TOPIC PAPER 4 - Housing
This topic paper provides a summary of our approach to the topic of
housing and includes how we have identified our overall housing target.
Within the ‘core planning principles’ of the national Planning Policy Framework it is highlighted
that planning should ‘proactively drive and support sustainable economic
development to deliver the homes, business and industrial units,
infrastructure and thriving local places that the country needs’. It goes
onto state that ‘every effort should be made to objectively identify and
then meet the housing, business and other development needs of an
area and respond positively to wider opportunities for growth’ and that
‘plans should take account of market signals including land values and
housing affordability and set out a clear strategy for allocating sufficient
land for development in their area’. It also highlights that this should
take account of the needs of the residential and business communities.
The Framework also identifies that local planning
authorities should actively manage patterns of growth to make the fullest
use of public transport, walking and cycling and focus significant
development in the areas that are, or can be made, sustainable.
“To boost significantly the supply of housing, local planning authorities should:
- use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full,
objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the
housing market area, as far as is consistent with the policies set out
in this Framework, including identifying key sites which are critical to
the delivery of the housing strategy over the plan period
- identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites
sufficient to provide five years worth of housing against their housing
requirements with an additional buffer of 5% … to ensure choice and
competition in the market for land. Where there has been a record of
persistent under delivery of housing, local planning authorities should
increase the buffer to 20% … to provide a realistic prospect of
achieving the planned supply and to ensure choice and competition in
the market for land, and
- identify a supply of specific, developable sites or broad locations for
growth, for years 6-10 and, where possible, for years 11-15."
Local Plans must be based on adequate, up-to-date and relevant
evidence. For housing it identifies that local planning authorities should
have a clear understanding of housing needs in their area.
The Framework identifies that this should include:
- a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) to assess the full
housing needs working with neighbouring authorities where housing
market areas cross administrative boundaries, and
- a Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) to
establish realistic assumptions about the availability, suitability and
likely economic viability of land to meet the identified need for
housing over the plan period.
The SHMA should identify the scale and mix of housing and the range of
tenures that the local population is likely to need over the plan period which:
- meets household and population projections, taking account of
migration and demographic change
- addresses the need for all types of housing, including affordable
housing and the needs of different groups in the community, and
- caters for housing demand and the scale of housing supply
necessary to meet this demand.
The housing target that the Council is working to is 578 homes per annum.
This came from the South East Plan which has now been revoked. The Framework states that
local planning authorities should use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan
meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing.
We have asked the VoWH Council what arrangements are being made for consultation during and
in relation to the process of determining the housing targets. We are not aware of any which
have taken place, and as representatives of a significant number of Wantage and Grove residents
we feel that it would be appropriate for us to be involved. You will of course agree that
the targets are critical to the Local Plan and any consultation which does not involve an
opportunity to be involved in setting these would not be very meaningful.
Evidence so far:
- The Department for Communities and Local Government have released new household projection data which
projects growth from 2011 to 2021 of 7.78% or 3,875 houses for the Vale by 2021.
- This is 387 houses per year not the 578 in the current plan.
- The requirement in the South East Plan to make up backlog within the first ten years of the
plan is not carried forward into the Framework. We do however have to plan for the housing
stock required for 5 years +20%. This means approving 2,325 homes for the entire Vale at the current time
- We also need the long term plan for the 15 years from 2014-2029
Topic Paper Recommendations
- Strategic Housing Market Assessment to produce new data in the Autumn.
- Target will be 40% affordable housing for all sites of three or more units.
- Housing mix should be “appropriate”, with all new housing except upstairs flats, being Lifetime Homes.
- Views sought whether a specific target for dwellings for older people should be set out in planning policy.
- Gypsy and Traveller Needs Assessment identified need for 13 gypsy and traveller pitches to be provided by 2029.
Paragraph 5.10 "The latest DCLG household projections estimate an annual projected
household growth rate that is approximately 20% lower than that
projected when the SE Plan target was set. The South East Plan
target was already planning for a growth rate 29% above the
projected household growth rate on which it was based."
Paragraph 5.11 "Given other local evidence on housing need, planning for lower than
the South East Plan would not be appropriate. Instead we see the
South East Plan as an appropriate starting point for looking at the
overall amount of growth."