There is a significant, and increasing, shortage of new housing in the south and east of England. To address this growing housing need, the Government, through the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), requires local Councils to plan positively, and seek new opportunities for development.
To achieve this, local Councils are required to have an up-to-date Local Plan which has been informed by a series of studies and an extensive evidence base. As part of the Local Plan process, it is necessary for Councils to objectively identify and sustainably address local housing requirements.
Brentwood Borough Council is currently preparing its Local Plan, which will then be submitted to an independent inspector who will examine whether the plan has been prepared correctly. Once this process in completed the council will adopt the plan, which is expected to happen towards the end of 2019. As part of this process, the council will need to ensure that they make the best possible use of previously developed land, by maximising development in sustainable brownfield locations. This helps to protect other greenfield sites.
Councils are also required to maintain a five-year housing land supply, a supply of specific deliverable sites to provide five years’ worth of housing against the council's housing requirements. If the council are unable to demonstrate this there is a risk of speculative applications on unallocated sites.
Ensuring that sustainable sites which have been considered as suitable, and allocated for development, are brought forward quickly helps to support the Council’s five-year housing supply, and protect against speculative development.