A report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration to providean update on the Council’s housing land supplytoenableScrutiny Commission todeterminewhetherfurther scrutiny is required.
A report of the Head of Planning and Regeneration to provide an update on the Council’s housing land supply to enable Scrutiny Commission to determine whether further scrutiny is required was selected from the Housing, Planning, Regeneration and Regulatory Services Scrutiny Committee Work Programme (item 12a on the agenda filed with these minutes).
The Head of Planning and Regeneration and the Strategic Director for Community, Planning and Housing assisted with the consideration of this item. The following summarises the discussion:
i. Since the 9th November 2020, the Council had been unable to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply. This meant that in accordance with paragraph 11 of the NPPF, permission should be granted for residential development unless this was in protected areas, or the adverse impact of doing so would significant and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies of the NPPF. Where there was an up to date Neighbourhood Plan less than two years old, and this contained policies and allocations to meet its identified housing requirement, and the Council could demonstrate a three-year housing land supply, the adverse impacts of allowing development that conflicted with the Neighbourhood Plan was likely to significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits. Members acknowledged that it would be beneficial for Parish Councils that had formulated a Neighbourhood Plan to be briefed on the implications of the housing supply for their areas.
ii. The Council did not control the supply of land for development and the development agenda but had granted permission in excess of the five-year supply number, although not all of these developments have been delivered. In addition, the Council was not able to control changes in Government policies relating to housing land supply, such as the recent alterations in calculations for housing need. It was acknowledged that previous periods where there had been shortfalls in housing land supply had resulted in development in areas which were not preferable. The Council was continuing to press for development associated with the Local Plan and meetings had taken place with developers.
iii. The Development of a Local Plan involved significant time and effort and during the life span of the document, there would be inevitable policy and legislative changes affecting the plan.
iv. Any development produced as a consequence of the introduction of the new five-year supply figure would be included within the overall tally of housing to be deducted from the target figure.
v. The Covid-19 pandemic had had a significant impact on the consultancies involved in the Local Plan process and also the development industry as staff had been furloughed and projects were paused.
1. That the Commission noted the report.
2. That it be recommended to Cabinet that the Parish Councils which have adopted Neighbourhood Plans are informed of the implications of the five-year housing land supply update in relation to potential development applications in their areas.
1. To ensure that, when necessary, the housing supply figures are scrutinised on a regular basis and any actions can be identified if required, in the absence of Directorate-based Scrutiny Committees.
2. To ensure that Parish Councils were kept informed of the implications of the housing land supply on existing Neighbourhood Plans.