Wantange and Grove Campaign Group (WAGCG)
Housing Needs

Housing needs in the Local Plan are13,294 new homes between 2006 and 2029. We believe that these figures are inflated and should be reduced but to what?

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) suggest that we need 56,756 homes in the Vale by 2029 but don't provide accurate figures for 2006. New figures from a toolkit recommended by a Planning Inspector suggest a growth figure of 8,721 new homes between 2006 and 2029. Should the new Plan be based on these?

See Ed Vaizey's statement on the housing needhere.

See the Council Planning Teams Comments [show detail]

We recognise that new housing needs figures need to be generated but feel sure that the new figures must be lower than those currently shown in the Local Plan. We also question the need to place such a large proportion of the housing for the Vale in Wantage and Grove.This is driving distance from the key employment centres in the Vale. We feel strongly that this does not align with the stated objective of being a "Low Carbon Vale" and the requirement of the NPPF to place housing close to employment and other services.

The Graph on the right shows alternative projections for the Vale...

 

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provides guidance for the housing needs figures for the Local Plan.

[show detail]

The District Council has produced a Housing Supply Statementwhich sets out their land supply position from April 2012. It updates the information contained within the Annual Monitoring Report 2010/11. It also includes information about the consistency of those saved local plan policies most relevant to housing with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Unfortunately it's based on the figures produced in the South East Plan so inflates the housing needs for the area.

 

A Joint Core Strategy for 3 East Midland's councils faces a 5-month delay after the Planning Inspector requested that a fresh assessment of the need for new housing be carried out taking into account new household projection figures including by reference to the "What Homes Where" toolkit launched earlier this year.

This toolkit is prepared by the Local Housing Requirement Assessment Working Group. This is an informal grouping of the major professional and representative bodies with an interest in planning for housing in England.

Using the toolkit and the full range of data from 1991 to 2010, the figures for the Vale for the period 2006 to 2029 are 8,721 or 379 per year.

According to the Housing Supply Statement in April 2012 the Vale had "a total housing supply of 4,725 homes from planning permissions and Vale Local Plan 2011 housing allocations. This equates to 7.3 years supply overall. But as 2,300 of these homes are phased to be delivered after 2017/18 due to development delays, they do not contribute to the five year housing land supply." Therefore a year ago the Vale had 2,425 homes excluding those delayed or 6.4 years supply at the rate of 379 per year.
We know of at least 400 homes for which planning permission has been granted since then so we must have 7 years supply by now.

If this is true then there is no requirement to approve additional development applications before the local plan is adopted.

 

Of the 55 local plans submitted after the NPPF came into force only 18 have been found sound at inquiry and only 2 had housing numbers below the regional strategy housing target. Many local authorities have been advised to withdraw their plans and do the job properly or have had the public examination adjourned so they can fix their evidence base, alter their proposals and consult again.

CPREsuggests that the Localism Act has not resulted in more local control over planning decisions and that the NPPF is being interpreted primarily as a means to justify releasing more land for market housing.

Plans must show adequate, up-to-date and relevant evidence. They should reflect the fact that we have had a severe economic downturn since the Regional Housing targets were put in place and this is not likely to change quickly. They must also show evidence and consistency of approach to assessing needs across boundaries to apply the duty to cooperate. For us this means working with Wiltshire, Swindon Borough Council and Berkshire as well as the rest of Oxfordshire. Swindon, for example, is aiming to create 19,600 new jobs by 2026. It has competitive house prices and a growing workforce, but has lost 9000 jobs between 1998-2010.

Housing Projections

Developments around Wantage and Grove

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Explanation of Housing Projections shown above:
Vale figures from the Local Plan
Government figures from the projections to 2021 extrapolated to 2029 (56,756) less the figures for 2011 (49,781) with the housing approvals from the Housing Supply Statement (2,425) added
What Homes Where calculation for the Vale based on evidence from 1991 to 2010 and projection from 2006-2029

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