Issue details

Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory, Five Year Housing Land Supply Calculations for Greater Cambridge and Housing Delivery Action Plan for South Cambridgeshire

Purpose

 

1.    The purpose of this report is:

(a)  To agree the Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply – Main Document and Annex (which are Appendices 1 and 2 of this decision) to be published on the Council’s website and subject to public consultation for 4 weeks from 16 September to 14 October 2019. The Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five year housing land supply calculations have been prepared jointly with Cambridge City Council, consistent with the adopted Local Plans.

(b)  To agree the Housing Delivery Test Action Plan for South Cambridgeshire (which is Appendix 3 of this decision), including a Statement of Common Ground with Cambridge City Council, to be published on the Council’s website.

 

2.    In January 2019, Cabinet agreed that the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five year supply calculations would be agreed by the Cabinet Member for Planning via a decision outside of a meeting (together with the Executive Member for Planning Policy at Cambridge City Council) and that the Housing Delivery Test Action Plan for South Cambridgeshire would be agreed by the Cabinet Member for Planning via a decision outside of a meeting.

 

Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply

 

3.    The government through national planning policy requires that all local planning authorities identify sufficient deliverable sites to deliver a minimum of five years worth of housing against their housing requirement, as set out in their Local Plans. The Greater Cambridge housing trajectory is used by Cambridge City Council and South Cambridgeshire District Council to calculate their five year housing land supply and also to demonstrate that anticipated housing delivery will meet or exceed their housing requirement.

 

4.    The approach to considering the five year housing land supply for Greater Cambridge is set out in Policy 3 of the Cambridge Local Plan 2018 and Policy S/12 of the South Cambridgeshire Local Plan 2018. The Inspectors that examined both Local Plans confirmed that the five year supply should be calculated on the basis of a joint housing trajectory for Greater Cambridge reflecting the joint development strategy across the two Local Plans, using a 20% buffer and the Liverpool methodology.

 

5.    The Councils consider that the Inspectors’ conclusions on the Councils’ five year housing land supply and the inclusion within the adopted Local Plans of statements on five year housing land supply, satisfy the requirements set out in national planning policy and guidance for their five year housing land supply to be established in a recently adopted Local Plan. The two Councils have therefore established their five year housing land supply until 31 October 2019, through the adoption of the Local Plans in autumn 2018.

 

6.    Ahead of 1 November 2019 when the Councils’ five year supply will no longer be established in the recently adopted Local Plans, the Councils have reviewed and updated the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and their five year supply calculations. The Councils’ new housing trajectory and five year supply calculations are set out in their Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply – Main Document (which is Appendix 1 of this decision).    

 

7.    The Councils have prepared the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five year supply calculations based on national planning policy and guidance for housing trajectories, five year supply calculations and Annual Position Statements. Although their document is not an Annual Position Statement, the Councils are seeking to apply all the requirements and expectations for the preparation of an Annual Position Statement, including by engaging with landowners, developers and agents, and undertaking wider public consultation.

 

8.    The Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five year housing land supply calculations show that jointly for Greater Cambridge, the Councils can demonstrate a five year housing land supply, using the Liverpool methodology and 20% buffer. The Councils jointly have 5.3 years of housing land supply for the 2019-2024 five year period. The Councils have taken a robust and conservative approach to assessing the deliverability and / or developability of each of the sites in the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory, it is likely that the five year housing land supply for Greater Cambridge is in practice greater.

 

9.    The Councils’ previously published five year supply calculations, as set out in the adopted Local Plans had anticipated that the Councils would have been able to demonstrate 6.0 years of housing land supply for 2019-2024, and over 6 years of housing land supply for the remainder of the plan period. The Councils believe that the key reason for this reduction in its five year land supply is the change in the definition of a deliverable site as set out in national planning policy and guidance, alongside other site specific factors that have resulted in the anticipated delivery timetable of some individual sites being later than previously anticipated and other factors such as market conditions, Brexit and the uncertain political climate.

 

10.  National planning policy and guidance sets out the circumstances where planning policies should be considered out of date when making decisions on planning applications, and this includes where the Council cannot demonstrate a five year housing land supply. On the basis of the five year supply calculations in the Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply – Main Document (which is Appendix 1 of this decision), this does not apply to Cambridge or South Cambridgeshire, as the Councils can demonstrate a five year supply, and decisions should therefore be made in accordance with the up to date development plans adopted in 2018.

 

11.  As the Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply – Main Document (which is Appendix 1 of this decision) is not an Annual Position Statement, and therefore public consultation is not required by national planning policy and guidance, the Councils consider that the five year housing land supply for 2019-2024 should be used when making planning decisions from 16 September 2019 (the date of publication of the document, and the start of public consultation).

 

12.  Together, the Local Plans set a housing requirement of 33,500 homes between 2011 and 2031 for Greater Cambridge. The housing trajectory shows that 38,330 dwellings are expected to be delivered between 2011 and 2031, and that anticipated housing delivery within each Council’s area is more than its respective housing requirement.

 

Housing Delivery Test Action Plan for South Cambridgeshire

 

13.  The Housing Delivery Test was introduced in 2018, and is an annual assessment of actual housing delivery over the previous three years against the housing requirement for the area for that same three year period. National planning policy and guidance sets out the consequences of different results of the Housing Delivery Test.

 

14.  The Housing Delivery Test results for 2015-2018 were published in February 2019, and Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire were considered separately. There are no consequences for Cambridge, however for South Cambridgeshire a Housing Delivery Test Action Plan needs to be prepared and a 20% buffer needs to be applied to the five year housing land supply calculations. A buffer of 20% is already being applied to the Greater Cambridge five year housing land supply calculations, as set out above, and therefore this requirement from the Housing Delivery Test is not an additional consequence.

 

15.  South Cambridgeshire District Council has prepared a Housing Delivery Test Action Plan (which is Appendix 3 of this decision). The Housing Delivery Test Action Plan recognises the functional relationship between Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, consistent with the joint housing trajectory and joint five year housing land supply approach confirmed in the adopted Local Plans, and sets out the existing joint agreements between the two Councils that are relevant to the Housing Delivery Test. The Action Plan sets out the Councils’ case for the Housing Delivery Test to be considered jointly, and that this agreement between the two Councils has been formalised through the signing of a Statement of Common Ground (which is included as Appendix B of the Action Plan). 

 

Next Steps

 

16.  The Councils will carry out public consultation on the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five year housing land supply calculations for 4 weeks from 16 September to 14 October 2019. After the end of the consultation, the Councils will consider all the comments received, and where necessary make changes to the Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five year housing land supply calculations. The Cabinet Member for Planning (and the Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces at Cambridge City Council) will then be asked to agree the final Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five year housing land supply calculations for publication.

 

The Housing Delivery Test Action Plan for South Cambridgeshire, including a Statement of Common Ground with Cambridge City Council, will be published on the Council’s website.

Decision type: Non-key

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Wards affected: (All Wards);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 06/09/2019

Decision due: 6 September 2019 by Lead Cabinet member for Planning

Lead member: Lead Cabinet member for Planning

Lead director: Joint Director for Planning and Economic Development

Department: Planning and New Communities

Contact: Caroline Hunt, Planning Policy Manager 01954 713196/01954 713184 Email: caroline.hunt@scambs.gov.uk Tel: 01954 713196, Jennifer Nuttycombe, Senior Planning Policy Officer Email: jenny.nuttycombe@scambs.gov.uk Tel: 01954 713184.

Consultees

The Greater Cambridge housing trajectory includes individual delivery timetables for each of the adopted allocations and unallocated sites of 10 or more dwellings, and for each of these sites a letter and questionnaire was sent to the housebuilder, developer, landowner or agent of the site to gather details on the deliverability of their site and their expected delivery timetable for the site.

 

The Greater Cambridge housing trajectory and five year supply calculations will be subject to public consultation for 4 weeks starting on 16 September 2019, which is consistent with the process set out for public consultation on Annual Position Statements in the Greater Cambridge Statement of Community Involvement (July 2019).

Purpose of Report: Appendices Appendix 1: Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply – Main Document (September 2019) Appendix 2: Greater Cambridge Housing Trajectory and Five Year Housing Land Supply – Annex (September 2019) Appendix 3: Housing Delivery Test Action Plan for South Cambridgeshire (September 2019), including a Statement of Common Ground with Cambridge City Council. Background Papers National Planning Policy Framework (February 2019): www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-planning-policy-framework--2 National Planning Practice Guidance – Housing Supply and Delivery: www.gov.uk/guidance/housing-supply-and-delivery South Cambridgeshire Local Plan (adopted September 2018): www.scambs.gov.uk/localplan2018 Greater Cambridge Statement of Community Involvement (July 2019): www.scambs.gov.uk/planning/local-plan-and-neighbourhood-planning/statement-of-community-involvement/ Local Plan and Housing Monitoring Update – report to Cabinet (January

Decisions

Agenda items

Documents