Future of housing uncertain for Suffolk Coastal due to 'out of date figures' says inspector
PUBLISHED: 06:00 27 April 2016
The future of housing supply in a Suffolk district has been called into question by a planning inspector after he found 'out of date' housing policies created a 'seriously uncertain' future for housing growth.
The claims were made by planning inspector John Braithwaite in a decision notice to allow 163 homes to be built in Fairfield Road, Framlingham.
Suffolk Coastal District Council has come under fire in Mr Braithwaite’s report for failing to complete a review into it’s core strategy and its five year housing land supply - a review which should have been completed by the end of 2015.
It means that, according to policy, the 7,900 housing land supply figure is now out of date.
Mr Braithwaite said in his report: “Mrs Hanslip, for the council, accepted under cross-examination that she would expect the objectively assessed need (OAN) [for housing] to have gone up.
“The future for housing growth in the district is seriously uncertain and is not following the plan-led approach that is advocated in the core planning principles.
“The council cannot demonstrate a five year supply of housing land.”
Christopher Sharpe, chairman of Framlingham Residents Association which made formal representations at the appeal, said: “I think we have been let down by the council. We stood up, we did what we could, but at the end of the day we were at the mercy of the district’s five year housing land supply.
“We should be asking questions of the people who are responsible for this.”
A spokesman for the council, Steve Henry, said: “Suffolk Coastal has demonstrated a five year housing supply and remains committed to welcoming sympathetic development in the proper locations.
“In the case of Fairfield Road, we believed we had a very strong case, which was based on the adverse impact on the historic landscape.
“Suffolk Coastal will now review the planning inspector’s reports in detail and examine our options for the future.
“We are now completing the last stages of a wide-ranging review of our housing policies.
“There has been comprehensive consultation to establish the best locations for the houses needed over the next few years.
“These plans show that we can achieve our required housing numbers and site them in the places that local communities want them. They will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate in May.”