Tuesday, 12 May 2009

South East Plan update

Thanks to John from Friends of the Earth for this:

Final version of South East Plan was published last Wednesday 6th May. I have not has time to read much of it so this mail is mainly to let you know it's out there, and to share a few highlights ... or whatever the right word is for the opposite of highlights.

The Plan applies for the period 2006 to 2026

See introduction on http://www.go-se.gov.uk/gose/news/816034/

Plan may be downloaded from http://www.gos.gov.uk/gose/planning/regionalPlanning/815640/

Introduction is in Section A
General Policies are in Section B
Policies for our sub-region - 'Western Corridor and Blackwater Valley' are in Section C on page 239.

Sadiq Khan, the Communities Minister, said an increase in single person households, immigration and the ageing population made it essential to increase housing stock in the area.

The housing total for the region has been reduced from 662,500 in the draft to 654,000 but the numbers for our sub-region - 'Western Corridor and Blackwater Valley' - remain at 102,100.

Annual rates for Berkshire authorities (all unchanged since the last draft) are:
Reading 611
Bracknell 639
Wokingham 623
Slough 315
Windsor and Maidenhead 346
West Berkshire 525

Wokingham's total 'includes some 2,500 related to the expansion of Reading.'

The Plan no longer contains a Region-Specific Policy on Strategic Gaps because the Secretary of State thinks that national policy document PP7 Para 24-25 is sufficient.

The Vision is:

A socially and economically strong, healthy and just South East that respects the limits of the global environment. Achieving this will require the active involvement of all individuals to deliver a society where everyone, including the most deprived, benefits from and contributes to a better quality of life. At the same time the impact of current high levels of resource use will be reduced and the quality of the environment will be maintained and enhanced.

Turn the page and the second Objective is for economic growth at 3% p.a. between 2006 and 2006.


Official Sustainability Appraisal says likely situation under the Final South East Plan is:

(selected quotations - all graded 'negative' or 'significant negative' see the whole starting page 96 in document "bSupporting_Document.pdf")

Air Quality and Causes of Climate Change: Increased air pollution from traffic associated with population and household growth, although policies on air quality and others seek to counter these effects. Up to 2.1MT CO2 emissions per year from new homes, plus 1.85MT embodied energy in the homes; plus CO2 from traffic associated with new homes. It would be impossible for the RSS not to have such impacts, given that its remit is to set a context for development (notably of housing) but does not allow it to control the developments’ air pollution and climate change impacts.

Biodiversity: .... However biodiversity is still likely to be affected by land take, increased disturbance, impacts on water levels etc.

Transport : ... Overall, however, provision of 32,700 new dwellings per year plus employment development and associated infrastructure will increase traffic levels and congestion in the region.

Water Resources: The RSS for the South East will lead to increased water use because of its proposal for more housing and employment. It supports water efficiency (although this support could in our view be stronger) and it also supports the provision of water infrastructure. Although per capita water use is likely to decrease, total water use in the region is likely to increase. Both demand management and resource provision are subject to uncertainties, and it is possible that water resources will be a constraint to development within the lifetime of the RSS.


654,00 seems to be an important number - as well the the number of new houses required - don't know if this is a mis-print but Sustainability Appraisal says 'likely situation without the plan':
"Employment in the region would increase by 654,000 jobs to 2026, thus requiring an increase in the labour supply of 654,000 assuming no change in the level of net out-commuting. There would continue to be no discernable reduction in levels of deprivation across the region and this deprivation would remain largely concentrated along the coast and in the larger urban areas."


More later!


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