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York Local Plan latest.....

Monday, 05 February 2018 06:19

In Planning Resource this week, the following was reported


Council facing Javid local plan intervention rejects extra housing allocations


26 January 2018 by Michael Donnelly and David Dewar 

Councillors in York have voted against most of the new housing allocations which planners had proposed to include in the city's draft local plan in order to take into account the "direction of travel" of national policy.

A report considered by City of York Council’s local plan working group earlier this week recommended that the authority’s housing targets be increased from levels set out in its pre-publication draft local plan.

It suggested a series of expanded allocations and new allocations to reflect a higher housing provision, arguing that the higher housing total would give the council a more "robust" position at the plan’s examination stage.

But at the council’s local plan working group, councillors tabled a series of amendments which rejected the majority of the report’s suggestions. The working group’s recommendations were then agreed by the council’s executive yesterday. A council spokesman said today that the draft plan would be submitted with the agreed changes.

The city circulated its pre-publication draft local plan for consultation in September last year. The document set out plans for the council to meet an objectively assessed housing need of 867 new dwellings per year for the plan period to 2032/33.

But the report to this week’s working group meeting said that, applying the government’s proposed standard housing need methodology to the City of York council area, a minimum of 1,070 dwellings per annum would be required.

However, planners cautioned that the standard method had not yet been introduced and the 1,070 figure was based on older government statistics which suggested faster rates of population growth than new figures which are due to replace those previously used.

Nonetheless, planners advised that allocations would need to increase compared to the pre-publication draft. They did not suggest a new housing target, but advised "that the direction of travel in national policy indicates that if the site proposals previously consulted on were increased this would be a more robust position."

"In officers' opinion, an increase in the supply of housing would place the council in a better position for defending the plan proposals through the examination process", the report said.

Planners recommended increased housing numbers within individual sites already identified for development within the draft plan and the reconsideration of sites previously discounted from the site allocation process. But members only accepted higher numbers on sites where increased development would not result in boundary changes.

In November, York was named by the communities secretary Sajid Javid as one 15 local authorities that had failed to make sufficient progress on their local plans.

Javid said he was commencing action to remove City of York Council's plan-making powers to prevent them "failing the people they serve". But he gave all 15 authorities until January 31 to present mitigating circumstances that might persuade him to stay his hand.

Elsewhere, Liverpool City Council - one of the other authorities threatened by Javid with intervention - today published its draft submission local plan. The plan says that, by 2033, Liverpool will be "a sustainable, vibrant and distinctive global city."

The plan includes allocations for 2,320 new homes for the period up to 2033, with the plan incorporating a windfall delivery assumption of 1,950 homes over the period to enable the plan to meet its housing requirement. The windfall assumption equates to 50 per cent of the previous annual level during the period 2011-17.

Much of the remainder of the city's 34,780 housing requirement in the 2013-33 plan period would be met sites where completions had already taken place and sites with existing permissions

The council says it intends to submit the plan to the government in March.

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