Calderdale and Dorset councils have now both reduced their housing targets in the light of the Government consultation on the new way of calculating housing need. This comes hot on the heels of a similar announcement from Leeds City Council.
Despite the Government saying it was starting ‘formal intervention’ against Calderdale for not producing its Local Plan on time, the housing target has been reduced from 17,000 to 13,000. Calderdale Council has said it will be looking at further opportunities on brownfield sites and increasing densities of town centre developments. The full story can be found here.
Meanwhile, Dorset council is looking to reduce the number of homes it is planning for following the publication of the government’s consultation on a standard methodology for objectively assessed need (OAN). This story can be found here (paywall).
With at least three councils now reducing their housing target, surely it is time for Hart to follow suit. As we have reported before, Hart planned to build a ridiculous 10,185 houses in the draft Local Plan. This compares to the 8,022 in the SHMA. The new Government approach would result in 292 dwellings per annum, or 6,132 over the plan period from 2011-2032. This would be likely increased to around 6,500 once we take into account the need to build a few extra for Surrey Heath. The balance left to plan for could easily be accommodated on brownfield sites:
- Sun Park (320), from Local Plan para 109
- Grove Farm (423), sadly green field but given the go ahead by the inspector at appeal
- The forthcoming Rawlings depot site in Hook (123)
- The remaining 40 can come from any number of brownfield sites for instance:
- Hartley Wintney (Nero Brewery – 10)
- Winchfield (Winchfield Court extension – 17)
- The derelict eyesores on Fleet Road – up to 200
It is time the CCH/Lib Dem coalition dropped their ridiculous new town ideology and worked to protect our valuable green fields. Sadly, there is no sign of them doing so.