13 December 2013

City Plan response

The city council has received the planning inspector’s initial view of the City Plan.

Meeting the current requirements of government guidance was always going to be challenging given the shortage of available development space. The council is pleased that the City Plan meets the Duty to Co-Operate requirement which means we have done everything we can to engage with neighbouring authorities to find suitable locations for new housing to provide homes for people in the wider area.

We are committed to carrying out the work recommended by the inspector with a view to persuading her that we have a sound plan at a later stage. The inspector has asked the council to carry out a more detailed analysis of housing potential in the urban fringe around the city. We will be putting together a response to the inspector which will be sent in January, 2014.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, chair of the city's planning committee, says: “We are committed to the review but our research so far suggests that only a handful of the urban fringe sites have real potential to deliver housing. Most of the urban fringe contains parks, allotments, cemeteries and sports pitches and some is contaminated land.

“We understand the Inspector is bound by national guidance which is strongly in favour of councils meeting government requirements in full. We are under pressure to find more space for housing, but with the South Downs National Park on one side and the sea on the other, it is a huge challenge.

“We undertook to look again at sites within the urban fringe to see whether further homes could be accommodated and had undertaken to consult in detail about the urban fringe at a later stage in the Plan process.”

Government requirements stipulate that councils must address their housing needs up to 2030 in full when drawing up their local plans. This is a challenge throughout the country, but particularly in the south east.

Find out more about the City Plan