One of the documents we circulated previously (KKG Document 5) was a slide from a Power Point presentation by Mouchel, the transport consultants to The Jockey Club. The slide showed a timetable for the preparation and submission of a Planning Application for the proposed development at Kempton Park. It is attached for your convenience.
The topmost bullet-point reads as follows:
“Spelthorne Borough – scheduled 2014 update of Housing Evidence Base likely to set higher residential targets.”
Assuming that Mouchel (and, by inference, The Jockey Club) are correct, why is Spelthorne even considering setting higher residential targets? And why do Mouchel and The Jockey Club think that such higher residential targets will assist an Application to build on Green Belt land?
Under the current local plan, the Council have a target – for the Borough as a whole – of 166 units per year. This target came from the SE Regional Plan in 2005, and was carried forward into the Local Development Framework which was adopted in 2009. The overall target was for the building of 3320 dwellings over a twenty year period ending in 2026.
Although the target of 166 units per year was set initially outside the Borough, the responsibility for setting housing targets has, since the 2011 Localism Act, rested with the Borough itself. Five years since the Local Development Framework started is probably a reasonable interval at which to revisit the housing target, but it has to be said that the existing target has been exceeded consistently since it was first set (see KKG – Document 23, attached). According to the Council’s own figures, the rolling target for the total number of new dwellings will be exceeded by 111 units this year, and will be overshot by 889 units by 2026.
(Although the rolling target for the total number of new homes is being exceeded, the target for affordable homes is not being met.)
As Spelthorne Council itself says in its 2013 Planning Monitoring Report:
“3.6 The housing policies have continued to meet the objectives of the CS&P DPD in providing new housing within the urban area to meet the overall plan target of 3320 dwellings. Despite the fact that some identified and allocated sites have not come forward for development as soon as expected due to the economic downturn, there is no need to take any action to bring forward measures to secure additional sites over and above those already identified.”
Kempton Park is not one of those sites “already identified”. A residential development at Kempton Park is not needed to meet the existing housing target.
And, if the existing housing target is raised, why should Green Belt land be considered a good place for development? Pressure from central government cannot be blamed. Even the Planning Minister, who has become so well known for advocating building on Green Belt and open countryside, has had to make the policy clear (see KKG Document 24).
As ever, these documents are in the public domain. Please feel free to pass them on.
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There is more to come, in due course, over coming weeks.
Keep Kempton Green