RESPONSE FROM CLLR STUART HUTCHINSON EMAILED TO YARMOUTH TOWN CLERK FOLLOWING QUESTION RAISED AT YARMOUTH TOWN COUNCL JULY MEETING

RESPONSE FROM CLLR STUART HUTCHINSON EMAILED TO YARMOUTH TOWN CLERK FOLLOWING QUESTION RAISED AT YARMOUTH TOWN COUNCL JULY MEETING

Hi Brian,
At present the Planning Department has been tasked with finding ways of
challenging the figures derived by using the government standard
methodology to calculate needed housing numbers. Whether the final
challenge is based on the methodology being wrong (no exception
challenge based on this has yet been successful – anywhere), or on the
undeliverability of these numbers on an Island with restricted building
capacity, or on some other basis, I don’t yet know. The work has to be
done before a decision can be made. The decision on whether to seek a
formal exception or oppose by some other means, will be taken by
Cabinet. All I can say at the moment is that Cabinet do not want these
numbers. We think 200 to 300 a year is more acceptable than 647, and is
about what we have built on average over the last decade. We’d also like
to see most of those as affordable housing and restricted for those with
existing residency here or a family connection.

It’s worth noting that over the life of the current plan, we have got
nowhere near the 8300 that the plan proposed. In practice we stand no
chance of getting to the 9600 that the present draft suggests. But it is
better for us not to have that number in a plan because developers use
the failure to deliver the numbers in support of their planning
applications. Then even if Planning Committee turn an application down,
it wins on appeal, like at Brighstone. The additional problem from a
housing delivery perspective is that developers get permissions then
don’t build, but holding land with housing permissions increases their
asset base and thus the ability to borrow to build elsewhere. We have
over 2000 unbuilt permissions on the Island already. Government is
giving us powers to cancel those permissions if they are unused, which
will help to stop the practice as they would have to go through the
planning process again to reinstate.

Regards,
Stuart

Stuart Hutchinson
Ward Councillor: West Wight
Deputy Leader Isle of Wight Council
Cabinet Member for Resources

11
Jul
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