FUTURE housing developments in Powys could be centred around villages rather than towns.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, October 11, the Local Development Plan (LDP) Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) was brought up for discussion
The report which is for the 2021/22 financial year, looks at how well the LDP is working to accomplish its goal of guiding development in Powys.
Planning portfolio holder, Cllr Jake Berriman said:
“This is a technical report, I did look into the detail, it really is quite fascinating what we are monitoring.
“At this point last year, we had to trigger a review of the LDP due to under performance in delivering housing.
“That pattern of under delivery has continued because of phosphate issues.”
Building work in parts of the county, especially around the Wye catchment area is struggling as they could increase the amount of phosphate that could pollute rives.
Cllr Berriman explained that since 2011, 2,470 homes have been built while the LDP target is that by 2026, 4,500 will have been built.
Cllr Berriman said: “In particular we have concern that some 68 per cent, 54 of the 80 sites allocated in the LPD for housing, have no form of planning permission attached to them.
“This is something we will need to be addressing as we go forward with the review.”
Director of Economy and Environment, Nigel Brinn said:
“It’s a complicated document and it exemplifies the challenge of updating LDPs – we have to get into a space where we are delivering more housing.
“Not just ourselves but also the private sector.”
Education portfolio holder, Cllr Pete Roberts said:
“There is so much here that we could look at in depth.
“If I’m reading this right the large housing allocations in the urban areas haven’t been coming forward.
“But the smaller developments are.
“It indicates to me that there is potential to grow villages and constraints on growing our towns.”
He hoped this issue would be looked at so that the next version of the LDP delivers the housing needs of Powys.
Cllr Berriman said:
“It’s not just a question of ideology, there are some issues we need to address so that we can spread the load.
“We need to unlock some of those larger development sites as they are in good locations and make them happen.”
“We are looking as best as we can at new approaches to revitalise our rural areas particularly around affordable housing delivery.”
Council leader Cllr James Gibson-Watt said: “Market conditions have made it very difficult to get developers interested in developing the larger sites.”
The AMR was approved by members of the cabinet and will be submitted to the Welsh Government by the end of the month.