[holding answer 9 December 2008]: The regional spatial strategy focuses on the long-term—a strategy to deliver sustainable development in the region over the next 15-20 years—to provide long term supply of housing needed to meet the demand for new homes and to address the long term shortages which affect affordability. Despite the current economic climate the medium- to long-term need for housing in the South West remains high.
In proposing changes to the overall housing provision, the Secretary of State had regard, among other things, to: the independent examining panel’s recommendations; the Housing Green Paper “Homes for the Future: More Affordable, More Sustainable”; further advice from the National Housing and Planning Advice Unit; ONS Household Projections; and assessments of economic growth potential. The full reasons for the proposed changes to the overall housing provision are set out in the schedule of the Secretary of State’s Proposed Changes and Reasons, published in July 2008. The Secretary of State is currently considering responses to the consultation on the proposed changes.