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Supporting Local Communities

Housing development near Upton, Purbeck Housing development near Upton, Purbeck

CPRE is supporting local communities across Dorset in fighting unsustainable demands by central government for unacceptable housing numbers. 

2017 has been incredibly busy for us - marshalling evidence, constructing persuasive arguments, and getting our message to the widest possible audience. We responded to the White Paper and the consultation on the new housing targets methodology itself.

The full effects of the White Paper will take some time to unfold. Notably, the details of many measures in the paper are interwoven with an expected update to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) later this year and the promise of a new standardised way of calculating Objectively Assessed Housing Need. Both present hazards for the countryside.

Affordable Housing
Recent research by the Town and Country Planning Association has shown that councils across the country are concerned as to the future of affordable housing. This has been brought about in that councils no longer receive direct funding for affordable housing. In fact, councils are now increasingly reliant on developers being granted planning permission to reach the housing targets set by government. The consequence of such an approach is that in Dorset for example, whilst Poole aims for 40% affordable houses, it has only completed 7.7%, one of the lowest in the country. But there is an emerging pattern taken by developers who claim that through the means of a viability assessment, it is no longer possible to build the requisite proportion of affordable homes as required in the Local Plan.
It is also becoming apparent that with affordable housing, the government seem blithely unaware as to what is actually happening in rural areas. Public transport is being decimated, public services centralised, and little consideration seems to be given to the distances rural communities will need to travel to reach these essential services. We, in CPRE, accept that there is a shortage of housing generally and particularly of affordable housing but it must be provided in the right places and designed appropriately.

If your community or Parish Council is under pressure from developers to destroy your local environment, the atmosphere of your Market Town, AONB or Green Belt, please contact Dorset CPRE and we will give as much assistance as possible through the local CPRE groups to ensure that the Urbanisation of Dorset does not go unchallenged.

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