The Government's revised National Planning Policy Framework, issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on 24 July, will significantly increase the number of homes Fareham is required to build each year.
Radical changes to the way house numbers are calculated mean that Fareham will now need to build at least 544 dwellings per year – that is an annual increase of 124 (30%).
The Government expects councils to be able to demonstrate that, for the next five years, housing numbers will meet the target that has been set; this forms the basis of a five-year housing land supply (5YHLS). At an appeal last year, a Planning Inspector took the view that the Council could only demonstrate a supply of around 3.5 years against our previous housing numbers. By June of this year the Council's 5YHLS position was 4.65 years (against the previous numbers) – a very significant improvement. Unfortunately this improvement will be wiped out by the Government's changes, returning to between 3.5 and 4 years against the new housing numbers.
In November 2018, a Housing Delivery Test will be introduced. The Housing Delivery Test is undertaken by Government and determines whether councils have met the new housing requirements over the previous three years. If that test shows below 95%, the Council must prepare a Housing Delivery Action Plan to show how delivery can be increased. If the results are below 85%, councils will be required to plan not just for the new housing numbers, but an extra 20% on top for the next five years.
Changes to the NPPF framework will therefore have a significant impact on the progression of the Council's draft Local Plan as new sites will need to be identified and consulted on.
Cllr Seán Woodward, Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: 'It appears that Fareham is one of the hardest hit of all local authorities in Hampshire. Despite voicing our significant concerns during the consultation, the Government's publication of its changed planning rules will have an immediate effect. That places the Council in a situation where we must consider planning applications in the context of the Government significantly increasing our deemed housing need.'
Councillor Seán Woodward, is working with the Borough's MPs, Suella Braverman and Caroline Dinenage, to meet the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, once the Council has fully ascertained the effect on Fareham.
For further information contact:
The Communications Team, Tel: 01329 824310
fax: 01329 550576, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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