Taunton Deane Borough Council has been working with other authorities in Somerset to update its evidence base on housing need in the Borough.
The document, called the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), sets out to understand what’s happening in the housing market and to assess the future needs for both open market, affordable housing and other types of housing locally.
The Council jointly commissioned the SHMA with Mendip, Sedgemoor and South Somerset councils. The report concludes that the objectively assessed need for new homes in Taunton Deane over the next 23 years is 512 per year.
Cllr Roger Habgood, Executive member for planning, said the new housing assessment needed careful consideration – and had to be viewed in context.
“Taunton Deane Borough Council has a robust and ambitious growth agenda – a strategy to encourage inward investment and development to boost the area’s economy and employment.
“We need to build homes for our growing population – and that includes affordable housing for people who might otherwise struggle to have a home of their own. “Taunton is not only Somerset’s county town but also plays an important regional role so housing is in demand now and will be in the future.
“We, as a council have to think strategically and take a long-term view. This is what we have achieved through the Core Strategy, our development blueprint for the next decade or so.
“We are about to embark on a review of our Core Strategy so, of course, the SHMA will be taken into account during that process, alongside a full review of existing housing allocations within the town centre.
“Housing targets are useful indicators – but they need to be assessed and tested before being adopted. It is only one element in the evidence we need to plan for the future.
“There will always be fluctuations in assessments but we have to be strategic and take the longer term view. We have to look at where we are going, not where we have been.”
The link to the report can be found HERE