Stroud District Council given six months to get housing figures in order
A PLANNING inspector has given the district council six months to get its housing figures in order.
The Stroud local plan sets out the strategy for new housing, employment and community development within the district until 2031.
Planning inspector Stephen Pratt was appointed to determine whether the plan is legally compliant and sound and following a public examination in April he has released a report on his findings.
Although he was satisfied that SDC had co-operated with neighbouring councils and other statutory bodies in developing its plan, it had not provided sufficient evidence to support its housing and employment figures.
The draft plan, currently being considered, focuses on encouraging 6,200 new jobs and finding sites for 2,450 additional homes up to 2031.
The house building strategy centres on building a few large concentrated developments with associated infrastructure and facilities rather than only relying on numerous small developments dotted around the district.
SDC now has six months to revisit its housing projections using an alternative methodology.
Cllr Geoff Wheeler, leader of SDC, said: "The inspector is not happy that our housing projections are sufficiently robust and the underlying message is that we may have to increase the number of homes in our plan."
There was a concern that if the inspector was not satisfied with the housing figures he could impose a 20 percent boost in housing supply.
However Mr Pratt concluded the 'evidence does not suggest that there has been a persistent record of under-delivery' and based on the currently proposed housing provision level there is a case for accepting a five per cent uplift rather than the 20 per cent figure.
Housing campaign groups Don't Strangle Stroud and Mankley Field Action Group have expressed concerns that a misreading of the report could cause people to jump to the wrong conclusion that the inspector has said Stroud needs a much larger housing supply when this is not the case.
Daniel James from DSS said: "The fact that the inspector has only imposed the five per cent uplift implies he doesn't believe there is a serious shortfall in the council's housing figure projections."
Comments are closed on this article.