Development Pressure in North Dorset

on Monday, 31 July 2017. Posted in News


Development Pressure in North Dorset

Due to circumstances beyond the control of the Local Planning Authority, North Dorset District Council no longer has the ‘five-year housing land supply’ that is essential in controlling planning applications that aren’t in line with its adopted local plan.The five-year land supply is an assessment of the number of homes that are realistically likely to be built over the next five years. The total includes any shortfall from earlier years as well as a buffer supply should housing not be delivered as planned.

The district council has slipped to a housing land supply of 3.42 years’. This is a result of:
  • A very low rate of housing development over the last year - Only 140 houses have been completed against the annual target of 285.
  • Slower progress than anticipated on developments allocated in the local plan – such as the major development site south of Gillingham.
Because of the reduced supply, the district council will have to apply the national ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ which will allow more development to take place. This will be applied to all planning applications immediately.Cllr David Walsh, Portfolio holder for planning, said:“This is very frustrating for the council. 10 years of hard work has gone into putting a local plan together which sets out how local residents want the area to be developed. It has been examined and approved by the Secretary of State’s Inspector.“Through this local plan we have allocated land for development and have given planning permissions to developers, but the market is neglecting to bring forward housing. This could mean we may be required to allow development in locations not identified in our current plan, which are neither desirable nor appropriate. “The current system is penalising Local Planning Authorities for the lack of development in their areas, even though they are not actually able to influence the delivery of such development.“Having met and spoken with Planning Ministers and the Town and Country Planning Association, I continue to push for Local Authorities to be given the tools with which to bring forward development on sites with permissions granted. I had hoped that these would come through the Housing White Paper.“We will continue to work with the Gillingham developers to help progress the site so that it can boost our supply in the future.”The district council, alongside West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council, has developed a programme of ‘Accelerating Home Building’ work.  This will include working with housing associations, private sector developers and land owners to promote housing development and bring sites forward at a faster pace.

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