The ‘Huntingdonshire Local Plan to 2036,’ which was published on the 28th June, has included a new call for sites stage during its consultation period. The period, which runs from the 3rd July – 25th August, now offers landowners an opportunity for further sites to be considered for housing development.
The Plan was published with an accompanying Sustainability Appraisal and a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA). Jon Jennings, Director, Cheffins comments:
“The current draft plan intends to deliver 21,000 houses from 2011 – 2036, however this figure is significantly lower than what is needed to help to address the housing shortage in the region. Huntingdonshire Council has one of the most comprehensive levels of planning permissions already achieved at large-scale sites such as RAF Alconbury, however there is a severe deficit in sites which can be delivered in the next five years. By including an additional call for sites, Huntingdonshire District Council is attempting to ensure sufficient land is identified for development, in line with calls to address the UK’s ‘broken housing market’ which arose in this year’s Housing White Paper.
"It is clear from the current Local Plan that immediately available sites are urgently needed to address the District’s shortfall for housing and this should be addressed prior to the spotlight being shone on larger sites which have already been allocated for development. It is interesting that a recent appeal has shown that at Buckden, near St Neots, the Council cannot demonstrate a five year housing land supply and due to the District’s prolonged period of under-delivery of housing, the Council now needs to include an additional 20 buffer to its original figure. The point here is that the council needs housing sites which can be built out in the short term, rather than concentrating on the larger, strategic sites which take significantly longer to complete.
"All housing within the plan is to be focussed within and adjacent to main settlements, hopefully causing minimal impact on the surrounding countryside. We are working with clients to put additional land forward for consideration which ought to help ease the pressure for housing across the District. As further Local Plans come to be published, we forecast that we will see an increase in the numbers of sites coming forward during consultation periods as Council’s continually show a deficit in immediately developable land.”
For more information contact Cheffins Planning and Development team on 01223 271985.