Officers of a Yorkshire council have recommended that their local development plan timetable should be delayed.
The proposal, set out by Craven District Council, has been suggested to allow more time to assess the latest government figures on housing need. In the wake of Brexit, a potential reduction in housing requirements, and revised job growth forecasts, would need to be accounted for.
While it had been intended that the plan would be published in September and submitted in December 2016, with adoption in early 2017, the revised timetable suggests that instead, the plan should be released in May 2017, and submitted in July.
In a report, set out by the council’s spatial planning manager, Sian Watson, it is noted that initial analysis of government projections “appears to indicate a modest reduction in the baseline dwelling requirement and also a more significant reduction in the dwelling requirement for job growth".
Currently under review by the council’s spatial planning sub-committee, the report highlights that all figures shown were based on pre-Brexit data, and refers to the new forecasts, which had been recently released.
An update has been commissioned to the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), to review the latest post-Brexit figures and recommend if adjustments need to be made to the objectively-assessed housing need (OAHN) for the local area. Should the SHMA conclude that alterations are necessary, there will be significant implications for both the spatial strategy, the provision of affordable housing and housing site allocations.
The council is being advised by a barrister, and it has been confirmed that two further pieces of evidence - an infrastructure delivery plan, and viability testing – will need to be prepared, to ensure that the plan be declared reasonable.