“Think coherently, have a vision, take the lead and take the chance to argue for change with Government where you believe it be right.”

Lord Heseltine (at SE LEP “Building the Future” conference)

Following two very well attended SE LEP “Building the future” housing events, the first with Lord Heseltine in Kent, the second in Essex with Elphicke/House Report author Natalie Elphicke, we have shaped and refined the LEP role in housing in deliver our Growth Deal.

With strong District, Unitary and County councils in the SE LP area, our aim is to add value to the excellent work already underway to deliver new housing – never to duplicate or confuse.

Drawing on discussions at the SE LEP Housing conferences and further meetings with housing practitioners and developers, to deliver our Growth Deal responsibilities SE LEP aims to:

  • Bring together all parties (HCA, councils, developers, finance, utilities) involved to drive development forward
    Working together with local councils, the HCA and developers on large and priority sites, assembling evidence, identifying obstacles and finding solutions
  • Encourage and support councils to bring forward their local plans
    Embarking on a series of meetings with planning authorities to support and review the local planning process, promoting development where it is wanted - and protecting from unwanted development where it is not
  • Review the performance of utility companies
    Gathering evidence of performance and taking action to ensure utility companies help - not hinder - local growth
  • Promote best practice
    Supporting events and meetings to share best practice and information sharing to support all to the standard of the best (eg use of HRA debt cap, establishment of local development companies)
  • Look across LEP boundaries
    Looking at the plans and proposals of neighbouring LEPs and their impact in preparing for accelerated growth.

In July 2014, SE LEP published its wider Growth Deal ambitions in a joint publication with localist think tank Localis launched by Lord Heseltine in the very heart of the Thames Gateway at Ebbslfeet Valley in Kent.