Agenda item

2017 Statement of Five Year Housing Land Supply (Agenda item 5)

Report of the Director of Planning & Building Control.


The Director of Planning & Building Control informed the Committee of Breckland’s current situation in regards to its five year housing land supply.


The five year housing land supply was a comparison of the anticipated supply of new dwellings, against the number of new dwellings that were required to be built in Breckland (known as the housing requirement). 


The housing supply was made up of deliverable sites in suitable locations, available now and achievable in the next 5 years and was made up of the following components: sites with planning permission, allocations in the Local Plan and windfall sites.


To assess the Council’s 5 year land supply position, the identified supply against the comparison had to be compared using both the Core Strategy targets and the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) target.  The Council’s historic under provision of housing from previous years had also been taken into account and added to the projection of future need using both the Liverpool and Sedgefield methodologies. On the basis of the figures as at the end of March 2017, Breckland Council was now below the level following a recent update from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and could only demonstrate a 4.6 year housing land supply using the Liverpool methodology.  One of the reasons for this shortfall was due to planning permissions not being built and some being delayed such as the Strategic Urban Extensions (SUE) in Attleborough and Thetford.


The allocation of additional land as part of the new Local Plan would assist in resolving the problem.  As the document gained weight, moving through the examination process, the emerging Local Plan allocations would remedy the current shortfall. On adoption of the Local Plan these sites would form part of the Council’s forward looking supply.


In order to boost the supply of housing in the short term, in addition to the new Local Plan, the Council would now need to consider development on sustainable sites located outside identified settlement boundaries. This would only apply where sites have been demonstrated to meet the three limbs of sustainable development as defined within the National Planning Policy Framework.


In response to a question, a review of the five year land supply statement should take place on an annual basis using the base date of 31st March each year; however, taking into account the Council’s current situation, and if development increased in the interim, a further review could take place later in 2017.


In response to a question, outline planning permissions had been taken into account.


Referring to the build out rates on Appendix 1 of the report in regard to development in Necton, Councillor Duigan asked if the figures shown were realistic.  He also asked about the long list of small sites that had not been developed of which a trench would be dug to preserve the planning permission but not built out. In response to the first question, Members were informed that the evidence the Council had, had to be tested and normal measures would be applied. In response to the latter, Members were informed that there was a great deal of case law in relation to the implementation of planning permissions to demonstrate that the applicant/developer had made a start to keep the planning permission live.  The Planning Team put a great deal of effort on the major sites coming forward taking into account any S106 Agreements/Legal Agreements.  Councillor Duigan felt that the Council should be more reliant on the smaller sites.  The Chairman pointed out that the delay on the Necton sites was in relation to drainage issues. 


Councillor Martin mentioned two large sites in Attleborough with restraints that were now stagnant.


Councillor Nairn pointed out that the 54 dwellings in Weeting had not been included in the Statement.


Councillor Wilkinson asked if there was any mechanism in place that could put time limits on developers.  The Director of Planning & Building Control explained that someone could not be forced to complete a planning approval in a certain time period and quoted Article 35 of the Development Management Procedure Order which required the Council to be positive and proactive in order to facilitate development.  Locally the challenge was that there were many issues such as flooding, infrastructure etc all of which required to be in place to allow development to come forward.


The 2017 Statement of Five Year Housing Land Supply was otherwise noted.



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