On the 16th April 2019, Oadby and Wigston Borough Council formally adopted its new Local Plan. The new Local Plan is the Council’s key planning document for the period up to 2031, and clearly sets out where development is to take place, how much development is to take place, and what important areas are protected from development.
In terms of built development, between the period 2011 and 2031, the Plan sets out that the Borough area will provide at least 2,960 new homes for its local communities, as well as at least 8 hectares of new employment land for its local businesses to grow into. The Plan also seeks to conserve and enhance areas and buildings that are of much importance to their local communities, for example parks, play areas and sports fields, community centres, countryside areas, heritage assets and conservation areas.
Upon resolving to adopt the new Local Plan and in response to recent media coverage suggesting that the Council’s new Local Plan is based on out of date figures, specifically those relating to housing need and the use of 2014-based household projections, Councillors said that they were confident that this is not the case. It was explained to Councillors that the use of 2014-based household projections is specifically stated by national government as the way in which housing need is calculated and is the way that every other local authority within Leicester and Leicestershire has calculated its housing need.
This approach is set out in the National Planning Practice Guidance which details how all local authorities within England must calculate housing need for their area. It is stated that the first step in calculating minimum local housing need is to ‘set the baseline using national household growth projections (2014-based household projections in England, table 406 unitary authorities and districts in England) for the area of the local authority’ and that the 2014-based household projections ‘provide stability for planning authorities and communities, ensure that historic under-delivery and declining affordability are reflected, and to be consistent with the Government’s objective of significantly boosting the supply of homes’.