Core Strategy Issues & Options

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12. DEVELOPMENT IN EXISTING SETTLEMENT BOUNDARIES

12.1 This section considers the amount of development, principally housing, that is likely to be achieved under existing Local Plan policies.

12.2 This includes:

  • Further development in existing settlement 'development boundaries'
  • Sites already allocated for housing in the Local Plan
  • Allocated greenfield sites already with planning permission

12.3 This will clearly impact upon the need for further land to be identified for development.

12.4 As noted above, Government policy identifies sites within existing urban areas (which can include villages), particularly on previously developed land, as the most appropriate locations for new development. This may involve infilling, redevelopment and intensification and the conversion of existing buildings.

12.5 Experience shows that such housing comes forward at a fairly consistent rate within towns and villages.

12.6 The Council will, over the next few months, undertake a re-assessment of the likely supply of previously developed land and buildings, both to update the earlier work and to help identify individual sites that may be appropriate to subsequently allocate for development. Such proposals would be the subject of consultation as part of the preparation of the Allocations development document.

12.7 The extent of the "allowance" for such development will also need to reflect estimates of economic and demographic trends as well as choices about the relative impacts of the intensification in settlements relative to new development on greenfield land.

12.8 Three "intensification scenarios", based on different perspectives, are considered below for discussion.

12.9 Scenario A: Recent Trends. This assumes the continuation of recent "intensification" trends that have been maintained for some time, into the future.

12.10 Scenario B: Dynamic growth. This assumes a higher demand for intensification as a consequence of higher land values arising from economic growth, including a demand for more flatted accommodation, especially from younger people, with supportive density polices.

12.11 Scenario C: Diminishing supply. This, in contrast, assumes diminishing opportunities for changes of use due to limited economic growth (and hence little change in land values), a premium on larger properties such that redevelopment is less financially attractive, and a greater regard for retaining existing character and densities.

12.12 The implications of these scenarios is illustrated by the following table.

Alternative brownfield housing provisions 2006 - 2026

Scenario

Small sites (dwgs)

Large sites (dwgs)

Total /year (dwgs)

Total 2006 - 2026 (dwgs)

A - Recent Trends

71

60

131

2,620

B - Dynamic growth

80

80

160

3,200

C - Diminishing supply

65

40

105

2,100

NB The Council's monitoring of housing building breaks this down into small sites (of less than 6 dwellings) and large sites. For smaller sites the average has been 71 dwellings per year. The Council's assessment of larger windfall sites in 2001 suggested an average of 60 dwellings per year on up to 2011. This has been achieved to date.

12.13 The Rother District Local Plan already allocates sites for some 1,870 dwellings. some of which now have planning permission. The large majority of these are at the major expansion at Bexhill.

12.14 Deducting the (varying) amount of housing expected within existing settlements (figures in the last column of the above table) and the capacity of outstanding allocations (1,870 dwellings) from the current South East Plan housing requirement for Rother of 5,600 dwellings produces estimates of the residual need for further housing sites to be identified.

12.15 These estimates, under each scenario of "urban potential", are set out below:

Total new allocations required 2006 - 2026

Scenario

Coastal belt allocations*

Inland (rural) allocations*

New allocations

A - Trend- based

790

320

1,110

B - Growth led

380

150

530

C - Reducing potential

1,160

470

1,630

* based on the split indicated in the draft South East Plan.

12.16 This shows that by allowing (and the market supporting) greater levels of intensification, the amount of new greenfield land required for development is about a half that assumed under current trends.

12.17 In contrast, a more conservative view of such potential implies about a 50% increase in greenfield land needed for housing.

12.18 The draft South East Plan gives a figure of further sites for 1,000 dwellings.

(16) Question 11 - Which of these scenarios is more likely/appropriate, having regard to the likely trends and implications both for urban areas and the need to develop greenfield land?

(11) Question 12 - Is this split between the coastal belt (mainly Bexhill and the fringes of Hastings, but also including Rye) and the rest of the district appropriate having regard to their respective needs, opportunities and constraints?

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