Identifying sustainable patterns of growth.

All local planning authorities have a duty to deliver long term sustainable growth through their Local Plans.  Independent expertise can help uncover the opportunities.

We help local authorities develop strategic spatial options to accommodate their unmet development needs in the short, medium and long-term.

We start by assessing the capacity of the study area to accommodate new development by mapping a wide variety of primary and secondary constraints to development.  We then identify the most and least sustainable locations for development in terms of access to services.  This ‘top down’ analysis is combined with a ‘bottom up’ consideration of potential development sites and factors affecting their deliverability.  All of this information is brought together to develop strategic spatial options and to assess the relative sustainability of each, working in close cooperation with our client at every stage.

This can be done in isolation for a single local authority but often involves several authorities working together to consider the social, economic and environmental issues that operate across administrative boundaries.  Our work is playing an important role in helping local authorities to engage constructively with their neighbours with the goal of accommodating their combined needs and meeting the duty to cooperate.

We are currently working with two consortia of local planning authorities to identify growth options.  Each study is being informed by separate LUC landscape studies.  In addition, independent Green Belt studies carried out by LUC will form key components of the evidence base for the respective Local Plans.

We have also successfully completed work with Mid Sussex District Council to assess the sustainability impacts of requests to accommodate the unmet housing needs of seven neighbouring local authorities.

‘Thank you to you and the team for your hard work on the report – it is certainly as useful as we’d hoped and we have already started to discuss its conclusions and mapping with our neighbours.  The team understood the brief and delivered a report that suited our needs, particularly when taking on board comments and suggestions at draft stage with no fuss.’  Senior Planning Officer, Mid Sussex District Council

For independent support and guidance on strategic planning, please contact Jeremy Owen.