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EV22 - Objectively-Assessed Housing Need Update (PUSH)


The starting point and the driver of the Draft Local Plan is work commission by The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire. Objectively-Assessed Housing Need South Hampshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment The orthodox thinking of those who conform to the narrative that we need to build 250 to 300 thousand new homes a year across the UK to meet housing demand will point to the fact the Fareham’s Draft Local Plan is based on evidence which is in line with The Partnership for Urban South Hampshire's (PUSH) commissioned reports, of course they are correct. 1) Objectively-Assessed Housing Need 2) South Hampshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment. Both reports reflect The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) assessment of housing need who in turn base their assessment on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) future household projections. The problem, of course, the calculations used in all this work are projections based on assumptions, conjecture and theories with a large dose of hope that the final figures may be plausible, reasonable and convincing. If one looks at past forecasts by ONS then one can see there has been a persistent record of overemphasising with regard to future household projections. There is also the matter of what accuracy to apply to the figures being used to determine future household need or growth. Household projections are driven by assumptions on future levels of fertility, mortality and net migration. Over the years ONS has had to correct their forecasts downwards on all of these measures. The household projections use the latest population projections from ONS and are inevitably dependent on the accuracy of those estimates. The projection methodology for the population projections does not enable calculations of probability, standard errors or confidence intervals and, similarly, cannot be calculated for the household projections and therefore in all probability have inaccuracies, but who cares, if we keep saying we need 300 thousand new houses a year then that must be true! The figures being used for building thousands of homes across Fareham could well be hopelessly out of tune with reality and yet no one has challenged the data used by PUSH to determine housing need in this Borough. When PUSH commissioned their reports, it was PUSH’s intention to allow the public to have their say on the report’s findings through a public consultation. The consultation was delayed and finally withdrawn with the announcement that the public consultation would form part of the various Draft Local Plan Reviews which members of PUSH would bring forward. I would suggest transporting the public consultation of PUSH’s work to the local plan reviews being undertaken by the members of PUSH is far too late in the planning process and this is borne out by Fareham’s Local Draft Plan consultation. There is no opportunity for Fareham residents to challenge PUSH’s work and the data which is driving new housing numbers, it's far too late for the public have any impact. The Draft Local Plan already has a built-in strategy, principally development should be located in three key areas. Warsash, Fareham Town Centre and Portchester. Other areas are also being targeted, Park Gate, Wallington, Stubbington and Funtley. The government are clear, communities should be part of the planning process, they should be involved at the earliest stages of a Draft Local Plan when evidence gathering is initiated and officers start to shape the strategy and direction of the plan. The National Planning Policy Framework says. Paragraph 155: talks about early and meaningful engagement and collaboration with neighbourhoods, local organisations and business is essential. Paragraph 157: Crucially, Local Plans be based on co-operation with neighbouring authorities, PUBLIC, voluntary and private sector organisations. Government Local Plans guidance ‘How is a Local Plan is produced’ says Effective discussion and consultation with local communities, businesses and other interested parties is essential Bear. The Draft Local Plan doesn’t even have options for the residents to consider, merely a list of preferred housing allocations which addresses the crisis caused by the Cranleigh Road Inspector who decided our present local plan was unsound. With no options being presented to residents one should not be surprised if developers undertake the task on behalf of the Council. It is not the role of the public to bring forward alternative housing allocations and I would suggest: 1) Residents do not have the time to investigate unallocated sites 2) Residents do not have all the technical information on unallocated sites 3) Residents do not have the necessary planning background or the technical expertise 4) It's not their JOB to do so. It is the Council’s role to bring forward alternatives and set out Options for Housing Allocations so the public can explore and comment on?

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