• Mary Breakell

19 May 2019 Newsbrief 52 Extra Hearing Day on housing need

A quick reminder that there is to be an extra Hearing day for the Local Plan on Housing Need.

In Newsbrief 51 we outlined the themes addressed in the Hearings and alerted you to the extra day triggered by Neil McDonald’s evidence and its divergence from the Housing Need assessments made by Turley Economics on behalf of the city council. Neil McDonald’s case relates to the flaws in Turley’s analysis which leads to drastically inflated housing need statistics and overstates the amount of  land needed for housing.

The key issue on housing need is that, until very recently, the official statistics have under-counted the number of students who leave their university city at the end of their course - typically graduates moving away to find work elsewhere. Lancaster is particularly affected by this statistical error, since it is a relatively small city with a relatively large student population.  In terms of percentage reduction in population forecasts, Lancaster is in 13th highest place out of all authorities in England and Wales. Neil McDonald has also highlighted inflated job growth projection. Without outlining the statistical nuances involved the implications of the flaws are striking :

368 homes per year compared to the Council’s Objective Assessment of Need (OAN) of 675 homes per year over the period 2011-2031.

Neil McDonald has been working hard since Day 2 of the Hearings to explore these anomalies with Turleys, as requested by the Planning Inspector.  

The Hearings Programme for 21 May 2019 contains a massive array of developers, each no doubt intent on arguing the case for their piece of land to be designated for housing development and opposed to any recalculation or reduction in  the OAN.

Do come along and join us on 21 May at Morecambe Town Hall at 10.00am. Members of the public can attend as in previous Hearings days.

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