Draft Bournmouth, Christchurch and Poole Local Plan 9,000 units short

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MORE than 33,000 homes could be built on 120 sites identified across the “urban area” of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

The options identified for up to the year 2038 by BCP Council still leaves the local authority 9,000 homes short of the housing target set by the Government.

Details on the potential development future are under the spotlight as the first conurbation-wide Local Plan takes a step forward.

Members of BCP Council’s cabinet will discuss the issues and options consultation document at a meeting later this month before residents are asked to give their views on all the key elements that go into forming a Local Plan.

The Local Plan will set out a strategy for how much, where and what type of development will take place across the BCP Council area.

It will provide detailed planning policies and land allocations to guide change and new development, while taking account of climate change targets set by BCP Council and the government.

A draft of the consultation document, which has been published in cabinet papers, says the government standard method sets a housing need of 42,672 homes up to 2038 across the conurbation.ADVERTISING

The local authority is looking into if it can claim exceptional circumstances to have this target lowered.

At present BCP Council has examined all options to see what land is available, which has led to 120 sites in the urban area that could be allocated to provide approximately 33,500 homes.

Identified sites include a wide-range of locations across the BCP Council area, including hotels, car parks and vacant buildings.

Options identified to address the shortfall include allocating urban sites at a higher density, reviewing housing constraints in conservation areas and allocating some smaller open spaces which are surplus to requirements. 

One option would be to consider releasing land from the green belt, with this increasing supply by 1,000 to 4,000 homes.

Fifty-five green belt locations have been put forward as suggestions for development to the local authority by private land owners and site promoters. At present these have been excluded from the current land availability assessment. The draft consultation says the council will “need to think about whether the green belt boundaries should be reviewed”.

Another option referenced would be to work with neighbouring authorities, but New Forest District Council has recently concluded its own local plan process and the whole region is facing similar housing pressures.

Alongside setting policies for housing, the Local Plan considers issues around regenerating town centres, economic growth, job creation, transport and tackling climate change.

If signed off by cabinet members on Wednesday, July 28, the consultation will run for at least eight weeks.

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