Recommendation from the special Cabinet meeting on 19 November 2020.
To consider the recommendations from the special Cabinet meeting on 19 November 2020 on the results of the public consultation, the content of the inspector’s interim report and other updated evidence in order to agree a precise figure for the objective assessment of housing need (OAN) over the plan period and to confirm which sites should be proposed for inclusion in the Local Plan to meet the OAN.
The Head of Planning gave a presentation to Members on the Local Plan.
Members may recall that the Local Plan was submitted for examination in 2017 with a target of 12,000 homes.
The inspector has since advised through the examination process, that it does not meet the Council’s objective need. Members debated additional site at the Cabinet Planning and Parking meetings in January 2020 and Officers presented options to achieve the objective need at that time of 16,000 and Members chose to consult on a collection of sites totalling 14,011 homes for public consultation.
The consultation took place between 19 February and 1 May 2020. The Council received around 770 comments to document and the Sustainability Appraisal from 387 different respondents. 62% of the comments were from organisations, bodies, groups, developers and landowners.
The Council received the inspector’s interim report in October 2020. It is a summary of the submitted plan based on the learning sessions.
The inspector asked the Council which additional housing sites are most sustainable to meet the OAN. In the report the inspector assumed the OAN was 16,000 but acknowledged that it may go down because of the latest 2018 bases household projections, but commented that a target lower than the OAN may not support the national housing crisis or tackle the affordability issues in the Borough.
Number of comments on particular sites-
Birchall Garden Suburb South harms openness of Green Belt
Marshmoor should be considered for housing if Council cannot meet the OAN
Symondshyde may be selectable if OAN cannot be met from village sites
The inspector identified two options for the Council –
1.) Propose additional housing sites to meet the OAN
2.) Withdraw the plan from the examination
The inspector identified a list of deadlines that they would like the Council to achieve or the inspector will confirm the plan as unsound if the Council cannot achieve the deadlines.
Recommendation 1:-That the new objective assessment housing need (OAN) is 690 per year equivalent to 13,800 over the plan period of 2016-2036 based on the ten year projection identified.
Recommendation 2:-That a strategy is put forward for 13,277 dwellings plus allocation of site PB1 for safeguarding – this would be protected for longer term development needs and is not included in the 13,277 figure but could potentially be an additional source of supply beyond the plan period or possibility even in the plan period.
Executive Member (Environment and Planning) stated that it has been a hard and long task. You have heard, in the questions the views of only a tiny number of people. But we have had responses from over 1,000 people over the period of the plan. They reflect the feelings of the general public who responded to the consultation. Firstly, we have developers and land owners who wish to develop their sites as part of their business. On the other hand, we have heard from people who wish to preserve the nature of the green belt and prevent urban sprawl and coalition of the towns and villages and additional we have heard from residents of towns who do not want overdevelopment in the urban areas. However there is a need for housing in the Borough and these proposals provide a reasoned approach to the numbers.
Following discussion, it was moved and seconded by Councillors S.Boulton and T.Kingsbury and
(23 voting FOR, 12 AGAINST AND 13 ABSTENTIONS)
(1) That the new objective assessment housing need (OAN) is 690 per year equivalent to 13,800 over the plan period of 2016-2036 based on the ten year projection identified.
(2) That a strategy is put forward for 13,277 dwellings plus allocation of site PB1 for safeguarding.