The UK including the East Riding must build new homes as demand outstrips supply. This is due to increased life expectancy and immigration.
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to produce an up-to-date Local Plan and maintain a five year housing land supply. ERYC produces a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment each year which currently demonstrates there is a five year housing land supply. This has recently been confirmed by two Planning Inspectors for public inquiries relating to sites in South Cave and Holme on Spalding Moor. Further planning appeals are in progress for other unallocated sites. These represent a significant challenge to the Council in defending the decision made at Planning Committee (in accordance with the Local Plan) and five year supply, and represent a significant strain on resources.
The NPPF also requires local authorities to provide a five year supply of deliverable housing sites. Where it is unable to do so, planning applications for housing development should be approved unless the adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits when assessed against the policies in the NPPF.
The 2016 Annual Monitoring Report shows that the Local Plan net annual housing target was not met in 2015/16, with only 842 net completions.
Vale of York sub area showed a significant increase in the number of completions and was the only sub area to meet its net housing requirement.
Following completion of annual housing site visits it is currently calculated that there were 1,146 (net) dwellings completed in 2016/17, which is a significant increase (of 36%) on the previous recording year.
This shortfall would be met through increased rates of housing delivery over the remainder of the plan period (up to 2025) as delivery increases above the housing requirement of 1,400 dwellings per annum.
Gladman state that the Council is unable to demonstrate a five year supply of housing land and as a result the recently adopted Local Plan is out of date. Therefore, they consider that their proposed developments should be approved as sustainable development in accordance with NPPF.
To date, the first two appeals (South Cave and Holme on Spalding Moor) have been determined and dismissed by the planning inspectorate.
Despite the successful dismissal of the South Cave and Holme of Spalding Moor appeals, the Council still faces a significant challenge in defending its housing land supply position. The inquiry for the site in Pocklington has only recently finished with the decision to follow later in the year. Such inquiries result in a significant strain on the Planning Service and Forward Planning Team within Asset Strategy, both in terms of officer time and procuring legal representation.
The challenge the Council faces with maintaining and demonstrating a five year housing land supply is ongoing. Whilst the supply position at the South Cave and Holme on Spalding Moor public inquiries has been successfully defended, this is still subject to further challenges.
In essence if ERYC fail to maintain a five year stock developers can build anywhere. Currently ERYC need to address six main issues.
- They must maintain a five year supply of housing land.
- Vale of York, mainly Pocklington Provincial, is the only sub area to meet its net housing requirement.
- They are currently not meeting the requirement of 1,400 completions per annum.
- Developers build where people want to live which excludes major parts of the East Riding.
- Settlements of Pocklington, Stamford Bridge and Wilberfoss in Pocklington Provincial are at bursting point.
- York has a major impact on housing requirement in the East Riding
Pocklington Provincial New Town(s)
In September 2017 at a Committee meeting at County Hall Simon Smales of the Homes and Community Agency made a statement that summed up the situation:
“Right homes in the right place”
At the meeting I raised the obvious solution. We must build a new town(s) in the Pocklington Provincial Ward. No one disagreed
As time is of the essence I have requested ERYC start to make the necessary arrangements to make this a reality.