Regular readers of this blog will know that the Five Year Land Supply is a key issue in local planning. Essentially it means that if the Local Planning Authority has enough housing being built, then we can keep what is known as our ‘reserve policies’. One of these is the protection to Gap Land. Every year EHDC needs to build 592 new homes to cater for its own needs, and the 5 year supply means that 5 x 592 plus a 5% safety margin need to be being built, or have planning permission and be realistic to build in a five year period. This is about 3,100 homes.
Currently and following recent permissions for land at Whitehill Bordon (see previous post) and across EHDC in Alton, Fourmarks, Medstead the land supply has increased to a point where EHDC now has a 4.7 year supply. This means that we will very soon and most certainly this side of Christmas be able to state we have our 5 year land supply, and be able to far better protect sites with gap land status.
This will be key for developments which are in the gaps such as White Dirt Farm and Chalk Hill Road.
Currently there is a rumor going around that White Dirt Farm is a ‘Done Deal’ and that ‘The Minister’ has given the nod to let it proceed. I do wish that people would not start these rumors and can categorically assure the community that ‘deals’ do not get ‘done’ in planning, and very few ministers will be aware of White Dirt Farm. I also firmly believe that the case against development that has been put forward with enormous community support is so strong that EHDC should be able to confidently refuse the development when it goes to the planning committee. If we can not prevent development on White Dirt Farm then we can not prevent development anywhere else.
It is likely that White Dirt Farm will go to the planning committee in Mid December and we will find out then.