SODC Publishes Report to Demonstrate Five Year Housing Land Supply

South Oxfordshire District Council has published its latest figures showing that it can now demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.

Under government planning rules set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), all local planning authorities should have an up-to-date deliverable five-year housing land supply.  The council’s Housing Land Supply Statement for 2017-18, published today, shows that it has a 5.4-year supply.

SODC were unable to demonstrate a five-year housing supply up until now and it was one of the reasons cited in the Thames Farm appeal which got the green light in March after SODC lost its appeal at to the Court of Appeal.  Isn’t it ironic that the report now includes 95 homes at this development in this new report?

To determine this figure, the council monitors planning permissions, carries out site surveys to check progress on house-building and works with housebuilders to understand how many houses have been built and how many are likely to be built in the next five years.

Its latest housing completion survey shows that 967 homes were built and finished in 2017/18, a third more than the previous year’s figure of 722, when the council was unable to demonstrate a five-year supply.

The number of houses can also include care home places.  The report includes an 80 bedded care home that has been given planning permission at the former LA Fitness centre on Newtown Road.  All of the sites in the Joint Harpsden & Henley Neighbourhood Plan (JHHNP) are included plus 14 homes at Market Place Mews, 110 on the Townlands site, 11 at Anderson House on Newton Road and 30 at the old RBS Energy office on the corner of Reading Road/Newton Road which according to the report say hasn’t been started but in fact are on the market!

Cllr Felix Bloomfield, South Oxfordshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “It is good news for South Oxfordshire that we can currently demonstrate a five-year housing land supply. This will help us to fight speculative development on sites which are not the most suitable or preferred, whilst continuing to deliver on housing growth.

“While this is not a significant over-supply and there are outside forces that can affect supply, we are working hard to ensure that this can be sustained moving forward.

“We are in the final stages of preparing our Local Plan for independent examination and this sets out how South Oxfordshire will grow over the coming decades in a planned, phased way”.

The draft Local Plan for Henley details 350 extra homes for Henley in addition to the 500 homes that were agreed in the JHHNP.  It has not been confirmed yet whether Thames Farm will be part of this figure.

The Housing Land Supply Statement can be viewed here.