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Housing sums don’t add up for Wiltshire
Wiltshire needs 7,000 more homes than the council is planning to allow, according to a government-appointed inspector.
Wiltshire Council’s Core Strategy, which sets out aims for the county over the next 12 years, was submitted this summer and called for 37,000 new homes to be built.
However, in a letter sent to the council as part of a review of the strategy, planning inspector Andrew Seaman has claimed this will fall short of what is needed. In it, he said: “Rates of migration undoubtedly influence levels of housing need and I have had regard to the council’s balancing housing markets model.
“However, a housing figure as low as 37,000 homes over the plan period does not appear justified. My current interpretation of the evidence leads me to find that the objectively assessed housing need across the three Wiltshire HMAs (Housing Market Areas) would be in the region of 44,000 homes for the plan period.”
The council’s strategy included proposals for the number of homes required in each of the towns in the county. It suggested 6,000 for Trow-bridge, 670 for Bradford on Avon and the surrounding villages, 2,040 for the Melksham area, 1,850 for Warminster and 1,390 for Westbury.
Toby Sturgis, cabinet member with responsibility for strategic planning said the council would consider the inspector’s comments.
He said: “This is the latest step in the process which will lead to the adoption of a plan that outlines where jobs and homes can be located to ensure Wiltshire’s communities can grow in an appropriate and managed way.
“The inspector has highlighted some areas where we need to provide more information. One of these areas is our housing allocation figures, which he believes needs to be higher.
“We will look into this and provide more information. As we have done throughout this process, we will keep people updated via our website.”
See the inspector’s letter at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/wiltshirecorestrategyexamination
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