Need not Greed Oxfordshire has submitted its response to the Government consultation on the new methodology for working out housing numbers (or OAN – Objectively Assessed Need).
The consultation closes tomorrow (9 November).
The Oxfordshire 2014 SHMA set a target of approx. 5,000 houses per annum (100,000 new houses over the SHMA period of 2011-2031) equivalent to a 37% increase in housing stock. This figure bore no relation to any previous delivery rates and was generated by an aggressive growth strategy promoted by the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and our local authorities, although never subject to any public consultation or environmental evaluation.
NNGO has consistently argued that these figures were vastly over-exaggerated and not based on local need, but over-blown calculations of demand.
Theoretically, Oxfordshire could benefit from the new methodology.
According to the new methodology, the figures for Oxfordshire would be reduced to 3,415 per annum (68,300 over the same SHMA period) – ie a 32% reduction. The figures for Oxford City would reduce by nearly 50%.
While we welcome this potential reduction, the proposed methodology is still flawed in its fundamental contention that simply building more houses will increase affordability, when the market has consistently failed to deliver on this issue. It still allows for a local uplift in relation to economic growth plans, without setting adequate guidance on public engagement or broader environmental concerns. Finally, it does nothing to take the pressure off the over-heated South-East region or to consider how best to balance regional demands.
We want the Government’s proposals to focus on ‘need’ not ‘demand’.
We have shared our consultation response with local MPs.
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