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Friday, 20 February 2015

Dorset: House-Building, West Dorset - Weymouth and Portland Local Plan Main Modifications Consultation; New Household Projections

See Dorset For You (main link)

I called in to the West Dorset Council Offices this morning to inspect the copy of the Main Modifications, but decided to study them online at home. I had a very helpful, open and informative short meeting with a responsible member of staff. My interest in the subject is of a general, not a specialist nature. Many people are naturally curious, or interested in where the 15,500 new homes are to be built in the course of the 20-year plan period (2011-2031), at a rate of 775 per year. I'm not sure that the documents already online (or forthcoming, 26 February) will answer those questions, nor the question about the number of  'affordable'  homes planned, given that smaller builders and developers building up to ten homes on a plot are apparently not required by government to include any social or affordable homes. Many building plots in this part of Dorset tend to be in sizes accommodating up to ten homes.

See this item (link)
Pickles cuts stealth taxes on new homes and boosts small builders

"Plans announced today will boost England’s builders, making clear that most “Section 106” charges should not be sought from the smallest house-builders – specifically on sites of 10 homes or fewer, including self-build, extensions and annexes. Mr Pickles also confirmed that in very rural areas, sites of 5 homes or fewer should not face the charge"

That doesn't help families on the housing register.

Local Plan Examination Consultation on Main Modifications - February 2015

The councils are recommending a number of Main Modifications to the submitted Local Plan following the conclusion of the Local Plan Hearing Sessions. These modifications are available for comment until the 8 April 2015.

The Inspector will then consider any comments on the modifications before issuing his final report. Each authority will then consider the Inspector's report, prepare a final adopted version of the plan and take it forward for formal adoption.

Consultation on New Household Projections - February 2015

New household projections are due to be published by Communities and Local Government (CLG) on the 26 February 2015. A link to the CLG website will be added here in due course. The Inspector is inviting parties to submit their views on the implications (if any) of the new household projections on the Local Plan by the 8 April.

These are the pdf  file sections I found most interesting, after a short read-through:

Environment and Climate Change

A Sustainable Pattern of Development

SEE ALSO, this update - Household Projection Plans, published 27 February 2015

Plans for Weymouth, 450 new homes (Dorset Echo)

Related: Rural Housing Policy Report (from Blackmore Vale Magazine)

"The ACRE Network is calling for the next Government to provide a proportion of affordable housing on all rural developments. DCA’s chief executive Alex Picot said: “We warmly welcome this report which highlights the difficulties of providing more affordable homes in the countryside.

“Rural house prices have risen 82 per cent in 10 years due to strong demand compounded by years of a shortfall in house building. Add to this the lower wages for rural workers, and we see local people wishing to buy or rent, priced out of the community.

“The ACRE Network, in its manifesto, is calling on the next Government to adopt a strategic, nationwide approach to delivering affordable rural homes before country villages become enclaves for the well-off, elderly and second home owners.”

The ACRE Network’s key concerns on the affordable rural housing crisis are:

• A chronic shortage of houses, especially in communities of fewer than 3,000 people, where a total of just 2,279 new affordable homes were built in 2013/14. According to the Rural Housing Policy Review, the fair share for rural areas should be 7,500 per year – that’s an average of one for each parish."

UPDATE April 2015, Dorset Echo. PRICED OUT: Housing shock as figures reveal only EIGHT homes in Weymouth and Portland are affordable for families

Update, June 2015, Research reveals state of the housing crisis in Dorchester

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