Eastleigh’s overdue local plan has received a fresh setback today after the Independent Planning Inspector suspended the process because he said the council are not proposing to build enough homes.
The Local Plan is the council blueprint for the development of the borough from 2011 up to 2029 and sets the number and location of new homes based on anticipated need.
Without a plan in place developers could submit planning applications anywhere in the borough where they are able to secure a site and with government planning policy in favour of a ‘presumption to build’ it would be hard for the council to oppose them.
The first phase of the public examination ran from the 10 – 13 November at The Point and was scheduled to re-commence in January but that has now been postponed after the Planning Inspector wrote to the council to say:
I have found that the council has not recognised the full extent of affordable housing need in the Borough and, as a consequence, has not considered all options to seek to better address that need. There are also market signals which indicate that some additional market housing is required.
The Inpsector also described the council’s five year land supply as ‘inadequate’.
This is just days after council leader Keith House commented on this website that the council now had an adequate five year land supply in response to the Eastleigh News report of the Judicial Review of the Boorley Green Planning application last week when Lord Justice Collins dismissed the case brought by Botley Parish Action Group partly because of the lack of adequate land supply and an “urgent need” for houses.
Eastleigh Borough Council has said it is ‘disappointed’ with the Planning Inspector’s decision and will be considering “it’s options.”
In a statement Keith House said:
It’s worrying that the Inspector requires us to plan for probably 1000 more homes over the life of the plan and to increase our housing supply by providing at least 800 of these homes over the next five years.
It has been reported in the Observer this week that Cllr House is currently working on a government-commissioned report on the role local authorities can play in increasing the supply of housing.