Decision details

Arun Housing Market Absorption Study

Decision Maker: Planning Policy Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


A report has been commissioned and prepared to consider whether there is evidence of housing market absorption in Arun District in order to determine whether it might be reasonable to make a case for a future Local Plan to set a reduced housing target on the basis that there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the market will never deliver at the higher required rates. A member briefing will take place on 6 February prior to the Committee.


Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Group Head of Planning presented the report which asked Committee to note that the evidence in the Arun Housing Market Absorption Study be used for the Local Plan update (when it resumed). A briefing for all members on this study was held on 6 February 2023.Before outlining the detail of the report, the Group Head of Planning explained that the study sought to establish and provide evidence to demonstrate the relationship between the number of planning permissions granted and the number of houses built, and whether there was a market limit up to which the housebuilding industry would actually build houses. He highlighted historic housing delivery rates over the last 20 years of 550 dwellings per annum, with the rate only exceeding 700 dwelling per annum in two of the previous 20 years, and Figure 5.4 [on page 32 of the Agenda pack] which showed that planning consents had been significantly high and rising and considerably exceeded completions. He noted that it was too early to conclude on housing requirements in Arun, but that in two to three years’ time when larger strategic sites did not have constraints on deliverability, whether this translated into higher house building rates and whether delivery growth rates were realistic.


A number of Members made reference to Figure 5.4 and their frustration with the underdelivery of houses by developers, and the lack of any penalties that the Council could impose in response. The Chair highlighted an approximate figure in total of 6,500 unimplemented permissions and reminded Members of the discussion at the previous meeting on 26 January 2023 regarding the Authority Monitoring Report [Minute 628]. Another Member concluded that developers were responding to market forces and supplying the market with the necessary numbers and that blame lay with central Government methodology created in isolation from the market. The recommendation was then proposed by Councillor Chapman and seconded by Councillor Thurston.


The Committee




That the Arun Housing Absorption Study be noted as evidence to inform plan making and that it be uploaded to the Arun evidence pages on the website.

Report author: Neil Crowther

Publication date: 24/02/2023

Date of decision: 21/02/2023

Decided at meeting: 21/02/2023 - Planning Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: