Brendan Clarke-Smith takes housing row to PM

Rows over the amount of housing which needs to be built across Bassetlaw over the next 15 years has been taken to the Prime Minister.

Friday, 29th October 2021, 8:23 am

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith raised the matter in the House of Commons at Prime Minister’s Questions as the final consultation into the Bassetlaw Local Plan comes to an end.

Conservative politicians say Government calculations state Bassetlaw only needs a minimum of 4,896 new homes.

But the Bassetlaw Local Plan proposes 10,047 new builds in the district between 2020-2037.

Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith addressing Boris Johnson at Prime Minister's Questions on October 20, 2021.

Some residents are angry at the number of new homes earmarked for certain areas, including those in Thievesdale where 1,000 houses are proposed, and then an additional 120 after 2037.

Addressing Boris Johnson, Mr Clarke-Smith said: “Developing new homes is key to levelling up, as is putting that power in the hands of the local people and making sure we build the number in the right places.

“But my constituents, particularly in Thievesdale and Ordsall, are concerned about over intensive development in our Local Plan.

“Will the Prime Minister confirm that the minimum housing requirement for Bassetlaw is 4,896 and not the 10,000 claimed by the Labour-run council?”

Mr Johnson confirmed the number of 4,896 was correct, and added that the government does not set local housing targets, but was ‘building record numbers of homes.’

Bassetlaw District Council said it has calculated the housing requirement ‘by evidence-based-need’ which is in the Bassetlaw Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment 2020.

The Local Plan accounts for over 9,700 new jobs in Bassetlaw and the housing numbers must support this projected economic growth, says the council.

Councillor Jo White, Bassetlaw council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “The MP has confused two different sets of numbers when posing his question to the Prime Minister, the minimum number of houses needed and the housing requirement figure.

“The first number is the minimum housing figure and that is set by Government. For Bassetlaw it is 4,896 dwellings and is included in our draft local plan.

“This second figure has to take into account things like the creation of new jobs, providing more affordable housing and addressing the housing needs of our ever increasing aging population.

“The Prime Minister did not say that Bassetlaw's calculations are wrong, and this is because he could not undermine his Governments often stated objective of building 300,000 houses per year.

“I have written to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove asking for urgent clarification on whether the Government’s Planning Policy has changed following Prime Minister’s Questions. If it has, we will change our Local Plan.

“The draft Local Plan will be going forward to the Independent Planning Inspectorate for examination, and as part of this they will determine if the numbers are correct or if they need to go up or down.”

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