The number of new houses to be built in Reading forms part of the issues and options paper for the new local plan for Reading. This has been published for consultation by Reading Borough Council. The consultation was agreed at the strategic environment, planning and transport committee meeting on 24 November 2015.
Government policy on planning for housing has changed:
Previously, numbers of new houses were set at a regional level for each authority. However, now it is down to individual local authorities to set out how much development, including housing, is needed in its area, and how much should be provided.
An assessment made of housing needs in the Western Berkshire housing market area identified a need for 2,855 homes of which Reading should provide 699 each year. Fewer homes could only be provided if some of the need was met outside Reading.
Question 3 asks:
How much housing should be provided in Reading each year between 2013 and 2036? Please select from the following options:
OPTION 3.1: Provide 699 homes each year (the full “objectively assessed need” for Reading).
OPTION 3.2: Provide around 600 homes each year (based on the average annual delivery over the 20 year period from 1995 to 2015).
OPTION 3.3: Provide around 630 homes each year (based on the maximum that might be achievable without any additional loss of greenfield land, employment areas or increase in development of garden land according to an initial estimate).
OPTION 3.4: Provide significantly more than 700 homes each year (in order to further significantly boost housing and deliver higher levels of affordable housing).
Question 4 asks:
Do you agree with the continuation of the affordable housing policies?
Reading Borough Council amended its affordable housing policy in January 2015 and does not anticipate propose significant changes at this time. The policy, CS16 within the core strategy, includes the statement:
All developments of 15 dwellings and above will provide 30% of the total number of dwellings in the form of affordable housing to meet the needs of the area, as defined in a housing needs assessment.
Affordable housing is subsidised housing that enables the asking price or rent to be substantially lower than the prevailing market prices or rents in the locality, and is subject to mechanisms that will ensure that the housing remains affordable for those who cannot afford market housing.
As with the questions in the local plan consultation dealing with land for development many of the questions, in this case five questions, relate to the identification of suitable sites.
Are you aware of any sites that would be suitable for self-build homes?
Are you aware of any vacant or under-used commercial or industrial sites that would be suitable for starter homes?
Are you aware of any sites that would be suitable for student housing?
Are you aware of any sites that would be suitable for residential care?
Are there any sites that would be suitable for provision for gypsies and travellers?
Formal consultation workshops are being held around Reading in February. A session in Tilehurst has already taken place, but two more are still to be held. If you would like to attend you should contact the planning team.
- Church House, 59 Church Street, Caversham, RG4 8AX on Tuesday 16 February 7pm to 9pm
- Civic Offices, Bridge Street, RG1 2LU (committee room 4a/4b) on Wednesday 24 February, 7pm to 9pm
There are also two drop-in events in February. These are more informal and you do not need to contact the planning team in advance.
The contact number for queries about the plan is 0118 9373337.
Deadline for responses is Monday 7 March 2016.
Responses to the consultation can be made by:
- Filling in a response form and e-mailing it to: LDF@reading.gov.uk
- Sending an e-mail to: LDF@reading.gov.uk
- Writing to:
Reading Borough Council Civic Offices,
Reading RG1 2LU
- New Local Plan
- New Local Plan for Reading
- How should Reading develop in the next 20 years
- Strategic Housing Market Assessment
- All Reading Borough Council’s planning policy documents
- Outline planning permission for the corner of Crown Street and Silver Street
- Reading 2050, part of Reading Year of Culture 2016.
- Where’s Reading Heading?