Breckland says house building is picking up after missed targets

Breckland Council. Picture: Ian Burt

Breckland Council. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

A district authority which has failed to hit regional house building targets in each of the last ten years insists the tide is turning.

Breckland Council told members of its planning committee this week that it has not hit a Core Strategy target of having 780 new homes built in the district, set by the East of England Regional Plan, since 2004/05.

The shortfall has left the council 2,500 homes behind a target of 11,700 homes built since 2001.

Even using the council's preferred measure, Objectively Assessed Need (OAN), which requires 596 homes to be built a year, the target has only been hit once since 2008/09, leaving the council 521 homes short since 2012.

But Charles Carter, Breckland's executive member for growth, said the signs were positive for the future with 3,500 homes at least expected to be built in the next five years.

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He said: 'Latest assessments show that Breckland now has an identified housing land supply of 4.73 years.

'This is a significant increase on last year's position and evidence that we are moving in the right direction.

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'Building rates in the district are now higher than they have been since 2008-9.

'We hope to identify a five year housing land supply in the near future and will be reassessing our land supply figures in October.'

Mr Carter added that the shortfall in building had been caused by the recession.

'The economic slowdown over the last few years meant some developers were not in a position to build on sites for which they had been granted planning permission. As a result, fewer houses than expected were built between 2012 and 2016.

'When adopted, our new Local Plan will identify a five year land supply and retain it on a rolling basis.

'This will include provision to make up the recent shortfall in housing delivery over the life of the Local Plan, which will run until 2036.'

The council has already approved planning permission for 405 units in the district since April 1, some 69% of its annual requirement.

What do you think about housing in Breckland? Is the council doing enough? Email

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