The Chairman to respond to any questions received from members of the public for which notice has been given in accordance with Procedure Rule 10.
The deadline for receipt of questions is 5pm on Tuesday 31 August 2021.
The Executive received the following questions in accordance with Procedure Rule 10:
(i) From Lucie Beckett
“In a recent meeting Head of Planning at WBC outlined the numbers of permissions, completions and commencements. In total, 5,350 dwellings have been permitted over the plan period. Of these, 2,400 have commenced and 2,950 permissions have not commenced. Please can the Portfolio Holder for Planning can kindly provide a breakdown of all of the 2,950 dwellings which have not commenced?”
Thank you for your question. The Council can confirm the following number of dwellings have planning permission but have not yet commenced:
• In Cranleigh the figure is 58
• For Haslemere the figure is 111
• In Godalming the figure is 238
• In Farnham the figure is 198
• For the other settlements in the Borough the figure is 2,349
The Council would be happy to provide a list of planning permissions that make up the 2,950 dwellings that have yet to commence referred to in your request. I will arrange for the necessary information to be sent to you. We would draw your attention to the fact that the Council hopes to publish the Five Year Housing Land Supply Position Statement for 2021 soon which will provide the most up to date figures regarding the number of outstanding planning permissions.
(ii) From Kathy Smyth
“I am pleased to see the Council review its own housing design standards and I appreciate all the work that has been done by the cross party working group towards this. Many of the recommendations are very welcome, particularly the one that “new homes shall be built with alternative heat sources to gas boilers” as this is certainly not happening yet with private sector housing.
While the following question may appear to be emerging very late in the day, the last minutes of a group called the Housing Design Tasks and Standards Group were published in January 2020. The working party which produced this report does not appear to have published minutes so really there has been no opportunity for previous comment by members of the public.
As the policy relates to its own housing stock, I am conscious that this policy affects relatively few new houses built in Waverley but I think the issue is one of principle and that it is extremely important for the Council to set the highest sustainability standards in relation to the quality of its own new housing stock.
So my question is,
Recommendation 12 of the Housing Design Standards Working group states that
"The Council should build homes such that renewable energy can be generated on-site whenever feasible.”
This appears unambitious for a Council which has declared a climate emergency. It seems to be implicitly approving and adopting the “business as usual approach” by supporting the design of a housing estate and then seeing what renewables can be supported.
The alternative and preferred approach would be to review the site and design the estate from the start to maximise renewable energy. So for instance, the layout should be designed to maximise the use of heat pumps, and the road layout should facilitate south facing roofs and the design of the roofs should not be broken up by numerous dormers and gables as is so often the case.
Would the Executive therefore be prepared to modify the recommendation and adopt something more along the following lines:-
“The Council should design developments and build homes such that on-site renewable energy generation can be maximised”
Response from Councillor Anne-Marie Rosoman, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Safety
As there are other factors which we will need to consider in designing a scheme for example, making best use of the council’s land asset, site constraints, planning requirements and best value financial consideration too.
What we will do is use renewable energy solutions, considered in conjunction with for example fabric (floor & wall insulation/windows/materials). Therefore recommendation 12 should be amended to;
“The Council should design and build homes such that renewable energy can be generated on-site to achieve the best results in terms of the standards set out in Recommendation 8 given the range of technologies and fabric measures available.”