Five-year housing land supply shortfall sparks need for sites

Published February 11th, 2014

Landowners in Shropshire are being urged to push forward sites for development as the housing market recovers and council planners side in favour of sustainable housing projects.

National planning policy requires Local Planning Authorities to identify and maintain a rolling five-year supply of deliverable land for housing. At present Shropshire Council is lagging behind its target with only 4.95 years supply.

Planning consultant Stuart Thomas of Berrys warns that this figure dates back to April 2013, since when the shortfall of housing delivery has continued month on month.

“The Core Strategy target for the provision of new homes – an annual target of 1,390 homes, equating to 116 homes built per month – is not being met in the county,” he said.

“Last year (2012/2013) only 847 new homes were built and every month the shortfall increases and reduces the number of years’ supply of housing land. In consequence, Shropshire’s five-year supply is now below 4.95 years.”

The time is certainly right for landowners in Shropshire to source and release sites for development.

Housing shortfall sparks need for development sites

“There is a presumption in favour of sustainable development. Existing Development Plan housing policies are not up to date and refusals of applications solely on the grounds that they are contrary to Development Plan housing policy by being partly outside of the development boundary would be unlikely to be sustained at appeal,” Mr Thomas said.

“The current lack of housing supply changes the balance of the material considerations in favour of boosting housing supply,” he explained. “We are already working with clients delivering successful development planning outcomes and we see this requirement for development land in Shropshire continuing.”

“This is a massive opportunity for farmers and landowners to maximise property values and we can assist them in selecting the best sites and with our in-house team of specialist planners, surveyors and architectural technicians we can see them through the planning process from start to finish.”

For further details contact Stuart Thomas at Berrys on 01743 267069 or email mailto://

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More about Stuart Thomas

Head of Planning & Development
Tel: 01743 267069
Mobile: 07747 474340

Stuart has an MA in Town Planning and Development, an honours degree in Human Geography, is a full member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and is a PRINCE II Project Management Qualified Practitioner. He joined Berrys in May 2013 and became a partner of the firm in April 2014. He is Head of Planning, responsible for the delivery of planning services across all five offices. Prior to joining Berrys, Stuart held a number of senior Council positions including Head of Development Control at North Shropshire District Council and Area Planning Manager at Shropshire Council.

Stuart has 15 years of experience is all aspects of planning. Specific areas of expertise include agricultural and intensive poultry planning, affordable housing, strategic residential, renewable and commercial developments and rural housing. Stuart has also considerable experience in understanding the finer detail of National Planning Policy, Community Infrastructure Levy, S106 negotiations and planning appeals.