Labours Local Plan – not so much moving the goalposts as inventing a new game

Labours already unpopular plan to expand the City’s size by 25% over the next 15 years is attracting more and more criticism

The Council has for many years targeted a growth in jobs of around 1000 per year. There are currently 3053 unemployed people in York. That is 2.3% of the population. There will always be some unemployed as people seek to change jobs or who find that they do not have the skills to match the vacancies available.

So there are relatively few in York who are seeking work compared to the rest of Yorkshire where 4.9% are unemployed.

The job growth figures are, however, not being achieved by the current Council.

According to the latest census data the City’s population grew, on average, by 1% pa during the last decade. That was a time of economic prosperity. The growth did include some students who do need one housing unit per person (new build) . However, that growth cannot go on for ever.

A growth of 1% pa implies a need to provide about 400 additional homes each year assuming an occupancy rate of 2 persons per property. (In York we have around 2.3 people per property on average).

There is some catching up to do to deal with overcrowding/aspirations etc so 600 pa was a reasonable target. That was the figure supported by the then Liberal Democrat led Council in February 2011 when York’s Local Plan was first unveiled.

The plan restricted development to sites which already had planning permission plus those on brownfield (previously developed) sites.

Although there is enough land with planning permission to build over 3000 new homes, last year only around 300 were actually delivered.

In June 2011, following a local election victory, Labour amended the draft Local Plan. They upped the land supply to 800 units per year although they didn’t identify where the additional homes would be built.

Developments planned for Westfield Ward

Developments planned for Westfield Ward

They voted in June 2011 to confirm the current (draft) green belt boundaries.

Now it seems that Labour plan to produce more additional homes than new jobs

With around 4000 York residents on the housing waiting list, it is unclear why Labour want to build 22,000?

Most would be on greenfield sites.

They are clearly assuming that many of the new jobs will be filled by inward migrants from other parts of the country.

Labour’s plans are reckless and won’t be delivered. But they will cast blight across parts of the City for a decade or more

To see how the Council’s plans have changed over the last 2 years click here:
February 2011

June 2011

April 2013

NB In the Westfield Ward three sites for additional homes have been identified in Labour’s plan

• Lowfield School where 72 homes will be built on 2.24 hectares of land

• Land off Askham Lane (actually Foxwood Lane) where 42 homes would be built on 1.3 hectares (this site is one of those being taken out of the current draft green belt)

• Our Lady’s Primary School 29 homes on 0.68 Hectares

4 thoughts on “Labours Local Plan – not so much moving the goalposts as inventing a new game

  1. […] aspect of the Councils announcement – that it hoped to see an additional 22,000 homes constructed in the City during the next 15 […]

  2. […] Labour become ever more desperate in their attempts to justify their “high growth” Local Plan, one mantra that keeps being repeated in that York “doesn’t have a Green […]

  3. […] Labour propose to increase the size of York by 25% during the next 15 years. Up to 22,000 new homes are planned. The majority would be built on Green Belt land and would be occupied by inward migrants. […]

  4. […] This is the report that the Council used in “Draft” form to justify its decision in April to seek land on which to build an additional 22,000 in York over the next 15 years. […]

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