Release Date: 05 October 2012
At a council meeting specially convened to decide future housing figures for the Stroud district, councillors voted in favour of a setting a minimum target of 9,260 homes to be built in the period between 2006 and 2031. With 6,535 of those homes already built or with planning permission, land needs to be allocated for the remainder of 2,725 homes in the Local Plan for delivery over the next 19 years.
Councillor Dennis Andrewartha, executive member for planning for Stroud District Council, said:
'The figures have been produced by our planners using a tried and tested methodology that has been endorsed by independent planning consultants. I am confident they know what they are doing and know what we need to do to satisfy the Government's requirement that our predictions are sound. We need a robust Local Plan with strong foundations and agreeing the number of houses we need, via an established and tested methodology is a good start to achieving this. The next stage will be to work out where they should be built and that will not be without controversy.'
Earlier this year, the council said that 9,350 homes would need to be built between 2006 and 2026. Since then, the Office of National Statistics, whose data is used by the Government to help assess the soundness of Local Plans, has published more up to date information. Using this, the figures were revised to a range of between 9,260 and 11,500 homes until 2031. This extends the timeframe of the plan and reduces the number of homes which need to be built each year to meet demand.
Councillor Andrewartha added:
'On something as important and controversial as housing numbers we expect criticism, but I'm sure that the public will be reassured that their council has the interests of the entire district at heart. We will do the job properly using the best available information. If we don't do it properly, we won't have a plan, and if we don't have a plan we will be defenceless against predatory developers - and no-one wants that.'
At the meeting it was agreed that 9,260 homes would be the delivery target whilst the council retained the flexibility to build up to 11,500 should evidence show that the district needed to increase provision to meet improved economic conditions. The council also agreed that it would consider any relevant data that emerges in the months ahead right up until the moment that the final plan is approved and put to the Government inspector in Autumn 2013.