The Residents' Association has received an update this week from Guy Davies (MVDC, Head of Planning Policy) on the new Local Plan and the results of the recently completed Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). The SHMA is conducted to assess what are the housing needs of an area for the next 15 years or so. MVDC ran the last one in 2007 but it was in need of refreshing and is very expensive to run so they joined forces with other North East Surrey Authorities and Kingston upon Thames to conduct a new one. Housing needs are calculated based on projections of both market demand and social housing requirements.
The full SHMA report is now online at http://www.molevalley.gov.uk/media/pdf/f/k/Full_version_exc_LA_annexes_with_intro1.pdf ;
The report is 212 pages long but what it boils down to is that for Mole Valley to meet its housing needs in the 15 years of the new Local Plan (assume 2018-2033), 391 dwellings a year would need to be built. The existing Local Plan had a housing target figure to build a total of 3,760 houses by 2026 and currently MVDC has land identified to build about 185 dwellings a year to meet that overall target. The new District-wide Local Plan currently being prepared is scheduled to be developed by 2018 and it will replace the existing one and have a new house-building target.
It is important to stress that 391 dwellings a year is the housing needs figure that has come out of the SHMA and is not necessarily the housing needs target number that will be in the new MVDC Local Plan because there may be significant constraints to development, for which a strong evidentiary case can be made.
To identify the extent of development constraints, MVDC has two further fact finding exercises currently underway that will feed into the Plan and help determine a realistic housing target for the District: (1) an assessment of industrial and commercial needs and (2) an assessment of the constraints to development (eg Green Belt, flooding, character, environment).
There will be considerable public consultation throughout the preparation of the Local Plan: MVDC plans to run the first consultation early in the New Year.
There is also a District-wide communications plan being finalized to keep people informed about the public consultations and their outcome and the progress of the preparation of the Plan.