National policy requires councils to ensure they have enough homes in the pipeline to maintain five years’ worth of housing land supply. If they don’t, this triggers the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ and puts them at risk of speculative applications where planning permission would ordinarily be refused.
At Chapman Lily, we always keep an eye on how councils are performing and see that Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council has now released the five-year supply figure for Bournemouth of just 2.9 years, a significant reduction from last year’s figure of 5.06 years.
This puts the whole of the Bournemouth plan area at risk, including Boscombe and Pokesdown where there is a recently adopted neighbourhood plan. Ordinarily, a recently adopted neighbourhood plan would provide immunity from speculative applications, but not where the supply drops below three years as it has in this case.
Commenting on this significant publication, Steve Tapscott, senior planner at Chapman Lily, said that ‘this could lead to serious ramifications for BCP Council in terms of less constrained sites coming forward in unplanned locations outside settlement boundaries. It comes as a result of a near doubling of the annual target (using the government’s standard method for calculating local housing need); failing the government’s Housing Delivery Test; and the Council failing to update the local plan, despite it becoming out-of-date in 2017’.