I have had several meetings with ministers and the Secretary of State for Housing, Robert Jenrick to demand change to the methodology for calculating housing requirements which have hit Fareham so much harder than most local authorities placing on us massive housing requirments which threaten so much of the countryside that we all value. I am delighted that following my lobbying the government has listened and providing the new methodology using the most up-to-date household need figures is approved this autumn we will see a significant reduction in our numbers in contrast to those of most of our neighbouring councils who will, with the exception of Portsmouth, see an increase. What is more on these figures we would again have a 5-year housing land supply.
Alongside the government consultation on a new planning white paper (Planning for the Future) is a technical consultation whose results are expected to be signed into law very rapidly while the white paper is likely to take a couple of years to become law by which time Fareham Borough Council will already have a new local plan adopted.
As residents who follow the progress of the new Local Plan will be aware the government imposed upon us a requirement to plan for 514 new houses per year through to 2036 PLUS a requirement to consider meeting some unmet need from surrounding areas in South Hampshire. In order to meet that unmet need the Council has consulted on the possibility of two “Strategic Growth Areas” in Portchester (west of Downend Road) and in a part of the countryside strategic gap which provides separation between south Fareham and Stubbington which, along with the Meon countryside strategic gap, the council has always fiercely protected.
As per the attached calculations by Lichfields using the proposed new methodology which enables us to use the latest Office for National Statistics household predictions for 2018 rather than 2014 the figure for Fareham is 403 new homes per year, a 22% reduction of 1,665 houses in the plan period.
We will now consider the implications for the draft Local Plan currently in preparation.