This report provides a summary of house building monitoring information to the year ending 31 March 2021.
The Committee considered the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management’s report outlining the latest robust monitoring figures on housing supply and monitoring to year ending 31 March 2021.
Members noted that houses delivered was down on preceding years due to the pandemic, seeing 872 completed. The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management advised that although this figure was below the 918 Government standard method the overall shortfall was just two houses after taking into account over-supply in some of the previous year’s which demonstrated a five year housing land supply position. However, the Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management raised concerns that this was in a declining position and drew Members attention to paragraph 5 about future risks highlighting there was a need for immediate action and that Members needed to accept that the Local Plan was unlikely to be adopted before 2024.
Points raised during discussion included:
· Reference was made to the table in paragraph 3.2 which should read (Number = A x 5) and (Number A x 8) as this was the annual requirement;
· Concerns raised that the wording in paragraph 5.2 could imply that developers could come forward with pre-emptive sites. In response the Chair advised that any sites that came forward would go through the Planning Committee and it was the Committee’s responsibility to determine applications that were not in line with current policy. The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management acknowledged the concerns raised about pre-empting but emphasised the need to maintain the five year land supply. In response to a question he advised that he hoped to bring a report on the HELAA to the meeting in April;
· Reference was made to the removal of the Axminster Urban Extension detailed in paragraph 5 – future risks and questioned the suggestion that it had been removed because it was undeliverable. The Chair advised that the urban extension was removed as officers felt it was not able to deliver housing within the next five years and also addressed the phosphates issues in the River Axe. The Service Lead – Planning Strategy confirmed that evidence suggested this was the case but the urban extension could be revisited at a later date. He acknowledged there could be phosphate issues in many rivers in the district but highlighted that the River Axe was a priority as it was a European Designated Habitat.
The Chair proposed an additional recommendation that a short briefing session with Strategic Planning Committee and Planning Committee from planners about how to boost the housing supply outside of the emerging Local Plan. The Service Lead – Planning Strategy and Development Management confirmed he was happy to arrange if Members agreed
The Strategic Planning Committee noted:
1. The residential dwellings completion data and future projections for the district including the comments on future supply risks detailed in section 5 of the report;
2. The confirmation of a Five Year Land Supply;
3. That the Housing Monitoring update will be published on the Council’s website;
4. Request a short briefing for Strategic Planning Committee and Planning Committee from planners as to how supply can be boosted outside the Local Plan.