It had long been argued by local residents and community groups that the basis of the West Surrey Strategic Housing Market Assessment [SHMA] produced by consultants GL Hearn, whose modelling underpins much of the local authority arguments about the Objectively Assessed Need [OAN] of 695 houses per annum, was distorted by an assumption in the ONS population estimates that students who occupied the critical 20-24 year old cohort did not return home at the end of their courses but remained in the local community to swell future household formation and thus falsely ramp up apparent housing need. The arguments and analysis produced in Guildford by our local residents and community groups seem to have had an important impact on ONS thinking.

Towards the end of March 2018, the Office of National Statistics [ONS] released the latest Mid-year Population Estimates 2012-2016. Changes in methodology have had a significant impact on towns with universities. For example, the population estimates have been revised downwards by around 7,200 in Cambridge, 6,000 in Oxford, 4,000 in Bournemouth and by 2,300 in Exeter. In Guildford, this implies a reduction of approximately 1,200.

This may have fed through to the thinking of the local authority, who submitted a new OAN estimate to the inspector during last week's Examination in Public proceedings some 30% lower than that quoted in the West Surrey SHMA.

Tuesday the 15th - Published by Normandy Action Group, 166 Glaziers Lane, Guildford GU3 2EB - with thanks to Keith Witham, Surrey County Councillor - Hostgator Coupon Template