Aberdeen City and Shire - Strategic Development Planning Authority

Get in touch:
Woodhill House, Westburn Road
Aberdeen, AB16 5GB
Phone: 01224 664626
Email: team@aberdeencityandshire-sdpa.gov.uk

Housing delivery on-track

The Aberdeen City and Shire Strategic Development Planning Authority (SDPA) met last week (23 September 2015) and considered an update on the housing market in general and new build housing in particular.

The report demonstrated that the Aberdeen City and Shire area is on-track to deliver housing in line with the Strategic Development Plan (SDP) requirement over the period 2011-2016 and considerably exceed it thereafter.

This is based on information from the Housing Land Audit 2015 which was agreed by the house building industry (including Homes for Scotland) earlier this year.

The Press and Journal article (29 September 2015) makes the mistake of comparing house completions with housing allowances - allowances which are deliberately generous to facilitate the construction of new housing. Indeed, the Strategic Development Plan explicitly states (para 4.24) that the comparison being made is invalid.

Aberdeen City and Shire was responsible for almost 1 in 6 of all new private sector homes built last year in Scotland - well in excess of the 1 in 11 which would be expected on a pro-rata basis.

Councillor Peter Argyle, chairman of the SDPA, said: "Mr Ross is clearly trying to manipulate figures for his own advantage - doing precisely what the SDP warns against.

"While there are undoubted challenges with the delivery of affordable housing in the current financial climate, both councils are working hard to increase build-rates - including through the City Region Deal proposals.

"We are not complacent but Aberdeen City and Shire has a generous supply of housing land and we will continue to work with the private sector and Housing Associations to bring that land forward for development in accordance with the development plan."

Councillor Ramsay Milne, Vice Chairman of the SDPA, added "The absurdity of Mr Ross's analysis is shown when you realise he is claiming that we should have built 50% more homes every year for the last few years (4,550pa) than we have ever achieved in a single year over the last 35 years (3,000pa)."

Aberdeen City and Shire has out-performed the rest of Scotland over recent years and is due to exceed the long-term average rate of house building this year. This compares to Scotland as a whole which is still 40% below pre-recession levels.

However, it is recognised that the challenging economic climate brought in by the fall in the price of oil is likely to present considerable headwinds for the house building industry over the years to come.

**Notes to editors**

The SDPA responded to the original planning application by Ross Developments and Renewables Limited at Auchattie, Banchory earlier this year and will respond to the appeal recently submitted by them to the Scottish Government.

Strategic Development Plan - Aberdeen City and Shire SDP (2014)

Appeal (by Ross Developments and Renewables Ltd on behalf of Sandlaw Farming Company against refusal of planning permission at Auchattie, Banchory) - http://www.dpea.scotland.gov.uk/CaseDetails.aspx?id=116985

SDPA Bulletin (September 2015) - http://www.aberdeencityandshire-sdpa.gov.uk/AboutUs/Agendas/2015_09_23_Agenda.asp

29 September 2015 
Affordable Housing Aberdeenshire