EHDC does not have a 5 year plan in place for housing and this is a key problem for preventing development on gap land such as White Dirt Farm or Chalk Hill Road. There are a number of articles in the press which note that EHDC are working to put this in place, and I am often asked why EHDC has not produced a 5 year plan yet.
The name of the ‘plan’ is perhaps a little unhelpful. The 5 year plan is a requirement to have a 5 year supply of housing in the pipeline so that we are able to ‘meet our own needs’ in terms of housing supply. For east Hants who need to build 582 new homes a year, this means at any time 2910 homes (582 X 5) need to be being built or have have planning permission. It is in fact slightly more than this as we need a 5% safety margin on top which makes the total needed about 3050 homes.
Having had a period of recession, the house building market has been slow and there is nationally a glut of new housing, so you will not be surprised to know that EHDC does not currently have this large amount of housing in the ‘pipeline’ and that we are not alone in this position. The good news is that the rate of applications that have been seen across the District is the same, or even more severe than Horndean. It will not be long before we have enough housing approved to achieve a 5 year plan, and this means that we can then enforce certain policies like the gap policy which will help to protect areas like White Dirt Farm, Chalk Hill Lane etc.
Hopefully this will make it clear the absence of a 5 year plan is not like a report EHDC were due to have prepared and failed to, but is developer driven.
The map below shows the national picture on the 5 year plan with areas in Green not having one in place and areas in Blue or Red with a 5 year plan.
East Hants expects with the current rate of applications to have a 5 year plan in place BEFORE the White Dirt Farm application gets to planning committee. This means that the gap policy will be in place, and will count massively AGAINST the application. Taylor Wimpey were clearly warned this would be the case at the consultation they held in Clanfield.