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:-
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.