Agenda item

2016 Annual Statement of Five Year Housing Land Supply (Agenda Item 13)

Report of the Executive Director of Commercialisation.


The Senior Planning Policy Officer presented the report and explained that there had been some changes to the five year housing land supply calculation based on a new evidence base. 


Previously the Council had been expected to create 780 new dwellings per year, which was the target set within the Core Strategy and reflected the Regional Spatial Strategies’ requirements.  That target had been adjusted to 597 per year following new evidence from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).  Due to the previous under delivery against the housing requirement, it was necessary to provide a 20% buffer on land supply as per the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).


In 2015/16, 619 dwellings had been delivered.  This was the highest delivery rate of new homes since 2008/9.

The way in which the figures had been calculated was explained to Members.  Legal advice had been taken on which method the Council should use.  A range of scenarios was presented within the report.


It had become apparent that the majority of housing provision from the two Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUE) in Attleborough and Thetford, would provide housing over a longer period than the Local Plan would cover.  The five year housing land supply could only include houses which would be delivered in the next five years.  Following research with developers and giving consideration to the sites with existing planning permissions it was estimated that 3509 dwellings would be delivered in the next five years which would provide a 4.7year housing land supply based on the SHMA figures and the Liverpool approach.  The statement had been calculated as at 31 March 2016 and there had been some recent planning applications which were not included.  Therefore, it had been decided to produce a mid-year statement in October to see if the five year land supply could be achieved.  In the absence of a five year land supply the NPPF stated that the policies in the Local Plan regarding housing supply were not considered to be up to date.


Councillor Duigan asked if there was a more recent SHMA than the one produced in 2015.  It was explained that the SHMA had been finalised in mid-2015 and it was a joint report with four other Local Authorities.  The other Local Authorities were using the SHMA figures to calculate their five year housing land supply.


Councillor Clarke noted that with the slower delivery of the two SUE developments would put greater on Dereham and surrounding areas to provide housing.


As the two SUEs had a development period beyond 2036 which was the end date for the Local Plan, discussions were being held with developers to try to clarify delivery rate figures as accurate information was needed to avoid an appeal challenge to the Plan.


Councillor Clarke asked for an explanation of the relationship between Neighbourhood Plans and the Local Plan.  It was explained that when a Neighbourhood Plan was adopted it became part of the development plan for the District.  It was subject to the same tests in the NPPF as the Local Plan and if the Council did not have a five year housing land supply its policies relating to the supply of housing would not be considered up to date.  If an adopted Neighbourhood Plan included a housing allocation those figures could be included within the five year housing land supply.


Councillor Martin pointed out that Attleborough was different to Thetford.  There were some sites with planning permission which were not included in the prediction and development was progressing so well he thought it likely that the predicted figures would be exceeded.


Councillor Claussen asked if the problem in Thetford was the lack of a developer. 


The Senior Planning Policy Officer said that discussion with the applicants were on-going.  She was confident that the evidence base was sound.  All the sites had been visited and Officers had been realistic in their presumptions.


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