The Need for Housing
The UK is currently facing what is commonly termed as a housing crisis with the country delivering insufficient housing to meet its needs. This has led to rapidly increasing house prices and waiting lists for subsidised housing accommodation. This issue is particularly acute in the South West of England, and in particular in the greater Bristol area.
The House of Lords 'Housing White Paper - Fixing our broken housing market' has determined that the national level of housing need in the UK requires that 300,000 homes a year need to be built. Currently, less than 200,000 dwellings per year are built, a woeful undersupply that is causing misery to many hundreds of thousands of people both young and old.
Within South Gloucestershire this problem is particularly acute as house price inflation is rising far quicker than the national average. This means younger generations are unable to afford a home, something that older generations have taken for granted when they purchased their first home decades ago.
Councils are required to maintain a rolling supply of land that can deliver housing to meet the demand of the next five years. South Gloucestershire Council are unable to demonstrate such a supply. In this scenario, national government requires that councils put aside planning policies including those which restrict development outside of defined settlement boundaries, in order to increase the available supply of land to meet their requirements. However, these sites must still be suitably located and meet sustainability requirements, for example being located where new residents can easily reach local facilities such as shops and schools via foot or public transport.
South Gloucestershire also has a significant constraint to achieving the housing required to serve its needs: the Green Belt. As such land cannot contribute towards meeting immediate 5 year development requirements, suitable land in locations outside of the Green Belt need to be found now.
As a sustainable settlement, Chipping Sodbury is an ideal location for housing growth to address this identified need. It has a good range of employment opportunities, facilities, services and public transport to the surrounding areas. The site we are proposing to develop lies adjacent to the settlement boundary of Chipping Sodbury and development here can help address housing need in a sustainable manner.
National planning policy states that new housing developments should:
- Be well-related to existing settlements
- Have access to public transport and everyday facilities
- Avoid ecologically-sensitive areas
- Avoid any protected landscapes or designated Green Belt land
- Avoid areas at risk of flooding
We believe that this proposed development site can meet these criteria.
After this public consultation exercise, it is intended to submit a detailed planning application for the proposed development in Summer 2017 and there will be further opportunity to comment directly to the Council on the development proposals at the time.