Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan - Preferred Approach Consultation (January 2023)

Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan: Preferred Approach

Chapter Two: Background

2.1 Broxtowe Borough, Gedling Borough, Nottingham City and Rushcliffe Borough Councils form part of the Nottingham Core Housing Market Area (HMA). The HMA also includes Erewash Borough Council. The Hucknall part of Ashfield District, whilst functionally part of Greater Nottingham, is part of the Nottingham Outer HMA (along with Mansfield and Newark and Sherwood District Councils).

2.2 These authorities, together with the County Councils of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, form the Greater Nottingham Planning Partnership. The Joint Planning Advisory Board (JPAB), established in 2008 and made up of Councillors from each authority, is an advisory body which oversees the preparation of strategic plans in the Greater Nottingham area.

Figure 1: Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Area

Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Area

2.3 With the exception of Ashfield District Council, strategic policies for the Greater Nottingham area are currently set out in the adopted Core Strategies:

  • Erewash Core Strategy - March 2014
  • Aligned Core Strategies (Broxtowe Borough, Gedling Borough and Nottingham City Councils) - September 2014
  • Rushcliffe Core Strategy - December 2014

2.4 The policy framework within the Core Strategies is consistent, is based on a common evidence base, and collectively they met the full objectively-assessed need for housing and other development identified at the time of their preparation, and they cover the same plan period. Together, they provide a consistent and coherent strategic spatial planning framework for the Nottingham Core HMA.

2.5 JPAB agreed to the principle of reviewing the Core Strategies in December 2017 and this Preferred Approach consultation is being undertaken as part of the review of the Aligned Core Strategies and the Rushcliffe Core Strategy.

2.6 Erewash Borough Council is undertaking a separate Core Strategy Review and a Publication Version (Regulation 19) consultation took place in March 2022.

2.7 Ashfield District Council is producing a separate Local Plan and consulted on a Draft Local Plan (Regulation 18) in October 2021.

Progress with the Strategic Plan

2.8 In July 2020 and February 2021, Broxtowe Borough, Gedling Borough, Nottingham City and Rushcliffe Borough Councils consulted on the Greater Nottingham Strategic Plan Growth Options document. This was a Regulation 18 consultation which requires that various bodies and stakeholders be notified that the Councils are preparing a plan and invites them to comment about what that plan ought to contain.

2.9 The consultation document asked a series of questions on topics including housing growth, employment growth and economic development, climate change and carbon neutrality, Green Belt, city and town centres, the natural environment, urban design, the historic environment, safe and healthy communities and infrastructure provision. The document also asked questions regarding potential broad areas for growth and sites, as identified in the Growth Options Study. This Study, undertaken by the consultants AECOM, reviewed options for strategic growth and assessed the suitability of existing settlements to accommodate strategic growth.

2.10 A Report of Consultation Responses was published in February 2022 which summarised the consultation responses received. The Councils' response to the consultation comments, for matters relating to this Preferred Approach consultation, is included in the Preferred Approach: Response to the Growth Options Consultation (December 2022). For matters not relating to this consultation, responses will be provided as part of the Publication Draft of the Strategic Plan.

2.11 The Councils have been updating the evidence to support the preparation of the Strategic Plan.

2.12 An important first stage was the preparation of evidence to confirm that the geographic basis of the Joint Planning Advisory Board remains appropriate in light of up-to-date evidence. The Nottingham Core Housing Market Area Boundary Study was published in 2018. This confirmed that the boundaries for strategic planning remain appropriate and the review is therefore based on a sound geography.

2.13 The main documents forming the evidence base are set out below:

Document Title


Publication Date

Nottingham Core Housing Market Area Boundary Study

Opinion Research Services

August, 2018

Review of the Councils' Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAAs)


July, 2019

Greater Nottingham Growth Options Study


July, 2020

Greater Nottingham Growth Options Study: Additional Landscape Assessment (2022)

Brindle & Green Landscape Consultants

November, 2022

Greater Nottingham & Ashfield Housing Needs Assessment

Iceni Projects

October, 2020

Joint Methodology Report for Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments

Greater Nottingham Authorities

October, 2022

Nottingham Core HMA and Nottingham Outer HMA Employment Land Needs Study


May, 2021

Greater Nottingham and Ashfield District Council Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment

RRR Consultancy Ltd

March, 2021

Greater Nottingham Blue and Green Infrastructure Strategy

Greater Nottingham Authorities

January, 2022

Green Belt Review

Greater Nottingham Authorities

December, 2022

Greater Nottingham & Ashfield Housing Needs Assessment First Homes Update

Iceni Projects

September, 2022

Nottinghamshire Core & Outer HMA Logistics Study

Iceni Projects

July, 2022

Infrastructure Delivery Plan: Baseline Assessment

Greater Nottingham Authorities

December, 2022

Sustainability Appraisal

Greater Nottingham Authorities

December, 2022

Strategic Transport Modelling



Retail Study



Infrastructure Delivery Plan (Full Report)



Viability Study



Habitats Regulation Assessment



Strategic Flood Risk Assessment



Greater Nottingham Scoping Watercycle Study



2.14 The following documents have also been prepared to support this consultation:

  • Site Selection Report, December 2022
  • Assessment of Housing Need and Capacity in Nottingham City, December 2022
  • Housing Background Paper, December 2022
  • Employment Background Paper, December 2022
  • Green Belt Background Paper, December 2022
  • Report of Consultation Responses: Growth Options, December 2022
  • Preferred Approach Response to the Growth Options Consultation, December 2022
  • Habitats Regulations Assessment Review Paper, December 2022

National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)

2.15 Paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that plans should apply a presumption in favour of sustainable development. For plan-making this means that strategic policies should, as a minimum, provide for objectively assessed needs for housing and other uses, as well as any needs that cannot be met within neighbouring areas, unless the application of policies in the NPPF that protect areas or assets of particular importance provides a strong reason for restricting the overall scale, type or distribution of development in the plan area, or any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in the NPPF taken as a whole.

2.16 Paragraph 20 states that strategic policies should set out an overall strategy for the pattern, scale and design quality of places, and make sufficient provision for:

  1. housing (including affordable housing), employment, retail, leisure and other commercial development;
  2. 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);
  3. community facilities (such as health, education and cultural infrastructure); and
  4. conservation and enhancement of the natural, built and historic environment, including landscapes and green infrastructure, and planning measures to address climate change mitigation and adaptation.

2.17 The Strategic Plan will ultimately cover all of the matters stated above. However, as described in Chapter One, this consultation focuses on housing and employment.