Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Phasing of Development

4.121 There are a number of aspects of development phasing:

  1. Desire for employment land before housing development.
  2. Incremental affordable housing.
  3. Infrastructure required and sought before housing development (for example roads or schools before housing).
  4. Incremental growth (too much too soon and associated assimilation problems for settlements and neighbourhoods).
  5. Brownfield before greenfield land

4.122 The first four issues should not be addressed through policy but through other planning mechanism. Planning can not deliver employment i.e. jobs it can only enable provision of land. An embargo on housing whilst new employment is not generated would only delay housing (and the accommodation and temporary employment that provides) without delivering employment. It is difficult to address the uncertainties of affordable housing funding. A temporary imbalance of tenure mixes on a site due to the economics of its development is currently a symptom of the recession. When normal market factors apply affordable housing provision will become market led and this problem of too much affordable housing too soon should be resolved. Infrastructure requirements for new development is a planning issue but one that should be resolved through local policy (for example Masterplanning or neighbourhood planning) and the development management process. Incremental growth is a legitimate concern however the first means to address it should be clarification of the expected housing trajectory for development for each settlement.

4.123 The NPPF however states that planning policies and decisions should encourage the effective use of land by re-using land that has been previously developed (brownfield land), provided that it is not of high environmental value. The NPPF therefore provides a national policy context in support of a brownfield (PDL) before greenfield phasing policy.