Cumbrian council moots housing target that's just a quarter of recent delivery rate

A Cumbrian council is consulting on whether to adopt a local plan target of 32 homes per year based on the government's standard housing need method - a number that equates to less than a quarter of its average annual housing delivery rate over the past ten years.

Millom Market Square (pic SIMON PHILLIPS, Geograph)
Millom Market Square (pic SIMON PHILLIPS, Geograph)

Copeland Borough Council has published an issues and options consultation on its new local plan.

The document would replace the adopted Copeland Local Plan 2013- 2028 Core Strategy and Development Management Policies.

The existing plan contains a requirement for a minimum of 230 dwellings per year to be delivered over the first five years of the plan period with an uplift to provide an additional 30 per cent on top of the basic requirement, equating to 300 dwellings per annum in the latter 10 years.

However, according to the council's consultation on the plan review, over the past ten years the most dwellings completed in a single year was 158 and the least was 110.

"On average 137 new dwellings are added to the overall supply each year," it says.

The consultation asks "how many homes should be built in the borough annually over the plan period 2017-2035".

The document says that the highest option, 200 per annum, is based on "the highest economic-led objectively assessed need figure set out in [the council’s] strategic housing market assessment to support employment growth."

The lowest figure of 32 dwellings per year - which is less than a quarter of the 137 new homes per year delivered on average in the past ten years - is calculated using the government’s standard housing need methodology.

Other options include: 137 homes per annum, 140 homes per annum, 170 homes per annum.

The document also consults on possible changes to the locations and boundaries in which residential development should take place. These include possible amendments to the settlement boundaries at Whitehaven, Cleator Moor, Egremont and Millom.

The consultation runs until 20 January 2020 and can be found here.

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