Local Plan – 550dpa?

At short notice, on Thursday 17th December there was another presentation to councillors by John Hollis, on behalf of Peter Brett Associates, of a further revision to the Objectively Assessed Housing Needs (OAHN) figure for Tendring. Their original figure was 705 dwellings per annum (dpa), which had previously been reduced to 597dpa. During this presentation the reduced this number further to 550dpa (actually chosen as  mid-point in a range from 480-600dpa). In terms of headline numbers over the 17 year plan period these figures amount to; 11,985, 10,149 and 9,350 houses. This is a [small] step in the right direction, but it is still the WRONG number.

For those of you with the will to go through these things the presentation may be found here John Hollis Nov 2015. John Hollis is now retired, but remains quite possibly the most eminent demographer in the country. He is demographer royalty!

In this presentation you will find, on slide 10 ,that John Hollis has corrected for the Unattributable Population Change (UPC). However, we still do not kinow what calculations he performed to do this.

For those not familiar with this subject the UPC is the “missing” people in the 2011 census. Based on the 2001 census the demographers worked out how many people should be in Tendring over the following years. Yet when the 2011 census results came in there were the same number of people in Tendring as in 2001, rather than the 10,500 increase that the demographers had projected. The UPC is a negative 10,500 – which is huge. The total population of Tendring is around 138,000.

The central mystery of this whole local process is how a flat population trend, as show by the 2001 and 2011 censuses, has morphed into a rising population once Peter Brett have finished their work. The actual calculations need to be reviewed, and quite possibly the total fertility rate (TFR) used.

I have heard third hand that a TFR of 2.3 has actually been used. That would be ridiculous as the national TFR is only about 2.1. And it is as high as it is only because immigrants have a higher TFR, at around 2.3. The non-immigrant TFR is around 1.9. As a matter of FACT there are very few immigrants in Tendring.

The last local plan committee meeting passed a resolution requiring the officers to provide the calculations that are driving the dwellings per annum figures. The minutes may be found at Local Plan Committee Minutes Nov 2015 Look at the bottom of section 22.

Without sight of the calculations, we are sadly none the wiser. I will continue to press for that to happen.