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Thousands of new homes needed for North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 May 2014

Archant

NORTH Somerset councillors have been advised up to 25,950 new homes need to be built in the district, as the authority’s revised housing strategy was judged inadequate.

The council’s plan to create at least 17,130 new properties in the next 12 years, which will cost around £106.7million, was proposed under North Somerset Council’s revised core strategy scheme last year.

This came after a legal challenge was brought about by the University of Bristol, which wanted to create 1,000 homes in the area, and was not given any backing by the core strategy.

The High Court ruled the authority’s original housing target of 14,000 was ‘unlawful’ and several features of the strategy for housing development and future proposals had to be examined.

North Somerset then released a low to high housing-need table, with the lowest amount of homes the council would need to see built being 17,130, a medium requirement of 19,395 new houses and the highest being 20,220.

But the Planning Inspectorate has now released a letter stating this is still not enough and would only be the case if ‘out-commuting reduces over the plan period.’

Roland Punshon said he did not find the strategy ‘sound or compliant with national guidance’ and suggested the council withdraw its policy to review it or reconsider its ‘short term aspirations’ and propose a main modification which produces a higher housing target.

A council spokesman said: “We are hugely disappointed by his (the inspector’s) conclusions as we believe we had put forward a robust case aimed at achieving a better balance between homes and jobs in the district.

“We will look very carefully at the inspector’s letter and formulate an appropriate response that reflects our ambition to have balanced and sustainable communities in North Somerset.”

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