An update on Braintree District Council’s Local Plan status

IMG_1190-300x225.jpgWork continues apace on Braintree District Council’s Local Plan, which will collate all major planning policy for the District into a single document.  The document will set out Braintree’s strategy for future development and growth up to 2033.

This will replace the Core Strategy (2011) and the Local Plan Review (2005). It is expected that a draft of the Local Plan will be open to public consultation for a period of 6 weeks from June/July 2016.

What stage is Braintree at?

Braintree District Council has already undertaken research to create an evidence base from which decisions about the future of Braintree will be explored. The following stages were undertaken as part of this evidence collation:

Call for Sites: This is a technical exercise aimed at identifying potential sites for development. Braintree underwent this process in 2014 and developers, landowners and the general public were encouraged to present their sites for inclusion within the local plan. The submissions have now been visited by relevant officers with much of the necessary studies and research for the sites completed.

Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA): The SHLAA helps to identify future sites for the delivery of housing and land to meet the identified need for housing over the local plan period.  The SHLAA does not allocate land for development itself but acts more as an inventory of sites which are technically available.  Braintree’s SHLAA was updated in December 2015.

The Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA): This collection of data provides a review of Braintree’s current and future housing requirements in terms of tenure and type. As part of this process an Objectively Assessed Housing Study has been undertaken which concludes that Braintree should aim to deliver 845 homes per year to meet its housing need.

 Key points about the consultation document for developers:

  • No new submissions will be considered prior to the publication of the Draft Local Plan.
  • The SHMA suggests Braintree District’s population will increase by 23.3% to 2035. The OAN has identified that the district will need to build 845 new homes per year to meet demand.
  • To meet demand, it seems likely that the Council will look at larger sites which could include urban extensions like Great Notley or new settlements which could follow Garden City designs.
  • The SHLAA identified 3,176 HA of land which has the potential to be used for residential development. The total number of homes this could provide is 54,856, of which: 41,254 are on greenfield sites; 11,559 are on predominantly greenfield sites which include some previously developed land; and 2043 homes could be provided on purely brownfield land.
  • The estimated total number of housing required to 2033 is between 12,000 and 15,200. The SHLAA suggests that Braintree District has sufficient sites available to meet its housing requirements.
  • The SHMA identified a need for a higher proportion of one and two bedroom units.

Next steps:

Potential sites will be explored, evidenced and considered between February and May and a draft of the preferred options will be reviewed by the Council.  There will then follow a 6 week public consultation on the Local Plan which is expected to run from June/ July 2016.

The plan will then be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration. Braintree are aiming for a new adopted Local Plan by September 2017.

How do Plainview Planning add value?

It is important to note that whilst Braintree are collating evidence to prove a five year housing land supply, this is not a maximum, but a minimum figure.

The ability to prove a 5 year housing supply does not preclude new sustainable development, as a number of recent appeals clearly show.

When promoting sites for potential development, the key to success will be to demonstrate that the site constitutes sustainable development and supports the development needs of an area.

We add value by:

  • assessing the credentials of your site in line with emerging local policy and established national policy;
  • coordinating your promotion efforts to make sure that the Council is provided with persuasive documentation about your site;
  • we monitor the status of Local Development Frameworks throughout the country and are well placed to guide you through the administrative and political process;
  • we can provide professional expertise and funding to effectively promote your land and our services can be provided on a joint-venture basis.

If you have land you feel may be suitable for development and would like to explore how best to move forward in achieving planning permissions on site then contact our land promotion team via