Hart District Council has said that it doesn’t have any back-up to the claim it made in Hart News and at Cabinet that we had capacity for 1,800 dwellings on brownfield land. The implication of this is that it simply made up the numbers, which calls into question whether we can believe any of the numbers the council publishes about the Local Plan.
[update] On September 3, the council said the following in Cabinet papers:
“Active engagement has occurred with local commercial agents to encourage them to inform their clients that residential conversion or redevelopment is a realistic option. This action has undoubtedly increased interest in the potential availability of residential conversion. In this regard it is the Council can reasonably increase potential Local Plan delivery from brownfield sites to over 1,800 dwellings which at this stage can be readily quantified.”
Hart also published its estimate in Hart News, see below:
Please provide an analysis, including SHLAA ref, site name and description, site area in hectares, and expected yield, of the sites that have been used to build up the estimate provided at cabinet on 1 October 2015, when it was asserted that the ‘guesstimated’ capacity for brownfield development in the district up to 2031 was now 1,800 dwellings (up from the 750 dwelling estimate of a year ago and compared to the 2,438 units estimated by WeHeartHart).
How will the recent Government announcement extending permitted development rights indefinitely and allowing automatic planning permission in principle on brownfield sites impact your assessment of brownfield capacity?
Hart has now replied to our FOI request saying:
With regards to the first request, we do not hold that information. The paper on Brownfield Land that went to Cabinet on 3rd September 2015 is available here
With regards to the second request, FOI relates to recorded information held by the Council and not to matters of opinion. We do not hold the information you seek.
We have asked for an internal review of this decision because Hart have apparently lost 1,400 of these homes since September.