This week, Carter Jonas launched its Live Local Plan Monitor as an interactive online platform, which analyses adopted and emerging local plans, consultations and housing land supply. We then interpret this information to identify key opportunities for housing and commercial development, to assist our clients in their decision-making.
This is particularly important now given government proposals for significant, wide-reaching reform of the planning system. Regardless of this, the existing framework can be challenging to navigate.
It is our aim that our Live Local Plan Monitor will cut through the noise and provide our clients with a consistent, up-to-date and easy-to-understand view of current and evolving development opportunities within a given administrative area.
The need for a clear understanding of land’s development potential at the early stages of the plan-making process is emphasised in the government’s recent white paper ‘Planning for the future’. If enacted, this will see most of the consultation on emerging development opportunities ‘front-loaded’ through the local plan-making stage, with less emphasis on the planning application stages. This will mean that early engagement in plan-making could become even more critical, and knowing when to ‘strike’ will provide our clients with an advantage.
In the near term, the government is also proposing changes to the standard methodology – the adopted method for assessing a local planning authority’s housing need. If introduced, it will increase the new housing requirement for several local planning authorities, providing further opportunities for development proposals to be brought forward, while councils work to update their local development plans.
With the potential for such a significant amount of change to the planning system on the horizon, it is essential that our clients benefit from the very latest information on planning policy at the touch of a button. Initially, the Live Local Plan Monitor focuses on the south and west, but the whole of England will be covered imminently.
James Cordery is associate partner at Carter Jonas