This post requires a full update as it has been superceded by developments such as the present Suspension of the Local Plan by the Inspector. We are now awaiting the results of the Public Consultation by Arun DC, and the resumption date of the next and final stage of the EiP.
The latest OAN given by the Inspector is 919 houses per annum which the VAG believes is a ridiculous house build rate for our region for multiple reasons.
The following info is now OUT of DATE. – – – – – – – –
It has been quite a while (August / September 2015) since I have written any updates on the Arun Local Plan situation. The reason has been that not very much has been happening except for the summary that follows. At that time the Inspector had asked for Arun to re-consider its whole strategy of where to put the required houses and not to pre-determine anything. Crucial in deciding the extent of any Local Plan and how much land will be required for future development is a number called the OAN (Objectively Assessed Housing Number ) which is an estimate for the supposed number of houses required to be built in a district depending on market and census led estimates. Arun DC had asked GL Hearn, a firm of Specialist Consultants to give them an up to date figure. The figure they came up with was 758 Houses per annum, which VAG considers is far too large a number. One important point to note is the word “Objective” which refers to the idea that the number does not allow for any obvious local constraints such as flooding.
The Inspector sent out a letter to interested parties to comment on the Arun OAN figure.
VAG commissioned a consultant to prepare our own report in order to present our own opinion on this OAN number to the Inspector together with the other parties. This was duly done at a Hearing in January where the Inspector cross-examined the parties presenting their OAN estimates. After this meeting the Inspector went away to ponder the various submissions and then decide what he considered should be the correct OAN for the Arun District.
The submitted OANs ranged from the very low 300’s to over 900 houses per annum. The figure that the VAG Consultant advised was 571 hpa and the Report is to be found here:- Representation OAN_for VAG, Arun-1
Having considered all the evidence, the Inspector has now concluded this very important phase with his own report summarising his arguments for choosing and recommending an OAN. His Letter to Mr Karl Roberts, The Director for Regeneration, is here:-
As you will see the figure he has chosen is shockingly high at 845 houses per annum. The VAG has not yet decided how to respond to this result. It is not very clear from the Inspector’s letter whether he will accept some reduction in this figure due to local constraints. We will check this point in due course. We are fairly happy with the figure given by our own consultant as it appears to us more reasonable than the Inspector’s own figure.
Unfortunately, if the 845 hpa figure is converted to actual houses then there will need to be quite massive housing development in our district, which to many of us sounds completely impractical given the huge local problems we suffer with poor road infrastructure, very poor employment prospects and a serious flood risk.