HOUSING: Stick to plan minimum

The draft Northumberland County Council Local Plan makes interesting reading.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 6:32 am

Despite 9,509 vacant dwellings being identified in the 2011 Census, the council suggests a minimum requirement for 17,700 net additional dwellings over 20 years to 2036 to reflect the government framework (NPPF).

Significantly, it said these are to be focussed on larger settlements.

After only two years of the plan, 2,907 new homes, plus 14,287 permitted or under construction, already bring us to within three per cent of this figure.

A further 6,001 units, which the council is currently minded to approve, would exceed the minimum by 31 per cent.

If this approval rate is allowed to continue, by 2036 the council would rake in £143m a year in new development council tax as opposed to the £35m per year equivalent to the minimum requirement, based on band D rates.

No wonder new schemes without the necessary supporting infrastructure, such as Bebside Furnace Road, are met with little resistance.

Local people who will suffer the consequences must continue to speak out.

And Northumberland County Council and the ‘Boomtown Prats’ must be restricted to the Local Plan’s minimum requirement, or answer to the government ombudsman.

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