‘Substantial’ shortfall in number of new homes being built in Oswestry
There is a major shortfall in the number of new homes being built in Oswestry, a developer has said.
The county's local development plan deemed that the town needs about 130 new homes a year to meet local growth.
But only 731 were built in the first 10 years of the plan, leaving a shortfall of more than 500 properties.
The figures were revealed in a report as part of a planning application for new apartments on the edge of the town.
The application is for 12, two-bedroom apartments and car parking on land next to the historic Morda Mill, off Morda Road. The land is outside the development plan boundary for Oswestry and falls within the Oswestry Rural Parish area.
In the report, planning expert, David Parker, for the landowners, said he development would provide apartment ssuitable for down-sizers or first-time buyers, adding to the available range of housing in the area. It is 800 metres from Oswestry's Marches Secondary School and Sixth Form.
"Housing delivery in Oswestry is behind by 569 dwellings – approximately 44 per cent of the guideline for the first 10 years of the development plan," Mr Parker says.
"The settlement guideline, at 130 dwellings per annum.The average completion rate for the town between 2006 and 2016 was 73 dwellings per annum – some 57 dwellings per annum below the required figure.
"It is acknowledged that the first 10 years of the plan included the national housing crisis beginning in 2007, which will have impacted heavily on housing completions."
Mr Parker in his report says he believes that as well as the shortfall to 2016, the allocated sites were likely to fall short on the delivery of a further 762 homes.
"That is a substantial under-delivery of housing – 1331 homes – over half of the adopted Local Plan’s settlement guideline figure to 2026," he says.
"Completion figures for 2016 to 2018 have shown some improvement, notably following a flurry of activity in connection with the delivery of three significant affordable housing schemes in the town. However, there is clearly not a surge in ‘windfall’ sites coming forward for development to make up the shortfall. Although 194 dwellings were completed in the two years from 2016 to 2018 this is still over 30 dwellings per year below the requirement of 130 dwellings. "
The local development plan says that Oswestry will provide a focus for major development, comprising around 2,600 dwellings and 45 hectares of employment land between 2006-20026.