The abolition of the South East Plan has the potential to re-shape the future of Swale including Stones Farm
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30 Sep 2010Whilst the Borough Council gives regard to this in the revised Development Brief put before us for consultation it also implies that because the 5 year housing land supply is still required that Stones Farm will also be required.
Given that the 5 year housing land supply is based on the ability to meet the very same housing target figures which have now been abolished, this clearly does not now necessitate the delivery of the same housing land supply.
Obviously the Borough Council may choose to retain the housing targets imposed by the previous Government, but given the furore and protests by Tory Councillors about the unfairness of these Labour imposed targets it would be a dramatic U-Turn to subsequently now support them.
In the letter of 6th July 2010 sent by Steve Quartermain - The Chief Planning Officer for Local Planning Authorities in England to local authorities it clearly states that
"Where local planning authorities have not yet issued decisions on planning applications in the pipeline, they may wish to review those decisions in light of the new freedoms following the revocation of Regional Strategies."
"Local planning authorities will be responsible for establishing the right level of local housing provision in their area, and identifying a long term supply of housing land without the burden of regional housing targets."
Clearly this provides a significant opportunity for a wholesale review of both the requirement to retain Stones Farm and the density of the development if it were still to proceed.