Council reveals it has twice as much housing land than needed
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk council has revealed that it has nearly twice as much land as needed allocated for new homes.
Mid Suffolk has nearly double the minimum five-year land supply required - specific and deliverable sites to demonstrate it can meet housing requirements.
But opposition councillors have warned that it could mean the housing market is 'over-heated'.
Latest figures for Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils show Babergh has a housing land supply of 6.86 years while Mid Suffolk has 9.54 years.
Areas where land supply is below five years means planning officers and committees have to weigh in favour of approving developments, which can open the door to speculative applications.
Conservative cabinet member for planning at Mid Suffolk, David Burn said: “I know that how and where development takes place is incredibly important to us all and can have a significant impact on our facilities and landscape.
“This draft housing land supply statement for Mid Suffolk identifies a robust supply of housing land that is anticipated to come forward in the next five years in line with Government expectations.”
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Clive Arthey, Independent cabinet member for planning at Babergh, added: “This is excellent news for our communities and demonstrates that we are on track with housing supply in the district, allowing all Babergh residents to live in affordable and high-quality homes that enable them to build settled, safe and healthy lives.”
But the opposition Green and Liberal Democrat (GLD) group at Mid Suffolk has raised fears about the long term impact of running at double the minimum rate.
Andrew Stringer, shadow planning spokesman with the GLD group, said: “To be in a position where we are delivering almost double the yearly requirement is a strong position, but it does suggest that Mid Suffolk’s housing market could be overheated, or there has been significant pent-up demand.
“Either way if we continue to build double our government- imposed housing target, there is a risk we will fall short of supply in years to come, leaving us once again open to even more government sanctioned unplanned development.”
The joint local plan for Babergh and Mid Suffolk has been in the examination phase with the Planning Inspectorate, but has been paused while some issues in need of further work are ironed out.