Swale housing targets to be re-evaluated

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26 Sep 2012
THE preparation of a document which will outline the housing and employment development for the borough up to 2031 has been delayed for six months.

Swale council has been forced to re-evaluate its Core Strategy targets after doubts were raised over whether enough homes had been proposed to house the workforce required to fill the new jobs.

Consultant Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners has been employed, at a cost of £6,000, to check the council's figures and its work is expected to recommend adjusted levels of development.

But the council will not say whether the result could be more new homes and is remaining tight-lipped about the consultant's initial findings.

A presentation was given to senior councillors on the Local Development Framework (LDF) Panel on Thursday, but was held in private.

Panel chairman Cllr Gerry Lewin said he had been reluctant for it to be heard behind closed doors, but added: "The advice from officers was that this was the best way to deal with it."

A council spokesman said new national planning guidelines had led to the review and, therefore, it was "reasonable and appropriate" to proceed in private, but the findings would be made public at a later stage.

The council had proposed that 13,500 homes could be built over 25 years, taking into account development from 2006.

Of the people who responded to a public consultation on the plan, there were 434 comments of support and 1,099 objections.

Extract from
Sittingbourne News Extra