The Government has launched a consultation on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc which is aimed to inform their approach and vision to the future of the Arc. The consultation will run for 12 weeks from 20th July to 12th October 2021.
The Spatial Framework, which will be produced over the next two years, will set out the master vision for the Arc and will have the same weight in planning terms as the National Planning Policy Framework. This means that all of the Local Planning Authorities within the Arc will have to comply with this document when drawing up their own individual local planning policy.
The consultation covers the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire and is the first of three consultations. Whilst the final Spatial Framework will not make site allocations, it will recommend areas for growth and will guide the Local Plans and investment decisions through to 2050.
The Government believes that the Spatial Framework will allow them to plan for growth in a way that:
environment and beautiful places; and
In addition, the Government has announced a new expert panel to advise on sustainable economic and housing growth in the Arc. The panel’s primary area of focus is between Bedford and Cambridge where the Government is examining opportunities to bring forward well designed, inclusive and sustainable places.
It is important to make your voice heard in the preparation of the Spatial Framework, as it will guide many planning decisions over the next 20 years, even with changes in central and local Government. Please click here to have your say on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc. The link will take you to the online platform with set consultation questions.
If you require more information on the Oxford to Cambridge Arc, please visit the Government website here. If you would like to speak to one of our Rural Property & Business experts about the Oxford to Cambridge Arc and potential impacts it could have on your land, please call 01234 352201 and ask to speak to Andrew Jenkinson or Polly Sewell.
In March 2020 as part of the Budget, the Government committed to the preparation of a Spatial Framework for the Oxford to Cambridge Arc to guide the direction of development in this recognised growth corridor. The proposed framework looks to focus on strategic opportunities for growth, improved connectivity including the East West Rail project and bettering the environment by working across local administrative boundaries and supporting more sustainable growth at a local level.
A Policy Paper was published on 18th February 2021 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government called ‘Planning for sustainable growth in the Oxford to Cambridge Arc: an introduction to the spatial framework’ and this sets out the Government’s approach and what it will mean for growth, spatial planning and infrastructure within the Arc.
In addition, the Paper sets out how the Government will work with communities to develop the Spatial Framework and provides an indicative timeline on how it will be developed, starting with the developing of a vision for the future of the Arc through a consultation in summer 2021.
Options shall then be formed on how these visions will be developed into policy with a consultation on these held in spring 2022. Following this, a consultation is anticipated in autumn 2022.
Once the Spatial Framework is adopted in late 2022 / early 2023, it will have the status of National Policy and be a material consideration for proposals across the five counties (Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire) within the Arc.
Growth on this scale is likely to have far reaching consequences for many property owners in the area and we will continue to monitor the progress of the proposals and provide further updates as more details emerge.
For more information or to find out how our Planning & Development team can help you, please call Andrew, Abel or Shannon.