New homes target figure to be set

Councillors will next week consider the target figure for new homes that need to be built in the Derbyshire Dales by the year 2033.

It follows an initial six-week consultation exercise at the end of last year - the first milestone on a new timetable that should see a new draft Derbyshire Dales Local Plan published for further public consultation soon.

Your Local Plan front coverYour District Council aims to submit a final Plan for Government approval by the end of 2016 – and next week (12 January) councillors will be asked to formally set an Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for housing in the period 2013-33.

Officers are recommending that the District Council's Local Plan Advisory Committee sets at OAN of 6,440 – the figure proposed last year by District Council consultants, taking into account future affordable housing needs and economic growth ambitions.

But a lack of available development land in the Dales means councillors could opt for a lower figure - 5,847 new homes - in setting an actual provisional housing target. If the lower figure is approved, Derbyshire Dales would speak to neighbouring authorities about helping to meet the shortfall.

The Local Plan Advisory Committee will hear that both the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Practice Guidance make it clear an authority's housing provision target does not necessarily equal its objectively assessed need. A key factor that comes between the OAN and the target is an area's deliverable and sustainable housing capacity.

View the full report [PDF 2MB] from page 20. 

The Local Plan Advisory Committee will also consider the results of the Local Plan initial public consultation. In November every household in the Dales received in the post a publication called 'Your Local Plan' [PDF 1.72MB], providing background information that linked to an online questionnaire inviting feedback.

The District Council also staged a series of public meetings in Ashbourne, Wirksworth and Matlock to further explain key issues and enable residents and stakeholders to ask additional questions.

A total of 405 survey responses were received from individuals, parish councils, agents and developers on the new homes figure, the provision of affordable homes and whether they agreed or disagreed with a list of towns and villages considered to be the most appropriate for new development.

There were questions too about the district's Gypsy and Traveller site requirements, new employment land targets and the possibility of small-scale infill developments in smaller villages.

View the results of the survey.

The big question was whether residents agreed with the 6,440 OAN figure.

In October 2014 an earlier Local Plan draft - which responded positively to the overwhelming views of Dales residents to provide for 4,400 new homes against an OAN for 6,000 houses - was withdrawn after a Government Inspector concluded the District Council was not providing sufficient new houses to meet the needs of the area.

In the new survey, local people were given three options for the number of new homes to be built by 2033 – 5,300, 6,440 or 7,200. Almost 55% of respondents went for the lowest figure, nearly 29% agreed with the 6,440 OAN target proposed by District Council consultants and over 16% opted for the highest figure.

In a committee report [PDF 2MB from p3], it is noted that the 45% figure for respondents expressing a preference for the proposed OAN or above is in sharp contrast to the 2% who previously indicated that the then 4,400 housing target in the now withdrawn Local Plan was too low.

  • Independent analysis predicts a population growth of 8.4% in the district over the 20-year Plan period, starting from 2013. Economic growth up to 2033 could also 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 new homes estimate to around 6,440.
  • Of that number, 2,000 new houses have already been built or have the benefit of planning permission. It is anticipated a further 400 new homes will be built by 2033 in parts of the Derbyshire Dales that lie inside the Peak District National Park, which is not part of the Local Plan area.

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