Doncaster consults on plan with housing target 60 per cent higher than standard method

A Yorkshire council is consulting on a draft local plan that proposes a housing target almost 60 per cent higher than its local need figure as calculated using the government's new standard method.

Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Doncaster, South Yorkshire

Doncaster Council published the latest draft version of its local plan earlier this month for consultation up to 30 September. Following this, it aims to submit the plan to the government for examination.

The plan sets out development goals over the period 2015 to 2035 including a target of 18,400 new homes, equating to 920 per year. 

According to the plan, the government’s standard housing need methodology,  introduced in last year's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), produced a local housing need for the borough of 585 homes per year over the plan period. 

But "to meet planned economic growth over the plan period", an additional 327 homes per year was identified. 

The annual total of 920 homes per year is 57 per cent higher than the standard method figure. 

Though many northern councils have reviewed and reduced their housing targets in response to the standard method, Doncaster is one of several that are aiming for more ambitious figures.

The plan also proposes allocating at least 481 hectares of new employment land.

The plan states that the "general extent" of green belt in Doncaster "will be maintained", but some green belt release is proposed, including an allocation for 200 dwellings in the town of Conisbrough.

The document proposes that at least 50 per cent of new homes would be allowed in the "Doncaster main urban area", about 40 per cent to the borough's "main towns" and the remained to the "service towns and villages".

One of the key growth areas is "Unity" a proposed mixed-use urban extension between Hatfield and Stainforth by junction 5 of the M18. 

Up to 1,015 new homes are proposed over the plan period, with up to 3,100 homes over the development's lifetime. It includes a minimum of 0.4 hectares of land made available for self-build homes.

Other key proposals include:

  • Doncaster town centre being the "main focus for most retail, offices, leisure, cultural and tourist facilities". 
  • A "major multi-modal transport hub" centred on Rossington iPort and business parks between the M18 motorway and Doncaster Sheffield Airport. 
  • Support for the "sustainable growth of Doncaster Sheffield Airport". 

Once adopted, the plan will replace the council's 1998 unitary development plan and its 2012 core strategy.

In October 2014, Doncaster withdrew a site allocations and development management policy document from examination following concerns raised by a planning inspector. 

The council said it expects to adopt the local plan next year.

Ros Jones, mayor of Doncaster, said: "The local plan is key for encouraging new investment and stimulating jobs and growth across our borough.

"It backs our ambitions for Doncaster by determining which sites are best for new homes and business and which areas of our natural environment and countryside we need to protect and enhance."

The latest draft of the plan can be found here.

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