Open door to even more new homes

An artist impression of Mickle Well Park
An artist impression of Mickle Well Park

Daventry district has been left open to even more speculative development which could see hundreds of new homes in unsuitable locations.

At a meeting of Daventry District Council’s (DDC) planning committee last Wednesday it was stated DDC must have a 20 per cent increase in the amount of land it needs to supply for housing – increasing it from enough for five to six years. Authorities normally only need a five-year land supply, but as the district council has under-delivered on homes in recent years the buffer has been applied.

The lack of housing supply in the Daventry area has already seen controversial planning applications approved and has been a reason used by the Planning Inspectorate to overturn proposals previously dismissed by DDC.

This means firms now applying to build homes on land DDC does not want developed are highly likely to get planning permission as long as their proposals are ‘sustainable’. A DDC spokesman said: “The requirement to demonstrate either a five or 20 per cent buffer was established in the National Planning Policy Framework. It is for the council to decide which buffer is appropriate based on historic completion rates. There has been a persistent shortfall of completions against requirements, therefore application of the 20 per cent buffer was considered the appropriate position. When DDC recalculates the position from the start of April, it may be able to argue for a five per cent buffer to apply. If we can, we will.” The spokesman added the only way to improve the situation is to identify enough housing land to meet expected demand laid out in the joint core strategy.

DDC added that after permission is granted, the council has limited influence over the rate developers can build homes but it can help with other infrastructure needed for major sites to be provided.