23rd Oct, 2020

Leading Councillor sounds the alarm over new housing plans

Ross Crawford 8th Oct, 2020 Updated: 8th Oct, 2020

HOUSe building targets in Stratford district, which includes Alcester and Studley could more than double under proposed new government planning rules, according to Lichfields, a leading planning consultancy.

Under the government’s proposed new planning laws, local discretion over house building rates and numbers will be removed.

Central government will share out an annual house building target – at present 337,000 a year – between local councils, who will then be responsible for finding enough land to meet the target.

Under the proposals, currently subject to a consultation, a new ‘standard method’ calculation will be used to set each council’s Local Housing Need (LHN) figure.

Councillor Susan Juned heads the Liberal Democrats at Stratford District Council.

Lichfields, who describe themselves as, ‘the pre-eminent planning and development consultancy in the UK’, have applied the new formulas across all local authority areas in England. The results show that Stratford’s increase in Local Housing Need numbers would be one of the largest increases in the West Midlands.

Lichfields calculate the annual numbers as follows:

Current Local Plan requirement (Core Strategy) 730

Proposed new Standard Method requirement 1,675

Current Standard Method requirement 603

Average delivery last three years 1,321

These figures could have major implications for both Alcester and Studley if the change in planning rules goes ahead.

Councillor Susan Juned, (Alcester Town) Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Stratford District Council, said: ‘These numbers from Lichfields are staggering and out of all proportion to numbers proposed for other councils in Warwickshire.

“Because much of the north of the district is green belt, and therefore protected, it would mean huge increases in house building in the area south, west and east of Stratford.

“It’s difficult to see how the infrastructure could cope with this without huge spending on roads and other facilities.”

The Lichfield Report can be found at: https://lichfields.uk/blog/2020/august/13/under-pressure-what-does-the-new-standard-method-mean-for-the-west-midlands?

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