Horsham District Council has announced it is taking legal advice on government plans to almost double the number of new homes built locally over the next decade.
The local authority said plans to reform the national planning system would oblige Horsham District Council to almost double the number of homes from the current minimum target of 920 homes to 1,715 homes a year.
The council said it will be taking legal advice before responding formally to the consultation, but it does not believe that the house building industry can deliver those figures.
And it added it is difficult enough already to find land that has few constraints for development and to absorb 1,715 homes every year would make that task ‘virtually impossible’.
‘We have been trying for a considerable time to get answers from the government about a number of things as regards to the house build numbers that we are required to provide: no answers have been forthcoming,’ said cabinet member for planning and development, Cllr Claire Vickers
‘We were hoping for a constructive dialogue. To now have proposals that would give us almost the highest house building number in the south east of England was a bolt from the blue. We accept it is, at this stage, only a consultation document but it came as a huge shock.
‘We very much hope that as we are a good way through producing a new plan we can continue with that and thus put off for some years the imposition on the district of the sort of completely unattainable housing numbers that have now been proposed.’
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