A review of the Green Belt around the Oxford – Cambridge Arc will be inevitable in planning for its delivery, according to Savills.
The property consultancy has produced a report on the Arc which says it could deliver one million new homes and 1.1 million new jobs by 2050 if the required new infrastructure is delivered.
Savills has detailed the challenges facing the Arc, which covers 26 district and unitary authorities, four county councils and one combined authority, and says Green Belt constraints in certain places present an additional challenge.
Roger Smith, Savills’ head of planning in Oxford, said: “Re-examining the role of the Green Belt, particularly around Oxford, Cambridge and the southern fringe of the Arc will inevitably be part of the wider spatial planning.
“What’s needed is a coordinated approach across neighbouring districts. A key challenge for the area will be combining the localism embedded in the NPPF with a strategic, joined up vision for the whole corridor.”
The report says delivery of homes needs to rise by 13,000 a year, an increase of 13 per cent. That would mean building at a rate of 3.1 per cent of the corridor’s 2018 stock every year – a level not currently being achieved anywhere in England.
The Arc’s future growth will be concentrated around the centre of the area, largely Milton Keynes and Bedford and, the report suggests, that growth can come at areas which are already growing and which could accommodate higher densities, and around new transport hubs.
Other challenges included the need for further strategic land and the rate at which homes can be sold.
The report is available here.
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