Strategic Growth Options
6 Quality of Life & Community Infrastructure
It is essential that existing infrastructure and services be considered when planning new development. It is also essential that new development help provide necessary improvements to infrastructure and services. This section sets out some of the key infrastructure issues to provide context to other issues within the document.
6.1 A key consideration when assessing new development sites will be their contribution to objectives and policies set out within the Quality of Life & Community Infrastructure section. For the purposes of this document, this is considered in its widest sense to relate to the setting of new development, infrastructure and services.
6.2 Previous Local Plan consultation responses have outlined the importance of ensuring that essential infrastructure is in place before development is completed. The Council will need to consider ways to ensure this can be delivered.
6.3 The Council is preparing an Infrastructure Delivery Plan, to understand better the current facilities that are in the Borough and to identify where new ones will be needed. It will start the process of prioritising what facilities should be funded by the new Community Infrastructure Levy, to help to identify areas of greatest need and where new facilities will be required. All new development will need to mitigate its impact on local services and community infrastructure. The main infrastructure considerations are set out below:
6.4 In light of the requirement to meet full housing need, Essex County Council have identified a significant deficit of primary school places in Brentwood Borough by 2017/18 and the remaining schools in the area will be close to capacity or slightly over capacity by 2017/18. In response to new development, new primary school(s) will be needed along with the remodelling and expansion of education and childcare facilities to meet local need.
6.5 With the predicted increase in population, there will be a corresponding demand for healthcare provision. The Council is working in partnership with NHS services. The 2014 NHS Essex Area Premises Outline strategy highlights the need for CCG (Care Commissioning Group) and NHS England Essex Area Team to work closely with the Local Planning Authorities. This is to understand the possible location of additional housing sites and the impact these will have on healthcare services within the area. Plans to mitigate this growth via developer funded and other collaborative working projects will be agreed before planning permissions are granted.
6.6 The Local Plan will need to set out travel infrastructure that links in with Crossrail including pedestrian, cycle and vehicular transport. The Council will be working with Essex County Council to consider an overall transport strategy, particularly with regard to the potential strategic development impacts on the A127 and beyond; enhanced bus links to Brentwood Town Centre, and improved walking and cycling routes and parking within the development and to wider networks. Brentwood Borough Council are carrying out further transport modelling to inform this strategy and further assessment will be made of the economic impact of Crossrail.
6.7 Development proposals will need to consider transport infrastructure including car and cycle parking, the impact on the road network and impact on Public Rights of Way (PRoW) and propose mitigation as necessary. Travel Plans and Transport Assessment will be needed for such development.
6.8 The Council wants to ensure that new community facilities are delivered alongside new homes to support sustainable communities. These community facilities would be for recreation, leisure and cultural activities, as well as places of worship, and are needed by individuals and groups, across the age spectrum. Shared space for community facilities act as central hubs where people can meet and deliver local services. Leisure activities and bases for communities and voluntary groups should be encouraged by the Council, particularly as part of new strategic mixed-use development in the future.
6.9 ‘Green infrastructure’ refers to the network of multifunctional green space, urban and rural, which is capable of delivering a wide range of environmental and quality of life benefits for local communities. The links between and access to this network need to be maximised to improve their wider use. Existing green infrastructure should be protected and enhanced and where opportunities arise, in conjunction with new development, additional provision made.
6.10 Green infrastructure includes open space, outdoor sport, recreational and play opportunities, flood storage, green roofs, existing habitat and habitat creation, footpaths, bridleways and cycleways, food growing and climate change mitigation.
6.11 New development will be expected to contribute and link through to the Borough’s green infrastructure, aiming to enhance and protect the existing network of green links, open spaces and sports facilities. The Council will need to secure additional provision where deficiencies are identified.
Q12: Have we considered the main infrastructure issues? Are there other important issues to consider?
Q13: What do you think the priorities for infrastructure spending should be?