‘Lack of housing supply does not mean development free-for-all’ — councillor

Photo: Mark Bullimore
Photo: Mark Bullimore

Mid Suffolk District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning John Whitehead says the lack of a five-year housing land supply does not mean it is a “development free-for-all” in north Suffolk.

Concerns have been raised by local campaign groups opposing controversial planning applications that a lack of supply would mean a higher chance of approval being granted.

But the councillor, who represents Claydon and Barham, said a number of policies and permissions were already in place.

“Our housing land supply is made up of allocations and planning permissions. Our most recent work on allocations started in January through public consultations and this work is ongoing,” he said. “We are also actively engaging with developers on our key and strategic sites and as these come forward they will contribute to our housing supply. A further consultation on the plan is likely to take place later this year.

“We are also anticipating that planning applications for some key sites will be determined. Subject to the outcome of the planning process these sites will contribute to the supply and help meet housing need. Having a five-year land supply is just one of many tools at the disposal of district councils as they plan for and deliver appropriate, sustainable housing growth.

“At Mid Suffolk, our existing development policies are robust and are designed to ensure that development will only be encouraged if it is sustainable and meets local housing and employment needs. Because of these existing policies, the current absence of a confirmed five-year land supply in no way allows a development free-for-all and unacceptable an d unsustainable development proposals will be rejected on good planning grounds.”