A new paper published by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) argues that the Government’s continuing failure to prioritise genuine local housing needs over market demand will perpetuate the housing crisis while wasting precious countryside
CPRE’s Needless Demand analyses the current method that councils use to plan for local housing and what is being built as a result. It finds that ‘housing need’ and ‘housing demand’ are being conflated in planning policy, with the result that sheer numbers matter more than type and tenure of housing
‘Needless Demand’ shows how Government could split need and demand, and so tackle the housing crisis more effectively. It calls for clearer definitions of ‘need’ and ‘demand’ to be applied to planning policy, and for councils to apply them to their housing targets and local plans. For more details read the CPRE Housing Foresight Paper 2017 or pop over to the CPRE website.
You will remember that CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) have been keeping an eye on the Government’s consultation on a new method for calculating “objectively assessed housing need” (OAN) – which part of the process of deciding how much areas need to build to make sure they have enough housing. From their latest update it appears the consultations on the OAN/SHMA methodology has been postponed again but may start in September – watch this space.
The Strategic Housing Assessment Methodology that drives the local housing targets
The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) National Office, has advised that the long-awaited consultations on the OAN/SHMA methodology is due “soon”. The consultation will last for eight weeks and will lead to a further consultation later in the year on a revised draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).
CPRE have been reporting for some time their concerns on the suggested housing need figures (73,000 for Dorset by 2033) produced by the national Strategic Housing Market Assessments (SHMA) methodology. The data is supposed to reflect Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) but the figures do not reflect local housing needs at community or district level.
In addition, they have released two new publications:
Green Belt Under Siege 2017
The annual Green Belt Under Siege report shows that there are now 425,000 houses planned on Green Belt – an increase of 54% on March 2016. It also finds that more than 70% of houses proposed for development are not expected to be ‘affordable’.
Alongside strong protection for the Green Belt, CPRE is calling for more to be done to help councils build, for a focus on brownfield land, and for funding to help build genuinely affordable homes, including on small rural sites.
CPRE guidance on landscape and neighbourhood plans
CPRE has released a new guidance document to help community groups develop strong landscape policies in their Neighbourhood Plans, to influence future development decisions that would affect their local area.
The guidance includes examples of existing neighbourhood planning policies, such as those designed to conserve landscape character, safeguard hedgerows, designate local green space and protect dark skies.
There are two versions: one is an interactive PDF and the other is a printer friendly version.