Scale of house building required in Wealden revealed

A Royal Mail delivery to new homes at Ridgewood Place with construction in the background

New homes at Ridgewood Place, Uckfield.

The number of homes required, by the Government, to be built in Wealden each year is nearly three times the target contained in the district’s local plan of 2013.

The Government’s target figure for 2019 was 1,231 compared with the council’s own target of 450 in the now outdated Local Plan.

New figures show that 1,034 homes were built in 2019/20 so that is below the new housing target.

The information is contained in a report going to Wealden Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, September 2.

Strategy

It says: “The adopted Wealden District Core Strategy Local Plan (February, 2013) provided the strategy for delivering against a housing target of 450 dwellings per annum. 

“This Local Plan is over five years old and as such, that housing target is no longer relevant for the purposes of assessing housing need in the district according to national planning policy guidance. 

“The net total of new homes built in the district over 2019/20 has now been calculated at 1,034. Previously this would have been considerably above the annual target. 

“In 2018, the Government produced a new method for calculating housing need in England called the ‘standard method’. 

Status

“This is based on status of the existing Local Plan (i.e. is it outdated), population projections and the affordability of the area. 

“For Wealden, the calculation of housing need in the 2019 period was 1,231 dwellings per annum (dpa). 

“This is an unconstrained assessment of housing need for the district. The council when moving forward with its new Local Plan will need to consider its own housing need, the unmet housing needs of neighbouring local authorities under the duty to cooperate process as well as its own physical/planning constraints before reaching a view on its formal housing target in the Local Plan. 

Interim

“However, for the interim period and for the purposes of determining planning applications, the council is now required to use the 1,231 dpa figure placing the 2019/20 outturn below its housing target. 

“Data collection for new homes built in the first quarter of 2020/21 has been delayed due to the pandemic and difficulties in conducting on-site checks.” 

• Decisions are awaited on a number of major planning applications relating to the Uckfield area which are before Wealden Council.

Developers are targeting Downlands Farm, Ridgewood, Mallard Drive Coopers Green, Eastbourne Road, Blackboys. Read more here: New Uckfield housing: Here’s the ‘hit list’

See also:

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