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Good area plans use the latest data says population expert

Wed, 25 Sep 2019

‘Good planning should take account of the most recent evidence and not attempt to predict too far into the future’. 
That’s according to Paul Craine, author of the 2016 Isle of Man Population Atlas, who spoke about the subject during the inquiry into the Eastern Area Plan.
He’s questioned the Cabinet Office’s reluctance to alter housing need estimates, which could see swathes of greenfield land zoned for development.
“Planning for a population figure based on uncertain growth gives away our ability to make important decisions in future.”
The department has stood by its belief that the area plan should provide for around 2,400 homes by 2026, a calculation based on 2011 census data.
This was made on the assumption of growth, and prior to the 2016 census, which showed the population had declined since 2011 by 1,138, to a total of around 83,000.
Taking this dip into account,  latest projections suggest a housing need figure for the eastern area of 1,357.
But the Cabinet Office is sticking to the higher figure, so sites ‘needed in future’ are available, and in the hope government’s policies to grow the economically active population work.
The department has highlighted growing inward migration figures and argued there are risks in ‘reacting to new data too quickly’.
Mr Craine says he was pleased to hear that the inspector overseeing the inquiry, Mike Hurley, will be able to recommend that the Cabinet Office revises the housing need figure following the inquiry.
Mr Craine spoke to Local Democracy Reporter Ewan Gawne:


  • Paul Craine Interview


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