Friday, 13 March 2015

North Dorset's Housing Numbers

Lots of talk at the examination hearings this week about housing numbers for North Dorset and whether the 280 annual target of homes to be built is high enough.  A common concern raised by participants was about the housing needs evidence.  They felt the Council has not fully explored the economic or affordable housing implications, both of which could mean that the overall housing target should be higher.

The Council responded by saying that they do anticipate delivering around 350 homes every year in the next 5 years or so, which they argue should provide sufficient comfort to allow the plan to be adopted with an early review of the numbers when the new housing data is released and considered by all the Eastern Dorset planning authorities.

The Inspector suggested some further work for the Council – in particular whether there may be other ways to boost the affordable housing delivery  - what other options have been considered and why were these rejected?

At the very least it would appear that the 280 figure is to be adjusted slightly upwards to take into account the proportion of housing that is taken up by second homes, and made a ‘minimum’ target and subject to an early review.