Positive step forward for housing figures

Published Wednesday 3 June 2015

Significant strides have been made in meeting targets to provide sites for potential development across the Harborough district over the coming years.

New figures, just released by Harborough District Council, show a positive step forward in meeting Government targets to identify sites suitable for development and defend against unwanted development in unsuitable areas.

To encourage the supply of housing nationally, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires all local authorities to have a ‘five year housing land supply’ which identifies sites that can be developed within a five year period.

The Government has made clear to local authorities the need to have a ‘five year housing land supply’ in place or risk housing developments being imposed upon them in areas which may fall outside sites agreed in approved planning policy documents such as the Core Strategy or Local Plan.

The new figures show that the Harborough district has now achieved a 4.45 year supply of housing sites against its objectively assessed housing requirement of 475 dwellings per year.   

This represents a significant improvement since the previous figure of 3.99 years calculated at September 2014.

The reason for this improvement is renewed optimism from developers on future build-rates, buoyed by the completion of 496 homes in the Harborough district over the last 12 months, reducing the number of houses required over the next five years.

Councillor Phil King, Portfolio Holder for Planning said:  “We met with housebuilders last September to ask them about how they could increase supply locally and so it is really good to see that building rates have shot up, which is in part due to that. But it mainly reflects the strength of local economic growth along with increased demand from homebuyers wishing to live in the Harborough District.

Cllr King added: “Whilst, I am really pleased that the Council is moving in the right direction with housing supply, this Council will need to continue to take difficult decisions on applications for housing development. We must do that, so that we can maintain a five year supply of housing, and get back full control of our local planning policy and determining where houses are built."

More details regarding the 5 year housing land supply can be found on the council’s website here