AMBITIOUS house building plans have been unveiled for the East Riding that could see nearly 24,000 new homes built in the area over the next 17 years.
East Riding Council has published its draft “local plan”, which identifies a need for 1,400 new houses to built every year until 2029 to meet anticipated demand.
The council has insisted the figures are “realistic”, but concedes the faltering economy and weak performance of the construction industry could see it fail to hit those targets in the initial years.
A spokesman said: “This is a long-term plan which seeks to meet needs over the period to 2028-29 and the delivery of the housing figure over that period is considered to be realistic.
“Prior to the economic downturn, levels of completions in excess of this figure were regularly achieved. The plan, however, acknowledges that due to the ongoing difficult economic conditions, it is likely that housing completions of this scale may not be achieved in the early years of the plan.
“The council is committed to monitoring this position on an ongoing basis and will apply a ‘residual’ approach, whereby any under-provision in early years will be added to the level of house building required in later years.”
The estimated population of the borough last year was 334,700, and this is expected to rise by about 41,100 by 2029, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Annually, the plan aims to deliver 244 “affordable” homes each year, with a quarter of all new developments taking place on brown field land.
Most of the new housing should also be built in the larger East Riding towns to be supported by existing services and facilities such as schools, shops and employment opportunities.
However, the plan also recommends small-scale development in the villages, both to meet local needs and support local services such as pubs and shops.
One of the key aims is to support future economic growth, particularly by making large sites available for employment development along the M62 corridor where demand is greatest and where businesses have access to motorway, ports and rail links.
The plan also supports the expansion of the Port of Hull at Hedon Haven, to enable the growth of the off-shore renewable energy industry and the development of Greenport Hull – the proposed delivery of a major new plant to manufacture and assemble offshore wind turbines by engineering giant Siemens, seen as a key development in boosting the future jobs prospects of the wider Humber region.
The plan also contains a number of planning policies relating to specific issues, such as protecting the landscape character of the Yorkshire Wolds, preventing the loss of valuable services and facilities, and minimising the risk of flooding.
Coun Symon Fraser, portfolio holder for environment, housing and planning, said: “The preparation of a local plan for the East Riding is a statutory requirement and is vitally important in ensuring that locally distinct and relevant planning policies are prepared so that they can be used to determine future planning applications.
“If a local plan is not put in place, the determination of future planning applications will increasingly be made using national planning policies and so reduce the ability of the council to manage development in the best interests of the East Riding and its residents.
“The local plan has already been subject to numerous public consultation exercises and the 13,000 comments that we have received so far have been considered in reaching this draft stage. If the plan is agreed by Cabinet next week, it will be published for consultation and I urge all residents to get involved and have their say.”
The plan will be considered by the Cabinet on Tuesday and could go out to public consultation in January. A final version will be examined by a planning inspector.