This local plan identifies enough sustainable sites and locations within and on the edge of existing settlements to meet current needs. Consequently, no new settlement is proposed for allocation in this Local Plan. However, with sustainable options for settlement extensions diminishing, the authorities are convinced that one or more new settlements will be required in the longer term, particularly if housing needs rise as signalled by government.
Ensuring a new settlement and its supporting infrastructure is properly planned, designed and resourced takes time. Site promoters also need the confidence to invest in evidence and master-planning. The authorities therefore conclude that it is vital to commit in this Local Plan cycle to delivering new settlements in the next plan cycle.
While the intention is to allocate new settlement development through the next plan, delivery will commence prior to the end date of this local plan. Consequently, new settlement development will provide additional flexibility to ensure delivery of current housing targets.
The location and design of any new settlement or settlements for Greater Norwich will need to ensure that they are excellent places to live, built to Garden City principles, and provide housing across all types of need. They will need to be well-connected and deliverable, with sustainable access to a range of jobs and services. They will need to promote our local economic strengths, enhance the environment and promote healthy and active lifestyles.
To achieve all of this, proposals for any new settlement will need to ensure that a significant proportion of any uplift in land value from current use is captured to fund the infrastructure to support the new community. It will be essential that the legal framework for this is agreed with councils at an early stage in the promotion of any new settlement.
Three new settlement sites have been proposed through the GNLP (at Honingham Thorpe, Hethel and Silfield). These will be investigated along with other potential locations in the next plan, taking account of selected criteria. In order to shorten the lead in time for delivery and provide the level of certainty for investment that would allow one or more schemes to be incorporated in the new plan, comprehensive analysis of options will begin in 2021.
The timetable for this work,which provides a broad indication of the authorities’ intentions and may be varied to take account of changes to the planning system, is:
- 2021 developing success criteria, site options assessment including technical consultation;
- 2022 following adoption of the GNLP, public consultation on site options;
- 2022-24 development of new Local Plan incorporating preferred site(s);
- 2026 onwards – delivery.