Housing Needs Study

I have today emailed the letter below to members of the Tendring Local Plan committee. I hope it will allow us to find a way forward that commands broad support:

To:         Councillors on the Local Plan Committee

Objectively Assessed Housing Needs Study:

I am writing in advance of the next Local Plan committee meeting on September 17th to ask you to support a proposal to ask the TDC officers to go back to Peter Brett Associates, with a view to agreeing a lower figure than the 597pa that is in the options document currently out for consultation. I have asked Mr Guiver to make consideration of this request a specific agenda item. The result of that review would be considered by the Local Plan committee alongside the feedback from the consultation exercise.

I believe that the Objectively Assessed housing Needs Study carried out by PBA leaves a large amount of unexplained housing requirement. Indeed the report itself recognises this:

4.26 Tendring has a large Unattributable Population Change (UPC) adjustment. Here UPC was over 9,000 people negative over the 10 year (Census to Census) period. The Census reported many fewer people in the district than were expected. The impact on the projected housing need is around 200 new homes per year.

4.39 Unlike the other four districts, for Tendring there is a legitimate reason to query the SNPP 2012.

4.42 The only doubtful element in the projections relates to the Unattributable Population Change (UPC) in Tendring.

9.5 If we use an alternative projection that adjusts for the UPC, the demographically projected need for Tending falls from 705 to 479 dpa.

Uniquely, among the four districts covered by the PBA study, the population forecasts for Tendring has a large negative natural change offset by a huge positive net migration figure:


Change p.a. Total population Net migration % Natural change %
Braintree 1,171 985 84% 186 16%
Chelmsford 1,108 628 57% 480 43%
Colchester 1,638 822 50% 816 50%
Tendring 1,068 1,737 163% -669 -63%
HMA 4,986 4,172 84% 814 16%

The result of this is that the report gives alternative scenarios give wildly differing numbers. The 705 figure for Tendring ranges from 785 down to -230 (section 4.37).

The potential gains from agreeing a number around 500pa are large. I believe it would command broad support within the Local Plan committee, full council and the residents of Tendring. It would also put us within touching distance of having five years +20% demand covered by existing planning applications, which would allow us to refuse speculative planning applications while we go through the process of formally adopting the Local Plan.

I think agreeing a lower target would be entirely compatible with the overall figures in the consultation document. It would create a larger “overhead” that would be entirely beneficial as it would improve the chances of passing inspection. It would also give officers more leverage to ask for greater CIL contributions from developers, than if we are desperate for a smaller number of developments to go ahead.

Finally, Tendring has a poor record of providing new commercial premises over the last decade. Since 2007 I believe the only commercial developments in Tendring, other than barn conversion type properties, have been Lanswood, next to Beth Chatto, and Oakwood on Gorse Lane. The larger “overhead” would also allow land to be available for commercial development, which has to be essential in delivering the jobs that we all believe Tendring needs.

Kind regards,      Ashley Mooney

Cllr John Ashley Mooney