West Northants to follow in the footsteps of the Oxfordshire Growth Deal

In September, we blogged about the recent deal agreed between the Government and Local Authorities in Oxfordshire permitting a temporary change in the application of paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2018) and the provision of over £200 million for affordable housing and infrastructure provision.

A similar deal is now being considered by Councils in West Northamptonshire (Daventry District Council, Northampton Borough Council and South Northamptonshire Council). A report published by South Northamptonshire Council notes that initial discussions between the Councils and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have identified the following as potential elements for the Growth Deal:

• A local requirement to maintain a three year Housing Land Supply;

  • • A local variation to the Planning Delivery Test which would allow a higher threshold of housing delivery against local need;
  • • An extension of the requirement to have a 5 year review of strategic plans, which would mean the effective life of the Joint Core Strategy would be extended beyond its current end point;
  • • An agreement that the emerging Growth Deal will definitely meet the Duty to Cooperate;
  • • An agreement of a timetable for delivery and milestones, including the delivery of a new joint core strategic plan.
  • In addition, the Growth Deal negotiation would also include £75 million in funding towards affordable housing and infrastructure.

The report highlights that the Growth Deal would be similar to the one already signed in Oxfordshire as well as those currently being negotiated in North Northamptonshire and other areas of the Oxford – Cambridge Growth Corridor, indicating the growing significance of allocating sites for development through local development plans within the corridor.

Author: Robbie Blake

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