To consider the attached report of the Policy and Projects Manager.
The Policy and Projects Manager presented the report on Local Plan Housing Policies.
Members were advised that the Council was in the early stages of producing a new Local Plan for the Dover District. The Local Plan was a Development Plan Document that set out the vision and framework for the future development of the Dover District over the next 20 years and would, once adopted, be the starting point for the assessment and determination of all planning applications, unless material considerations indicated otherwise.
The Local Plan would also set out the Council’s strategy for delivering new homes in the District over the plan period, including as a minimum, making provision for the objectively assessed needs for housing within the District. The minimum annual housing need figure, using the Government’s standard method, for the Dover District was currently 629 dwellings per annum, which over a 20 year period, equated to providing a minimum of 12,580 dwellings and this requirement would be taken forward in the new Local Plan. To deliver this the Council had commenced work on a Housing and Economic Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) which would identify a future supply of land which was suitable, available and achievable for housing and economic uses over the period of the Local Plan.
The HELAA comprised a number of stages as followed:
· Stage 1: Identification of sites through a ‘call for sites’, review of existing land allocations in the Core Strategy and Land Allocations Local Plan, review of planning permissions (including those which were unimplemented, withdrawn or refused), review of previous sites identified in the Strategic Housing and Land Availability Assessment and a desk top review of other data sources
· Stage 2: Site assessment to determine whether a site was (a) suitable, (b) available and (c) deliverable.
· Stage 3: Windfall assessment
· Stage 4: Assessment review
The Council had completed Stage 1 of this process and was currently undertaking Stage 2(a). Once Stage 2 had been completed the assessed sites would be considered by the Local Plan Project Advisory Group.
It was expected that a report would go to Cabinet in December setting out the revised timetable for the Local Plan, with the Regulation 18 consultation period expected to take place in spring 2020.
In addition to dealing with strategic issues, such as housing need and distribution, the Local Plan was also required to set out more detailed development management policies for housing to guide the determination of planning applications. These included:
· Affordable housing development
· Self and Custom Build Housing
· Gypsies and Traveller sites
· Windfall development
· Setting out the Council’s approach to delivering a wide range of housing types and sizes
· Residential extensions and annexes
· Rural exception sites
In response to the request of scrutiny concerning the Council’s plans for Executive Housing, officers were aware that Ashford Borough Council had identified a need in its Local Plan for the provision of such housing. Members expressed the view that such housing could support business growth in the district and suggested that it be included as part of the self and custom build strategy for Dover District Council’s Local Plan.
The Principal Policy Planner advised Members that the Council was working on a new website for the Local Plan as part of its efforts to make it accessible to a wide audience. The new website would launch in 2020 with the next stage of consultation. In response to a question as to how the stages in the process could be communicated to Members, the Democratic Services Manager advised that it could be publicised in the Members’ Weekly News and it would be made clear that Members were able to attend the Policy Advisory Group meetings.
RESOLVED: That it be recommended to the Cabinet that provision for executive housing be addressed via the self and custom build housing policy.