Planning – in other words thee is no clarity from locally led proposals on where New Settlements to form part of the 1million+ homes will go – they are rewarmed existing or emerging local plan proposals. So who will break the empass?
In an interview with Planning shortly after the September deadline, Malthouse would not be drawn on which authorities had applied. However, Planning can reveal that one of the 14 proposals put forward was the expansion of Milton Keynes to become a city, proposed by the town’s unitary council (see panel). Another authority we contacted, Cherwell District Council, told Malthouse it is “not yet ready to identify specific sites”, while Central Bedfordshire Council said it had not responded. In the interview, Malthouse said the ministry is happy with the reaction and emphasised that the government is keen to pay for the necessary infrastructure. However, he admitted that few, if any, of the new settlements mentioned in the responses are fresh proposals. “Most of them, to be fair, are ones that have been in the ether but need something to unlock them,” he said. According to Malthouse, authorities, in their proposals, were outlining “ambitious” housing growth plans that were dependent on infrastructure funding.