Epsom & Ewell Borough Council to respond to Government proposal to increase number of new homes
Last week, the government published new proposals for determining the number of additional homes that local authority areas like Epsom and Ewell will be required to deliver.
Household projection data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) are an important determinant of the housing target that the government sets for each local authority area. These figures will be used by the council as part of the Local Plan which determines planning policy and the amount of housing and associated infrastructure development in the area.
The latest projections (2018) published by ONS show a significant reduction in the projected growth in household numbers in the borough. Using the government’s current method of calculation, based on the 2014 ONS projections, would result in a significant reduction in the borough’s housing target – from 579 homes per year, to just 215 homes per annum.
Councillor David Reeve, Chair of the Licensing and Planning Policy Committee said “Our residents expect the Local Plan for the local area to be evidenced based and for the housing target to be reflective of local needs. We wrote to the government last month to ask them to adopt the latest ONS projections and accept that, based on the evidence, Epsom and Ewell should only require the much lower target of 215 new homes a year.”
Last week, the government announced proposals to fundamentally change the way they calculate the housing target for each local authority area. Their proposed changes would lead to an even higher government imposed target for Epsom and Ewell of 604 new homes per year.
Councillor David Reeve added “We are really concerned that these latest government proposals to change the method of calculating the housing target would, if approved, lead to an even larger requirement for new homes in the borough, when the evidence using the current method of calculation together with the latest ONS data provides for a much lower housing target.”
The council will be preparing its response to the government on its proposed changes to the way that housing targets are calculated.
Link to the government’s white paper and consultation
The government’s consultation closes at 11:45pm on 29 October 2020.