Action plan proposed to help meet new housing targets for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Posted on Wednesday 2 October 2019

A housing action plan to tackle delivery of the new housing target is set to be discussed by BCP Council’s Cabinet.

The detailed plan sets out a series of actions that are aimed at addressing the need for an increased delivery of new homes needed in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area over the next three years.

The Government has set new homes targets with every local authority to help meet the ‘national housing crisis’. To ensure the targets are being met it introduced an annual Housing Delivery Test (HDT) on all authorities with a planning function. Those found to be below 95 per cent of the targets are required to produce an Action Plan to set out how they will bridge the gap going forwards. This is the case for BCP Council.

Councillor Kieron Wilson, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “There can be a whole series of issues which affect the scale of housing delivery from economic factors to environmental ones but I am pleased that we have a comprehensive Action Plan drawn up at the earliest opportunity to show how we will address the issue. Housing demand remains very high locally, as in many other areas, and the measures set out in this report reflect a step change in how we will meet our housing target going forwards.”

Planning and Housing teams have been working together on the Housing Action Plan which will cover the whole BCP Council area. Feedback from agents and developers has helped identify what was stopping delivery and how this could be addressed.

Councillor Margaret Phipps, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning said: “We take meeting our housing targets very seriously, but in some cases actual delivery of housing can be difficult. Whilst we may give permission for housing, often developers delay construction, sometimes due to market conditions, which affects our housing delivery targets. In addition, we must always consider the environment, where we have significant constraints such as Green Belt, Heathland SSSI, many areas protected by national and international designations, as well as flood zones. The Action Plan sets out to address the barriers to housing delivery, and a Steering Group will monitor and drive forward the housing delivery programme.”

If approved by Cabinet on Wednesday 9 October, the Action Plan will be published.