The Local Plan is up for review and will set-out a vision for the future development of Middlesbrough in relation to housing, the economy, community facilities and infrastructure up to 2033. The Local Plan when adopted, will replace a number of existing planning policy documents, and provide a basis for determining planning applications within Middlesbrough. Now is our chance to get involved and debate about how we want the town to change and develop.
Over the past year or so, I have seen the town change; Places such as Baker St/Bedford St/The Curve may be the heritage of the future worthy of protection. Some “sustainable developments” (whatever that is) have put heritage and natural habitats at risk and do not appear to support long term sustainability of the town. More houses, means more cars, more roads, more pollution. Cutting down trees and not maintaining existing trees means less good quality air to breathe. Some examples of neighbourhood “regeneration” appear to leave a big hole in the heart of the town and the hearts of some who once lived there. These are issues that need to be open for discussion, including the possible sale of assets for less than market value.
My hope for 2017 is that council and public can debate about planning issues without it becoming reduced to an argument about pro or anti- development, reactive nimbyism or caught up in a wave of political disputes. Effective consultation and engagement with the public will be beneficial for us all. The residents of Middlesbrough are experts about the places and spaces of value; not just in monetary terms but value to communities.
Going into the New Year is the chance for residents to have a say on the future development of the town. To get involved you can follow the link: http://consult.middlesbrough.gov.uk/portal and type in Local Plan into the search, or you can answer some or all of the questions which have been taken from the issues paper for you to look at easily. Responses can also be sent as a hard copy to:
Planning Policy, Middlesbrough Council, PO Box 504, Civic Centre, 1st Floor, Middlesbrough, TS1 9FY
Responses must be sent before 30th January 2017
Please take the time to comment on some of the issues raised. It is only by getting involved in the planning process and consulting each other, will we be able to bring about positive changes and help shape a town we can be proud of.
S1: How to deliver growth? Is growth the right strategy for Middlesbrough? If so what should it look like? If not how can we meet the future needs of the population in terms of housing, jobs, education and other key infrastructure needs?
And how we would deal with population growth? How can we deliver growth? How do we address the infrastructure and service needs and impacts associated with population growth?
S2: Should development be focused on greenfield locations. Should we be looking to deliver the majority of our development needs on greenfield sites? If so where? If not, what is the alternative to ensure we address the needs of our population?
S3: Should development be focused on key sites. Opportunities for development in Middlesbrough are limited given the tight geographical boundaries of the town. Should we be focusing future development on key locations? How should such locations be chosen?
S4: Brownfield v greenfield Should development be focused on brownfield sites? If so how will growth aspirations be met? Should brownfield sites be used to meet particular development needs? If so which? Can brownfield sites meet all of the town’s needs? If not how much land should be released for greenfield? How can we use greenfield sites to help deliver harder to develop brownfield ones?
S5: Should development be focused on the creation of self-contained sustainable communities/extensions. Would it be best to meet future housing needs by building new communities which can cater for all needs, housing, employment, schools, open space, community facilities etc? If so where?
S6: What role should regeneration sites play in meeting future needs Delivering regeneration is a key priority of the Councils. How can they be best utilised in meeting the town’s future needs? Should they be the focus for mixed used developments? Or should they be the focus of a particular type of development e.g housing, employment, education, commercial?
Strategic context – Housing Local Plan 2014
This plans for around 7000 new homes up to 2029, an annual requirement of 410 new homes a
year. This was based on the Council’s s aim to halt outmigration and to deliver population growth
through natural change (as a result of higher birth rates than death rates). The Local Plan was
based on a balance of housing on both greenfield and brownfield sites. Since the adoption of the
Housing Local Plan in November 2014 housebuilding has increased significantly with more than 1000 new homes being built.
Population Growth and Housing
H1: Housing numbers
Is the current housing requirement for Middlesbrough correct or does it need to be amended? Should the figure be higher to support economic growth if so by how much? Or should it be lower? If so why? If lower how can the needs of Middlesbrough’s population growth be met? What impacts will housing growth have on infrastructure needs?
H2: Affordable housing
How should the Local Plan deliver affordable housing? Should this be located on site within developments or off site to assist the delivery of regeneration? How much and what type of affordable housing should we be delivering?
Should we be catering for all student growth? How should student accommodation be provided as purpose built accommodation within the town centre or dispersed throughout the town?
H4: Gypsies and travellers
If a need for a new gypsy site is identified should this be accommodated on extension or expansion of existing sites or elsewhere within Middlesbrough. What criteria should be used to identify an alternative site if required?
H5: Regeneration sites
How can the Local Plan support the delivery of regeneration sites? Should the numbers of houses on
these sites stay the same or be reduced? Should other uses be considered?
H6: An ageing population
Should we be enabling older people to stay in their own homes, which potentially puts extra pressure on existing housing? Or should we be looking to meet the needs of older people through the provision of bungalows, retirement villages and extra care facilities? If so where should this provision be located?
Self and custom build housing
How should self and custom build housing be delivered? Should this be through the allocation of small parcels of land or should it be provided as part of the development of large sites?
E1: Employment land
What level of economic growth and how much employment land should we plan for?
E2: Employment sectors
Should we focus on employment growth on particular sectors? If so which sectors?
E3: Employment locations
Where should we focus development needed to meet our economic growth aspirations? For example in traditional employment locations such as Riverside Park or as part of mixed communities, the Town Centre?
E4: Average wages
How can the Local Plan secure well paid jobs and meaningful training for all?
How can Middlehaven contribute to Middlesbrough’s economic growth needs?
E6: Barriers to growth
What are the barriers to Middlesbrough achieving economic growth? How can the Local Plan address these, and facilitate growth? What are the infrastructure requirements?
E7: Higher education
What role should the University and Middlesbrough College have in driving forward and supporting economic growth? How can the Local Plan support their aspirations?
TC1 Role of the town centre
What should the role of the town centre be in the future? What uses should we be planning for? Are there
any uses which are lacking? Should the town centre be offering an increased leisure offer?
TC2 Town centre boundary
Is the current town centre boundary the right one? If it is not correct what should the boundary be and why?
TC3 Future role of Cannon Park
What should the future role of Cannon Park be? What uses would be suitable for this location and why?
TC4 Future Role of Linthorpe Road
What should be the future role of Linthorpe Road? What uses would be suitable for this location and why? How can Linthorpe Road continue to support the offer of the town centre?
TC5 Role of Middlehaven
How can the Local Plan enable the continued success of Middehaven? What should the focus of this area be going forward? In there a role for housing development at Middlehaven?
TC6 Role of Albert Road/Railway station
What should the future role of this area be?
What uses are suitable and why? How can the Local Plan enable the future development of this area?
TC7 Role of the University
How can the Local Plan enable the continued success of the University?
TC8 District, local and neighbourhood centres
How can the Local Plan support a network of vital and viable district, local and neighbourhood centres?
I1: Road infrastructure
What new road infrastructure should be provided to facilitate development? What are the implications of not delivering the necessary infrastructure upon meeting growth aspirations? Are there any key pinch-points that need to be addressed?
I2: Tees crossing
What impact would the provision of a second Tees crossing have upon Middlesbrough? Should the lack of the crossing restrict how much development can happen in Middlesbrough?
What are the education requirements arising out of any new developments?
How should these best be addressed, for example new schools, or extending existing ones? How can we use development to help support improving education attainment levels? How can we use education provision to help deliver successful place making?
I4: Middlesbrough railway station
What impacts will improved services have upon the town in terms of population and economic growth? How can we best utilise the railway station as a key gateway into the town? How can the Plan support the aspirations for the railway station?
How can new developments best be integrated with existing communities?
I6: Infrastructure delivery
How should the delivery of infrastructure be linked to new development? How can we ensure that development is provided in a timely manner? How can we ensure that infrastructure is affordable and that it is funded adequately?
G1: Green infrastructure and economic growth. How can green infrastructure be used to support
G2: Development and green infrastructure
How can new development improve access to open space and recreation?
How should green infrastructure be incorporated into new developments?
How can green infrastructure be used to create quality places?
G3: Delivery of green infrastructure
How should green infrastructure be delivered and maintained? What are the funding sources available to deliver quality infrastructure? And how can the Local Plan support its delivery?
G4: Enhancing open spaces
How can new development improve access to open space and recreation, and enhance the quality of available open space?
G5: Green Heart
What should the future role of the land between Acklam and Marton Roads, Ladgate Lane and Saltersgill/Tollesby be? What uses or mix of uses are appropriate? Is there potential for some development to realise its value as a recreational asset?
G6: Healthy living
How can green infrastructure be used to support healthy lifestyles and help improve people’s health?
What opportunities are there to create an extensive network of green routes comprising footpaths,
cycleways and linking Middlesbrough’s various communities?
G7: Playing pitches
Does Middlesbrough have enough playing pitches to meet its needs? Are they of the right quality? How can we improve the quality of pitches available?
Where and how should be pitches be provided e.g. in accessible hubs, or dispersed throughout the
HE1: Historic environment strategy
What does a positive strategy look like? How can the Local Plan create a positive strategy for the historic environment?
HE2 : Protecting historic assets
What role can the Local Plan play in protecting and enhancing Middlesbrough’s historic assets? How
can we protect these historic asset in the future? Are there certain forms of development which should be limited or are inappropriate near to historic assets?
HE3 : Historic environment and economic growth
What should the role of the historic environment be in supporting and facilitating economic growth? How can we use economic growth to aid the preservation and conservation of our historic assets?
HE4: Historic environment and regeneration
What role can the historic environment play in regeneration?
Are there any opportunities for heritage–led regeneration in Middlesbrough?
The Duty to Cooperate
The duty to cooperate is a legal requirement of the Localism Act (2011). This requires Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) and other prescribed bodies to co-operate on strategic matters to maximise effectiveness in preparing Local Plans.
The duty to cooperate applies to LPAs, National Park authorities, County Councils and other public
DC1: Duty to Cooperate
What are the duty to cooperate issues that should be considered by the Local Plan? How should they be addressed?