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
"For our district the 2008 household projections from DCLG expected the number of
households to be 55,000 by 2026. The interim 2011 based household projections
from DCLG expect the number of households to now be 54,000 by 2021. It is not
robust to simply extrapolate these figures to 2029 at the same rate. That is because
these figures project forward what has happened in the past five years, which has
been a period of low economic growth that may not be repeated across the much
longer time horizon that local authorities must plan for. This is part of the reason
DCLG have not completed household projections to 2033 as they normally do.
There is still work to do on the later part of the period to ensure a robust projection."
"Household projections are not the only basis for forecasting housing need. The South
East Plan was not based solely on household projections. The South East Plan
annual target was 29% above the projected household growth rate at the time. A
range of other factors have to be considered in order to objectively assess housing
need. National government require the council to do this by completing a Strategic
Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)."
"[This] will objectively assess housing need in accordance with the
requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework."
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.
Paragraph 47 of the NPPF states: To boost significantly the supply of housing, local planning authorities should:
- use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full,
objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the
housing market area, as far as is consistent with the policies set out
in this Framework, including identifying key sites which are critical to
the delivery of the housing strategy over the plan period
- identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites
sufficient to provide five years worth of housing against their housing
requirements with an additional buffer of 5%
to ensure choice and
competition in the market for land. Where there has been a record of
persistent under delivery of housing, local planning authorities should
increase the buffer to 20%
to provide a realistic prospect of
achieving the planned supply and to ensure choice and competition in
the market for land, and
- identify a supply of specific, developable sites or broad locations for
growth, for years 6-10 and, where possible, for years 11-15;
- for market and affordable housing, illustrate the expected rate of housing
delivery through a housing trajectory for the plan period and set out a
housing implementation strategy for the full range of housing describing
how they will maintain delivery of a five-year supply of housing land to
meet their housing target; and
- set out their own approach to housing density to reflect local
Paragraph 158 of the NPPF requires "that Local Plans must be based on adequate, up-to-date and relevant
evidence." For housing Paragraph 159 identifies that local planning authorities should
have a clear understanding of housing needs in their area.
The Framework identifies that this should include:
- a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) to assess the full
housing needs working with neighbouring authorities where housing
market areas cross administrative boundaries, and
- a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) to
establish realistic assumptions about the availability, suitability and
likely economic viability of land to meet the identified need for
housing over the plan period.
The SHMA should identify the scale and mix of housing and the range of
tenures that the local population is likely to need over the plan period which:
- meets household and population projections, taking account of
migration and demographic change
- addresses the need for all types of housing, including affordable
housing and the needs of different groups in the community, and
- caters for housing demand and the scale of housing supply
necessary to meet this demand.
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.
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.