Preferred Site Allocations 2018
- Brentwood Borough Council is preparing a new Local Plan ('the plan'), which will set out the long-term vision for how and where the Borough will develop over the next 15 years (to 2033) in line with our unique local character – our "borough of villages". The purpose of this consultation document is to set out the Council's preferred sites for housing, specialist accommodation and employment. This document is informed by national planning policy and guidance; the accompanying sustainability appraisal; a wide range of technical evidence and the previous consultations on the Strategic Growth Options (2015) and Draft Local Plan (2016). The evidence base and other work undertaken so far can be viewed on our website at www.brentwood.gov.uk/localplan.
- In time the adopted Plan will set out how the borough will change in future through development growth. Providing the new homes and jobs that we need is challenging considering the environmental qualities that the borough enjoys. The Council made a commitment in the Draft Local Plan (2016) to balance development needs with our village character. This included focusing growth in sustainable locations, such as transport corridors, and delivering a new Garden Village to bring supporting infrastructure along with new communities. This commitment is continued in the document and through the plan-making process.
- Brentwood has changed a lot over the past 100 years. Development needs have been met and the borough still enjoys the best of both worlds between excellent access to London and the countryside. In recent years there has been a significant step-change in the development needs for the country, which is being acutely felt by the south east in areas like Brentwood because of the proximity to London. This means our needs are significantly different from when we last adopted a Local Plan in 2005. This new Plan is a once in a generation opportunity to plan for future needs, because the plans that come after it will in some way be taking on the same strategy provided issues remain broadly the same. This is the first of that new wave, and so the decisions that go into making the Plan have been difficult because they affect many people. In time those decisions will also bring many benefits to many people, but right now the change seems scary. In addition to economic growth of the wider area, the borough needs a range of sites to deliver a range of homes for a range of people. There is no one size fits all solution.
- This stage of public consultation known as 'preparation' or 'regulation 18' consultation is an important stage in preparing the Local Plan and while the Council is publishing its preferred land allocations they remain draft. A number of Regulation 18 consultations have taken place in the past, but this will be the final one before we move forward to finalising the Local Plan.
- This 'focused consultation' does not provide any further information on detailed planning policies, which will be included in the Pre-submission Regulation 19 publication stage later this year. The policies consulted upon in the Draft Local Plan (2016) are being reviewed and updated considering consultation representations made to date. While this document is primarily a consultation on sites, we have also updated our vision, strategic objectives and spatial strategy to reflect progress made on the technical evidence and review of representations.
- The overall history of the plan is set out in Figure 1, which includes the pre-National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) development stages. The Strategic Growth Options and Draft Local Plan stages from 2015/16 underpin the current Plan direction. The figure also highlights where we are in the plan-making process and next steps.
Figure 1 – Local Plan Production
An Evolving Evidence Base
- Evidence in its broadest sense means anything that informs the plan-making process, including the Sustainability Appraisal, Duty to Cooperate discussion, consultation responses, and technical evidence. The technical evidence that informs the Plan is wide ranging, relating to subjects such as housing needs; economic forecasts; infrastructure impacts and mitigation (transport, utilities, education, healthcare, and so on); environmental considerations; Green Belt purposes; viability testing; and masterplanning.
- Feedback on the Strategic Growth Options in 2015 and Draft Local Plan in 2016, indicated resident and stakeholder interest in plan-making. In total, 3,942 representations were submitted to the Draft Local Plan from 1,281 people or groups. Figure 2 provides information on range of representations made by topic and level of feedback. A Consultation Statement detailing previous representations has been published alongside this document.
- In summary, there were objections raised to development generally and to a number of specific sites proposed for new homes. Some residents supported the need for more affordable housing and a greater variety in the size and tenure of properties. Support for protecting the Green Belt and environmental assets, and building upon brownfield land only were strong themes in the consultation feedback. A number of stakeholders objected to the Dunton Hills Garden Village in principle and the extent of development along the A127 corridor. A wide range of comments were also raised on the need for additional plan evidence and the need to further engage with neighbouring authorities on Duty to Cooperate matters.
Figure 2: Representations
- The Local plan should as far as possible reflect a collective vision and a set of agreed priorities for the sustainable development of the Borough, but the Council also needs to balance the views of the local community and stakeholders with meeting strategic growth needs including accommodating new housing growth in sustainable locations, which is supported by a robust evidence base.
- Since the consultation in the Draft Local Plan in 2016, a
wide range of technical papers have been updated to support
the progression of the plan. Important aspects of this
evidence base have included:
- updating the Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN) for the Borough;
- ensuring that all potential site opportunities have been explored through the production of a new Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (HELAA), and
- updating employment land need and supply evidence.
- In January 2017, the Government designated Dunton Hills Garden Village as one of only 14 new garden settlements across the country. Further work has since been taking place to identify how this new community can reflect garden village principles and fit in with the village character of the borough. The evidence base is increasing, including masterplanning work. An updated list of evidence material is published as part of this consultation.
- The Housing White Paper published in February 2017 for consultation provides several policy directions, including its focus upon accelerated delivery and maximising the development of sustainable small and medium sized sites. We have considered these issues when preparing this consultation document and will continue to as part of the next stage of plan-making.
- In arriving at a list of preferred site allocations, we have developed a site assessment process. This is robust, balanced and wide-ranging in terms of technical evidence material for each allocated and discounted site. The site assessment matrix and supporting technical material is published as part of this consultation process.
- A key part of the evidence base is the Sustainability Appraisal (SA), which is a systematic process that must be carried out during the preparation of a Local Plan. Its role is to promote sustainable development by assessing the extent to which the emerging plan, when judged against reasonable alternatives, will help to achieve relevant environmental, economic and social objectives. The SA allows us to consider opportunities to improve environmental, social and economic conditions in the local area and identify how to mitigate the impact of development. The SA is generally applied as an iterative learning process running parallel to the Plan as it progresses.
- A Draft Local Plan Interim SA was produced to inform the Draft Local Plan (2016). The Interim SA has been updated to inform this final Regulation 18 document and is published as part of this consultation.
- Under the EU Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC) a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA) is required for any proposed plan or project which may have a significant effect on one or more European sites and which is not necessary for the management of those sites. The purpose of the HRA is to determine whether or not significant effects are likely and to suggest ways in which they could be avoided. The first stage is to carry out a Screening process to establish if the Local Plan might have any Likely Significant Effects (LSEs) on any European site and therefore to determine whether a full HRA would be required for the Local Plan. A screening has been undertaken for Local Plan sites and the Draft HRA Screening Report is available alongside the SA for public consultation.
- The planning system has an important role to play in
co-ordinating development and supporting infrastructure
provision. Our key strategic priorities for infrastructure
- delivering the right infrastructure at the right time: ensuring that infrastructure to support new housing and employment opportunities, such as schools, health and transport are delivered at an appropriate scale and in a timely manner;
- supporting strategic growth through sustainable infrastructure planning: there is a need to fully integrate strategic growth sites (such as Dunton Hills and Brentwood Enterprise Park) within a network of supporting infrastructure including public transport and active travel.
- supporting high quality design: promoting a sense of place is considered a key local priority in infrastructure planning – helping minimise the impact of new infrastructure on local character and enhancing areas through innovative design which positively responds to local heritage and environments;
- enhancing green infrastructure networks: improving the quality, range and connectiveness of the Borough's natural green assets; and
- forward thinking and innovation-led: thinking ahead to Brentwood in 2040/50 and the changing dynamics of technological innovation and infrastructure priorities.
- The Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) which accompanies this consultation document is a working document being continually updated, available as a printed publication and web resource.
- This consultation document follows a simple format split into two parts:
Part 1 – Our Strategy for Growth:
- discussion about our vision, objectives and spatial strategy;
- the key drivers for growth and infrastructure implications; and
- how we have selected proposed site allocations plus a summary of the preferred allocations.
Part 2 – Preferred Site Allocations:
- pro-formas on each site setting out the area and key site access points; and
- a summary ofopportunities and constraints.
Responding to this Consultation
- We want to know your views on the preferred site allocations in this document. The consultation period is open for six weeks from Monday 29 January to Monday 12 March 2018. You can find out more about the Local Plan, consultation events, and respond directly on our website at: www.brentwood.gov.uk/localplan.
- Responding online is the quickest and easiest way to comment. Alternatively, you can also respond by completing a comment form, available from our new temporary reception at 1-2 Seven Arches Road, Brentwood, or downloaded from our website, and returned to us.
- Email us at: email@example.com
- or write to us at: Planning Policy Team, Brentwood Borough Council, Town Hall, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 8AY.
- Hard copies of the document are available to view during normal opening hours at 1-2 Seven Arches Road, or local libraries (Brentwood, Shenfield and Ingatestone).
- Should you wish to obtain a copy of this plan in an alternative format please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01277 312500.
- Please be aware that all representations made in response to this consultation will be published on our website for everyone to view, regardless of whether comments are submitted by post, email or online. This is to ensure the plan-making process is transparent and all issues are fully considered.
 Planning Practice Guidance Paragraph: 003 Reference ID: 12-003-20140306 - There is considerable flexibility open to local planning authorities in how they carry out the initial stages of plan production, provided they comply with the specific requirements in regulation 18 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, ('the Local Plan Regulations') on consultation, and with the commitments in their Statement of Community Involvement.
 Under the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004, SA must be undertaken for all Development Plan Documents (DPDs). The basis for Strategic Environmental Assessment legislation is European Directive 2001/42/EC, which was transposed into English law by the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004, or SEA Regulations.