Local Development Framework - Liverpool City Region Overview Study
A report by the Interim Director of Corporate Services informed Members of the main findings of the Housing and Economic Development Evidence Base Overview Study for the Wider Liverpool City Region (“the Overview Study”), produced by GVA on behalf of the Councils of Sefton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, West Lancashire and Wirral. The Overview Study examined whether a sufficient, appropriate and deliverable supply of land was available to meet housing and employment requirements across the study area. It also assessed the extent to which any excess supply in one or more local authority area(s) could be used to meet the needs of neighbouring or other local authorities, as part of the need to consider cross-boundary interactions in the preparation of the Core Strategy for Wirral. Once endorsed, the study would form part of the evidence base for the Local Development Framework for Wirral.
In terms of housing, results indicated that potential supply and demand, across the study area as a whole, was likely to be relatively balanced over the period from 2010 to 2031, although the more local position differed within individual authorities. Wirral, Liverpool and Halton demonstrated sufficient capacity to meet likely future housing requirements, while Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens and West Lancashire faced a position of potential undersupply of housing land beyond 2020. The potential for authorities in a position of oversupply (including Wirral) to absorb the potential shortfalls within other authorities was, however, considered to be limited by recent patterns of migration, the localised nature of the majority of household moves and the pattern and extent of local housing needs. The Study, nevertheless, noted the ability of planning policies and regeneration initiatives to influence future housing market relationships and highlighted the potential for city centre and waterfront developments in Liverpool and Wirral to absorb some of the younger, more ‘mobile’ households generated within surrounding authorities.
In terms of employment land, sufficient supply was identified in the short-term to accommodate employment growth across the core area, with potential shortfalls expected to emerge in Halton, Knowsley, West Lancashire and Cheshire West and Chester over the medium to longer-term. These conclusions were based on the assumption that the current employment land supply within each of the local authorities would be protected and maintained.
The Overview Study recommended that each local authority continued to monitor the supply/requirement position and that authorities facing a potential undersupply should closely examine the extent of additional land that may be required. With regard to housing this could include consideration of the potential release of Green Belt but this should only be undertaken where needs could not otherwise be met by alternative means and in accordance with prevailing national planning policy.
(1) it be recommended to the Council that the findings the Housing and Economic Development Evidence Base Overview Study for the Wider Liverpool City Region are used to inform the content of the emerging Local Development Framework for Wirral and are adopted as a material planning consideration in the determination of individual planning applications; and
(2) the Housing and Economic Development Evidence Base Overview Study for the Wider Liverpool City Region Main Report and Technical Reference Report, attached to the report, be published for comment alongside the Draft Core Strategy for Wirral.