Tewkesbury Borough Council falls short on Housing Land Supply

A recent appeal decision has confirmed that Tewkesbury Borough Council cannot demonstrate a deliverable 5 year housing land supply.

The appeal decision, which relates to the provision of 40 new homes in Highnam,  was recovered by the Secretary of State and dealt with by way of public inquiry. It confirms a housing land supply position of 3.99 years.

The Inspector, within his report to the Secretary of State, considered a 5 year housing requirement of 2,599 dwellings (using a 5% buffer) set against a deliverable supply of 1,904 dwellings.  At reaching the deliverable supply of dwellings the Inspector reduced the Councils suggested deliverable supply by 171 dwellings.  The Secretary of State agreed with this position.

Additionally, the Inspector found that the council’s argument that a previous over-supply in housing should be used to reduce the housing requirement would run counter to that advocated in national policy which seeks local planning authorities to demonstrate a minimum of 5 years’ worth of housing against the requirement.

Mark Campbell, Principal Planner at Evans Jones comments:

“This decision will have clear ramifications on applications for housing schemes currently under consideration and those about to be submitted as with a lack of a 5 year housing land supply the presumption in favour of sustainable development set out in the Framework is fully engaged.

Interrogation of the SoS decision also reveals that both the appointed Inspector and SoS have arithmetically miscalculated the actual supply position.  The correct calculation using the figures referenced within the appeal decisions is 3.66 years rather than 3.99”. 

Of the three authorities (Gloucester, Tewkesbury and Cheltenham) covered within the Joint Core Strategy  (adopted December 2017), two (Tewkesbury and Cheltenham) have been found not have a deliverable 5 year housing land supply.

To discuss the implications for your proposals please contact Mark at mark.campbell@evansjones.co.uk.

Note: This article was written during the Judicial Review (JR) period, it is thus possible that either the appellant or Local Authority may seek leave to appeal  the decision to the high court, (JR Period Expires 30/01/2019).