Many local authorities, according to the Times, are struggling to earmark enough sites for the current quotas. Essex CC has had to find room in its structure plan for 107,000 homes, but has so far only identified 86,000 sites. The Times quotes Patrick Amos, the Structure Plan team leader: 'We are proposing that most of the extra 21,000 sites should be identified in a strategic development corridor between Chelsmford and Colchester. The districts are concerned are very unhappy and are lobbying the council to put the houses elsewhere.'
The Times also cites a proposal from Stroud DC in Gloucestershire for a development of 1,500 new homes in Painswick Valley. It has met with extreme opposition from locals as the valley forms part of an area of natural beauty. The council argues that these constraints mean it should have to provide 8,900 homes by 2011, not 11,200. The council leader is quoted: 'We have disputed the figures. We are committed to involving the whole community because this is a district-wide problem.'
The Times points out that Gloucestershire is a good example of the complexities of strategic planning. The council has made great efforts to take its plans to the people. Paul Fountain, Gloucestershire CC's head of strategic and local planning, is quoted: 'We had a round of public meetings, which were very well attended and we got from certain parts of the county a very hostile reaction.' It has since reviewed its plans and has set up working parties in partnership with local councils.