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Strategic Planning, Regeneration, Garden Communities and Stewardship

Strategic Planning

Partners have reviewed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework as part of the wider planning reforms in the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Act, which became law on 26 October 2023, see news here.  This follows our joint response to the Planning for the Future White Paper and a briefing from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP).

The newly launched Homes England Strategic Plan 2023-28, refocuses on quality, place making and regeneration rather than just housing numbers. Five key objectives include vibrant and successful places and homes people need, supported by a range of Key Performance Indicators.

The Housing Information Hub, developed by Homes England, also signposts local authorities and other housing providers to guidance and tools relating to homebuilding, placemaking and regeneration.

Local plan making is progressing with a number of plans going forward for examination. For the latest position on individual local plans, please see the links below. Housing Need Assessments (HNA) and Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs) continue to form a major part of the wider evidence base to support Local Plans and investment in infrastructure.

Garden Communities

The plans for new garden communities are being developed across Essex including Chelmsford Garden Community, Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, Tendring and Colchester Borders Garden Community and Dunton Hills Garden Village. South Essex Local Authorities (SEC formerly ASELA) continues to develop its blueprint for new homes, jobs and infrastructure through joint working. Further details of their strategic place partnership with Homes England and five pioneering programmes can be found here.

The Building Garden Communities programme is now in its fourth year 2024-25, supported by the Essex / Kent Developers Group and other key sponsors.  To-date, a series of events have been delivered by White Label including:

Building Garden Communities – 4th Conference, 23 April 2024

Building Garden Communities – 3rd Conference, 26 April 2023

Round Table – Building Garden Communities, 27 September 2022

Building Garden Communities – 2nd Conference, 24 May 2022

Round Table – build back beautiful, 22 July 2021

Building Garden Communities – 1st Conference, March 2021

Round Table – impact of the proposed planning reforms, September 2020

Stewardship and Estate Charging

Essex Developers and Kent Developers Group have been sharing best practice on Stewardship and also looking at what kind of model might work best, providing flexibility for differing developments and future conveyancing. This includes looking at a number of Garden Communities as they develop such as (please go to their individual websites for the latest)

Tendering Colchester Borders Garden Community, Essex

South Ashford Garden Community / Chilmington Green, Kent

Otterpool Park, Folkstone, Kent

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town, Essex 

Landgarth Garden Village, Cornwall

Hemel Garden Communities

And sign posting to excellent advice from Homes England’s “Garden Communities Tool Kit” and the TCPA’s: “Emerging Lessons in Long-term Stewardship”.

The group is keen to test different models of stewardship – endowment v charging, look at the best way to engage education and health to establish when and how new facilities should be delivered in garden community schemes. Consider how model / approach can be best embedded in local plans. Determine how flexibility can be introduced for varying developments / requirements. Explore the role of the New Homes Ombudsman regarding potential malpractice in estate management and lessons learnt in forthcoming annual report 2023-24.

A draft Stewardship Charter for Harlow and Gilston Garden Town was live for consultation in 2023 and can be found here.  Results are now being analysed, before going to the HGGT Board in July 2024 and being adopted by the local planning authorities.

Why a rent charge –  sample rent charge deeds from Chilmington Green, Ashford can be found here 

Our Estate Charging & Stewardship Work in Progress report – seeks to capture key areas of work and outcomes to-date.

Key Links For Further Information

What are Garden Communities

New Garden Communities in Essex

Dunton Hills Garden Village

Harlow and Gilston Garden Town

Tendering Colchester Borders Garden Community

North Heybridge Garden Suburb, Maldon

Chelmsford Garden Village

Local Plans

Essex is made up of 15 Local Planning Authorities including City, District, Borough, Unitary and County Councils. The following links will take you to each local authorities planning page for the latest local plan update:

http://www.basildon.gov.uk/localplan

https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/new-local-plan-for-thurrock/thurrock-local-plan

https://www.rochford.gov.uk/planning-and-building/planning-policy/new-local-plan

https://www.castlepoint.gov.uk/planning-policy

http://www.southend.gov.uk/info/200128/planning_and_building/807/southend_new_local_plan

http://www.brentwood.gov.uk/index.php?cid=694

http://www.harlow.gov.uk/planning-policy

https://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy-and-new-local-plan/new-local-plan/

https://www.braintree.gov.uk/info/200230/planning_policy

https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/localplan

https://colchester.jdi-consult.net/localplan/

https://www.uttlesford.gov.uk/new-local-plan

https://www.maldon.gov.uk/homepage/7031/emerging_local_plan

http://www.efdclocalplan.org/

Local housing companies:

https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/thurrock-regeneration-housing/new-high-quality-housing

https://www.semprahomes.co.uk/

Brentwood Development Partnership – Building a future bright with opportunity

more to be added…

Thames Estuary

The Thames Estuary is the UK’s number one growth opportunity. Located in the south-east of England, on the country’s most important waterway, we are in a good place.

The Thames Estuary Growth Board, led by our government-appointed Envoy, Kate Willard, is driving forward an action plan: “The Green Blue”.

This builds on the previous Thames Estuary 2050 Vision

and is informed by the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan

for managing tidal flood risk in the Thames estuary to the end of the century and beyond. It looks at out how the Environment Agency will protect 1.25 million people and £200 billion worth of property from tidal flood risk.

Three phases form part of the 2100 Plan. Currently in Phase 1 until 2035, maintaining and improving current defences, middle phase will see ‘low-scale’ raising of existing tidal defences and final phase to include ‘large-scale’ raising of new and existing tidal defences as well as possible new tidal flood barriers.

Other reports include: Bricks and Water

a plan of action for building homes and managing water in England,  launched in summer 2018.  The report aims to evaluate how water and housing policy is currently being implemented in England, and to set out an ambitious strategic plan for delivering water-efficient homes at volume, that are resilient to flooding.

Updated in June 2023 by their latest report: Managing flood risk and accelerating adaptation in a climate emergency

Current Sub Groups:

  • Garden Communities Essex
    Christopher Downes, Essex CC
  • Strategic Planning - Local Plans
    Richard Hatter, Thurrock BC
  • Head of Housing Growth and Garden Communities
    Jonathan Schifferes, Essex CC
02 Further Information

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03 Latest Strategic Planning, Regeneration, Garden Communities and Stewardship News
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Essex Developers Group sign pledge to unlock growth in the Thames Estuary at Parliamentary Reception

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National Highways awards Balfour Beatty Lower Thames Crossing Roads North of the Thames contract

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Essex Housing Excellence Awards shortlist announced

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