The proposed growth strategy in the Plan is not one of the 6 options previously set out in the 2018 Regulation 18 consultation, but an amalgamation of elements from the previous options including focussing growth in the Norwich urban area; promoting the Norwich – Cambridge Hi-Tech corridor; and dispersal to towns and villages to promote vibrant rural communities.
The draft plan sets out a need for around 40,550 homes to 2038 and commits sites for a minimum of 44,340. Of these, it is notable that 82% of the total dwellings proposed comprise existing allocations and commitments leaving sites for an additional 7840 homes to be allocated. Inevitably there are likely to be questions raised about the deliverability of some of these commitments. Some of the 7840 new allocations come from an uplift on existing site allocations and 1200 (15% of new allocations) are to be directed to small cluster villages in South Norfolk and which are not identified in this consultation, making it potentially difficult to comment on the soundness of the overall strategy. A further consultation on these is proposed to commence later in the Spring.
Other issues of note are that the Norwich Policy Area (NPA) no longer features in this plan and going forward it sets out the intention to calculate 5 year housing land supply over the whole of the three districts rather than separating out the NPA and rural area.
Delivery of 33, 000 new jobs is anticipated over the plan period, derived from an analysis of “enhanced growth”. 360 hectares of employment land is allocated to support this. The reasons for the reduction on the 45,000 job figure set out in the 2018 Regulation 18 consultation and how City Deal commitments for additional job creation have been accounted for, is unclear at this stage.
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