Shropshire Star

Shropshire Council confirms five-year land supply for housing after planning inspectors' concerns

Shropshire Council has responded over a key housing concern identified by inspectors examining its Local Plan.

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Shropshire Council's update comes after comments from planning inspectors last month.

The local authority has confirmed it has a 'five-year land supply' – a vital position to avoid developers being able to build in locations which would otherwise be protected.

The term refers to a calculation of whether an area has a 'deliverable supply of homes' to meet its housing needs over the next five years.

An assessment of the council's Local Plan from inspectors, which was published last month, had raised concerns over the council's five-year land supply as one of the issues to be resolved.

Now, in a statement the council has said it is satisfied that it does have the necessary housing plans in place to meet the demand.

It said: "Shropshire Council has published the latest Five Year Housing Land Supply Statement for Shropshire. This annual review of housing land supply is an important part of the planning process to determine whether there is enough deliverable housing land available over the next five years.

"The assessment concludes that in Shropshire, enough land is currently available to meet both the requirements of the Local Plan and Local Housing Need, which is calculated using an approach established by Government.

"Specifically, it concludes that there is enough deliverable housing land for 5.6 years when considered against the housing requirement within the Local Plan and 7.2 years when considered against local housing need."

Councillor Richard Marshall, the council's cabinet member for highways and regulatory services, which includes planning services, said: “We believe this is key for managing planning development in Shropshire.

“Having a five-year housing land supply means the Local Plan for Shropshire continues to form the starting point when determining if a development can go ahead and thereby allowing more control over the type and location of new housing development in Shropshire.”

The new draft Local Plan for Shropshire is currently being ‘examined’ by the Government.

The document is one of the most important to be put together by the council, setting out where homes and businesses can be built in every area of the county up until 2038.

The council's plan is made up of a combined 30,800 homes to be built over that time frame.

In the inspectors' update on the state of the plan, there were other issues identified, including concerns over how the council is providing 1,500 homes it intends to provide for Black Country councils which have a shortfall in housing space.

The homes would be provided under a 'duty to co-operate' – a legal requirement where councils have to assist neighbouring authorities with development requirements.

In their letter the inspectors suggested that the council could need to find more sites to accommodate the 1,500 homes and 30 hectares of employment land – and that it could have to be on greenbelt land.