LETTER: Planning

I would be grateful if you would consider printing the following letter that I have sent to Sajid Javid. It clearly shows that LDC are ignoring the severe housing shortage and are in denial that their policies are not working.

Dear Mr Javid,

We have a housebuilding crisis in Lewes District.

Firstly, some numbers...

Lewes District Council have just published their results for Housing Completions 2016 – 2017.

The figure of just 204 net additions is no doubt a great disappointment to the Planning Department who predicted a much higher figure. Their Housing Trajectory Schedule for this period (as per the Joint Core Strategy) was anticipating a figure of 305 so they continue to fall further behind in supplying much-needed housing in the district.

The JCS calls for 345 new net additions per year between 2010 and 2030, a total of 6,900.

In the last seven years they have only achieved a total of 1,507, an average of 215 per year. To achieve 6,900 over the 20 years this means they need to average 415 per year for the next 13 years, virtually doubling their performance to date.

LDC’s latest Housing Supply Note dated 1.4.17 suggests they have the situation under control, but this is misleading as their new projections further exacerbate the situation. Their latest trajectory predicts just 285 during 2017/18 and 302 during 2018/19. If they were to only achieve these numbers it would mean they have failed to achieve 345 for all four years from 2015. The JCS projected 550 and 700 respectively for these same two years, so they predict they will only achieve 46 per cent of the figure for this two-year period. These higher figures as part of the Housing Trajectory were relied on when the Local Plan (JCS) was Inspected and found to be sound.

So how will LDC address this severe and worsening situation?

They can only address it by exploring every single opportunity to build homes with greatly increased vigour. They should concentrate all their efforts in helping to make house building happen rather than opposing it.

LDC continue to ignore the fact they are failing to provide enough new homes when they are needed, ie, now, and deferring the matter only suggests they are planning for failure.

Gary Loveman