23rd Jan, 2021

'Missed housing targets' prompts calls for more homes to be built quicker in Bromsgrove district

MORE properties, especially affordable homes, need to be built quicker in Bromsgrove district according to the councillor responsible for housing needs.

Coun Adam Kent, the district council’s portfolio holder for planning and regulatory services, was responding to the Government’s proposed new formula to address shortfalls in the National Planning Policy Framework’s current standard.

The latest figures according to the Local Plan show 368 homes need to be built each year in Bromsgrove district but on average only 337 each year in the past three years have been managed.

The Government’s current standard method shows the number needs to 379 but the new one proposed would almost double it to 694.

Coun Kent said it was important to remember this was a consultation paper and housing targets had been missed in previous years.

“The reason the number has increased is totally due to the poor affordability in Bromsgrove district.

“It’s quite clear we are not currently delivering the number of houses or affordable homes required according to our current plan.”

He added 40 per cent of new homes built in Bromsgrove district would be affordable, allowing more young people and others to get onto the housing ladder.

And he said many other factors important to Bromsgrove – including how the green belt would be treated – were yet to be finalised.

“The Government’s proposals would see the number of houses required reviewed every five years and it may well be that the effect of the change is just that we build houses quicker and overall numbers may well not differ from previous plans.

“I would hope however that these changes, if implemented, may allow future generations to be able to see their children be able to afford to stay, live and work in the Bromsgrove district.”

Ruth Bamford, Bromsgrove District Council’s Head of Planning, Regeneration and Leisure Services, said the Government was consulting on the new methodology to determine the minimum number of homes which should be built in each authority.

“Currently we must provide 368 a year up to 2030.

“This new methodology would give an annual requirement of 694 to be reviewed every five years.

“Building these houses sooner rather than later, which should make housing more affordable in

“Bromsgrove district, would eventually bring the overall yearly requirement down.”

She said the Government had also released a white paper proposing a large-scale reform of all planning system elements.

These include future housing requirements being fixed by Government, factoring in known land constraints including the green belt.

“We would be keen to know what the implications of this would be for an area such as Bromsgrove district, which is almost 90 per cent green belt.”

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