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Paper 7 - 16 July 2004 Meeting


16 July 2004


Report by the Director of Environment, Hampshire County Council



(1) That the progress in implementing the Housing Supply Action Plan and the rise in housing completions be welcomed; and

(2) That all authorities be urged to take the necessary steps to achieve the targets set out in the Housing Supply Action Plan and thus help obviate the need to release any of the reserve housing sites.


1. The Leader of Hampshire County Council, the Leader of Southampton City Council and the Deputy Leader of Portsmouth City Council met with the Rt. Hon. Keith Hill, Minister of State for Housing and Planning on 8 March 2004 to discuss housing provision in Hampshire. The Minister made it clear that he is determined to meet the Regional Planning Guidance targets. The delegation felt they were able to convince the Minister that there was no compelling reason to release any reserve housing sites in 2004/05, but it was accepted that an action plan should be produced.

2. At the Strategic Planning Authorities Joint Advisory Panel on 10 March the three Strategic Planning Authorities agreed, on the basis of future housing land supply information set out in the Structure Plan Policy H4 Monitoring Report 2004, that there was no need to release reserve housing sites at the present time. It was concluded that there was no need to act in haste and that the reserve could be released in 2005 or 2006 to address a future shortfall, if the Monitoring Paper 2004 proved to be too optimistic. It was recognised that, if enhanced certainty on housing delivery cannot be demonstrated next year, there may be no alternative but to release some of the reserve housing provision.

3. All local planning authorities were urged by the Panel to take proactive steps to manage housing land supply to meet or exceed their Structure Plan baseline housing requirement and make provision for the reserve provision, where required. They were also urged to raise and maintain the level of full and outline planning permissions from a three year to a five year supply.


4. The Hampshire Housing Supply Action Plan required by the Planning Minister has been prepared by the strategic planning authorities’ officers in conjunction with GOSE. It has been formally approved by the Strategic Planning Authorities and endorsed by most Hampshire District Councils; the other District Councils are in the process of doing the same. The document was sent to the Minister on 14 June 2004 for his agreement. His response is awaited. The Plan, which is attached to this report, includes actions to increase the county-wide supply of outline and full planning permissions.

5. As the Action Plan has only recently been prepared, the target dates for most of the actions are still some way off. However, three actions have already been undertaken:-

ˇ OA15 – GOSE and Chair of HIPOG to write to the Planning Inspectorate to expedite Local Plan Inquiries and the production of Inspectors’ reports;

ˇ OA17 – raise with housebuilders, the need for applicants to submit complete and good quality planning applications (being discussed at a joint HIPOG/House Builders Federation meeting today);

ˇ PA3 - analyse housebuilders forecasts of completions in 2003-2004 against actual completions.. (Where completions are at variance with the forecast, housebuilders will be contacted to find out why, in order that the conclusions can be fed into the 2005 forecasts.)


6. Provisional figures show that approximately 6,740 dwellings were completed in 2003-2004. This is a significant increase from previous years and is well above the Regional Planning Guidance (RPG) requirement of 6,030 per annum. It is also above 6,578 per annum which need to be built in Hampshire up to 2006 in order to make good the shortfall against the RPG target since 2001(the adjusted RPG requirement). The 6,740 figure means that Hampshire will have achieved 95% of its annual Regional Planning Guidance requirement for the period 2001-2004. Hampshire will need to build approximately 6,500 dwellings per year over the next two years to meet its RPG requirement to 2006.

7. Completions in 2003/04 at 6,740 were slightly in excess of the forecast of 6,308 dwellings contained in the Policy H4 Monitoring Paper 2004. So Hampshire is on track to meet its RPG requirement by 2011. The necessary trajectory is shown in the graph below – the line showing the adjusted supply. This demonstrates the soundness of the forecasts in the Policy H4 Monitoring Paper 2004 and thus bears out the Joint Advisory Panel’s decision earlier this year, not to release any of the reserve housing sites.


8. However, housing completions in five districts do not meet the annualised Structure Plan baseline requirement for 1996-2004. These authorities are Basingstoke, East Hampshire, Eastleigh, Portsmouth and Winchester. In Winchester’s case there is only a small shortfall; it has met 99% of the annualised baseline requirement. All the districts who do not meet the annualised Structure Plan baseline requirements have increased the percentage of the requirement built from last year, but all still need to take proactive measures to increase completions so that their baseline requirement is met in full.

9. At 1 April 2003 planning consents in Hampshire as a whole equalled 3.1 years of RPG requirement (2.8 years of adjusted requirement). The target in the Action Plan is to increase the level of planning consents to 3.5 years of adjusted RPG requirement by 30 September 2004 and to 5 years by March 2006.

10. At April 2003 four districts did not have a 3 year supply of planning consents (based on the structure plan baseline requirement); these were Havant, Portsmouth, Test Valley and Winchester. Almost all authorities need to increase the number of planning permissions in order to achieve the targets set out in the Action Plan, particularly those authorities who had less than a three year supply. Planning applications for the Major Development Areas(MDAs) at Waterlooville and Andover are expected in the next two months. The number of consents will increase significantly when planning permission for the MDAs has been granted. The local authorities should continue to do all they can to enable the MDAs to be implemented as soon as possible.


11. Hampshire is on course to meet its RPG housing requirement countywide but progress varies significantly between districts. All authorities will need to undertake the actions set out in the Hampshire Housing Supply Action Plan to help ensure that their baseline structure plan requirement and the RPG housing requirement are met. Those authorities whose completions are below the annualised Structure Plan requirement or who had less than 3 years supply of planning consents will need to address these issues to improve their ‘performance’.

Director of Environment, Hampshire County Council

Date: 2 July 2004
Annex: 1 (copies available from Stuart Roberts)
Contact: Stuart Roberts tel: 01962 846872 email: stuart.roberts@hants.gov.uk

Last update: 07/07/2004
Author: Nick Goulder, Director

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