Mid Suffolk claims it has regained its five year land supply
- Credit: PA
A Suffolk council which is under threat of having to approve speculative developments could be in a position to demonstrate its five year land supply by March.
A decision by Mid Suffolk District Council to refuse planning permission for 49 homes in Woolpit last autumn was overturned at appeal by the Planning Inspectorate, after it ruled the council could not demonstrate a five-year land supply.
It meant that its policies were considered out of date, and means the planning committee has to look more favourably for approval on applications.
It led to fears that speculative developers could try and take advantage of the situation with applications which were not suitable.
But on Thursday, January 17, Mid Suffolk formally launched the six week public consultation on its latest housing supply statement.
If no concerns or challenges are made to it, the council could be in a position to demonstrate it has a five year land supply by the end of March, meaning that speculative applications could be dismissed.
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Councillor Glen Horn, Conservative cabinet member for planning, said: “Following the Planning Inspectorate’s decision last autumn our team have been hard at work.
“This supply position statement has shown just what has been involved and we are pleased to say we now believe we can demonstrate a 5.32 year land supply.
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“Now we want to test that figure. We are inviting everyone to look at our evidence.”
He added: “If it goes to the Planning Inspectorate again we can ensure it will hold up and continue to give local policies, including neighbourhood plans, due weight in any future planning decisions.”
Councillor Andrew Stringer from the opposition Green group, said: “For many communities this statement will be cold comfort, but it does seem at last the conservative administration at Mid Suffolk are taking the five year land supply position seriously.
“Much of the work carried out that underpins this document, was a Green Party budget proposal for the last five years and had been constantly voted down by the Conservatives until April.
“Had this work been carried out five years ago Mid Suffolk’s residents would have had their future housing properly planned.”