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Hampshire council to ‘rip up’ its draft plan

Words: Laura Edgar
Council to tear up draft local plan / iStock-471879973

Fareham Borough Council has said it will tear up its draft local plan because of the new way to calculate housing need introduced in revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The changes came into force in July. Since then, council leader Seán Woodward has worked with Fareham MPs Suella Braverman and Caroline Dineage to try to get reassurance from the housing secretary.

The new standard methodology for calculating housing need sees Fareham needing to provide 30 per cent more homes. However, the government said it would consult on revisions to this new method after the publication of the Office for National Statistics household projections in September 2018. Revised figures will now be published in December 2018.

The council said such uncertainty over housing numbers affects in the immediate term its five-year land supply, as well as the housing requirements that need to be met in the new local plan.

Woodward said: “I am extremely disappointed that we have not been able to secure the necessary protection that would have allowed us to continue with our existing draft local plan. Without that protection we will have to effectively rip it up and start again to include the government’s extra housing numbers – once there is final agreement about what they actually are!”

The council added that it currently has “approximately” a five-year housing land supply. However, the Housing Delivery Test launches in November, also introduced in the 2018 NPPF revision, and will assess the council’s delivery over the past three years. The council thinks it will fail the test, which will result in a “significant and immediate 20 per cent increase” in the council’s five-year housing land supply requirement.

Earlier this month Greater Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham and its 10 council leaders demanded that ministers should urgently clarify and publish the housing need methodology to determine the number of homes the city region would be required to build.

They said the region’s spatial framework faces fresh delays and further rewrites after latest government household projections disrupted the standard method for calculating housing need.

Image credit | iStock