The long process of creating a Local Development Plan for the Borough of Brentwood is reaching its final stages, and has received a boost this week from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
Brentwood Borough Council has been awarded £100,000 from a £9m MHCLG pot to help drive the design and delivery of Dunton Hills Garden Village. In announcing the cash award, Housing Minister Kit Malthouse MP said:
“We have not built enough homes in this country for the last three decades, and we are turning that around as we work towards our target to build 300,000 properties a year by the mid-2020s. This £9m funding boost is giving councils the support and cash injection they need so they can finish planning new developments and get diggers on site.”
Brentwood Borough Council is consulting on its Pre-Submission Local Development Plan now, with submissions needed by 19th March 2019. As the Member of Parliament for Brentwood and Ongar, I have an interest in how the area will develop in the future, but have no jurisdiction over how the Council carries out its planning responsibilities. However, I meet regularly with Brentwood Council’s Leader, Cllr Louise McKinlay, to hear how and where the Borough will develop over the next 15 years to meet local needs.
The Local Plan also includes the policies that will be applied in assessing planning applications during this period. There is often confusion between the demands of the Local Plan, which outlines areas of possible development, and planning applications, which give the detailed plans for the development of a piece of land and require more detailed examination of feasibility, design and the impact on local amenities and infrastructure.
Brentwood’s Local Plan places the delivery of much of the housing needed in the to-be-created Dunton Hills Garden Village. Creating a Garden Village carries significant costs which go beyond the typical remit of local authorities. The £100,000 ear-marked for Brentwood could be used to fund dedicated staff teams, holistic master planning work, and key studies and assessments needed to underpin delivery. Expert advice will also be available from Homes England and cross-Government brokerage to resolve barriers to delivery.
I join the Minister in welcoming the ambition shown by Brentwood Borough Council in their plans for Dunton Hills.