Agenda item

Annual Monitoring Report 2012 (Agenda item 8)

Report of Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development presented the Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) for the 2011/2012 financial year.  All local authorities were required to produce an AMR in conjunction with Section 35 of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.  He thanked the Planning Policy Team for such a detailed report.

 

The key findings were highlighted.

 

In total, only 346 new dwellings had been built within the last financial year.  The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development was disappointed with this amount but was content with the other trends in relation to the increase in floor space and employment.

 

The Opposition Leader had found the report very useful but had concerns about the small amount of affordable dwellings that Breckland had provided in the past year in comparison to South Norfolk Council.  He pointed out that affordable housing targets in South Norfolk had been exceeded.  Members were informed that nationally, particularly in the north of the Country, the percentage of affordable units developed was less.  Developers were finding it difficult to include 40% of affordable housing on all sites of five or more dwellings.  The Executive Member for Internal Services advised that there were differences throughout the Country - London was in a property boom, therefore, developers were finding it easy to meet the targets set.  There were many complicated factors to consider particularly with the continued economic uncertainty.  Breckland’s percentage in comparison to the dwellings built was not low and the policies as far as he was concerned were correct.

 

The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission was delighted that this vital piece of information had been brought to Cabinet again this year.   He pointed out that the Core Strategy was going to be reviewed to take account of the Community Infrastructure Levy and the Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan. The aforementioned concerns underlined the fact that the key areas needed to be reassessed to encourage growth and, more importantly, to look at the houses that had been delivered in areas that were not considered to be appropriate.  He raised the following questions:

 

  • How had the figures been arrived at on page 51 of the agenda?
  • In relation to the Community Infrastructure Levy, how many houses needed to be built to achieve the figures?

 

The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission knew it was and had been difficult to deliver the level of housing growth required but this was something that was out of Breckland Council’s control.  This was the deepest recession that the Country had experienced since the War years and developers were being cautious. 

 

The Chairman felt that the delivery numbers would be achievable if Council’s were able to build where they wanted, particularly in parishes.  The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development said that the review of the Core Strategy would be a key piece of work and the pieces of work coming through would enable parishes to build what they wanted.  The Executive Member for Internal Services stated that there were many villages that did not want extra housing or development.

 

Options

 

To note the contents of the report.

 

Reasons

 

Local Authorities were required to produce an Annual Monitoring Report which analysed progress of Local Development Documents.  It was recommended that Cabinet noted the contents of the report.

 

RESOLVED that the report be noted.

Supporting documents: