4 June 2018
As the UK’s southeast debates the potential ramifications of increased housing numbers, Cumbria faces the uphill battle of housing shortages that could hamstring the region’s economic growth. To address this, several of our planning experts, supported by multi-disciplinary colleagues, hosted a briefing event on 23rd May at the Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery in Carlisle.
Joined by industry stakeholders – from accountants and local agent surveyors to landowners and house developers – our event featured an energetic Q&A session with our planners and a presentation from Matthew Good, Director at WYG, highlighting the economic benefits of increased housing.
Indeed, several local planning authorities across Cumbrian have already recognised those benefits by supporting higher housing numbers than those in the UK Government’s draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
As our team noted, the pressing need for housing stems primarily from the significant economic aspirations across the local area. These include the Nuclear New Build in West Cumbria, new flights at Carlisle Airport, the Borderlands Initiative, BAE Systems expansion, and much more. But unlike the local Cumbrian planning authorities that recognise the link between housing and economic growth, the NPPF doesn’t factor economic growth into the Government’s new methodology for setting housing numbers in local plans.
By the end of the event, our team was able to put several of the local planning issues into historic context, detailing how housing numbers have been derived in the past. The team called on the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership to give strategic support to higher housing growth aspirations as part of its countywide economic development.
Graham Hale, Associate at WYG, said: “Despite the presentation being a very technical one, it was great to see quality questions amongst the non-planning audience, which generated further debate. Given the magnitude of this topic, and how many people it affects, these conversations are just as important to have outside of the planning bubble as within.”
Understanding local aspirations for economic development is key to planning for sufficient homes to support growth. With our team’s breadth of knowledge and experience in dealing with local planning issues, we aim to support developers, land owners, and local authorities in maximising opportunities for housing growth in Cumbria.
Matthew recently provided further insight on the housing challenges facing the region in his thought piece with In Cumbria. You can read his full perspective by heading over here.