Councillors in Basingstoke are set to reduce the borough’s annual housing number from a target of 850 to 700.

Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council’s economic, planning and housing committee will consider the proposal, which seeks to keep the 700-home target for five years from 2025, on Thursday, September 7.

The move is aimed at giving infrastructure, facilities and services the chance to catch up with the rate of housebuilding. A housing figure needs to be decided for the next Local Plan, which will guide development and planning up to 2040.

The Local Plan update had been paused by the council’s previous administration following local concerns over the numbers.

As well as debating the housing number, Thursday’s meeting will also discuss the spatial strategy for where homes could be built.

A number of meetings with parish and town councils across the borough will take place later this year and a borough-wide consultation will get under way in January.

Cabinet member for strategic planning and infrastructure Cllr Andy Konieczko said: “As a new administration, we recognise how important the Local Plan is in giving our residents certainty about future development in their areas and setting higher standards for all new homes built in our area.

“We can’t wait any longer, and re-starting the Local Plan process has been one of our top priorities since we took over in May.

“The updated plan will introduce a more ambitious policy framework, building upon and strengthening the existing adopted plan, to meet the area’s needs and the council’s aims, for example in tackling climate change and the ecological emergency.

“We’re all agreed that our area needs high-quality, genuinely affordable homes, built in the right places and with the necessary supporting services.

“In reality, this means that we need to slow down housebuilding to give our infrastructure – including new schools, doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries, roads and sewerage treatment facilities – a chance to catch-up.

“Our options are severely limited by the planning straitjacket imposed on us by the Government. We’re still pushing for them to change this to take into account local circumstances.

“With little support or guidance coming from the Government, the stepped trajectory approach to the housing number – setting a lower figure for the first five years of the new plan – enables residents to get the benefits of a new Local Plan while also helping us to get the infrastructure that our borough desperately needs.

“We’re an administration that’s listening and working hard to find ambitious solutions to meet residents’ needs and move our borough forward.”


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