Officers recommend delaying local plan to reflect on Brexit impact

A Yorkshire council's officers have recommended delaying its local plan timetable to take account of a potential reduction in housing requirements and the impact of Brexit on job growth forecasts, it has emerged.

Skipton: town is within local plan area (pic: Jackie via Flickr)
Skipton: town is within local plan area (pic: Jackie via Flickr)

Craven District Council officers are proposing that its local plan preparation timetable should be revised to allow time for further scrutiny of latest government figures on housing need.

A report to members by the council’s spatial planning manager Sian Watson says initial analysis of latest government household projections and regional job forecasts "appears to indicate a modest reduction in the baseline dwelling requirement and also a more significant reduction in the dwelling requirement for job growth".

The report, to be considered by the council’s spatial planning sub-committee next week, adds that this analysis was based on pre-Brexit data, and notes that further post-Brexit job growth forecasts have just been released.

"These updated post-Brexit job growth forecasts are currently being analysed to see what effect they may have on dwelling requirements for job growth," it says.

It had been intended that the plan would be published in September and submitted in December 2016, with adoption in 2017.

But the new proposed timetable envisages publication in May 2017 and submission in July.

Watson’s report says the council has commissioned an update to the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) to review the latest figures and recommend if adjustments need to be made to the objectively-assessed housing need (OAHN) figure.

"If the SHMA concludes that there is significant change to the OAHN for Craven, this will have implications for both the spatial strategy, the provision of affordable housing and housing site allocations," it says.

The council has also received a barrister’s opinion on progress so far, the report says, advising that two further pieces of evidence - an infrastructure delivery plan and viability testing - need to be prepared to enable the plan to be found sound at examination.


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