Increased Housing Need in Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells
Report reveals Sevenoaks and Tunbridge Wells will need to significantly increase amount of housing currently being planned for.
A new report commissioned jointly by Sevenoaks District Council and Tunbridge Wells Borough Council is expected to reveal that both authorities will need to significantly increase the amount of housing currently being planned for.
The Strategic Housing Market Assessment is a national requirement to provide a firm evidence base for planning future housing developments. Although the report is currently only in draft, it is understood that Tunbridge Wells Borough Council does not dispute the housing need figures set out in it. It shows a need for 12,400 houses to be provided in Sevenoaks between 2013-2033 (an average of 620 per year and for 12,960 houses (648 per year) to be provided in Tunbridge Wells over the same period.
The Sevenoaks requirement is almost 4 times the current Core Strategy figure of 165 houses per year, whilst the Tunbridge Wells requirement is more than double its current Core Strategy rate of 300 homes per year. DHA expects both authorities to confirm in due course that they do not have a five year supply of housing when judged against the newly assessed need.
This evidence will be used by both planning departments to plan their future growth through reviews of their Local Plans. It should be noted that no policy decisions have been taken by either authority yet, and it is not yet known whether either will seek to meet the need in full within their own authority areas, especially given the significant Green Belt and AONB constraints in both areas.
dha expect that both authorities are likely to issue “calls for sites” to identify potential housing sites over the coming months and we are monitoring the situation closely.