Local Plan: Housing Supply in Mendip

A statement from the Leader of Mendip District Council, Cllr Ros Wyke.

In a Local Plan, the Council details how many new homes it needs to build each year within the district.

Mendip District Council is five years into its current Local Plan, which runs up to 2029. In this original, adopted Local Plan, Mendip had a target of 420 houses to deliver each year.

In 2018, revised national guidance was published as to how housing supply is to be calculated in Local Plans, going forward. These calculations were introduced by Central Government, and were applied in Mendip in December 2019.

The impact of the revised calculations means adjustments had to be made to the original, adopted Local Plan and Mendip must comply with them.

Instead of 420 homes to be built every year in Mendip, it's now risen to 604. A rise of more than 43 percent.

Mendip District Council is confident that, with a number of housing schemes currently going through planning, it will take up the slack - but it will be done at a sensible pace.

A review of the Local Plan, to address the policies and the sites needed to deliver sustainable growth, is now taking place.

Leader of Mendip District Council, Cllr Ros Wyke said: "Mendip District Council's Local Plan was in the process of renewal, and moving forward with pace. However, changes on how housing supply is calculated, introduced by Central Government, came into force in Mendip in December 2019. This effectively shifted the goal posts.

"The nationally-imposed re-calculation meant Mendip showed a shortfall in the Local Plan of around 750 dwellings over five years. This is a temporary hiatus. There are new housing schemes in the pipeline, but the Council would like to reassure residents that while we are responding to the revised numbers, we will do so in a timely way.

"There is a fine balancing act here. We have no control on the housing numbers imposed on us, we do however recognise such developments inevitably put considerable strain on existing communities, and impact on infrastructure, the landscape and the environment."