I attended a briefing on 27 July for councillors on the review of the local development plan. This follows on from the ‘Call for sites’ which took place earlier this year. The sites have been submitted by land owners and/or developers who wish their land to be included in the next phase of Solihull’s Local Development Plan (LDP). The current one, adopted in 2013 has been found, via High Court challenge (supported at the Court of Appeal), to necessitate at least an addition 4,000 new homes between now and 2033.
The current LDP runs to 2028 but the next phase will take in on another 5 years. This means the borough already having to identify some 608 dwellings per year (13,336 up to 2033). We have identified a supply of 9,500 within the existing LDP and are required to supply an addition minimum of 4,000 dwelling. This is a minimum and may need adjusting when considering any redistribution for within the region. Many areas are taking their allocation, with districts in Lichfield and Warwickshire taking on thousands between them. It is hoped we can get our final figure by the end of summer. This will be the figure we will need to identify within our LDP up to 2033.
The sites put forward are now being appraised and a preferred option will be published in Autumn this year, going to Solihull Cabinet in November and Council a few weeks later. There will then be published a Pre-Submission Draft in Spring 2017 before an Examination in Public (conducted by a Planning Inspector) during 2017. The council will hope to adopt a revised LDP late in 2017.
How are our housing numbers assessed?
Factors influencing any local authorities housing numbers include Employment Trends; Land and Housing Plans; Rents; Affordability; Overcrowding/suppressed households. The numbers of jobs needed and housing is balanced accordingly.
Any plan put forward must meet three aims. It must be:
Deliverable (in both short and long term)
The rider is that if there is an insufficient supply of housing identified then the suitability of land must be adjusted accordingly. This has implications if there are insufficient brown field sites available (as is the case in Solihull).
I will report back following a further briefing session in September.
Call for sites:
I have posted this before but here is a map of all sites put forward for consideration only (note the emphasis on consideration).Call_for_Sites_May_2016_A3_for_website I have also posted a document giving more detail as to who owns the land , who is putting it forward and providing more details as to the location of the sites. Schedule_of_Call_for_Sites_Submissions
Further information about the process can be found on the councils website http://www.solihull.gov.uk
A few personal thoughts:
Saying ‘NO’ to any more development is not an option. With at least 37,000 shortfall in houses in the region Solihull will have to take its share. We can bleat about Birmingham and other areas but I hope to be able to show you that Lichfield and Warwickshire are intending to take on several thousand new homes (am searching for the relevant news reports). This resonates with me because my Mom and Dad moved us from Small Heath, Birmingham to Lichfield, on the over-spill, in 1957. I am also conscious that (like many thousands of others) I moved my family from Birmingham to Solihull in the 1980’s when areas like Monkspath, Hillfield and Damson Parkway were built (all on greenbelt land).
We have all had our own families in that time and if we do not plan for housing and jobs for our children and their children then they will have been let down – whereas we benefited from the plans of previous decisions.