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Local Plan Review Evidence Base

Supporting documents for the Local Plan Review and planning policies

Local Plans must be supported by a robust evidence base. A number of studies and assessments have been undertaken, and information has been collected to inform, support and monitor the West Berkshire Local Plan Review to 2039 (LPR). 

Below, we have set out the latest up-to-date evidence and supporting material that underpin the LPR, each listed under the relevant category (however, the list is not exhaustive and will continue to evolve as new studies are published):


Employment Land Review

An assessment of future demand for employment floor space, as well as existing and committed future supply. The study also identifies floorspace/land requirements to address unmet need.

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Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA) and Economic Development Needs Assessment (EDNA)

Information on Berkshire's economy and the identification of how much land is required for employment growth.

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Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

Determines the variation in flood risk across the district. The Level 1 assessment looks at the district as a whole; the Level 2 assessment looks at specific sites or areas.

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Historic environment

Information on the managing the historic environment.

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Affordable Housing Viability Assessment

Tests the potential viability of requiring market-lead residential development to provide affordable housing, whilst taking into account the local housing market, current delivery and the cumulative impact of the Local Plan policies.

Five Year Housing Land Supply

We are required to identify enough deliverable sites to meet our housing requirement for the next five years. An update was published in November 2022.

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Assessment (GTAA)

Provides the overall pitch/plot requirements for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople across the district.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

Assessment of housing needs into the local and wider housing market area.

Updated Housing Needs Evidence

An assessment of affordable housing need and older persons' accommodation within West Berkshire.

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Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP)

Sets out details of the infrastructure needed to support delivery of the LPR.

Water Cycle Study Phase 1 - Scoping Study

Assesses the relationship between development and the water environment around West Berkshire. The Phase 1 Scoping Study assesses the potential issues relating to future development across West Berkshire and the impacts on water supply, wastewater collection and treatment and water quality.

Water Cycle Study Phase 2 - Outline Study

Assesses the relationship between development and the water environment around West Berkshire. The Phase 2 Study builds on the Phase 1 Scoping Study by updating assessments to take account of revised growth assessments. It also includes water quality modelling and an environmental impact assessment to address the gaps in evidence identified in the Phase 1.

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Landscape Character Assessments

Landscape character and its sensitivity to future development.

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Natural environment

Nature Conservation

Information on ecology, biodiversity and nature conservation.

South East England Biodiversity Opportunity Areas (BOA) 2009

Identifies the BOAs outlined within the Core Strategy (Policy CS17) and draft emerging LPR (Policy SP11).

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Retail and town centres

Western Berkshire Retail and Commercial Assessment 2016

Sets out the need for retail and commercial leisure uses in the study area.

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Settlement boundaries

Settlement boundaries are a long established planning tool. They identify the main built up area of a settlement within which development is considered acceptable in principle, subject to other policy considerations. While allowing for development, settlement boundaries protect the character of a settlement and prevent unrestricted growth into the countryside. They create a level of certainty about whether or not the principle of development is likely to be acceptable.

As part of work on the LPR, we have undertaken a review of the settlement boundaries across the district.


Settlement hierarchy

Review of the West Berkshire Settlement Hierarchy

Re-assessment of the existing settlement hierarchy. The settlement hierarchy guides the broad location of new and sustainable development. 

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Site selection

Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA)

Identifying potential land for housing and economic development in West Berkshire. First published in February 2020, the HELAA was updated in December 2020. A further update will be published on 6 January 2023.

Site Selection Background Paper for the Emerging Draft (Regulation 18) LPR

Sets outs the process that was used to identify new allocations in the emerging draft (Regulation 18) LPR. 


Thatcham Strategic Growth Study

A three-stage process that assesses planning for the future of the settlement.


West Berkshire Density Pattern Book Study

Guidance tool used for assessing the capacity of sites promoted for the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment.

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Sport and recreation

Playing Pitch Strategy

An up-to-date analysis of supply and demand for playing pitches.

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Transport Assessments

Assess the impact of development upon the districts highway network.

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Other supporting documents

There is a range of other supporting documentation that informs the Local Plan Review. Further information can be found below.

Authority Monitoring Reports (AMR)

Monitors progress of the Local Plan policies and documents.

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Consultation Statement

Sets out the consultation on the Local Plan Review to date. 

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Duty to Cooperate Statement

A requirement of the Localism Act 2011. It's aim is  to ensure that local planning authorities engage construtively, actively, and on an on-going basis so that strategic, cross-boundary matters are dealt with effectively in individual Local Plans. 

A Duty to Cooperate Statement has been prepared to support the proposed submission (Regulation 19) version of the Local Plan Review.


Equalities Impact Assessment

Assessment of the potential impact of the Local Plan Review policies on different groups in West Berkshire. 


Grazeley Masterplanning

Information report on potential growth scenarios at Grazeley.


Habitat Regulations Assessment

An assessment of the possible effects of the LPR on internationally important nature conservation sites.


Policies Map

Map which displays the spatial policies contained within the Proposed Submission (Regulation 19) LPR.


Sustainability Appraisal (SA) / Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Appraisal of the economic, environmental, and social impacts of the Local Plan Review from the outset of its preparation.

The SA/SEA was first published to support the consultation on the emerging draft (Regulation 18) Local Plan Review in December 2020. The SA/SEA has been updated for the proposed submission (Regulation 19) version of the Local Plan Review.


Thatcham Town Centre Design Appraisal (2009)

Gives guidance for the future of Thatcham Town Centre.


West Berkshire Appropriate Countryside Designation Study

A focussed study to help identify if an appropriate and specific planning designation for the countryside around the towns of Newbury and Thatcham is needed to support the Local Plan Review


West Berkshire Strategic Vision

A vision document to help guide long term, sustainable growth in West Berkshire. It has been prepared to respond to the requirements of paragraph 22 of the National Planning Policy Framework.

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