As part of its annual analysis of housing supply, Herefordshire Council has shown that there is sufficient housing land available to demonstrate almost seven years’ supply.
There is a national requirement that local authorities should have a minimum of five years’ supply of housing sites at any time. Where this requirement is not met, national planning policies indicate there is a presumption in favour of granting planning permission for new housing. In these circumstances it is much more difficult to refuse permission for speculative housing development.
Herefordshire has not been able to demonstrate a five year housing supply since 2015. As a result, a number of housing proposals have been permitted across the county, even where the development did not accord fully with local planning policies.
This news means that housing proposals should now be determined in accordance with adopted local planning policies set out in either the County’s Core Strategy or in more detailed Neighbourhood Development Plans produced on a Parish basis.
Councillor Liz Harvey, Cabinet Member for finance, corporate services and planning said: “I am really pleased to be announcing the tremendous news that – for the first time since the Core Strategy was adopted in 2015 - Herefordshire actually has a 5-year Housing Land Supply. Better than that, in fact it has a 6.9-year supply.
“This news is huge for those communities across the County that have seen their hard-won Neighbourhood Plans set aside whilst the county repeatedly failed to meet its own development targets. I would like to take this opportunity to thank communities and NDP Groups for their fortitude while we have all witnessed the impact that a poor land supply, and the consequent unplanned development it enables, has had on Herefordshire.
“Now that we have secured a strong land bank position, we must make every effort to sustain it. I look forward to working closely with parishes and community groups to ensure Herefordshire grows in a sustainable and positive way.”