Sunday, 24 November 2013

More Planning Hoooh Ha!

Today's Observer reports that Shropshire Council plans contains plans to build 2,600 houses in the county by 2026, this includes 200 luxury homes adjacent to the site of 'Old Oswestry' a 3,000 year old Iron Age on the outskirts of the town. This has led to fierce opposition from both local groups and English Heritage and opponents have collected a 6,000 name petition. Shropshire Council have admitted to the campaign group Hoooh (Hands Off Old Oswestry Hillfort), that; "... the 2600 figure is both arbitrary and inexact"

Now I always thought that Local authority anticipated housing numbers were based on Government population predictions. The population for Shropshire in 2031 is predicted to be 338,000 up 16.9% from 289,000 in 2006. I'm not sure how building 2,600 homes between now and 2026, will meet the need of an additional  population of 49,000, which is why I suppose the figures are described as arbitrary and inexact!

Now, let's try to apply this inexact science to the housing needs of Shropshire Council's near neighbour, Wrexham County Borough Council, which has a population in 2012, of 135,919 and a predicted population of 163,500 by 2036, an increase of  28,000. 

Now, this is where it really get's confusing because Wrexham CBC's Local Development Plan for 8,000 new homes over the next 15 years to be inadequate to meet the housing needs by the Planning Inspector who immediately cancelled the plan and ordered a new one to be drawn up to include 12,000 new homes.

I'm just glad that Wrexham Council have a meeting of their Planning Policy Panel this week, time to get some answers I think.

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