To say the housing numbers we have today is the sole fault of government is a gross exaggeration. The housing projections we have today never even went in front of all the members, simply a selective few.
While we wait for the Government to announce their final draft of the New National Planning Policy Framework, which will have to go before Parliament for approval and is expected to bring about crucial changes to future new housing projections here in Fareham, we should not lose sight of the fact, the present housing numbers now driving development in Fareham are not merely the fault of central government.
PUSH ( Partnership for Urban South Hampshire) is a partnership of the councils of: Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton, Isle of Wight, Eastleigh, East Hampshire, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, New Forest, Test Valley, and Winchester.
The assembly of Local council leaders, senior councillors and officers commissioned a number of studies to help them PUSH forward their plans for economic expansion.
Although the studies were prepared in line with the National Planning Policy Framework, to establish and distribute the objectively assessed needs for housing and economic growth over the long term period to 2034 across the PUSH area, PUSH gave a commitment that the final Housing objectively Assessed Housing Need figures would be consulted on through a public consultation.
Trying to find the link where they consulted US, the residents. Sadly there isn’t one, because we had no say.
That important consultation never materialised, it was effectively cancelled and the new housing numbers we see today that are driving the destruction of our greenfields were passed to each local authority for them to consult on through their revised Local Plan Reviews.
The critical point is, although the likes of Fareham can demonstrate they have consulted through their Draft Local Plan review it is meaningless because the consultation is far too late in the planning process. The public does not have a chance of changing those figures at that stage, a fact which is well recognised.
So if you hear the words, it’s all the Government fault, please be mindful that is not the case. Local politicians across our region including Fareham played a role in the thousands in the housing figures we see today.