At the July Hart Council meeting, it was announced that the council leader had met with a number of other council leaders from the South East and Sir Edward Lister, the Deputy Mayor for Planning in London. Interestingly, Sir Edward “took pains to assure us that London intends to meet its own objectively assessed housing needs within its own geography”. If this promise were kept, this would reduce housing pressure on Hart District.
This is a very interesting development, because it calls into question some of the assumptions in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) about inward migration. The SHMA says:
“The authorities are also affected by their proximity to London with in-migration from the capital and commuting to London for work. This relationship is reflected in the population and economic projections for the area.”
The SHMA also says:
“Hart and Surrey Heath may attract in-migrant families from quite a wide area (London, the Greater South East, and job-related in migration from other regions)”
The SHMA makes an upward adjustment of 1,210 houses across Hart, Rushmoor and Surrey Heath based on some spurious assumptions about inward migration. However, if London were to make good its promise of meeting its needs within its own boundaries, then surely this increase in housing requirement would reduce.