Budget day – Build-Out review; CPO consultation & more

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A number of consultations and responses to consultations accompanied the Budget, and of course, the Letwin Build-Out Review.  (We won’t summarise the housing measures introduced by the Chancellor – they’ve been widely covered and can be read here:   https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46024789 )

Here are the papers and consultations which have relevance to north Essex garden communities:

Build-Out Review…all about diversity

Sir Oliver Letwin has been looking specifically at the build out rates of large sites and how to speed up delivery.  His main conclusion is that diversity of tenures (house size and type, rented, to buy, affordable) allows faster build-out rate.   His recommendations aim to enshrine diversity in planning rules for sites over 1,500 homes.

He concludes that the Government should:

° adopt a new set of planning rules specifically designed to apply to all future large sites (initially those over 1,500 units) in areas of high housing demand, requiring those developing such sites to provide a diversity of offerings, in line with diversificationprinciples in a new planning policy document; and
° establish a National Expert Committee to advise local authorities on the interpretationof diversity requirements for large sites and to arbitrate where the diversityrequirements cause an appeal as a result of disagreement between the local authority and the developer.

His recommendations are here:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/independent-review-of-build-out-final-report.

Government will  respond in the new year.

Developer Contributions

CAUSE has long argued that the north Essex councils should collect Community Infrastructure Levy in addition to section 106 contributions.   There is an opportunity to collect £10-20k per new home and it beggars belief that neither Tendring, Braintree or Colchester do collect CIL.    Government is moving in the right direction with attempts to encourage and simplify the collection of developer contributions.

Here it sets out its response to supporting housing delivery through developer contributions, with a summary of consultation responses and the Government’s view on the way forward.




Compulsory Purchase Powers consultation

From  page 33, New town development corporations: Draft compulsory purchase guidance

“Current guidance does not cover the compulsory purchase powers of new town development corporations. This creates potential uncertainty about how decisions on whether to approve compulsory purchase orders will be taken by the confirming Minister, which may lead to delays and deter local authorities who maywish to promote a locally led new town. Addressing this in the guidance will provide additional clarity for all stakeholders, including promoters, investors, infrastructure providers, landowners and local communities. The government response to the December 2017 consultation stated that we would “prepare new guidance on the use of new town development corporations‘ compulsory purchase powers.”
Nothing strikingly new to be worried about with relation to the North Essex Garden Communities.   There are no proposals to allocate new CPO powers or to allow them to purchase land at existing use value.   This is really just an alignment of current guidance with new development corporation legislation.    CAUSE will respond.
Consultation here:  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/752222/Planning_reform_-_supporting_the_high_street_and_increasing_the_delivery_of_new_homes.pdf


The consultation also contains proposals which will make it easier to convert commercial buildings to homes – targeting the high street to increase the delivery of new homes.  Once again, the opportunity afforded by rural and farm buildings is neglected.


Don’t forget the OAN consultation announced last week:

OAN consultation

Government will do whatever it takes to achieve a target of 300k homes per annum, even though the underlying household formation rates show a reduction from 210k per annum to 159k per annum.   Here’s the consultation:



And finally, although not specifically relevant to north Essex, of interest generally:

Oxford-Cambridge Arc

Government’s response to the ‘Arc’ study has been published:


Interesting to see all the infrastructure funding promised.   Here in north Essex we have three new towns proposed and no infrastructure investment….


Private-Shared Homeownership consultation

Seeking proposals from private investors, delivery organisations or partnerships between them to provide new routes into affordable homeownership.  This consultation closes at