DISTRICT bosses have set the record straight after doubts were cast over their ability to provide enough extra housing in the region during the next five years.
South Gloucestershire Council commissioned an independent assessment carried out by market experts BNP Paribas to prove once and for all that the number of homes and sites earmarked for construction as part of its core strategy was sufficient.
Developers including Barratt Homes and Bloor Homes had suggested during a public examination that more housing was needed in the region than the 10,393 homes, the authority said it could deliver.
Bloor Homes was backed by the planning inspector who led its appeal into the council's decision not to develop Engine Common as part of its core strategy.
But BNP Paribas found in its report that the authority's plans to secure sites to build 10,393 homes was more than enough to comply with the government's housing requirements for the next five years, even providing a surplus of 733 homes.
In his report Tim Cann, national head of residential development consulting for BNP Paribas Real Estate, said: "In my opinion and as a result of my review of the key sites and the evidence of positive market movement over the last 12 months, there is more than adequate allocated housing supply in the five-year period.
"Furthermore there is more than adequate strategic capacity in the larger sites to accommodate any increased demand akin to historical take up in previous stronger market cycles, over and above that which I have estimated."
The council has now written to the inspector responsible for approving its 15-year planning blueprint or core strategy, Paul Crysell, to share BNP Paribas' findings.
Cllr Brian Allinson, chairman of the council’s planning, transportation and strategic environment committee said he hoped the report would reassure the community that the district did not need to allocate further sites for development in order for the strategy to be approved.
"If there remained any doubts or uncertainty about our five year land supply, the council’s approach has now been robustly scrutinised and found to be correct through independent expert analysis," he said.
"We are confident that this independent report will enable the Inspector to find the strategy sound and we look forward to working with him to progress the strategy without further delay."
The district’s overall land supply figures, totalling 28,355 new homes in the years to 2027, has been supported by the inspector following the a full examination in public last year and again in March this year following an additional hearing session.
Mr Crysell is now expected to issue a response to the council’s letter, inviting further comments and setting out his preferred way forward.