Bucks Local Plan 2025 Housing Targets

We are preparing a new local plan for the whole of Buckinghamshire.  Our current thinking is that the plan will cover the period from 2022 – 2040.

We have been unable to progress this as quickly as we might have wished because we have been waiting for the Government to confirm its proposals for the reform of the planning system in England.  Following the Queen’s Speech to Parliament earlier this month, however, we now have more clarity about the direction of travel of these reforms.  These include the publication of new draft legislation in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill.

In relation to the ‘standard method’ that the Government has devised for calculating the number of homes needed in local areas, it has said that the changes in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill will require a new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) for England.  The Government has also commented that it continues to listen to the representations of MPs, councillors and others on the effectiveness not only of the formula used in the ‘standard method’ but the surrounding policies and that, alongside the Committee stage of the Bill, it intends to publish an NPPF prospectus setting out further thinking on the direction of such policies.

It’s perhaps worth pointing out that the current ‘standard method’ for assessing local housing need provides a minimum starting point in determining the number of homes needed in an area.  It is not the same as the housing requirement or target, which is a local plan’s response to the number of homes needed, taking into account environmental and spatial policy constraints such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Green Belt, any growth aspirations, and the amount of land that is suitable and available for housebuilding.


Kind regards

Steve Bowles, Councillor for Wendover, Halton & Stoke Mandeville and Cabinet Member for Communities, Buckinghamshire Council

Also on behalf of Cllrs

Peter Strachan and Richard Newcombe