Housing targets swell as Havant could be told to build 963 homes a year - and Gosport needs 309

TWO councils have been told they must build hundreds more homes under new government targets.

By Richard Lemmer
Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 30th September 2020, 10:20 pm

Government is currently consulting on a new way of determining housing need across the country.

If adopted, Portsmouth’s housing target would reduce from 855 new homes a year to 730.

The borough of Fareham would see an even larger reduction, with a 22.5 per cent decrease from 520 new builds to 403.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Last month, Portsmouth City Council revealed it plans to build 440 new homes on the sites at Horatia House and Leamington House.

But additional strain would be placed on Gosport and Havant – with 8,400 more homes added to their target for 2037.

Going from 504 new homes needed per year to 963 would ‘significantly increase’ the density of housing across Havant, a councillor has said.

This could force it to ‘allow all forms of development anywhere in the borough’, said Councillor Gary Hughes, deputy leader and cabinet lead for planning.

He said: ‘We are already scraping the bottom of the barrel – there are hardly any more spaces to build on.

‘We believe there should be no reform.

‘The algorithm they are using is too sterile – and you have to ask, is it a fair algorithm?’

Read More

Read More
Iconic Southsea landmark Solent Wheel is being dismantled to be moved to mystery...

Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson agreed the proposed targets were not fair on neighbouring areas – and the city’s target would remain ‘completely unrealistic’.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘We are completing 400 homes a year.

‘We are bound by the sea – we cannot build more land.’

The government is guilty of ‘appalling double standards’ by setting targets while refusing to sell land in Tipner for the council to develop, the Liberal Democrat leader added.

And the proposal has also stirred opposition from Conservative councillors across the UK, with a recent survey finding that six out of 10 see the top-down reform as making planning less democratic.

Conservative-controlled Gosport would need to build 309 homes a year, up from 238 over the last two years.

This is despite the borough having a housing density 10 times higher than the national average, council leader Mark Hook said.

He said: ‘We are looking at ways to reduce our numbers – we need to create jobs on the peninsula to reduce commuting.

‘(The government) should be looking at other areas that are not as built on.

‘Everyone is aware that we are 72 per cent built on.’

In neighbouring Fareham, the target reduction would see the council no longer seek to progress developments across eight sites – including those in the green belt separating the borough from Gosport.

The consultation with local authorities on the proposals will close tomorrow.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

Thank you for reading this story.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on our advertisers and thus our revenues.

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

Every subscription helps us continue providing trusted, local journalism and campaign on your behalf for our city.