Developers call for Hart’s housing target to be doubled

The new age of crony capitalism

We have taken a brief look at the submissions made by developers to the Hart Council Refined Housing Options Consultation, found some worrying results. Barratt Homes, Berkeley Homes and Martin Grant homes all call for Hart’s housing target to be increased, and some call for it to be doubled. It is important that everyone in Hart unites to challenge these ridiculous figures. We should also challenge the developers to build the houses that are already permitted and not ‘land-bank’.

According to the current Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), Hart must build 7,534 homes in the planning period up to 2032. This amounts to around 370 per annum. This number was arrived at by using the 2011-based population projections as a starting point. Since then the 2012-based population projections have been published and they show a lower population projection than the older numbers

However, Barratt Homes have come up with their own assessment of Hart’s housing need which is 730 homes per annum.

Berkeley Homes have also come up with their own housing target for Hart in the range of 540-685 dwellings per annum

Finally, Martin Grant Homes also say that Hart’s housing ‘need’ is 730 dwellings per annum, nearly double the currently assessed need.

What is particularly galling about these projections put forward by the developers is that they are not even building at anywhere near the 370 per annum rate required to meet the 7,534 target,

Hart District Housing Completions by year

Hart District Housing Completions by year

even though there are 1,075 homes that were granted permission in or before 2013, out of the over 3,000 outstanding permissions. It is ridiculous to suggest that these developers are going to double their build rate, because prices would collapse along with their profits.  This is just a way for developers to try and gain more planning permissions and then sit on them and produce houses at a rate that suits them.

Outstanding permissions in Hart District as of 20 April 2016 by year of grant

Outstanding permissions in Hart District as of 20 April 2016 by year of grant

We hope that all campaigning groups in Hart unite to challenge these ridiculous notions of housing ‘need’ coming from the developers. If we don’t then there is a strong risk we will be forced to build even more houses for Rushmoor and Surrey Heath and end up having to build Pyestock (aka Hartland Village) and all three of the options in the consultation.

 

 

Posted in Hart Housing Options Consultation, Hart Local Plan, Hart SHMA, Risk of becoming sink for Surrey Heath and Rushmoor, We Heart Hart Campaign, We Love Hart Campaign and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

57 Comments

  1. Pingback: Barratt Homes' claimed housing need is tendentious nonsense

  2. I think Gareth makes a good point, slowly the area, deemed to be so wonderful to live in, is being destroyed and the countryside devastated. It is simple, it has to be more controlled before the whole place becomes an extension of London.

  3. I think Gareth makes a good point, slowly the area, deemed to be so wonderful to live in, is being destroyed and the countryside devastated. It is simple, it has to be more controlled before the whole place becomes an extension of London.

  4. Gareth, suggesting that the council has no long term view is just incorrect. Or that it’s based on what developers want or even suggest.

    I wonder if your comment is based upon the fact that you just disagree with some of what’s been suggested.

    The District’s local plan is exactly the sort of vision that is needed, and is (finally) progressing on track.

    The recent consultation (results published yesterday) will help with the plan, and provide objective evidence of what people think, and want.

  5. The simple fact is whether its 400-750 units a year, Hart has no long term vision or solution as to how to deal with housing it is being shaped by opportunistic developers whom like said above look out for themselves. The council needs to be bold and step outside the standard approach of picking a field and building in it and come up with a long term vision that does not destroy the very thing that makes Hart such a wonderful place to live. Its quite simple.

  6. Cynical? Yes very much so but its always helpful to bear in mind the motivation of others when presented with choices.

    Steve – I am glad someone does put themselves forward. But I also subscribe to the idea that anyone seeking to be prime minister (for example) should automatically be excluded from consideration.

    How that would work in practice would be interesting, and the world a different place perhaps?

    • I see no distiniction between the authority to exercise power, and how much power one can exercise. It’s the principle of whoever wants it needs to have safeguards, rules and controls in place to ensure its exercised wisely and for the exclusive benefit of others rather than the individual who holds it.

    • Not opposed Steve, but all of us get 24 hours in a day and spending them wisely is a good plan…so knowing ahead of a meet what the purpose is seems like a good idea?

    • Not opposed Steve, but all of us get 24 hours in a day and spending them wisely is a good plan…so knowing ahead of a meet what the purpose is seems like a good idea?

    • So that we can talk through some of the issues you feel there are I. The area, see if we have any common ground, identify of there’s something positive to work on. More a case of your agenda than mine being important. though. You’re covering things you’re not happy with so you tell me what you want to talk through, issues, complaints etc. That is assuming you’re in my ward?

    • So that we can talk through some of the issues you feel there are I. The area, see if we have any common ground, identify of there’s something positive to work on. More a case of your agenda than mine being important. though. You’re covering things you’re not happy with so you tell me what you want to talk through, issues, complaints etc. That is assuming you’re in my ward?

  7. Simon that’s incredibly cynical. I personally do it as I enjoy putting something back into the community. Altruistic? Yes. Trying to make Fleet, and Hart better for all of us. Yes. Definitely.

    What do councillors get out of it for around 10-50hrs work a week? Enjoyment. Fulfilment. Some appreciation and recognition. A small allowance.

    Suggesting otherwise is just a fallacy. No big salaries, no freebies.

  8. Councils too have their own interests at heart, and their own agendas based on many things.

    Councillors may wish to leave a legacy, for example. Or please the party to which they are representing, perhaps to help climb further up the political tree?

    First rule of listening to a politician or business leader/organisation; before thinking what they say makes sense ask yourself “what’s in it for them?”.

    And do not automatically assume they have your best interests at heart.

  9. Councils too have their own interests at heart, and their own agendas based on many things.

    Councillors may wish to leave a legacy, for example. Or please the party to which they are representing, perhaps to help climb further up the political tree?

    First rule of listening to a politician or business leader/organisation; before thinking what they say makes sense ask yourself “what’s in it for them?”.

    And do not automatically assume they have your best interests at heart.

  10. Totally agree! However my point was more that Councils are duty bound to make decisions based on the needs of the community and hope that they are not swayed by ‘advice’ from developers who so obviously have their own interests at heart.

  11. Totally agree! However my point was more that Councils are duty bound to make decisions based on the needs of the community and hope that they are not swayed by ‘advice’ from developers who so obviously have their own interests at heart.

  12. Totally agree! However my point was more that Councils are duty bound to make sure the decisions they make are based solely on the needs of the community and not on ‘advice’ from developers who so obviously have their own interests at heart.

  13. Totally agree! However my point was more that Councils are duty bound to make sure the decisions they make are based solely on the needs of the community and not on ‘advice’ from developers who so obviously have their own interests at heart.

  14. Nikki Jenkins As you may know the SHMA is currently under review. The only consultees for the last one were developers in some shape or form.

    I strongly suspect the developers are doing their level best to twist the arm of Wessex Economics to push up the numbers even further, even though the population forecasts are now lower than they were before, as are the jobs forecasts.

    I will do a bit of work in the next few days to pull apart Barratt’s arguments.

  15. Nikki Jenkins As you may know the SHMA is currently under review. The only consultees for the last one were developers in some shape or form.

    I strongly suspect the developers are doing their level best to twist the arm of Wessex Economics to push up the numbers even further, even though the population forecasts are now lower than they were before, as are the jobs forecasts.

    I will do a bit of work in the next few days to pull apart Barratt’s arguments.

  16. To be fair, directors of Ltd companies are duly charged with making money.

    So I don’t look to house builders to stop and consider for one minute anything other than shareholder return. That is their remit and sole raison d’être and whilst they need to consider things like flood plains, infrastructure, schools etc the directors are legally obliged to limit costs and maximise return to shareholders.

    Hold that thought in mind and all of their means, methods, tactics and PR makes sense, and why their opinions need to be judged accordingly.

  17. To be fair, directors of Ltd companies are duly charged with making money.

    So I don’t look to house builders to stop and consider for one minute anything other than shareholder return. That is their remit and sole raison d’être and whilst they need to consider things like flood plains, infrastructure, schools etc the directors are legally obliged to limit costs and maximise return to shareholders.

    Hold that thought in mind and all of their means, methods, tactics and PR makes sense, and why their opinions need to be judged accordingly.

  18. Do Councils actually take notice of developers ‘telling’ them what their forecast are for our housing needs? This seems absurd! It’s obviously just a ruse on the developers part to secure more contracts. I can’t believe that this is how it’s really done?

  19. Do Councils actually take notice of developers ‘telling’ them what their forecast are for our housing needs? This seems absurd! It’s obviously just a ruse on the developers part to secure more contracts. I can’t believe that this is how it’s really done?

  20. So, developers are asking for more housing to be built, does this mean they are looking to their own profits and benefits rather than a realistic need? If so, that’s disgraceful.

  21. So, developers are asking for more housing to be built, does this mean they are looking to their own profits and benefits rather than a realistic need? If so, that’s disgraceful.

  22. Agreed, they ask for this to land bank and for profits, both behaviours I have been meaning to write to Ranil about. They want to secure long terms profits here, and additionally I would like to see infrastructure surcharges in this area with infrastructure being built first (before houses) and any surplus being redistributed around Hampshire. Once their profits are reduced and they have to contribute rather than take let’s see how keen they are then….

    • Hence, surcharge, to repay what I understand to be a massive deficit and close the gap between what is promised, what is paid for and what is actually delivered by developers

    • Rob Jones that primarily comes if they build a new town, as they HAVE to provide the infrastructure for the concept to work – and planning cam insist upon it in that case, legally. It’s part of the business case, and pretty much the only way developers are forced to invest fairly.

    • There are many dissatisfied with the status quo you describe, the current stays quo isn’t working. We should not be forced into new towns (coincidentally also good for developers) because of poor rules / legislation. If I were accepting of the status quo, there would have been no reason to post. I also understand that many mandatory items never happen as the requirements are often negotiated away by protracted delay and legal engagement from developers lawyers. Irrespective. This was my reason for raising with Ranil as it is time to change the status quo.

    • There are many dissatisfied with the status quo you describe, the current stays quo isn’t working. We should not be forced into new towns (coincidentally also good for developers) because of poor rules / legislation. If I were accepting of the status quo, there would have been no reason to post. I also understand that many mandatory items never happen as the requirements are often negotiated away by protracted delay and legal engagement from developers lawyers. Irrespective. This was my reason for raising with Ranil as it is time to change the status quo.

  23. Agreed, they ask for this to land bank and for profits, both behaviours I have been meaning to write to Ranil about. They want to secure long terms profits here, and additionally I would like to see infrastructure surcharges in this area with infrastructure being built first (before houses) and any surplus being redistributed around Hampshire. Once their profits are reduced and they have to contribute rather than take let’s see how keen they are then….

    • Hence, surcharge, to repay what I understand to be a massive deficit and close the gap between what is promised, what is paid for and what is actually delivered by developers

    • Rob Jones that primarily comes if they build a new town, as they HAVE to provide the infrastructure for the concept to work – and planning cam insist upon it in that case, legally. It’s part of the business case, and pretty much the only way developers are forced to invest fairly.

  24. The developers’ targets come despite the population forecast in Hart for 2032 falling and the consensus forecasts for job creation falling too compared to the current SHMA.

    They are trying to argue that if two key planks of future housing demand fall, we need to build twice the number of houses.

    It is ridiculous.

  25. This is one of the few WHH posts which I actually think is reasonable.

    I personally agree with the current SHMA numbers (much as I’d like to see them revised downwards, but that wouldn’t meet the evidence base).

    The numbers proposed by developers are outrageous and not based on reality.

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