Consultants forecast new homes target for Derbyshire Dales

Consultants acting for Derbyshire Dales District Council have concluded how many new homes need to be built by 2033.

Taking into account the latest population and economic growth forecasts and the District Council's affordable housing needs, around 322 new homes a year could be needed across the whole of Derbyshire Dales.

And this figure is a starting point for the District Council as it sets about creating a new Local Plan to control the future development of those parts of the Dales that lie outside the Peak Park. Planning within the National Park is the responsibility of the Peak District National Park Authority.

Last summer the District Council withdrew its Local Plan after a Government Planning Inspector indicated the number of new homes envisaged was too low. Keith Holland decided the 4,400 dwellings the council estimated should be built locally in the period 2006-2028 was more than 2,000 homes short of what was needed.

On 21 September the District Council's Local Plan Advisory Committee will hear that independent analysis predicts a population growth of 8.4% in the district over the 20-year Plan period, starting from 2013. A report states an average of 244 new homes a year are needed to meet the demands of population growth, but affordable housing needs and economic growth forecasts also have to be factored in.

The consultants' report indicates that "reasonable forecasts" of economic growth up to 2033 will see around 1,700 new jobs delivered across the district, requiring an additional 57 dwellings on top of demographic needs. Additional homes to address the district's affordable housing need takes the projected annual demand to 322 dwellings, a total of 6,440 new homes over the Plan period.

Cllr Lewis Rose OBEDistrict Council Leader Councillor Lewis Rose OBE explained:

"After years of preparatory work during which we listened carefully to the views of local people we were forced back to the drawing board by national policy that is demanding a radical solution to meet the housing needs of the country.

"This new evidence to be presented to councillors on 21 September will be used as the basis for further public consultation with local residents, and also with the National Park authority, whose current policy is to restrict new residential development to meeting local needs only. The consequence of this is that the rest of the District Council area is bearing an unequal burden.

"The crunch will come of course when we start to talk about potential development sites and how we balance the need for housing against the desire to protect the landscape of the Dales, but that will happen later. We are not alone among local authorities in being obliged to re-submit a Plan that satisfies Government's perception of future housing needs, but we remain absolutely committed to undertaking a full consultation with our residents at every stage in the process."

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