Arun Local Plan housing target to remain unchanged despite revised predictions

Robin Shepherd, a leading town planning and design specialist SUS-180926-095126001
Robin Shepherd, a leading town planning and design specialist SUS-180926-095126001

Arun District Council has said recent figures suggesting fewer houses will be needed in the area will not affect the local plan.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) project that 84 fewer homes may be needed over the next ten years in Arun than first predicted.

The local plan predicts the district will require 20,000 new homes before 2031, at a rate of around 1,000 a year, and the council has stood by the figures.

A council spokesman said: “As far as we see it, this doesn’t have an effect on the agreed local plan and we await publication of the Government’s standard methodology later this year and these figures form just one of the inputs.”

The stance was supported by a statement made by a leading town planning and design specialist, Robin Shepherd, who warned against knee-jerk reactions to the figures.

He said: “It would be very easy for councils and politicians to conclude that they do not need to build as many homes as they thought they did. However, I would say they should approach this kind of policy with extreme caution.

“Reducing housing supply could significantly cut this region off from economic growth.

“We need to be very careful that we don’t use a snapshot in time to make conclusions for the next five to 10–20 years.

“When you are planning over such a long period of time, you need to take a much more considered view as household projections can vary significantly over time.”