Local Plan report to be considered

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Statement following the Co-operation for Sustainable Development Board meeting held on 22 September 2015.

Objectively Assessed Housing Need report

On 8 October 2015 the Epping Forest District Council cabinet will consider a report on Objectively Assessed Housing Need (OAHN) within Epping Forest, Harlow, Uttlesford and East Herts. This joint report was produced by external consultants on behalf of the 4 authorities. The Epping Forest District Council cabinet report is due to be published on 1 October 2015.

Strategic Housing Market Assessment update

On 22 September 2015, the Co-operation for Sustainable Development Board (the Board) noted the updated Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for the West Essex/East Herts area (covering East Herts, Epping Forest, Harlow and Uttlesford districts) and an associated joint report on economic growth.

The revised SHMA identifies the objectively assessed housing need for the SHMA area using the latest published population projections as the starting point. The new SHMA identifies a total objectively assessed housing need for the Housing Market Area as a whole of 46,100 net additional dwellings over the Local Plan period 2011-2033.

The figures are broken down by district

  • East Herts DC 16,400
  • Epping Forest DC 11,300
  • Harlow DC 5,900
  • Uttlesford DC 12,500

It also gives a breakdown of the OAHN for each district by tenure and dwelling size. The identification of the objectively assessed housing need is not the number of houses to be provided but forms the basis for each authority to develop its own housing requirements. Taking account of policy, supply factors and other constraints, all 4 authorities will be considering the SHMA and economic reports at a local level.

Not the final figures

Planning Policy Portfolio Holder, Councillor Richard Bassett, reiterated that “these figures should not be portrayed as the final figures for our housing requirement. Further work will need to be done to assess the constraints within the district e.g. Green Belt land, flood zones and of course Epping Forest itself. Having done this, it may prove necessary to negotiate with our partnering authorities to identify locations across the SHMA that have the greatest ability to accommodate growth.”

Discuss the distribution of proposed housing

In accordance with the legal obligations of the Duty to Cooperate the Board continues to discuss the distribution of proposed housing and jobs growth across the Strategic Housing Market Area/Functional Economic Market Area. This includes ensuring that Strategic Housing Market Area housing needs are met, taking account of availability, viability and deliverability, with the outcomes of any discussions being taken back to the individual authorities for decision making.

The Board will work towards the production of a memorandum of understanding to support the joint working and meeting the duty to cooperate.

This report will be used to inform policies for Epping Forest District Council’s draft Local Plan.