Issue - meetings

Core Strategy Local Plan - Review of Development Options

Meeting: 27/02/2017 - Cabinet (Item 96)

96 Core Strategy Local Plan - Report of Further Consultation on Housing Need and Land Supply pdf icon PDF 178 KB

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Councillor Phil Davies, Leader of Wirral Council, said:


Last week the Government announced its long awaited Housing White Paper. The headlines revealed plans to build 1,000,000 new homes by 2020.


“While this White Paper recognises the failure to build sufficient homes in the past has directly led to the current housing crisis, the policy does little to address the root causes of homelessness or the growing affordability and availability gaps especially for younger people and the needs of an ageing population.


“The Government's Top-Down House Building Target also puts pressure on our Green Belt. To meet the target, each local authority has to submit a Local Plan identifying how many and where new homes will be built. Wirral’s housing needs assessment has been set at a minimum of 900 new homes every year for the next 15 years - 13,500 in total.


“The assessment also tells us we do not have enough land in Wirral currently allocated for housing to meet this target.


The Council therefore must review the options available to it.


“We will review land currently identified for employment and explore regenerating other previously undeveloped urban sites; look at increasing housing densities; bringing empty properties back into use; and making landowners and developers such as Peel - owners of Wirral Waters - commence building the homes they have extant planning permission for. 


It is a requirement of the statutory Local Plan process that all options are reviewed including the Green Belt to meet these house building targets.


“Failing to explore all options, including Green Belt, or not submitting a Local Plan by March 2018 carries potential sanctions from Government.


“Not submitting a Local Plan also prevents local authorities from exercising proper planning control and leaves the Green Belt unprotected from speculative bids from builders and developers.


“Let me be clear, this Council will seek to meet its obligations and provide the homes needed to meet our economic growth ambitions; improve the quality of housing on offer for residents; and meet the needs of our most vulnerable people to enable them to live independently.


“We will achieve this by identifying all possibleoptions for building new homes on existing sites and development locations. This administration is committed to not building on Wirral’s Green Belt.


“I have written to the Secretary of State asking him to reconsider his policies and instead provide local authorities with the resources to manage house building in the interest of residents not Government targets.


“Public consultation will commence in March 2017 and I encourage everyone to contribute ideas on these important issues which will affect us all.”




Councillor Phil Davies introduced a report which set out the results of consultation with the public and other stakeholders on the scale of the future need for housing and on the land that would be available to accommodate it. 


Councillor Davies informed that the results of consultation had not identified any significant additional development opportunities to meet the likely identified need for new housing, over and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96