AN INSPECTOR has agreed that Gosport cannot take on thousands of new homes, calling its land supply ‘severe’.
In his findings of the Local Plan, independent government inspector John Wilde agreed the council’s outline of 170 new houses a year was appropriate.
It is great news the inspector has recognised we have a shortage of land in Gosport.Councillor Mark Hook
Developers argued during the Local Plan hearings that Gosport had not met housing targets set out in the South Hampshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment.
In the assessment, which works out the number of houses an authority has to plan for to meet future demands, it said Gosport council should be building 445 new houses a year.
But Mr Wilde’s report said restrictions on land supply in the town were severe.
Council leader, Cllr Mark Hook, said: ‘It’s great news the inspector has recognised we have a shortage of land in Gosport.
‘It’s a win for the people who live here because it means over the next 18 years we have to building at a rate of 170 new dwellings a year.
‘A lot of those numbers had already been put into the Local Plan with developments like Haslar Hospital and the Alver Village.
‘Both of those will have around 700 new houses so that is already half the total figure over the 18 years.’
The report by Mr Wilde confirmed there is a high number of skilled workers in the town and economic growth was important to cut down on the number of people commuting.
The report said: ‘The present net out-commuting indicates that there is a pool of workers within the borough who could take up any jobs created from economic growth, without the necessity for parallel new housing.
‘Many of the jobs lost over the past decade were due to Ministry of Defence closures and were in reasonably-skilled sectors, such that these people could well have the skills necessary to complement the types of employment being encouraged by the council.’
Cllr Hook added: ‘For the inspector to see how many skilled people we have in Gosport is fantastic. We have around 20,000 commuting out of the town a day so it is important we start looking at economic growth and development within the borough.’