Housing and Strategic Planning

South Essex support the idea that investment in infrastructure can support large scale and accelerated housing delivery. Historic delivery rates have been poor in South Essex, with under investment in both infrastructure and employment. South Essex want to support the delivery of new homes, with a strong sense of place and community, through growing existing urban settlements or delivering new ones, including Garden Towns.

Across South Essex, a number of new, mixed use, communities will be required to meet long term needs. South Essex intends to build on its heritage to pioneer the next generation of settlements and create a new concept to sustainable living for South Essex. All proposals for housing, including new settlements will be subject to existing planning controls and local decision making.

The ambition in South Essex is to:

  • Put in place a complete suite of up to date local plans, supported by the South Essex Plan, a strategic plan that establishes the strategic planning ambition, and policies to address sub-regional cumulative impacts that local plans cannot fully address.
  • Completely transform housing delivery in the region – there is a recognised need for, and commitment to, a programme of strategic and tactical interventions that would significantly increase delivery rates.
  • Co-ordinate strategic land-use with strategic transport planning and provide an ambitious framework to achieve net zero and tackle the climate emergency with urgency and strong leadership.
  • Be a pathfinder for the Thames Estuary and set about rapid implementation of the Government’s objectives for this area.
  • Work collaboratively with Homes England, Housing Providers, Developers and Builders (large and small), to deliver a joint plan
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South Essex wants to ensure its housing delivery is a result of strong economic development, new jobs and inclusive growth across the region. This means that the area will invest in its town centres, high streets and new settlements. The ambition is to embed outstanding place making principles in every project so local communities can thrive and see a step change in employment and skills, life chances and health and wellbeing.

Regeneration plans are already underway across the area, for example at Basildon, Brentwood, Grays and Southend, to develop a design blueprint that can be tailored and applied at a local level in towns across South Essex.

Over the past six months, South Essex have been working with Homes England on a joint delivery plan. Together they have identified the requirement for 96,000 homes in just under twenty years which equates to 4,500 homes per annum.

The South Essex Plan is a Joint Strategic Plan that will form part of the statutory planning framework for South Essex.

It will set out an overall strategy for development across the whole area. It will also contain high level policies on topics such as housing, employment and environmental protection. The Plan will form the context in which individual authorities’ Local Plans are prepared.

The Plan has to be prepared in line with national Regulations and will be subject to an Examination in Public by an independent Inspector. It is expected to be formally adopted by the different authorities in 2023.