National property consultancy, CBRE, is making investors and developers aware of the commencement of a review of the Swindon Local Plan – a key Council plan aimed at delivering sustainable development across the Borough.
Upon adoption of the current Local Plan in 2015, the Inspector requested an early review of the plan in order to meet the higher demand for new housing and employment floorspace. The Council has now commenced the first stage of its consultation process, an Issues and Options paper, which seeks comments until 19 December 2017. The review will help formulate the economic future of the Swindon area as it will help identify the key issues facing the Borough and identify broad areas for housing and employment growth up to 2036.
The Issues and Options Paper does not refer to the development potential of specific plots of land, but it poses a number of strategic questions relating to the challenges facing Wiltshire and Swindon. These include the targets for new house building, the amount of new offices and industrial space required, the role of town centres, infrastructure, and the environment.
Phil Marsden, Associate Director in the Planning team at CBRE Bristol, said “This consultation is the first stage in the review of the adopted Local Plan. It is essential that land owners, investors, developers and the public engage in this process, so future development in Swindon meets their requirements and objectives, as the document will influence development in Swindon for the next 20 years.”
Phil Marsden, Associate Director in the Planning team at CBRE Bristol
He continued, “With the Government’s recent policy objectives focusing on increased housing delivery and economic robustness following the Brexit vote, it’s vital that stakeholders review their property portfolios and use this consultation to optimise their assets.”
Alongside the Issues and Options consultation, the Council has commenced a Call for Sites consultation asking landowners with sites of 0.15 hectares (or accommodating at least 500 sq. m. of commercial floorspace, or 5 dwellings) to submit details of sites which could accommodate housing or employment space. Phil advised that where submissions to the Call for Sites are made, they should be sufficiently informed to enable the local planning authority to consider their deliverability as the Council gathers evidence for its Strategic Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA).
A strong housing land supply is critical in helping affordability in the area. James Graham, Development Director at CBRE, Bristol added: “Recent price increases in Swindon have made buying a house more expensive than ever. Identifying new locations for future housing development is the first step in easing housing affordability and helping people onto the housing ladder.”
The consultation periods end on 19 December 2017.