About 10 days ago we reported on the last District Council meeting:
“The government inspector has asked for a number of changes to the council’s allocations document. The most notable change concerns what happens if development sites are not developed as quickly as expected…
The council has to allocate land so that there is always a 5 year supply of building land available. In case there is a shortfall somewhere , the council’s document allows extra housing at the other sites. However this only happens if
A) there is a shortfall elsewhere
B) if there is still space available for any proposed amenities or infrastructure
C) any extra housing would be capped at 5% of the original proposal. So for example, at the “North of London Road” site, where the proposed figure would be 550, there could only be an extra 5% of 550, which would be 28 extra homes.
However the inspector wants to do away with the 5% cap, which means that some sites could end up with a lot more housing.
The Conservatives pushed this through last night, despite an amendment to keep the 5 percent cap, proposed by Chris Black, seconded by John Mason, and supported by Ron Oatham, Christine Mason plus Michael and Diane Hoy.
At least one Conservative councillor abstained.
This now goes to another round of public consultation…”
Well, that public consultation has now started, and you might like to respond, especially if you are concerned about the removal of this 5% cap. The inspector probably won’t take any notice, but it’s worth a try. One argument against removing the cap is that it makes unsound the previous public consultations and the evidence base for sustainability : if people were consulted on, say, 550 houses and it suddenly turns into a lot more. Or you can argue that increasing the number of homes about the 5% level is poor in terms of sustainability and quality of life for residents (both existing residents and new ones).
The best way to respond to the consultation is online – with some effort you can find it on the council website here. You need to register and then log in to make comments.
If you want to object in terms of “North of London Road”, that is dealt with section MM20 of the document (click to enlarge)
and you would need to say that you oppose the deletion of the words in red: “plus a flexibility allowance of 5% if required”.
In the same way, Hullbridge is dealt with in section MM44.