Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Pastures Green

Cllr Green asked me to post this answer to a question directed to him, so here we go. There have been far too many comments for me to read today, so I confess to giving up as have to catch up with my other email tonight. If there's anything which is inappropriate and deserves attention. Please let me know. I've just realised that I've forgotten to file an "Ask Sandy" this week, so if you have a question that's pressing, please be quick.

David writes: "I've had the following question put to me:"

“Cllr Green, a question. I see building of homes all over infill areas in Thanet at the moment as a response to high local property prices.
How many housing units have received planning consent in the past few years and what is the total of extra housing already being built in Thanet?
Surely our Council knows/ Could we have some real facts here?”

The figures relate to the actual number of homes built in recent years rather than planning permissions granted. This is probably a better reflection of the situation as many applications are submitted either in duplicate, as alternatives or simply for valuation purposes.

Completions for the last ten years:-

95/96 234
96/97 244
97/98 366
98/99 268
99/00 286
00/01 297
01/02 367
02/03 334
03/04 416
04/05 441

This reflects a recent fairly buoyant national market. Thanet is often the first to feel the effects when the market dips as margins are tighter here than in West Kent for example.

Over the ten year period 2001- 2011 the Local Plan makes provision for 4,200 new homes. These numbers, reflect government guidance and policy, acknowledging changes in the structure of the population with the growth in single person and smaller households. Our supply also reflects our anticipated economic growth through the airport and business parks.

The South East Plan was submitted to Government recently and proposes 28,900 new homes per annum across the South east to 2026. This is currently apportioned at 325 per annum to Thanet (So our current build rate is well above that currently required by Government). If these figures don't change we don't see any need for additional greenfield land release beyond what is in the new Local Plan until at least 2016. (mainly Westwood plus one or two smaller sites.)

This (28,900) may not satisfy Government who have expressed concerns that this is not sufficient. Indeed they commissioned a consultants report which has just come back with three alternatives scenarios of 33,000, 37,000 and 46,000 per annum. They say the latter number is needed to match the forecast economic growth for the South East. This would require some 60% of the total to be built on greenfield land.
Some areas, Maidstone for example are already indicating a willingness to accept mor housing. The Examination in Public begins at the end of the year.

Here in Thanet we should never lose sight of the now 4500 family units on our housing waiting lists and the stress and strain that this causes, particularly on children. WE estimate also that we have a similar number of empty homes.

6 comments:

Little Weed said...

I believe that the 4200 new homes is government imposition rather than guidance. Apart from the 1000 new homes to be built on the greenfield site at Westwood there are many more to be built on land in the area on sites which were designated as industrial and should have stayed that way to provide employment for the new residents. What happened to the idea of the majority of Thanets new homes being built in Minster close to the then newly created dual carriageway which would have made more sense for the traffic situation?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Cllr Green for such a detailed reply to my query, it is much appreciated. Westwood and the many projects due for completion this year should as you say, take the pressure off Thanet for the next 10 years. We all have a duty to conserve as much of the dwindling open land and spaces in the upland chalk plateau on Thanet as we can. If not, my grandchildren will see Quex Park surrounded by housing and industrial units and resembling Dane Park as it is today. Will our Tory Council be active in using its new powers to bring empty unused properties into use? It would solve many problems!

Maverick said...

Question for Sandy. I'm sorry but Dreamland again.

Does Sandy accept, the Council having fallen for Mr Goddens propaganda that the Dreamland site is not financially viable as an amusement park, that TDC have now shot themselves in the foot with regards to future negotiations with the owners.

Following the Cabinet having recently visited Mr Miller's operations at Southend, thereby acknowledging that the Margate site could be viable, was the concept of "opening up" the use of the dreamland site in the local plan, not somewhat premature, and perhaps it would have been better to have left such an amendment to a later date.

DrMoores said...

Probably too "political" and direct for Sandy in my opinion.. would you like to have another try?

I'm trying to encourage on-goingcooperation rather than back him into a tight corner.

Anonymous said...

How about 'how has the recent cabinet visit to Southend informed TDC about the viability of theme parks in the south east, and will that have an influence on the current thinking about Dreamland?

Maverick said...

Simon,

Can you either re-word my question, or assure Sandy that I am not trying to score political points. I am however very concerned that TDC have given so much ground in the local plan to a ruthless out and out developer, without it appears anything in return. Is that not naive in the extreme? Until the visit to Mr Miller, I had thought that there was a confidential plan for the site, but it appears I was expecting too much.