3.1 The housing requirement of around 13,000 homes for the plan period from 2011 to 2029 is established in the Core Strategy (adopted July 2014). Of this 7,320 had been built by 31st March 2020. The remaining requirement is therefore 5,680. In relation to housing supply the Council publishes an updated housing delivery trajectory each year which sets out the anticipated realistic delivery of homes on ‘committed’ sites (meaning those with an extant planning permission or allocated in the Placemaking Plan). Reviewing the current housing sites, it is estimated that around 5,300 dwellings can realistically come forward. This would leave a shortfall of around 400 dwellings. The Council confirmed at the Placemaking Plan Examination that there was a marginal shortfall (then of an estimated 350 dwellings against the Core Strategy requirement) towards the end of the Plan period and that this would be addressed through the five yearly review of the Plan. This review is being undertaken now through this partial update.
3.2 In recent years housing delivery rates have exceeded the annual requirement set by the Core Strategy partly making up for initial under delivery. However, this ‘over delivery’ can no longer be counted since the government has also now introduced the Housing Delivery Test meaning that at least 722 new homes (the Core Strategy annualised Housing Requirement) have to be delivered each year (looking backwards to the preceding three years).
3.3 Therefore, the outstanding requirement for the remainder of the Core Strategy period to 2029 is 6,498 homes (722 x 9). Given the current supply of 5,300 and in order to meet the outstanding requirement to 2029 and to accord with the Housing Delivery Test the supply shortfall is around 1,200 homes.
- Core Strategy requirement - 13,000 dwellings (722 per annum)
- Built by March 2020 - 7,320 dwellings
- Rest of plan period (722 x 9 years) - 6,498 dwellings
- Current supply - 5,300 dwellings
- Shortfall to 2029 (6,498 - 5,300) - 1,198 dwellings
3.4 As this is only a Partial Update to an existing Plan, and not a new Plan, the housing land supply issue must be considered in the context of the existing Core Strategy, and not the standard methodology. If the Council was preparing a new Local Plan the standard methodology figure would be used as the starting point in setting a new housing requirement figure for B&NES. For comparison, the housing supply shortfall under the current standard methodology (2014 based projections) is as follows:
- Annualised requirement is 648 dwellings p/a
- 9 years x 648 = 5,832 dwellings
- Current supply = 5,461 dwellings (this includes 161 dwellings equivalent from purpose built student accommodation as this forms part of the standard methodology figure)
- Shortfall is 5,832 – 5,461 dwellings = 371 dwellings
3.5 For the reasons stated in the above paragraph, using the standard method to identify the housing land supply shortfall is not considered by the Council to be a reasonable option but views on this as an alternative approach are welcomed.
3.6 The Local Plan Partial Update therefore needs to identify and allocate sites to deliver around 1,200 homes. In doing so this will enable further flexibility in delivering the Core Strategy overall requirement of around 13,000. The sections below outline the spatial strategy approach that has been followed in identifying sites and the proposed site allocations to meet the shortfall.