One of the reasons for the proposal of 3,500 houses in Culham is that South Oxfordshire District Council have been insisting that they need to build 22,500 homes in the next fifteen years and have based their figures on the SHMA (Strategic Housing Market Assessment). Many people have believed the SHMA to be flawed, including John Howell, our MP. He has been campaigning for a revised method of calculation of housing need. Finally on 14 September the Government has announced a new standard method for calculating local authorities’ housing need, aiming to get the right homes built in the right places.
John Howell has written to us to say:
‘Over the last few days we have introduced a consultation on a new formula for determining house numbers. The methodology follows what I helped set out in what was called the Local Plan Expert Group report. This is a matter of enormous significance for South Oxfordshire and much more important than it may at first seem. Under the proposals, South Oxfordshire will be expected to provide 617 new dwellings per year instead of the 725-825 it currently has to provide. In other words, the proposed new methodology means a potential saving of between 108 and 208 dwellings per year. It also means that South Oxfordshire should once again have a 5 year land supply. I think this calculation should help you in your campaign even though it is only out for consultation at the moment.
Just for information: I understand that someone at an SODC meeting said I supported the development at Culham. I do not.
[John Howell OBE MP FSA, Member of Parliament for Henley]
As John says this should be good news for Culham except that because the new method is not yet passed into law but is open for public consultation until 9 November, the leader of SODC is still insisting that the plan to build 3500 in Culham should proceed.
We intend to fight him every step of the way, attending the current Scrutiny, Cabinet and Full Council meetings, and now have a large London law firm behind our campaign.
Full details of this Government consultation can be found here. It is open for public responses until 9 November 2017
Take the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/planningforhomes