Our Development Economics team were instructed by Crest Nicholson to review the housing target attributed to the town of Waltham Abbey by Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) in its emerging Local Plan.
This project incorporated a range of demographic data to inform bespoke population modelling, the results of which were used to determine whether the intended Local Plan target for the town were likely to be of a sufficient magnitude to support the Local Plan’s aims and objectives for the town itself, and the town’s placement in the wider settlement hierarchy. This evidence was submitted by the client as part of their wider Planning representations to the EFDC Local Plan in respect of the housing number allocated to the town of Waltham Abbey through the Local Plan (858 homes over 22 years).
We concluded that the draft Plan’s housing target for Waltham Abbey would fail to deliver the objectives of the draft Plan, and a significant increase from the 858 homes allocated in the Plan to at leaast 2,400 was shown to be required.
Crest submitted our evidence as part of their wider representations to the Local Plan.
The main conclusions of the assessment were as follows:
- The Epping Forest District Local Plan – Submission Version (Draft Plan) allocated 858 new homes to Waltham Abbey over 22 years
- The draft Plan classified Waltham Abbey as a ‘small District centre’
- The ‘Vision’ for Waltham Abbey in the draft Plan stated that “Waltham Abbey will be characterised by a thriving daytime and night-time economy; a population to support a healthy town centre economy; and a diverse population of young people, families, and the elderly.”
- Demographic modelling revealed how the provision of the draft Plan’s target (858 homes, 2011-2033) for the town would lead to a decline in child age and working age population. Conversely there would be a significant increase in the 65+ population
- The demographic change resulting from the draft Plan’s target would wholly conflict with the draft Plan’s vision for the town
- Further demographic modelling revealed that between 2,400 and 2,500 homes would be needed in Waltham Abbey over 22 years, just to meet growth in the town’s population based on the most recent demographic trends. In conclusion, our assethe draft Plan’s housing target for Waltham Abbey would fail to deliver the objectives of the draft Plan, and a significant increase from the 858 homes allocated in the Plan was shown to be required.