WaGCG : Wantage and Grove Campaign Group
Wantage and Grove Campaign Group (WaGCG)
Home

Column 13th June 2018

Doing the maths on our district council's housing promises

Back in 2013, only five years ago, our councils spent many thousands of pounds of our money on consultants to produce the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) to determine the future need for housing for the Vale of the White Horse.

This report was the basis of the Local Plan which our District Council spent a great deal of time and money developing and gaining agreement to. The Plan states that 35% of all new homes should be affordable and 65% should be open market homes

For open market housing it states that for every 1000 new homes, the Vale needs:

  59 x 1 bedroom
217 x 2 bedroom
426 x 3 bedroom
298 x 4 or more bedroom homes.

Every planning application in the Vale should match this need until 2031.

So why did the Planning Officers at the District Council Planning meeting last week say that less weight should be given to these requirements and developers should be allowed to determine market need?

We all know that developers will build the houses that generate the most profit and that is large houses rather than smaller houses.

At the Planning Meeting last week, two items on the agenda reflected this issue.

First, a variation on planning permission for East of Milton Hill includes 297 open market homes which doesn’t reflect the market need as shown in the SHMA:

Size

SHMA

Application

1 bedroom

17

0

2 bedroom

64

38

3 bedroom

127

140

4+ bedroom

89

119

Total

297

297

The second was the detailed application for Park Farm East Challow which includes 53 market home. The mix doesn’t match the SHMA though it’s much closer.

Size

SHMA

Application

1 bedroom

3

0

2 bedroom

11.5

11

3 bedroom

22.5

21

4+ bedroom

16

21

Total

53

53

Both of these applications were approved.

Yet Core Policy 22 of the Local Plan requires a mix of dwelling types and sizes in accordance with the Council’s current SHMA unless an independent viability assessment proves otherwise.

As far as we know, there is no independent viability assessment, so the need for one and two bedroom homes must still exist, especially near the employment areas of Harwell and Milton Park.

Surely the District Council should stick to its own plan, if not why did they spend hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money developing it?


Copyright © 2013-2020 Wantage and Grove Campaign Group