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Gloucestershire Business News

New guidance to speed up plans for housing?

It could soon be easier to get planning permission for housing in Tewkesbury, if new guidance gets the go-ahead.

Tewkesbury Borough Council's executive will be discussing a Draft Interim Housing Position Statement (IHPS) at its meeting on Thursday (November 9).

The proposed IHPS will provide informal guidance in clarifying the council's approach to decision-making for applicants and the community.

This follows recent reports that the council currently has a shortfall in five-year housing land supply, as required by the National Planning (NPPF). As of March 31, 2023, it could only demonstrate 3.24 years' housing land supply for the borough.

Where there is a shortfall, there is a presumption in favour of granting planning permission for housing (with certain exceptions) to help boost local housing supply. This is called the 'tilted balance'.

The recommendation is that the IHPS is approved and published, to explain Tewkesbury Borough Council's approach to decision-making on planning applications for housing.

It will inform both applicants and communities of the sorts of locations and types of housing proposal which are most likely to be approved.

In general, applications will be more likely to be granted planning permission if they are 'deliverable' - a site which is available now, offers a suitable location for development now and offers a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years.

Deliverable sites will be those that are not, for example, dependent on significant off-site infrastructure which would prevent them from completing a scheme within the five year timeframe.

Planning permission is also more likely to be granted in cases where the development relates well to existing settlements, facilitates sustainable travel, involves a suitable size, mix and type of dwellings, respects landscape character and avoids environmental harm.

If it is approved, the proposed IHPS will support genuinely sustainable development and ensure a consistent approach to decision-making under the tilted balance across Tewkesbury borough.

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