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Local Plan Review Evidence Base

Supporting documents for the Local Plan Review and planning policies

The evidence and information used to create and inform Local Plans is known as the evidence base. You can read and download the documents that form the evidence base for the West Berkshire Local Plan Review to 2039 (LPR) using the links below, organised by themes. Please note that the list is not exhaustive and will continue to evolve as new studies are published:

Air Quality

Assessment of the air quality impacts that are anticipated as a result of the implementation of the LPR.

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Climate Change

Information on the requirement and precedent for carbon reduction which includes the powers, mandates, precedents and constraints with regards to net zero carbon local plan policy. 

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Employment Background Paper

An informal background paper that assists in the understanding of the employment evidence base and employment policies that are contained within the LPR.

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.

Functional Economic Market Area (FEMA)

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

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Flooding Sequential Test Report

Sets out the Sequential Test undertaken to inform the selection of sites for allocation in the LPR.

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 by Government 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.

Housing Background Paper

An informal background paper that assists in the understanding of the housing evidence base and housing policies that are contained within the LPR.

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. Further information can be found here.

To support the preparation of the Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment, a desktop biodiversity assessment was carried out by the Thames Valley Environmental Records Centre. The biodiversity assessment can be viewed Icon for pdf online [220KB] .

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

Retail Background Paper

An informal background paper that assists in the understanding of the retail evidence base and retail policies that are contained within the LPR.

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 January 2023.

Site Selection Methodology 

Sets outs the methodology that was used to identify new allocations in the LPR. It should be read in conjunction with the HELAA and Sustainability Appraisal (SA) / Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). The SA/SEA can be viewed here.

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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    Whole Plan Viability

    Assessment of the viability impacts of the policies contained within the LPR. 

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     Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)

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    Other evidence base documents

    Authority Monitoring Reports (AMR)

    Monitors progress of the Local Plan policies and documents.

    Brownfield Land Register

    A list of previously developed sites that are available and potentially suitable for housing development across the district.

    Grazeley Masterplanning

    Information report on potential growth scenarios at Grazeley.

    Thatcham Town Centre Design Appraisal 

    Gives guidance for the future of Thatcham Town Centre.

    West Berkshire Appropriate Countryside Designation Study

    A focused 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 LPR.

    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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