23 July 2013, Housing development pressures and a policy loophole mean that some Eastern Region landowners are being approached by developers across the region where the district council is unable to demonstrate a five year Housing Land Supply, according to Carter Jonas, the property consultancy.
In Cambridgeshire, for instance, the housing land supply figures across 6 local authority areas range from 10.49 years (Huntingdon) to 2.4 years (South Cambridgeshire), with the latter and Fenland both unable to demonstrate five year housing supply and the being in the process of renewing and updating their plans (South Cambridgeshire expect to adopt in 2015).
Where the housing land supply figure is below five years, it is giving landowners and developers the policy framework and impetus to use inadequate housing allocations as grounds to secure residential planning permission on sites previously considered unsuitable. On this basis, they are challenging and winning planning permission at appeal.
Cambridgeshire's Housing Land Supply
Housing Land Supply Position
||2.4 years (based on Core Strategy); 4.3 years (based on emerging Local Plan)|
Source: Carter Jonas Research (Figures sourced July 2013)
Five year housing land supply figures for other areas across the region are available from Carter Jonas’ Eastern Region Planning and Development Team.
Richard Seamark, Head of Planning for the Eastern Region at Carter Jonas said::
"Landowners who have land on the edge of a village or town in those district council areas identified as having a less than adequate housing land allocation are increasingly being directly approached by developers. Whilst this can be a good thing for landowners and developers, with opportunities to secure quick planning consents for new housing developments, it goes against the spirit of the Government's commitment to a plan-led planning system.
With persistent delays in the adoption of local plans and reliance on proposed large housing releases, many district councils may see further erosion of their ability to demonstrate a five year land supply position over the next 12 to 18 months"
"The number of challenges across the country is gaining momentum. However, many local authorities in key growth areas of the country are now making progress with their local plans and so we forecast that in the next 18 to 24 months, we will see a decline in the number of residential planning applications and appeals based on these housing land supply arguments.
"More and more we are seeing landowners, especially in South Cambridgeshire where land supply is below five years, being directly approached by developers. Often the landowners are in need of expert advice to make sure that they receive a true understanding of advantages and disadvantages while making the most of the opportunity."