The recent announcement that Trinity College Cambridge is selling its stake in Dunsfold Aerodrome has sent an Exocet missile into Waverley’s Local Plan. A plan that took donkey’s years for the Tories to get off the drawing board.
As a result, housing delivery of many hundreds of houses a year in a new garden village with 2,600 homes, and infrastructure including a new school, road, transport and leisure improvements will be delayed.
Here’s what Carole Cockburn thinks after the council was forced to concede that it doesn’t have the 5.3 year supply required by Government at an important appeal held recently in her hometown.
Waverley Planning Officer Beth Howland-Smith told the Western Planning Committee that the council had been forced to concede to developers claims that it did not have a 5.3 housing supply – but only 4.99. She said “whist this was only slightly below the five-year figure. The degree of the shortfall was a material consideration and officers were now working on a new HLS Statement as of 1st April 2021.
Chief Planning Officer Zac Ellwood said he agreed with Cllr Cockburn’s concerns saying:
“You either have a Five-year housing supply or you haven’t.”
However, he stressed a great deal of work was going on behind the scenes to ensure the data on housing completions in Waverley. Officers, including several new posts, would ensure in future the housing figures were more robust. Going forward with Local Plan Part 2 would also help to deliver more housing.
“To be blunt – we are going to fight fire with fire when we have the evidence – and we are leaving no stone unturned to find the numbers- and if we can’t – it won’t be for the lack of trying.”
Cllr Simon Dear said it was quite simple, Waverley has to build 11,000 homes in the planning period, and it must retain control to influence where and what that development is.
Without the five year supply – we have no control!
With developers lining up their diggers all over the borough …
As Cllr Cockburn says, “It is not a good place to be!”