Planning for new housing

Every council must allocate land for new housing. We are all living longer, and living with fewer people in each household, so we need more dwellings for the same number of residents.

The planning process is a long one, and starts with drafting a set of rules to decide how sites should be allocated, and lots of calculations to predict the number of new homes needed in each area. Bids from land owners and developers are then measured against these rules, and sites are allocated for housing to meet the projected need. Every stage of the plan involves consultation with the public and with specialist interest organisations covering health, education, environment, heritage, transport etc.

East Riding Council started work on its current Local Plan about 15 years ago, and this came into force five years ago, following examination in public by a Planning Inspector. That was when land for the prominent new housing estates, on Harland Way and Castle Road, was allocated.

To help shape the new housing developments, Cottingham Parish Council produced an award-winning Neighbourhood Plan that was inspected and adopted by ERYC after the Local Plan (it could not be before) and after a referendum. This adds another layer of planning rules for developments in Cottingham, but cannot be backdated and applied to sites where outline planning permission was granted earlier.

Every Local Plan must be reviewed regularly, to check how much the housing need has changed, that the Plan will still meet projected need, and to reflect changes in regulations. ERYC has looked at the changes in the last 5 years, and has now published a proposed update to the Local Plan for consultation. You can read the document and submit your comments here until 6th August 2021. Once all comments have been taken into account, the revised Plan will be formally inspected. If everything goes to schedule, ERYC hopes to adopt the revised Local Plan by December 2023, but the last year has taught us to expect the unexpected!

The biggest changes in housing allocations are for Goole and Howden, to reflect changes in attitude to building in flood risk areas. The target number of houses to be built has also changed, reduced from 1,400 dwellings per year to 1,100 per year across the county, but the length of the Plan has been extended by 10 years, so some new sites are proposed. To avoid trying to hit a moving target, the Plan is a revision from how things looked at 1st April 2020. This date is significant for Cottingham, where two new sites are proposed for housing. These sites are ‘Cott O’ Hallgate Old School and ‘Cott N’ Thwaite Hall. Both sites are classed as ‘brownfield’ and subject to planning applications for residential conversion which (at the time of writing) have yet to be decided. These two sites also remind us that ‘dwellings’ does not always mean ‘houses’ and can mean no new buildings at all.

Please take time to read the documents and submit your comments to ERYC, preferably using the online forms. As lockdown eases, ERYC Planning officers hope to hold some face-to-face public consultations at when they can answer any questions you might have. Your ERYC and Parish councillors may be able to answer your questions too.