THERE is no space in our town for thousands of new homes.
That is the message today from councillors in Gosport who say their town does not need more housing in the future.
We absolutely cannot have any more houses other than what’s in the Local Plan.Councillor Dennis Wright
Gosport Borough Council’s Local Plan has been submitted for examination by independent inspector John Wilde to see if it is ‘sound.’
The plan includes a number of housing schemes the council wants to see built including in the town centre and at the waterfront.
But developers of other sites, like Stokesmead and Brockhurst Gate, have criticised the council saying the Local Plan does not meet housing targets.
Peter Langdon, ward councillor for Hardway, said: ‘We already have 20,189 people commuting out of Gosport every day. We do not need any more houses.’
Leader of the town’s labour group Councillor Dennis Wright agrees. He said the Local Plan is right for Gosport.
‘We absolutely cannot have any more houses other than what’s in the Local Plan,’ he said.
‘We do not have the infrastructure needed for all the houses the developers want to build.’
During the meeting James Stevens, representing The Home Builders Federation, said the plan does not meet figures in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA).
The assessment is used to work out the number of houses an authority has to plan for to meet future demands. It says Gosport should be building 445 houses per year.
Mr Stevens said: ‘This is the critical issue in terms of soundness.
‘The council does not want to acknowledge the figures from SHMA in its plan.
‘If the council does not meet the assessment for what its housing needs are, then it needs to review the plan.’
But leader of the council Mark Hook said the SHMA gives unrealistic numbers.
‘The SHMA is a desktop programme which calculates future housing needs on historic development,’ he said.
‘In the past few years, Gosport has built a number of houses and that’s why we have that figure. But it is totally unrealistic for the space we have in the town.
‘We have a number of developments in the Local Plan which will see up to 2,250 houses built.
‘The open space we have in Gosport is important because we don’t have a lot of it.’