Independent report confirms Strategy land supply
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In a letter to the Government Inspector responsible for approving the district’s long-term planning blueprint, published today, the council presents a detailed assessment of potential development land supply in the district in the years to 2018.
The independent report, prepared by consultants BNP Paribas, challenges recent claims that the district’s Core Strategy failed to show that enough housing could be delivered to meet its five-year housing target of 9,660 homes as at April 2013.
In fact, the report shows that when calculated on an annual basis, the district currently has supply sufficient for almost 5.5 years, or 10,393 homes.
In its letter the council notes that the independent assessment provides ‘highly material and robust evidence’ which should be given ‘substantial weight’ in the Inspector’s decision on the Core Strategy.
Chair of the council’s Planning, Transportation and Strategic Environment committee Cllr Brian Allinson said: “This report is very welcome, and should reassure our community that the district does not need to allocate further sites for development in order for the Core Strategy to progress towards adoption without delay.
“If there remained any doubts or uncertainty about our five year land supply, the council’s approach has now been robustly scrutinised and found to be correct through independent expert analysis.
“We are confident that this independent report will enable the Inspector to find the strategy sound and we look forward to working with him to progress the strategy without further delay.”
The review by BNP Paribas was carried out last month at the request of the council and considered the anticipated delivery rates of sites approved for development within the Core Strategy, taking into account the status of planning applications as well as developers’ ability to progress works. It confirms the council’s findings, presented at the Engine Common appeal, that the district has sufficient supply to meet its five-year requirements, with a surplus of some 733 homes.
The district’s overall land supply figures, totalling 28,355 new homes in the years to 2027, has been supported by the Inspector following the Strategy’s full Examination in Public last year and again in March this year following an additional hearing session.
The Inspector is now expected to issue a response to the council’s letter, inviting further comments and setting out his preferred way forward. The suggested draft timetable set out in the council’s letter indicates that the Inspector’s final report on the strategy could be delivered in September, although this is subject to the Inspector’s confirmation.
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