Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan - Growth Options Consultation Extension (February 2021)

Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Growth Options (July 2020)

Chapter Nine Infrastructure to Support Growth

Introduction

9.1  This Chapter addresses: whether there are any barriers to future housing or economic development in terms of necessary infrastructure provision, and if so what these are; the infrastructure that will be required to support housing and economic development; whether the Plan should set out the priorities for development-funded infrastructure; and how the timely provision of this can be achieved.

9.2  Paragraph 20 of the NPPF requires that strategic policies should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and quality of development, and make sufficient provision for:

  • '(b) infrastructure for transport, telecommunications, security, waste management, water supply, wastewater, flood risk and coastal change management, and the provision of minerals and energy (including heat)', and,
  • '(c) community facilities (such as health, education and cultural infrastructure)'.

9.3  Part (c) of paragraph 81 of the NPPF states that planning policies should seek to address potential barriers to investment, such as inadequate infrastructure.

9.4  The importance of planning for transport-related infrastructure is emphasised within Chapter 9 of the NPPF ('Promoting Sustainable Transport'). Part (b) of paragraph 102, in particular, states that transport issues should be considered from the earliest stages of plan-making so that 'opportunities from existing or proposed transport infrastructure, and changing transport technology and usage, are realised, for example in relation to the scale, location or density of development that can be accommodated'.

9.5  Paragraph 112 of the NPPF stresses that advanced, high quality and reliable communications infrastructure is essential for economic growth and social well-being. Planning policies should support the expansion of electronic communications networks, including next generation mobile technology (such as 5G) and full fibre broadband connections.

Background

9.6  The planning system has an important role in identifying and co-ordinating the provision of physical and community infrastructure necessary to support future development.

9.7  The Plan will identify the strategically important infrastructure necessary to support the future development of the area and indicate how it will be funded and delivered. It will also need to promote and safeguard community facilities. We are mindful of the role that planning policies can play in improving the health and wellbeing of the population and that health and social care infrastructure should meet future needs.

9.8  This consultation stage therefore allows the Plan to be shaped by infrastructure providers and during the period open for consultation we will be engaging directly with those organisations responsible for local infrastructure.

9.9  Our definition of 'strategic infrastructure' for the purposes of the Plan is quite wide and currently includes:

  • Transport (highways and public transport);
  • Telecommunications;
  • Emergency services and security;
  • Waste management;
  • Water supply and wastewater;
  • Flood prevention measures;
  • Healthcare (local healthcare and hospitals);
  • Education;
  • Culture;
  • Strategic green space; and
  • Energy production.

9.10  It should be noted that we plan for sufficient mineral and waste facilities through specific minerals and waste plans, prepared by the County and City Councils.

Infrastructure to Support Growth

9.11  We wish to work alongside infrastructure providers, service delivery organisations and the D2N2 local economic partnership[1] , to look at our growth options in light of infrastructure deficits and requirements, and opportunities for addressing them, including the potential for bidding for strategic infrastructure funding from Government. Whilst the development of the Growth Options Study has included some liaison with providers where necessary, at this stage, we are not setting out specific infrastructure requirements for each of the growth options.

9.12  This consultation will allow the Greater Nottingham authorities to engage with infrastructure providers to help us assess the quality and capacity of infrastructure, and its ability to accommodate the growth options. Infrastructure will be one factor which helps us select a preferred growth option. When this is selected and where deficiencies in infrastructure are identified as a result, we will need policies to set out how those deficiencies will be addressed.

9.13  We also need to consider the potential for nationally significant infrastructure within our area. The principal infrastructure project which is impacting on our area is the proposed National High Speed 2 (HS2) railway Phase 2b of which includes the provision of a new high speed railway line from Birmingham to Leeds with a hub station to be built at Toton. This project, assuming it proceeds to plan, will not likely be realised until the end of the Plan period. This will have transformational impacts on Toton and the Erewash Valley and we are keen that the project is a catalyst for regeneration and a location for strategic growth[2]. The A52 highway forms a key corridor in the national strategic road network linking the M1 and A1 and will require continued capacity improvements by Highways England, particularly at junctions.

9.14  Our local transport network is critical to ensure people can get to where they need to be across Greater Nottingham. Investing in better facilities for walking and cycling will mean that people are able to travel in more sustainable ways, which will also result in benefits for public health. Supporting greater travel by local bus, tram and rail services will also help manage carbon emissions and lead to better air quality. The Plan, when finalised, should support local transport objectives. The highway authorities for Greater Nottingham[3] will continue to explore how best to manage the flows of vehicular traffic around the Greater Nottingham conurbation, particularly at 'pinch points' such as key junctions and the river crossings. This will assist in identifying the transport infrastructure necessary to deliver the growth proposals in the Plan.

9.15  At the opposite end of the infrastructure spectrum, we need to consider how we can ensure the provision of community and health care facilities, which will help enhance the health and wellbeing of communities. We also need to ensure that appropriate local levels of accessible green space can be provided to help boost health and wellbeing. Green and Blue infrastructure is discussed further in Chapter 3 of this document. In view of changes to national guidance, it will be necessary for plans in future to include clearer policies on developer contributions for education facilities[4].

2. Further information is set out within the East Midlands HS2 Growth Strategy: https://www.emcouncils.gov.uk/write/East_Midlands_HS2_Growth_Strategy_-_September_2017.pdf. [back]
3. The local highways authorities are: Nottingham City Council for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Council for the rest of the County. [back]

Question IN1: Infrastructure to Support Growth

  • Are there any barriers to future housing or economic development in terms of necessary infrastructure provision, and if so what are they?

Development-Funded Infrastructure

9.16  Government recommends that when preparing a plan, strategic policy-making authorities should use available evidence of infrastructure requirements to prepare an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP). It is our intention to prepare an IDP to support the Plan. This will be used to demonstrate the delivery of infrastructure throughout the plan-period. The IDP will perform the following functions:

  • Confirm our understanding of infrastructure requirements to support the development strategy.
  • Identify the sources of funding anticipated to support delivery.
  • Identify anticipated funding needed from developer contributions, and how contributions will be used.
  • Help prioritise developer contributions towards infrastructure investment if there are choices to be made, to help to ensure that development remains viable, and show how authorities intend to deal with any resulting shortfall in funding.

9.17  We will need to ensure that policies setting out contributions expected from development do not undermine delivery of the development proposed by the Plan. A Plan-wide viability assessment will also be undertaken, which will inform the nature of any Section 106 and/or Community Infrastructure Levy contributions from development.

9.18  Government guidance indicates that where plans are including proposals for longer term growth through major urban extensions or new settlements, there may not be certainty, and / or the funding secured for necessary strategic infrastructure at the time when the Plan is produced. We will be expected to demonstrate that there is a realistic prospect that the proposals can be developed within the timescales envisaged.

Question IN2: Priorities for Development-Funded Infrastructure

  • Are there any priorities for development-funded infrastructure that we should set out?

Timely Provision of Infrastructure

9.19  In relation to the provision of infrastructure, we need to be realistic about what can be achieved and when. We need to make sure that the growth options are examined carefully in terms of what infrastructure is required and how it can be funded and brought forward, and make sure that the infrastructure necessary to support the option we select has a good prospect of being delivered at the right time.

9.20  We appreciate that this is a long-term plan and associated infrastructure requirements may not be capable of being identified fully at the outset. Anticipated rates of delivery and infrastructure requirements will therefore need to be kept under review, particularly as policies are updated.

Question IN3: Timely Provision of Infrastructure

  • How can we ensure the timely provision of necessary infrastructure?