Central Government has demanded that Fareham makes provision for an extra 2,000 homes on green field sites across the borough.
Radical changes to the way house numbers are calculated, mean that Fareham will now need to build at least 544 dwellings per year – that is an annual increase of 124 (30%).
The Government expects councils to be able to demonstrate that, for the next five years, housing numbers will meet the target that has been set.
In November 2018, a Housing Delivery Test will be introduced. The Housing Delivery Test is undertaken by Government and determines whether councils have met the new housing requirements over the previous three years.
If that test shows below 95%, the Council must prepare a Housing Delivery Action Plan to show how delivery can be increased. If the results are below 85%, councils will be required to plan not just for the new housing numbers, but an extra 20% on top for the next five years.
Changes to the NPPF framework will therefore have a significant impact on the progression of the Council's draft Local Plan as new sites will need to be identified and consulted on.
Cllr Seán Woodward, Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “It appears that Fareham is one of the hardest hit of all local authorities in Hampshire.
“Despite voicing our significant concerns during the consultation, the Government's publication of its changed planning rules will have an immediate effect.
“That places the Council in a situation where we must consider planning applications in the context of the Government significantly increasing our deemed housing need.”
Local concerns are that this new policy will significantly affect the outcome of Forman Homes appeal against FBC refusal of the Posbrook Lane development.
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