Leicester and Leicestershire Local Investment Plan

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2 Foreword Since 2008 the impact and implications of the downturn in the global economy for the national and sub regional economies are evident. In response, the Coalition Government has set out and begun a challenging programme of measures and actions to transform the country s economy while at the same time significantly reduce public spending. The need to address the impact of the economic downturn and reduce public spending have in turn presented us with a number of challenges here in Leicester and Leicestershire. We are determined to overcome these by delivering effective solutions to revitalise our local economy and communities, while at the same time ensuring we maximise the impact of what limited public sector investment will be available for the foreseeable future. In response, the Leicester and Leicestershire Leadership Board, in conjunction with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and a wide range of local public and private sector partners, has prepared a Local Investment Plan that sets out our focus for investment to support growth in housing and communities and provide the infrastructure to support growth in jobs in the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA). Given the current economic backdrop, our Local Investment Plan is now even more important as a process to determine local investment priorities. By engagement with our District Councils, businesses and communities as partners and stakeholders we are confident that we can make a significant step change in place making by creating new communities and revitalising existing places. We have an ambitious economic vision for our sub region, a vision to inspire businesses, residents and investors in our City, towns and rural areas. By 2020 Leicester and Leicestershire will have a prosperous, enterprising and dynamic economy, characterised by innovative businesses and creative people, attractive places and sustainable communities. We must capitalise on our enormous opportunities, playing to our strengths and overcoming challenges. Given resource constraints we recognise that all our authorities and community and business partners must cooperate to create the added value necessary to achieve this vision. This Local Investment Plan is based upon strong partnership structures, a robust evidence base, a clear strategic vision and an agreed performance framework and rationale for determining priorities, all of which are set out in this plan. We look forward to continuing to work together with our partners, including the HCA, to realise our vision. David Parsons CBE Leader, Leicestershire County Council Veejay Patel Leader, Leicester City Council Page 2 of 43

3 TABLE OF CONTENTS Foreword 2 1. Leicester And Leicestershire Local Investment Plan 4 Vision 4 Purpose of Plan 4 Shaping the Plan 5 Resources 6 Outcomes 6 Taking the LIP Forward 7 2. Governance and Delivery 8 Partnership Structures 8 Delivery 9 3. Challenges And Opportunities 11 Delivering Growth: 12 Employment Land and Premises 12 Housing: 13 Meeting Affordable Housing Needs 13 Improving the Standard and Design of Housing 14 Addressing the Needs of Vulnerable People and Communities 14 Providing Associated Infrastructure 15 Developing Strong and Vibrant City and Town Centres 15 Delivering Mixed, Sustainable Communities 16 Improving Access to Green Space Identifying Place Based And Thematic Public Investment Priorities 18 Prioritising Programmes and Projects for Investment Place Based and Thematic Public Investment Priorities 20 Priority Pipeline Projects for Regional Growth Fund Development Priorities : 21 Developing New Sustainable Communities 21 Regenerating and Improving City and Town Centres, Local Communities and Neighbourhoods 24 Longer Term Development Aspirations Thematic Public Investment Priorities 27 Table 1. Outputs from Place Based Priorities 29 Table 2. Public Subsidy Required for Place Based Priorities 30 Table 3. Outputs from Themed Priorities 31 Table 4. Public Subsidy Required for Themed Priorities 31 Map 1. Priority Place Based Public Investment 32 Appendix 1. HCA Assets & Existing Commitments 33 Appendix 2. Schemes and Possible Funding Sources 36 Page 3 of 43

4 1. LEICESTER AND LEICESTERSHIRE LOCAL INVESTMENT PLAN Introduction 1.1 The Leicester and Leicestershire Leadership Board in conjunction with the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and a wide range of public and private sector partners has prepared a Local Investment Plan (LIP) to support growth in housing and communities and provide the infrastructure to support growth in jobs in the Leicester and Leicestershire Housing Market Area (HMA). 1.2 The Leicester and Leicestershire Local Investment Plan (LIP) provides a strategic framework for prioritising and co ordinating partner investment across the HMA. This will enable local partners to focus their investment in carefully targeted interventions that address local needs, deliver the maximum economic benefit for the HMA, particularly crucial in a period of constrained resources, and help deliver the long term vision for the area. 1.3 The LIP has been developed locally with the full participation of all local authorities in Leicester and Leicestershire. It has taken account of local needs identified across the whole of the HMA. Vision 1.4 The Leadership Board recognises that the HMA s economy faces a number of challenges and is determined to overcome these through a commitment to working together to deliver effective solutions on a HMA wide basis. It has an ambitious economic vision for the HMA: To create a prosperous economy, secure and well paid jobs and a sustainable environment through wealth creation by innovative businesses and a highly skilled workforce, we will make Leicester and Leicestershire destinations of choice for successful businesses by clearly differentiating the sub region, as a place to do business, work and live. 1.5 The vision for Leicester and Leicestershire envisages the transition to a low carbon economy and a new pattern of growth. This will be achieved by reducing the carbon emissions arising from development through new construction standards and renewable energy generation and transport through aligning homes with jobs and services and making the fullest possible use of sustainable modes of transport. 1.6 Underpinning the vision is an economic strategy and performance framework that sets out how the Partnership will deliver its strategic priorities to enable economic growth in the HMA. Purpose of the Plan 1.7 The LIP sets out the principles and priorities for investment to help deliver the HMA s overarching vision for housing, infrastructure to support jobs, and communities. The Plan identifies the strategic context for investment, summarises the evidence base used to target investment to address identified weaknesses and build on our strengths, and outlines the outputs and outcomes that could be achieved. Page 4 of 43

5 1.8 The LIP provides the framework for prioritising and co ordinating partner investment across the HMA in order to help deliver: a) The infrastructure to support the creation of new jobs, b) Secure new housing (including a supply of affordable and supported housing), c) Strong and vibrant city and town centres, d) Support for the creation of mixed and sustainable communities and e) Improved access to green space. 1.9 The LIP sets out its place based and thematic priority activities and illustrates the potential public subsidy requirements for the period 2011 to 2014 that address the key challenges and opportunities facing the HMA. It also sets out the Partnership s longer term development aspirations from 2014 to The plan s scope covers the following: Place based priorities identified across the HMA, targeting investment for housing, regeneration, growth and renewal; Thematic priorities within and beyond place based priority areas; Governance arrangements to enable the plan s implementation; Delivery roles and responsibilities The LIP will not be a fixed plan. It will be a living document, subject to an annual review, with the opportunity to reflect changing circumstances regarding the policy context and public and private sector investment over the coming years. Nevertheless, its strategic framework will provide certainty on which to base detailed investment decisions Detailed information is being assembled on all potential place/theme based projects that fall within the scope of the LIP priorities. This will allow potential individual projects to be matched to available resources through an agreed governance structure. Shaping the Plan 1.14 The LIP has been developed within the context of existing national, sub regional and local strategic and policy frameworks and a robust evidence base, including: The key priorities identified in partners Sustainable Communities Strategies. The findings of the Economic Assessment for Leicester and Leicestershire. The strategic priorities and actions identified in the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Performance Framework for Economic Growth. The spatial priorities in partners adopted and emerging Core Strategy documents. Local Transport Plans 3. The key priorities in other existing strategies and evidence for the economy, housing and neighbourhoods. Previous, current and planned investment The LIP has been informed by consultation with all the local authorities in Leicester and Leicestershire, local businesses and development partners and other including: the Homes Page 5 of 43

6 and Communities Agency, Government Office for the East Midlands, East Midlands Development Agency (emda), health, police, fire service and schools representation During the process of developing the LIP, an Equalities Impact Assessment was undertaken using the approach used by Leicester City Council and supported by expertise within the City Council. The LIP has taken account of the key issues and actions highlighted in the Equalities Impact Assessment The management of risk has also been considered and the HMA partners will work diligently to reduce the risk of unsuccessful delivery. Monitoring and reviewing the progress of the LIP will be undertaken by the LIP Steering Group which comprises of officers from the City Council, the County Council, representative districts, Prospect Leicestershire, EMDA and HCA. Resources 1.18 Public sector resources will be targeted at tackling systemic issues within the HMA s economy to promote ecomomic growth in the future investing in employment land and premises, housing, infrastructure and related community facilities. The Partnership s approach to economic development within the HMA has seen a fundamental shift away from the culture of grants to one of investment and a focus on creating the right environment for economic growth. In the future, public intervention in Leicester and Leicestershire will be much smarter, making effective use of increasingly limited public funds and integrating spend to maximise return on investment in terms of improving the area s economy. The LIP will play a significant role in this by targeting public sector resources on measures that will have the greatest degree of influence and where the impact will be most widely felt to help develop the local economy The LIP is not a stand alone document. It forms part of a wider strategic framework to realise the overall vision for the HMA. It seeks to integrate investment in housing and communities and infrastructure to support growth in jobs with investment from other funding streams such as transportation, education and health The Partnership will be seeking public sector investment from a wide range of sources to implement the LIP, including: Regional Growth Fund Homes and Communities Agency (refer to Appendix 1 for HCA existing assets and commitments) European Structural Funds Local Transport Plans 3 Public assets, where available Local authority funding The place based and thematic priorities and key projects proposed in this plan clearly exceed the scale of public sector investment likely to be available over the plan period. A key challenge for the Partnership, especially in a period of uncertainty concerning public sector finances, will be to maximise the potential of the limited resources that are secured and to attract significant private sector investment. Page 6 of 43

7 Outcomes 1.22 The LIP focuses on helping to address the following outcomes relating to housing, infrastructure to support jobs and communities that have been identified in the Leicester and Leicestershire Strategic Performance Framework for Economic Growth , namely: Securing the availability of suitable employment land and premises; Ensuring there is sufficient housing of the right type, quality and price and in the right locations, including increasing the provision of affordable housing within mixed and sustainable communities; Promoting low carbon and resource efficient physical development; Ensuring housing developments are supported by excellent infrastructure and services; Developing an integrated transport system that provides consistent, reliable and predictable journey times for the movement of people and goods; Improving access to green space for residents in and around Leicester. Creating well designed and attractive City, market towns and urban and rural centres. Taking the LIP Forward 1.23 The following sections of this document set out: The partnership structures and governance arrangements that will guide the delivery of the LIP; The key challenges and opportunities addressed by the LIP; The place based and themed priorities to support growth in homes, jobs and communities across Leicester and Leicestershire, the investment required to support these priorities and the outcomes that could be delivered. Page 7 of 43

8 2. GOVERNANCE AND DELIVERY Partnership Structures 2.1 Partners in Leicester and Leicestershire have demonstrated strong commitment over a number of years to working together across the HMA. In the last three years, there has been an increased sense of common purpose, political leadership, optimism and energy within the HMA. As a result, Leicester and Leicestershire became one of the first areas in the country to sign a Multi Area Agreement (MAA) in January This provided the framework for strong partnership co operation within Leicester and Leicestershire on economic development, with an emphasis on employment, skills and business growth. 2.2 A strong sub regional partnership structure, led by the Leicester and Leicestershire Leadership Board, was established to take forward the MAA (see Chart 1). This has provided joint leadership to integrate activity across a broad economic agenda in Leicester and Leicestershire, which will be critical to achieving sustainable economic growth. Clear arrangements have been established to manage the respective roles, relationships and contributions of Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and the seven District Councils in Leicestershire. There is appropriate representation from local authorities, delivery partners, the private sector and the third sector on all the groups in this structure. Chart 1. Page 8 of 43

9 2.3 A Sub regional Support Unit was established to support the Partnership by overseeing the implementation and performance management of all activity required by the Leadership Board, Co ordination Group and all of the Strategy and Performance Groups, including the delivery of the MAA. It will have responsibility for overseeing the implementation and continual review of the LIP. The Support Unit also ensures there is continued and significant cross agency co ordination and joint working across the wide range of delivery partners shown in Chart 1 that play an important role in achieving the Partnerships strategic objectives. These delivery partners include Prospect Leicestershire Ltd an economic development company established by the City, County and District Councils to deliver economic development and regeneration projects across the HMA. 2.4 In response to an invitation by Government, the Leadership Board in consultation with its partners, including the Leicestershire Business Council, has submitted a proposal for a Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP). Subject to confirmation by Government, the LLEP proposal aims to build on the strong partnership foundations that have been established and provide an opportunity to extend the scope of activity across Leicester and Leicestershire and increase the ability to take local decisions that achieve better outcomes more efficiently. This will include issues such as planning and housing, local transport and infrastructure priorities, employment and enterprise and the transition to the low carbon economy. The LIP will prove valuable to feed into the work of the LLEP and the developing approach of the Partnership will feed into future reviews of the LIP. 2.5 The private sector is actively involved in shaping strategy and making decisions on public funding expenditure associated with the LIP. It plays a significant role at all levels in the current governance arrangements enabling real engagement in developing strategy, coordinating delivery and in decision making. These linkages will be strengthened further under the LLEP proposal, where the Leicestershire Business Council will be represented on each of the proposed partnership groups, including the LLEP Board, Executive Board and Strategy and Monitoring Groups. Delivery 2.6 The delivery of activities identified in the LIP will follow the strategic commission approach being developed by the Partnership to deliver all its economic development and regeneration priorities across the HMA. This approach will provide a better co ordination of delivery and ensure the most cost effective services are put in place to deliver the Partnership s priorities and lead to a greater return on public sector investment. 2.7 The Partnership has already made considerable progress by delivering the first of four stages in the commissioning cycle (analyse, plan, do and review). The outcomes of the analysis stage include the preparation of a comprehensive evidence base in the form of a joint Local Economic Assessment for Leicester and Leicestershire. This has informed the preparation of a draft commissioning strategy, which articulates the Partnership s strategic priorities to be delivered over the next 3 years to facilitate economic growth in the HMA. A key component of the commissioning strategy is a performance framework that outlines the key outcomes and sub outcomes that will be delivered in order to achieve these priorities. These outcomes are based on the evidence in the economic assessment and focus on the economic weaknesses we need to address and the strengths upon which we can build. Page 9 of 43

10 2.8 The key outcomes to be delivered in the HMA, are: A productive economy with innovative and high performing businesses A highly qualified, skilled and motivated workforce in high valued jobs Improved opportunities for vulnerable people and communities A highly sustainable environment with excellent infrastructure. 2.9 The performance framework is supported by three key documents, namely: i) Three year commissioning plans that set out the delivery of priorities relating to business, enterprise, employment, skills and education; ii) The Local Transport Plan 3 (LTP3), which forms the commissioning plan for transportrelated activities; iii) The Leicester and Leicestershire Local Investment Plan that sets out the priorities for investment in infrastructure to support growth in housing, jobs and communities These three key documents will help realise the vision for the sub region and are all are closely inter linked In terms of the LIP, this has been informed by the evidence within the economic assessment and aims to help address both the weaknesses identified through the assessment as well as build on our strengths, in relation to housing, jobs and communities. In terms of the performance framework, the LIP s place based and thematic priorities will focus on addressing two of the Partnership s key outcomes and a number of sub outcomes, including: Improved opportunities for vulnerable people and communities: Increasing the provision of affordable housing within mixed and sustainable communities. A highly sustainable environment with excellent infrastructure: Securing the availability of suitable employment land and premises; Securing the availability of high quality designed houses of all types and tenures; Promoting low carbon and resource efficient physical development; Ensuring housing developments are supported by excellent infrastructure and services; Developing an integrated transport system that provides consistent, reliable and predictable journey times for the movement of people and goods. Improving access to green space for residents in and around Leicester. Creating well designed and attractive City, market towns and urban and rural centres The responsibility for delivering the activities identified in the LIP will be determined through the Partnership s commissioning process. In some cases, responsibility for delivery will fall on partner agencies and local authority departments that are directly commissioned to deliver particular activities and others that will have bid successfully for commissions The Partnership will also work across boundaries with neighbouring areas where common strategic priorities and the co commissioning of activities will deliver mutual economic benefits and efficiencies. The Partnership already has a strong track record of successfully delivering projects and programmes across political boundaries, including the New Growth Point Programme across Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Page 10 of 43

11 3. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES Introduction 3.1 The Economic Assessment for Leicester and Leicestershire published in May 2010 presents an assessment of the economic conditions in Leicester and Leicestershire, highlighting the area s key strengths as well as the key challenges and opportunities. It provides a robust evidence base on which to underpin strategic planning, investment decisions and delivery plans, including the LIP. A copy of the Economic Assessment can be downloaded from online.org/reports/leicester_and_leicestershire_economic_assessment 3.2 The key features of the HMA that can be drawn from the Economic Assessment are: The local economy is punching below its economic weight. A heavy reliance on public sector employment, particularly in Leicester, where one in three jobs is in the public sector. Significant historical under investment in the area s infrastructure and a deficit in funding to address the HMA s current and future infrastructure requirements. A lack of good quality available employment land and premises in the right locations to meet the current and future needs of business, particularly in Leicester. It is projected that there will be a substantial increase in the numbers of older people and the number of households in the HMA in the period to There is a lack of affordable housing and support for vulnerable people and communities in urban and rural areas. The quality of some sectors of the housing market are especially poor in Leicester, Loughborough, Coalville and Melton. There is significant under occupation of housing particularly in more affluent rural areas, which is forecast to increase as the population ages. The City Centre and many town centres are underperforming and require a comprehensive area based approach to their regeneration. 3.3 The HMA faces a number of challenges but these will be addressed by building on the area s strengths, addressing its weaknesses and capitalising on the opportunities that are available. The LIP has been developed within the context of the key strengths, challenges and opportunities within the HMA with respect to housing, jobs and communities. 3.4 The key challenges and opportunities facing the HMA that the LIP seeks to address relate to: Delivering growth in terms of: The provision of employment land and premises; The provision of housing (including new housing, meeting affordable housing needs, improving the standard and design of housing, addressing the needs of vulnerable people and communities); The provision of associated infrastructure. Developing strong and vibrant city and town centres. Delivering mixed and sustainable communities. Improving access to Green Space. Page 11 of 43

12 Delivering Growth 3.5 A key aim is to improve the HMA s economic performance. This will be achieved through creating local distinctiveness and competitive advantage by supporting enterprise, innovation and creativity and delivering a low carbon economy and a new pattern of growth. This will require a commitment to plan for a low carbon economy, where there is a balanced supply of housing, where jobs and homes are aligned, there is a balanced supply of employment land and premises, and where businesses operate in low energy buildings and people can travel to work by sustainable modes of transport. 3.6 The Coalition Government has revoked Regional Spatial Strategies, removing top down targets and giving local planning authorities the freedom to identify and deliver their local housing growth targets. This LIP is based upon local evidence of need and identifies the investment required to meet that need. Employment Land and Premises 3.7 The Leicester and Leicestershire HMA Employment Land Study (PACEC, 2008) identified that the HMA requires an additional 108,000 sq.m. of office space, 180 hectares of light industrial land and 100 hectares of land for small warehousing to meet the future needs of businesses in the period to The Leicester and Leicestershire Workspace Study (WBM Ltd, 2010) identified the need for a five year rolling programme of public intervention in the provision of additional managed workspace and serviced offices for start up and micro businesses, as well as germination, incubation and grow on space for businesses in science, technology and creative sectors. 3.8 A key challenge for the HMA is to ensure that new employment land and premises are delivered in locations that are viable and sustainable, where employers and the market want to be and has regard to existing and emerging local planning policy considerations that seek to deliver a low carbon future for the HMA, a sustainable transport system and provide employment in the most sustainable locations. 3.9 The PACEC Study highlighted there are issues of local under supply and over supply of employment land across the HMA. This is of greatest concern in the Leicester Principle Urban Area (PUA), where 58 hectares out of a total of 68 hectares of additional industrial/warehousing land required to allow for the restructuring of Leicester s industrial base is unable to be met within the City s boundary and must be found within the wider PUA. This will require the co operation of all the local authorities within the PUA and a strategic approach to employment land planning within the PUA and a strategic approach to employment land planning The PACEC Study recommended that the majority of additional employment land should be located in strategic employment sites associated with the proposed Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUEs). This provides an opportunity to promote sustainable development by aligning homes with jobs, reducing the need to travel and providing development platforms for low carbon development. However, due to the development timetables and current uncertainties associated with the SUEs, this may result in a gap in supply of employment land Page 12 of 43

13 in the short to medium term before land is released in the SUEs. Further work is required to identify suitable sites to meet needs in the short to medium term, particularly in the PUA The Workspace Study identified key investment opportunities in Leicester, Loughborough and Market Harborough for innovation and incubation space, the Cultural Quarter in Leicester for creative industries, Waterside in Leicester for small offices, and Leicester and Melton Mowbray for food and drink manufacturing. It also recommended that Employment Improvement Areas be designated in parts of the City and County to bring forward comprehensive environmental and premises improvement measures for a number of old, declining industrial estates to make them fit for purpose In a period of diminishing public resources, a key opportunity for the public sector is to help improve the general environment for business growth through greater co ordination and prioritisation in key areas of public policy. This includes ensuring that policies take a positive approach to growth and enable and encourage physical development. For example, local economies looking to create jobs need planning and housing policies that promote growth, reflect market demand and can help plan for major investments. This includes allocating sufficient new employment land in locations that the market need. The public sector can also support businesses to meet their land and premises requirements by understanding the market, helping to broker land sale agreements and helping to address site constraints Another key opportunity for the public sector is to play a more pro active role in stimulating private sector workspace development activity by identifying development opportunities, preparing feasibility studies, encouraging the adoption of positive planning approaches by the local planning authorities and matching these opportunities with potential local and national workspace providers. Furthermore, the public sector has an opportunity to work more closely with the private sector to explore opportunities to establish innovative funding, legal, governance and delivery mechanisms to secure public and private sector investment for the release of employment land and development of workspace. This could include joint ventures using capital and revenue budgets to attract partner assets, lever private equity and, where appropriate, draw down debt and attract grant funding. Housing 3.14 Evidence suggests that in the region of 80,000 new houses need to be built in the HMA between 2006 and This requirement is largely to meet changing housing needs resulting from an ageing population and an increasing number of households, rather than to address a growing population Land availability studies have identified sufficient land within the HMA to accommodate the increase in numbers of housing required. Housing growth will focus on the creation of a number of sustainable urban extensions in and adjacent to the Leicester PUA and the subregional centres of Hinckley, Loughborough, Coalville and Melton Mowbray; growth in existing neighbourhoods in Leicester and selected rural areas In order to build circa 80,000 new houses in the period to 2026, this will require approximately 4,020 new houses to be built each year in the HMA. This represents a Page 13 of 43

14 significant challenge for the HMA and is an aspirational figure. For example, between 2005 and 2010 only 1,550 houses per year were actually delivered in the HMA and as such a substantial increase in the annual completion rate would be required. A critical factor for the HMA in delivering the required rate of house building will be the ability to bring forward housing sites in a timely manner. An important priority for the HMA will be to address those constraints that could affect the ability to bring sites forward. Meeting Affordable Housing Needs 3.17 Partners are in agreement that there is a shortage of affordable housing in urban and rural areas across the HMA. Current estimates suggest there is a need for 26,500 affordable houses to be built in the HMA between 2006 and This represents a completion rate of 2,653 affordable houses per year. Again, this represents a significant challenge for the HMA, given that over the last five years only an average of around 380 affordable homes per year have been delivered Strategic Housing Land Assessments have identified enough land is available in the HMA to meet this level of affordable housing provision. However, further work is required to establish the viability of each site that has been identified. Viability assessments are currently being carried out across the HMA as part of the LDF process The scale of affordable housing need cannot be met directly by the private sector. Significant direct public sector investment will be required to facilitate the level of affordable houses needed in the HMA. Investment from other agencies, such as the Registered Providers (formerly known as Housing Associations), is required as well The sustained delivery of affordable homes will be fundamental if the scale of new provision in the HMA is to be met. Significant delivery of affordable housing can be secured as part of the larger urban extensions and strategic regeneration areas included within this Plan. Emphasis will need to be placed on masterplanning and agreeing appropriate proportions of affordable housing as these growth locations are brought forward. However, of equal importance will be the delivery of affordable housing within existing urban area communities and neighbourhoods and in rural areas It is estimated that there is need to provide around 250 new affordable homes within rural areas per year. There are significant barriers to the delivery of rural affordable housing, including planning policy constraints, financial support, and public commitment. The Plan aims to tackle these issues to improve delivery. Improving the Standard and Design of Housing 3.22 The issue of poor quality housing is a key challenge for some areas within the HMA. For example, 44% of the private sector housing stock in Leicester is classified as non decent, which is one of the highest levels in the East Midlands. Across those local authorities that have retained their housing stock, approximately 13% of their homes did not meet the decent homes standard at the end of March North West Leicestershire and Charnwood have the highest proportions of their retained housing stock that does not meet the decent homes standard whilst Melton has issues associated with vulnerable households living in homes that do not meet the standard. Page 14 of 43

15 3.23 There is a need to adopt a HMA wide design standard to ensure that all new housing and its associated infrastructure coming forward is both well designed, laid out and sustainable. Masterplanning of new developments will also be essential to ensuring good design and the creation of sustainable vibrant communities within which people want to live and maintain. Good design, and an absence of deterioration and deprivation will be essential to support Leicester and Leicestershire s economic growth It is not envisaged that the private sector will be able to address this problem without direct public investment. Similarly, the HMA seeks to achieve a baseline improvement from the current standard of code 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes to Codes 4 and eventually to Code 6 as a key part of improving standards. This will be a challenge for the HMA in the current economic climate given the higher costs of the construction methods required to reach Code 6 and the current values in the housing market. Addressing the Needs of Vulnerable People and Communities 3.25 Demographic projections for the HMA forecast that the proportion of older people in the sub region will increase at a faster rate than the national average. This will have implications for the provision of housing in the sub region, in particular an increasing need for extra care supported housing. Partners are committed to enabling older, disabled and other vulnerable people to continue to live in their own home. However, the provision of supported housing is costly and to deliver the number of supported houses that have been identified will be unviable without significant public intervention There is also a need to meet the needs of gypsies, travellers and travelling showpeople. This requires the maintenance of existing sites and the provision of new good quality sites across the HMA. The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessments carried out by the local authorities identified the need for 368 new pitches across the HMA to 2016 (203 residential, 100 transit and 65 showman) with a recommendation that 25% of permanent pitches and 50% of transit caravan spaces should be socially rented. A strategic approach to the delivery of these sites is required. A key constraint is the cost of delivering these sites. Providing Associated Infrastructure 3.27 Delivering the scale of development and growth identified for the HMA will require significant investment in associated infrastructure to ensure the capacity in the highway network is not a constraint to ensuring a sufficient supply of housing. The Local Transport Plan 3 s (one for Leicester City and one for Leicestershire County) aim to prevent potential constraints to the highway network from occurring and will ensure interconnectivity between places within the HMA and its neighbours is sustained and enhanced where necessary However, the findings of a recent Growth Infrastructure Assessment for the HMA identified a deficit in funding of some 1.3 billion to deliver all the essential infrastructure associated with the level of new housing required in the HMA. This figure includes 700m for 2 tram lines but still leaves a large amount required. This is a considerable challenge for the HMA and has created uncertainty over how all the new infrastructure required to support development can be funded and raised questions about the current viability of some Page 15 of 43

16 schemes. The historic under investment in infrastructure in the HMA also contributes to the situation The impact of the recession is also creating further challenges for the area. The recession has exacerbated issues of viability, caused a sharp fall in development values and led to a dramatic reduction in the level of development activity. The drastic reductions in public spending planned over the next five years will reduce the ability of public investment to bridge the investment gap in the provision of housing, employment land and infrastructure. Developing Strong and Vibrant City and Town Centres 3.30 Leicester City Centre and the town centres across Leicestershire are the focal points for their communities and important centres for business, commerce and retailing. However, they have undergone significant changes in function and form over the last few decades. In many instances, these changes have meant that market dynamics are failing and the vitality of some of these centres is being eroded Significant investment has been made in Leicester City Centre in the last couple of years that has greatly improved its retail, cultural and business offer. Nevertheless, the City Centre is still in need of on going comprehensive regeneration to maintain and enhance its competitiveness as a retail centre with other regional centres, including the need for additional retailing, leisure, and cultural development to maximise choice and enhance the scale, range and appeal of the City Centre. Improvements are also required to the major Gateways into the City as well as the need to promote additional residential and employment growth in the City Centre, including addressing the problems with the City Centre office market, which has suffered at the hands of out of town developments offering freely available parking at no charge. Associated infrastructure is required to enable sites to be accessed as well as to serve the resulting communities Many of Leicestershire s town centres are underperforming due to a lack of investment, poor quality public realm, a low retail and cultural offer, vacant property, limited night time economy and low quality housing. There is also a diminishing supply of employment land in many town centres that is putting additional pressure on future growth and prosperity. Furthermore, the restructuring of the local economy brought about by the decline in traditional industries has resulted in pockets of multiple deprivation in many town centres with residents having lower than average incomes, suffer poor health and have lower levels of educational attainment. Individual Town Centre Master Plans have been drawn up for the regeneration of each of the major town centres in the HMA. These have identified opportunities to develop additional retail, commercial, employment and residential space, environmental enhancements to improve the public realm and built environment, and the provision of supporting infrastructure The City Centre and town centres also have a rich history and heritage. These are important assets, particularly in terms of their draw for tourism and investment and the creation of jobs. It will be important to promote the conservation, enhancement, sensitive use and management of historic and cultural assets. Care will be needed to ensure that each preserves and enhances its own heritage and historic built environment, supports the sensitive reuse of quality historic buildings and ensures that it is an integral part of any future development. Page 16 of 43

17 Delivering Mixed, Sustainable Communities 3.34 An important aim for the HMA is to deliver a low carbon economy with a new pattern of growth to create more balanced and sustainable new communities. This includes a commitment to plan for a balanced supply of housing and employment land and premises, where jobs and homes are aligned, businesses are able to operate in low energy buildings and people can travel to work by sustainable modes of transport The proposals to develop a number of planned expansions to the existing urban areas of Leicester and key sub regional centres in Leicestershire (i.e. Sustainable Urban Extensions) represent a significant opportunity to create more balanced and sustainable new communities in the HMA. However, they also represent a significant challenge to ensure that they do deliver balanced and sustainable communities and not just large scale housing estates The Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUEs) will need to be carefully designed using the latest building standards and meet the diverse needs of existing residents as well as attract new people to the area. They should be places where people will want to live and work, now and in the future. This means they will need to be safe and inclusive, offer equality of opportunity and good services for all, be sensitive to the local environment and contribute to a high quality of life. They will also need to be planned in such a way as to provide people with a mix of tenures and sizes of houses, opportunities to live and work in close proximity, as well as reduce the need to travel and support a modal split dominated by walking, cycling and public transport. A key concern is that the development of SUEs could exacerbate current congestion problems in key urban areas. There will need to be good connections by public transport, high frequency bus services, cycle and walking routes to the existing town centres, schools and the major employment areas Sites within existing rural and urban neighbourhoods across the HMA also present significant opportunity to reduce deprivation, address place making issues and rebalance provision within existing communities to contribute to the provision of mixed and sustainable communities throughout Leicester and Leicestershire. These sites present significant additional opportunity to improve design standards, increase opportunities for vulnerable communities, meet housing and affordable housing objectives and enhance the housing offer and quality of communities within the HMA as a whole. Improving Access to Green Space 3.38 ANGSt (Access to Natural Green Space standard) identified a need to improve the quality and accessibility of some of the green space in and around Leicester. This would have multiple benefits for well being, physical and mental health, biodiversity, air quality, flood management, climate change adaptation and sustainable transport It is critically important to protect these landscape assets and maximise their potential. Green Spaces and Green Infrastructure provide important opportunities for access and recreation, and are therefore an important contribution to the quality of offer of our overall housing and infrastructure provision. To fulfil this potential, Green Infrastructure must be well master planned and taken into consideration within developments at an early stage. Page 17 of 43

18 3.40 The 6Cs 1 Green Infrastructure Strategy supports this principle and identifies key Green Infrastructure of particular importance in this respect. However, access improvements and protection works are required to protect both the City and the County s natural assets whilst providing accessible Green Infrastructure to ensure a good quality of life of current and future population in sustainable communities. 1 6 Cs area comprises Leicester City, Leicestershire, Derby City, Derbyshire, Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire Page 18 of 43

19 4. IDENTIFYING PLACE BASED AND THEMATIC PUBLIC INVESTMENT PRIORITIES Introduction 4.1 The principal role of the LIP is to set out the priorities for investment to deliver housing, regeneration, and growth in the HMA. The plan identifies the likely public sector investment required to deliver these priorities for the period 2011 to 2014, as well as the longer term aspirations to It covers a range of place based priorities and a number of thematic priorities within and beyond the place based priority areas. A key aim is to maximise the potential of the current resources and to attract significant private sector investment. 4.2 The place based priorities identified in the LIP reflect the vision and spatial priorities for the HMA as expressed through a range of strategies including the sustainable community strategies and the adopted and emerging Core Strategies across the HMA, set against the agreed priorities in the Strategic Commissioning Framework for Economic Growth in Leicester and Leicestershire and the public investment required for their delivery. 4.3 The thematic priorities reflect needs identified in the Economic Assessment that are either not solely related to specific places or have yet to be prioritised geographically. 4.4 Many of these interventions require further public investment to realise their delivery, particularly over the short to medium term as a result of the current economic down turn. Given the pressure on public sector resources over the next five years it is not possible to provide the necessary public investment to enable all these proposals to be delivered within the current plan period. Careful consideration has been given to identifying those investments that will provide the greatest strategic benefit in achieving the HMA s identified priorities as well as issues of phasing and ability to deliver. Prioritising Programmes and Projects for Investment 4.5 Prioritising programmes and projects for investment is an inherently complex process. The various programmes and projects are not necessarily immediately comparable in terms of what they will deliver. It is also the case that some programmes and projects that may be the most significant in terms of their strategic transformational impact may not necessarily be those requiring public support in the medium term. 4.6 In prioritising programmes and projects, partners have needed to be mindful of the LIP s long term horizon to 2020, as well as the need to set out where resources are most required over the course of the next Comprehensive Spending Review period from 2011/12 to 2014/ We have, therefore, adopted a dual criteria approach to prioritisation, based on a combination of strategic long term criteria and deliverability criteria: Strategic and long term criteria What are the ultimate core outputs (new employment land, new business premises, new housing, housing retrofit, etc) of the programme or project? How far does the programme or project relate to wider HMA wide goals and priorities? Page 19 of 43

20 How far does the programme or project meet (or have the potential to meet) statutory design, quality and sustainability standards? What is the potential of the programme or project to change the nature of the surrounding place? Deliverability criteria Can the programme or project demonstrate its deliverability within the 2001/12 to 2014/15 plan period? What is the overall proposed investment package for the programme or project? What is the leverage of private/third sector finance? How far can public intervention influence programme or project delivery i.e. does it deliver change that the market is unable to do on its own or to accelerate that change? What resource capacity (project management; relevant skills) is available to deliver the programme or project? What mitigation measures can take place within the programme or project to offset risk in individual project components? 4.8 Partners provided additional detail for their places and themes to inform the prioritisation process. This information remains available if required. 4.9 Our prioritisation process has sought to define programmes and projects against each of the two criteria. This approach then results in a broad matrix of schemes, within which those with the highest scores in terms of strategic importance and deliverability would (normally) be considered the highest priorities for investment in the next three to five years. Page 20 of 43

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