NEW GROWTH POINTS GUIDANCE AND CRITERIA
Guidance for New Growth Points
What is being announced?
- Funding and support for local communities who wish to pursue large scale and sustainable growth, including new housing, through the New Growth Points initiative.
How will this work?
- Through the New Growth Points initiative the Government will respond positively to local partners who are keen to pursue sustainable growth.
- We are today publishing criteria to help local partners develop good quality growth proposals. These are available on the ODPM website.
- In the current spending review period (i.e. up to 2007/8) we are offering capital funding of £40m for a first round of site infrastructure projects. This money will be provided to help new growth points overcome local infrastructure problems, unlock sites for new housing and improve the environment.
- We are issuing bidding guidelines for this capital fund to interested local partnerships. Local partners will have until 31st March 2006 to come forward with their longer term growth proposals and their bids for capital projects
Who will benefit?
- Prospective homeowners and local communities who want more sustainable growth.
- We have had exploratory discussions with a number of interested local partners and we are keen to hear from other partners, outside the existing growth areas, who are interested in becoming a New Growth Point.
- This additional growth may occur not just in London and the south east but also in the east, the south west, and the east and west midlands. Concentrating additional growth within designated growth points will help protect the environment from inappropriate development and it will reduce pressure on Greenfield land wherever possible.
What's the background?
- The Government’s preferred approach is to deliver additional homes in sustainable growth points, where local partners put forward well defined proposals based on urban renewal, and where this will strengthen their economic potential and promote regeneration. The growth is likely to be delivered through town centre redevelopment or densification, through the use of brownfield land and through sustainable urban extensions.
- A number of local partnerships have already held preliminary discussions with Government on their future growth proposals. We are inviting proposals from these and other interested local partnerships.
- Proposals will need to have a good rationale and they will need to be compatible with existing or emerging Regional Spatial Strategies and normal statutory planning procedures.
- Proposals will need to demonstrate that the growth can be achieved sustainably - without major environmental impacts - and that it is realistic in terms of supporting infrastructure, for example on transport. Government is today publishing criteria to help local partners develop proposals that contribute to the Sustainable Communities agenda and cross-Government objectives.
- Approximately £40m is being made available to support an initial round of capital pilot projects in these areas in 2007/8. This money will be provided to help new growth points overcome local infrastructure problems, unlock sites for new housing and improve the environment. We are issuing bidding guidelines for this capital fund to interested local partnerships and are asking for bids by end March 2006 with a final decision in July.
- Longer term proposals for growth in new growth points will be considered as part of the ODPM growth programme in the light of resources available from the next Spending Review.
Criteria for New Growth Points
- Proposals for New Growth Points are invited from areas where there is a good case for accelerated, additional economic and housing growth, and where this can be shown to relieve pressure on high demand areas and tackle affordability issues.
- Proposals and their rationale should be developed at least to the level needed for inclusion in the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) process and will be subject to the usual statutory planning processes. They therefore should be compatible with the underlying principles of the relevant current or proposed RSS in terms of growth strategy and capacity, but they should also commit to longer term sustainable growth.
- Proposals will need to offer at least 20% housing growth above the pre-Sustainable Communities Plan baseline (i.e. the level in relevant RPG guidance - or equivalent - at January 2003), with overall housing growth of at least 500 homes per year. Proposals should be primarily focused on urban areas, although under certain circumstances rural areas bordering an urban area could link in with a proposal from that area.
- Proposals will need to demonstrate that the schemes in this bidding round and the longer term plans for sustainable growth could be achieved without major negative environmental, social and economic impacts. They should have a good rationale in terms of the wider objectives for sustainable growth.
- Proposals will need to set out their local and strategic impacts on the environment (for example regarding water supply, flooding and sewerage) and they should be realistic about the need for additional investment.
- Proposals will need to set out their impact on the transport networks in the area, both strategic and local, and they should be realistic about the need for additional investment, particularly in the context of the transport resources likely to be available in the context of regional funding allocations. (Please note that any bids for transport related projects from District Councils would need to be supported by the relevant County Council).
- Proposals should make a good contribution to the wider sustainability objectives set out in Homes for All and the Sustainable Communities Plan, for example in encouraging high quality design and environmental enhancement.
- Proposals should demonstrate potential to contribute positively to cross-Government priorities, for example on regional economic performance and on innovation and efficiency on urban transport.
- Where possible, proposals should demonstrate synergy with other public sector programmes and should also seek to lever in private sector contributions.
Published: 5 December 2005