South Gloucestershire Local Plan: Policies, Sites and Places Plan - Regulation 18 Consultation (2015)

South Gloucestershire Local Plan: Policies, Sites and Places Plan - Regulation 18 Consultation (2015)

3. Scale of the shortfall and Core Strategy delivery

3.1 The Charfield decision focused on assessing the deliverability of a limited number of sites. The council has subsequently, as part of the annual monitoring reviewed all sites which formed part of its housing trajectory. This monitoring has demonstrated that while delivery is accelerating on some sites, on others it has fallen behind projections. There are numerous variables for this, such as the slow recovery of the housing market following the recession, delays introduced through protracted land acquisition processes and unresolved/unforeseen abnormal infrastructure/works that have impacted to varying degrees on the delivery of Core Strategy sites. What they have in common however, is that these circumstances are all largely outside of the council's control. In fact we can demonstrate that there are 10,500 dwellings with outline, full, or reserved matters planning permission. However, the cumulative impact of delays across a number of sites mean that the scale of the shortfall cannot be overcome by introducing a few additional sites, or by relying on windfall development, in an Examination in Public (EiP) process.

3.2 The council has published an early release of the monitoring report in relation to housing requirement and supply (an extract can be found in Appendix 1). This identifies a supply of 8,659 homes projected to be delivered over the next five years, against a requirement of 10,110. Taking account of the undersupply in previous years and a profiling of supply from identified sites a shortfall of 1,451 is now identified. This shortfall covers the 5 year period from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2020. Supply and requirement will change over time as more housing is built, it is important that additional allocations meets the shortfall at the time of adoption of the plan.

3.3 The monitoring of the future housing supply is detailed in the "Housing Trajectory" (Appendix A of the Authority's Monitoring Report). The assessment reveals that the compounding effect of the development industry's under delivery against the annual Core Strategy requirement, has created a situation whereby the annual requirement is in excess of any previous years' completion rate since 1989. This is despite some 10,500 homes being available with planning permission.

3.4 The council's assessment, supported by independent appraisal, is that the ability of the development sector to construct and complete sufficient new homes to address this shortfall within the next 5 years (referred to as the Sedgefield approach), in the context of ambitious annual housing targets set out in the adopted Core Strategy, is not feasible or practical. The council recognises the desire, set out in the National Planning Practice Guidance, to address under delivery as soon as possible. However, the particular circumstances that exist in South Gloucestershire mean that it would be wholly inappropriate to calculate the housing supply requirement in this way as this would inflate the annual requirement to in excess of 2,100 units and result in a housing target that cannot be achieved. In short the council does not consider that it is possible to deliver this amount of housing over this period. Indeed, the development industry has never delivered in any single year more the 2,055 units since 1989 when records began (South Gloucestershire Council: Residential Land Survey, April 2015). Therefore, in a change from last year's AMR, the housing trajectory is set on the basis of addressing under delivery over the remaining plan period to 2027 (referred to as the 'Liverpool approach') as this provides a more realistic target.