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Housing figures need revisiting to meet growth ambitions

27 February 2019

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Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority plans to establish ambitious housing targets to 2050 that will capture the true housing needs of the local area, stating that current figures fail to fully take into consideration local plans for growth. 

A new housing assessment is being commissioned to look at higher growth scenarios for our local area, and the impact that this economic growth will have on housing needs. It will look at the positive impact the Combined Authority's ambitious plans will have on the growth of the local economy and the associated housing required to ensure that this growth potential is fulfilled. 

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER) stated that it could be necessary to build between 6,000 and 8,000 houses each year for the next 20 years to meet the needs of the local area. However, the report also acknowledged that other factors also needed to be considered as a purely employment growth-driven housing model may overstate the case. 

The Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough, James Palmer, said: 

"We have ambitious plans for growth that we are committed to achieving, and we understand the vital role the delivery of housing plays to support this growth. 

"However, the housing figures we are currently working with do not take into consideration all of the work we are undertaking to faster growth - from railway and road improvements to skills development and investment in innovation - and therefore do not reflect the true potential for our local area. It is critical that we update these figures to provide us, and our partners, with the true number of houses that are needed to support growth both now and in the future. 

"These new housing figures will be used to form a central part of our Non-Statutory Strategic Spatial Framework, Local Transport Plan and other strategies, so it is  imperative we undertake a rigorous appraisal now." 

The housing assessment will support the second phase of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Non-Statutory Strategic Spatial Framework (NSSF), the scope and timetable for which is being considered by the Combined Authority Board at their meeting next week (27th February 2019). The Framework will bring together the growth ambitions of the area, aligning essential infrastructure, inclusive housing and jobs growth. 

The second phase of this work will set out the area's ambitions for sustainable growth up to 2050, with a specific focus on jobs, housing, infrastructure needs and inclusive growth. 

It will also respond to a number of challenges laid out in by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Independent Economic Review (CPIER). These were to adopt a blended spatial strategy, which maximises the potential of all of our towns and cities, urban expansions and transport corridors that work together to support growth, and to carry out a review of housing requirements based on the potential for higher levels of employment growth. 

At the moment, Local Plans only loo as far forward as the end to mid-2030's, meaning this plan will provide a much longer-term plan for growth that the area can work together to achieve. 

You can find out more about Phase One of the NSSF here.