Despairing of the Wasted Effort put into endless Rival OAN Calculations

Stratford Interim Report

With the original SHMA, the SHMA Addendum, the ERM Consolidated Review, 5 different projections on behalf of the development industry and CPRE, there are 9 alternative approaches to assessing housing need before this examination.

Reading a typical civic society type response to a draft plan these days you find ar more effort going in to assessment of household representation rates and the weighting to be given to these from different base year projections than any assessment of whether field y is better than field x.  Take this for example from Basildon.

What a waste and duplication of effort, that would challenge any cllr to plough through.  The great risk is they swallow the arguments of kitchen table statisticians when most likely inspectors will find they are wrong in the wrong direction.

Take the whole nonsense away from examinations and LPAs and let it be done by an independent objective body, based on the employment strategy and job targets the LPA sets.  It really doesnt matter that they wont be perfect and sometimes will be off, the savings to the system as a whole, the certainty and the reduction of wasted effort would easily outweigh it.


2 thoughts on “Despairing of the Wasted Effort put into endless Rival OAN Calculations

  1. BAG were asked to consult so we consulted. We disagreed with the OAN which was the basis of the Basildon Local Plan because it was grossly overstated, so we challenged it using their own figures and methodologies. We also provided a summary for the benefit of the Councillors, realising that not all of them would take the time and effort to read the full document. As it happens, the document has been well received by most Councillors and therefore not a waste of time. What is a waste of time is the lack of clarity in Planning legislation, both at national and local levels. What appalls us it the fact that Councils are planning like this with no thought to local infrastructure or the Green Belt. The Local Plan was halted here because of the residents’ backlash and County concerns over the infrastructure that they would need to provide. This is a live debate in Basildon and it is better to be involved in that debate than to wave through unsustainable development. We are stuck with the planning rules we have, and until they are changed and properly understood, I am afraid we kitchen table statisticians will continue to stand up for ourselves.

  2. Hello Andrew,

    Quick reply about the Billericay Action Group White Paper (Basildon Borough)

    The draft Local Plan was released against a backdrop of widespread myth and misinterpretation of the new NPPF.
    This devalued the whole consultation exercise which, to make matters worse, was set up on a ‘divide and rule’ basis which approached the numbers as fixed and asked which towns should take the houses.

    We wanted to turn the divisive approach on its head and ask what a reasonable OAN or sub-OAN Housing Target would be. This could allow all areas of the borough to avoid over-development.

    We do have an agenda to protect the countryside and avoid general overcrowding, but not at all costs. We feel we have shown the OAN is excessive and that being a Green Belt area there is a strong case for a sub-OAN Housing Target.
    However, we haven’t gone so far as to suggest what these numbers should be, but provided the public and politicians with the information to make their own minds up. The feedback from a number of councillors has been that this has been a revelation to them. It would be nice to think a more enlightened consultation and public debate would let the public as a whole influence these decisions – for instance should we:
    – Meet our new OAN (now under review thankfully)
    – A sub-OAN Housing Target to meet our own Natural Growth (perhaps with an adjustment to meet Affordable Housing Needs), some GB loss required
    – Limit house building to non-GB sites

    We haven’t been site specific because we feel that should follow from the hopefully reduced numbers arrived at – also many of the considerations are extremely personal.
    Most importantly of all, it’s long enough already, hence the abridged initial v2.1.

    Did I say this was a quick reply 🙂

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