What new homes move means for Gravesham

What new homes move means for Gravesham

What new homes move means for Gravesham

 Published: 23-Dec-2020

The Government‘s decision not to press ahead with a new method of calculating the number of homes to be built each year in local authority areas has left Gravesham in a worse position than if it had gone ahead, Leader of Gravesham Borough Council Cllr John Burden has warned.

The Government recently announced it would not be making proposed changes to its standard method of calculating the number of new homes required in each local authority area annually.

Responding to the news, Cllr Burden said: “We are currently consulting on our emerging Local Plan which includes a target of 655 new homes a year in the Borough. That figure is based on the Government‘s standard method of calculation, and a number of respondents to our consultation have asked if we are changing it as a result of the Government‘s decision.

“Unfortunately the answer to that is no, we cannot change it.

“Had the Government gone ahead with its review of that calculation, that figure would have fallen to 405 new homes a year, a figure we would have been happier to adopt in our own emerging Local Plan as it is lower. However, the Government has stepped back from that change and as a result our required new homes per year figure remains at 655, which is disappointing to say the least.”

Cllr Burden added the decision not to change the calculation method has had an even greater impact on London councils, whose proximity to Gravesham could have implications for the Borough.

He said: “The existing standard method of calculation has been modified to increase the new homes targets for the 20 largest cities and towns in the country by 35%. In London, the target is rising from 69,318 homes a year to 93,679.

“If London boroughs cannot absorb the level of building needed to achieve that target, then we together with other South East councils could well be obliged under planning regulations known as duty to cooperate to consider giving up land within our own Borough to help meet those London targets.

“That‘s the reality of the situation informing our Local Plan review. It‘s imperative that we reach a position where we can show we have identified sites sufficient to meet our Government-set housing targets if we are to retain control of our own planning destiny.”

The current consultation on Gravesham Borough Council’s emerging Local Plan closes at 5pm on 31 December. To take part, visit https://localplan.gravesham.gov.uk.

 Last updated: 09-Apr-2021

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