New proposals could see targets for new homes in Maldon district more than double

By The Editor

7th Sep 2021 | Local News

Maldon district could see targets for new homes each year more than double under new government proposals
Maldon district could see targets for new homes each year more than double under new government proposals

THE number of new homes per year Maldon District Council needs to include in its development plan would more than double under new government proposals.

If proposed changes to planning rules are made, the calculated minimum housing need for the district would rise from 308 to 623 dwellings each year.

This new housing need figure would be the minimum for future updates of the Local Development Plan (LDP).

It would also be used for the Housing Deliver Test (HDT) used by the government to help ensure Local Planning Areas (LPAs) such as Maldon District Council measure up to targets for new homes. The HDT measures the target number of new homes achieved against the actual number over a three-year period.

Sanctions for failing the HDT range from having an action plan through to the LDP policies becoming 'out of date' and planning applications being assessed against the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), rather than the LDP.

This would mean the council effectively losing control over where many homes are built.

The impact of the government proposals, currently out for consultation with local planning authorities, is outlined in a report by council officers to the council's Strategy and Resources Committee, due to debate the issue next Thursday (17 September).

Councillors sitting on the committee will decide on the response to the proposals.

The response has to be submitted by October 1.

In the report, council officers conclude: "The Government's consultation proposes major changes to the current planning system that will impact on Maldon District, in particular on minimum local housing need requirement, and the delivery of affordable housing.

"The proposed method would result in an annual housing target of 623 homes, more than double the outcome of the current methodology.

"This would be an unachievable housing target."

The government proposals cover planning issues including:

* the standard method for assessing housing numbers in strategic plans

* delivering first homes

* supporting small and medium-sized developers

* extension of the Permission in Principle consent regime.


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