Covering note to Waverley Borough Council CEO:
30th September 2018
Letter to Tom Horwood, Julia Potts and Waverley Borough Council Councillors:
Dear Councillor Potts and Mr Horwood
POW is writing to ask you to withdraw the defence of the housing numbers in Part 1 of the Local Plan in the interests of all the residents of the Borough.
Conceding our case will allow WBC to re-calculate the numbers on the basis of the new household projections published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on 20th September 20181. Barton Willmore has calculated 2, using the new NPPF ‘Standard Method’, that the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) for Waverley is 27% lower than the Government’s comparable figure based on 2014 data 3. Over the 19 year Plan period, this equates to a very significant reduction of over 3,000 dwellings.
Furthermore, these calculations show that Woking’s unmet need has disappeared.4
You have both claimed that if CPRE and POW succeed in their challenge, then the Local Plan will fall and the protections it provides will be removed. That fear is unfounded.
- There is legal precedence that part of a Plan can be changed without affecting the remainder. In the case of William Davis Ltd and Others v Charnwood Borough Council (2017), Gilbart J concluded: “I am not willing to strike down other policies whose provenance was not contested before me. I shall therefore limit the relief granted to the quashing of that policy.” 5
- A lower OAN will make it easier to meet the 5 year supply requirement, adding additional protection against unwanted and inappropriate development in the longer term.
WBC must avail itself of this unique opportunity to revise down its housing numbers presented by the High Court Challenges being brought by CPRE and POW, rather than wait until the 5 year review of the Plan in 2023. If it fails to do this, large sections of our beautiful Borough will be ruined by unneeded development – on Green Belt, on Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Areas of Great Landscape Value – and future residents will be condemned to live in totally unsustainable locations.
Your duty, as political leader and Chief Executive of Waverley Borough Council respectively, is to protect the interests of Waverley’s residents, now and in the future. You will singularly fail in that duty if you do not take advantage of this unique opportunity to make an early amendment to Part 1 of your Local Plan by conceding the s113 Appeal. The benefits of adopting the reduced quota are significant – both for your Council and your electorate.
Chairman, POW Campaign Ltd on behalf of the PROTECT OUR WAVERLEY (POW) Campaign
All WBC Councillors
Bea Philpott (Haslemere Herald), Daniel Gee (Farnham Herald), Andre Langlois (Surrey Advertiser), Jack Fiehn (BBC Surrey), Tom Cantoni (Eagle Radio)
1 Household projections in England: 2016-based: Indication of the future number of households in England and its regions and local authorities. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/bulletins/2016basedhouseholdprojectionsinengland/2016basedhouseholdprojectionsinengland/pdf
2 Housing need will fall in the light of new household projections. http://www.bartonwillmore.co.uk/Knowledge/Intelligence/2018/Housing-need-will-fall-in-light-of-new-household-p
3 DCLG: Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals 14th September 2017: Housing need consultation data table: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/644783/Housing_Need_Consultation_Data_Table.xlsx
4 Report on the Examination of the Waverley Borough Local Plan Part 1 by J Bore, 1 February 2018: para 26.