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Wiltshire Council gives an update on the five-year housing land supply in the county

In Wiltshire, the current local need and target is 2,006 homes each year

Published 16 December 2020
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Wiltshire Council has revealed its updated five year housing land supply, which shows how many houses in the county are scheduled to be built until 2024.

The government's National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local authorities to provide this information to ensure an adequate supply of land to meet targets for house building.

The NPPF also requires that an additional buffer of 5% is included to ensure choice and competition in the market for land, and to allow the council to meet its target if houses are not built on some sites within the five years.

In Wiltshire, the current local need and target is 2,006 homes each year, and the council is likely to have around 4.5 years' worth of housing land, which is a shortfall of around 900 homes in total. The buffer is only at 5% as 2,668 homes were built each year in the county, from 2016-19.

If a council cannot demonstrate that it has a five-year land supply with the appropriate buffer, developers and other applicants could bring forward applications that are outside of the council's planning policies, because the most important policies would not be considered up-to-date. This doesn't mean that all proposals for housing would be permitted, but it does mean that the most important policies for housing may be given less weight in decision making.

Cllr Toby Sturgis, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning, Development Management and Property, said: "We're doing really well in terms of house building and exceeding our targets, and our land supply in Wiltshire is good, although we will fall short of the five-year housing supply.

"This is a relatively modest shortfall, and we will need to carefully assess all planning applications that are submitted to ensure that development does not result in unacceptable impacts, and to ensure we take into account the views of the local community. We will continue to encourage developers to bring forward sites that are already in the pipeline to help improve land supply in future years.

"It's important to note that the assessment of housing land supply is not an exact science, as the supply comprises a number of sources, including sites with planning permission (or a resolution to grant permission) at the base date of 1 April 2019, but some of these may not be built.

"We will, of course, continue to judge each planning application on its merits, and we will keep monitoring housing planning permissions and our progress on development plan allocations to update our housing land supply position annually, in line with government requirements."

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