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Swale Borough Council Approves New Park Home Planning Policy

Written by on 22 June 2020

Swale Borough Council has approved a new interim policy that outlines how the council will manage planning applications for park home sites across the borough.

The policy was agreed at the virtual council meeting (17 Jun) this week and gives the council an opportunity to widen its housing options.

It will especially increase options for the elderly who make up an increasing number of the borough’s population and have no specific provision in the current local plan. 

The policy will also protect the council when it seeks to enforce the current 8-10 month occupancy rules, which are currently vulnerable to appeal.

Cllr Mike Baldock, cabinet member for planning at the council, said:

“I am relieved that the new park home policy was passed at the council meeting.

“Since February 2019, we’ve been unable to provide a five-year housing supply as set by the government which leaves us vulnerable to planning applications in areas outside our approved local plan.

“This policy finally gives our officers, and our planning committee, a sound basis upon which Swale can judge park home applications. ​

“Park homes are not housing on the cheap – they are good, quality homes set in warm and supportive communities.

“We anticipate a possible 200 to 300 new park home units from across the borough, as such homes are generally not appropriate in flood or coastal erosion zones.

“We are currently working on a new, more realistic local plan that will take us to 2038 and help us demand the investment in local infrastructure we desperately need.

“A local plan based on delivering local need and a wider range of housing options than has been the case in the past.

“Thanks to this new policy, we will have an extra layer of protection from accepting planning applications that not only lay outside our approved local plan, but that don’t have the necessary infrastructure needed to support it.”

For more information about the policy can be found here.