration, artificial light, odour, air quality, fumes or dust pollution, and plan timings of works, delivery timings, routes, and location of equipment accordingly to reduce the cumulative impacts.
- Development is required to employ the highest standards
of sustainable construction management, including:
- sustainable construction methods, such as use of sustainably sourced materials recycled materials;
- the reuse of demolished material from development site, where practical in order to minimise the transportation of waste and reduce carbon emissions; and
- the sustainable disposal of materials.
4.36 This policy must be read in conjunction with Policy NE02 Recreational disturbance Avoidance Mitigation Strategy (RAMS) and Policy BE02 Sustainable Construction and Resource Efficiency.
4.37 This policy recognises the high levels of growth that are taking place within or near to inhabited places. It therefore seeks to ensure development minimises its impacts on the local environment and existing community's health and well-being.
4.38 Developers will be expected to sign up to the Considerate Constructors Scheme to better manage and mitigate the cumulative impacts arising from construction of the borough's population and environment. This is a national initiative which seeks to promote safe and considerate building practices and engineering works and improve standards of neighbourliness. Sites that are registered under the scheme are independently assessed and monitored against the code of considerate practiced, designed to encourage higher standards of conduct. An equivalent scheme membership may also be considered as meeting the requirements of this policy.
4.39 Cumulative impacts arising from other major developments within one-kilometre radius of the proposal site should be assessed and mitigation actions identified. This should be evidenced throughout the construction logistics management plan.
4.40 The Council seeks to reduce development waste from a development site and ensure sustainable construction methods can significantly reduce the energy requirements and associated carbon emissions of the scheme. In addition, developers should address risk of flooding associated with the construction process before any work on site commences and consider phasing of work to ensure necessary features as constructed at the earliest stages of development. Applications should evidence how the development will seek to meet this requirement in the design and access statement and or the sustainability statement, as part of the planning application.
4.41 The borough's growth strategy is established on the principles of ensuring the best use of land, achieving sustainable development, and safeguarding the longer-term integrity of the Green Belt and other greenfield land, recycling and reusing previously developed land. For this reason, development is prioritised in suitable and accessible locations within existing settlements, conversion and reuse of previously developed (brownfield) land and buildings.
4.42 The level of development planned for the borough aims to strike a balance between responding to the need for development and acknowledging constraints which determine how much development the borough can sustainably accommodate. The removal of top soil during construction can increase the risk of flooding by reducing the sites natural ability to retain volumes of rainfall through interception storage. Developers should address flood risk during the construction process before any work on site commences and consider phasing of work to ensure necessary features as constructed at the earliest stages of development.Areas such as the Green Belt, land valuable for food production, land at risk to flooding, land of high landscape value, and nature conservation areas are to be protected from development.
4.43 Phasing refers to the timing of delivery of development in relation to other activities, such as land assembly or provision of infrastructure. Development may require phasing, both to ensure that new occupants have access to services they need and to minimise disruption caused by development to existing communities or the services they depend on. Phasing helps ensure the timely delivery of development over the Plan period to ensure that there is adequate supply of housing to meet a five-year supply. Therefore, in this regard, an important role of this Plan is to indicate where and when sites are expected to come forward.
POLICY SP06: Effective Delivery of Development
- Development proposals for large complex allocation sites will be expected to be developed in partnership with the Council, infrastructure providers and other relevant organisations, through a collaborative masterplanning approach.
- Successful development of the sites will require supporting documents such as a strategic masterplan, area specific masterplan, complementary design guide/code, to help guide the necessary coherence across the entire development site, irrespective of who delivers the different locations or components of the scheme.
- The Council may, at its discretion, appoint an independent Quality Design Review Panel to review the detailed design proposals, to provide additional rigour to the design-thinking process, thereby ensuring the longer-term sustainable success of the development.
- Development proposals should submit a supporting statement setting out the sustainable long-term governance and stewardship arrangements for community assets; the statement should be proportionate with the scale of the scheme and quantum of infrastructure being delivered.
4.44 Area specific plans and masterplans are key to informing how the redevelopment of strategic sites and areas of change will come forward. They are also key to improving the understanding of how site constraints and opportunities have been addressed and maximised, to realise the spatial strategy. This ensures that priorities are aligned, and scheme acceptance is secured.
4.45 This policy ensures that a collaborative and participatory approach is taken when working up scheme proposals with all relevant stakeholders, to give plans a better chance of success. This will include key partnerships with health and infrastructure providers, and local communities, including Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Forums producing Neighbourhood Plans.
4.46 The Council may wish to develop wider strategic masterplans to inform the different site allocations coming forward, in collaboration with statutory partners, infrastructure providers and other relevant organisations.
, which will state how we intend to involve local community groups, residents, businesses and other stakeholders in the preparation and implementation of Supplementary Planning Documents and guidance in the consideration of planning applications.4.47 The Council will maintain an up to date Statement of Community Involvement, published online
Monitoring and Delivery
Local Plan Review Requirements
4.48 The NPPF (2018) states that the preparation and review of all policies should be underpinned by relevant and up-to-date evidence, and that this evidence is adequate and proportionate, taking into account relevant market signals. The Local Plan has been created having considered evidence and representations received from consultations on previous drafts. The NPPF (2018, paragraph 33) also states that reviews should be completed no later than five years from the adoption date of the plan, especially to take into account changing circumstances affecting the area, or any relevant changes in national policy.
4.49 The Council recognises that continuous 'horizon scanning' is necessary to maintain a long-term view of the relevance of the policies, in light of the fast-paced technological advances of the built environment sectors and market efficiency in delivering planned development. This includes joint working on initiatives such as the South Essex Joint Strategic Plan. This is in addition to the day-to-day monitoring of the strategic objectives and policy implementation to reflect on how effective the Plan is in delivering and maintaining a sufficient supply of housing to meet needs.
4.50 Therefore, we will monitor the implementation of policies and proposals of the Local Plan using key indicators and targets set out in the Monitoring Framework (Appendix 3). An earlier than five-year review may be required to address the implications of the national standardised approach to calculating local housing need, when adopted.
4.51 This Plan will be the main vehicle through which planning applications are determined. In some circumstances, policies will be supplemented with supporting evidence and/or additional development management documents in the form of Supplementary Planning Documents or other types of guidance. Where considered necessary, we will also use special legislative tools such as Article 4 directions.
4.52 The Council will continue to develop the use of masterplans to guide the design and layout of new development in collaboration with infrastructure providers and other relevant organisations.
4.53 The broader process for determining planning applications encompasses pre-application discussions and Planning Performance Agreements.
4.54 In some circumstances, particularly in the case of major developments, strategic allocations or with complicated sites, we will also consider the use of independent review panels.
4.55 We encourage the pre-application engagement process with applicants. This can help achieve effective decisions, and good quality and acceptable development. While the outcome of an application cannot be guaranteed, a planning application is more likely to succeed if it is well prepared, accords with the Local Plan, and addresses the relevant challenges raised at the pre-application stage.
4.56 When preparing planning applications, applicants and developers should have regard to the requirements set out in the latest validation checklist.
4.57 Where considered necessary, and as a last resort, legal powers through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 (as amended) may be used to enable development, in line with the growth strategy.
 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Government (2018) Government response to the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework consultation: A summary of consultation responses and the Government's view on the way forward. Available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/728498/180724_NPPF_Gov_response.pdf
 The housing supply buffer serves to safeguard against any potential uplift to the standard methodology for calculating housing need, pending the outcome of the governments 'Technical consultation on updates to national planning policy and guidance', Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, October 2018.
 Essex Planning Officer's Association (EPOA) Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Guidance notes (2008) . https://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/media/2222/Guidance-note-Health-Impact-Assessments-2008-/pdf/hiaguidance.pdf
 Community assets can cover a wide spectrum and include land, services and facilities such as village halls, community centres, libraries, parks, green spaces, and buildings for sports, leisure, healthcare, education, social, arts and cultural activities. More details can be found under Policy PC14 Protecting and Enhancing Community Assets.
 Brentwood Statement of Community Involvement (2012). http://www.brentwood.gov.uk/index.php?cid=2380