Proposed Main Modifications Schedule

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Chapter 11: Housing

MM114

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 11.1

Paragraph 11.1.3

Modification

11.1.3: As a practical guide to ensuring an appropriate housing mix, the (2017) should be used unless an alternative can be demonstrated to be more appropriate. The table calculates the amounts of homes CBC should be delivering by tenure, size and property type. When these figures are expressed as a percentage it serves as a guide for housebuilders and partners when determining the housing mix for a site.

Housing Mix

Housing Mix for Market Homes

%

Housing Mix for Affordable Homes;

of which:

%

Of which:

Affordable Rent

Intermediate

Tenures

Affordable Rent

Intermediate Tenures

1 bed

730

3%

1140

14%

940

200

12%

2%

2 bed flat

750

3%

1090

14%

780

310

10%

4%

2 bed house

3540

15%

2660

33%

1900

760

23%

9%*

3 bed house

13040

55%

2700

33%

1850

850

23%

10%

4 bed house

4890

20%

510

6%

5 bed +

960

4%

380

130

5%

2%*

Totals

23900

100%

8100

100%

(*Some figures may not sum due to rounding)

Justification

To improve plan clarity and following discussion at the Hearings (Expand written text to explain how type and mix would be worked out. Include ref to SHMA).

MM115

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy H1

Modification

Policy H1: Housing Mix

All major* developments for new dwellings must include a mix of housing types and sizes in order to meet the needs of all sections of the community, to encourage sustainable, inclusive and mixed communities in accordance with the housing mix set out within the SHMA, or other more up-to-date evidence, where appropriate. Other small-scale development will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Proposals should be accompanied by up-to-date evidence which demonstrates how the development meets these needs using the Council's Strategic Housing Market Assessment unless an alternative approach can be demonstrated to be more appropriate, for example where proven to be necessary due to viability constraints. through the use of up to date evidence.

Dwellings Housing should be delivered in various forms of tenure types, e.g. shared ownership, outright purchase, leasehold possibilities, affordable/private rented and other form of intermediate tenures and in accordance with Policy H4: Affordable Housing.

*As defined by Development Management Procedure Order 2010

Justification

For clarity and effectiveness

MM116

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 11.2

Paragraph 11.2.5

Modification

11.2.5: The Council spent £2.132m on Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) in 2015/16. This was primarily for level access shower/ wet room adaptations but also other minor adaptations. It is inevitably more costly to retrospectively fit adaptations into existing properties rather design them into new build properties; hence the £2.1m spend on DFG on existing housing stock. The expenditure on DFG’s would have been avoided if there was a good supply of flexible and adaptable homes within new delivery. As such, the Council has built an evidence base of DFG expenditure requirement for category 2 homes in future. Planning conditions may will require the applicant to submit a scheme which details location and percentage of Cat2 as well as tenure and dwelling mix as part of a planning application in order be used to secure Category 2 M4 (2) dwellings on all applications.

Justification

For clarity and effectiveness

MM117

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy H2

Modification

Policy H2: Housing Standards

Internal space standards for all residential development will be applied to all dwelling types and tenures, including flats in accordance with the Nationally Described Space Standards.

In requiring adaptable and accessible homes from all future developments; the Council will:

  • Require all new build dwellings housing to deliver at least 35% Category 2 Requirement M4 (2) adaptable homes (or any new or revised regulalations regulations that revoke or modify the Building Regulations); and
  • Require all new build dwellings housing to deliver at least 5% Category 3, Requirement M4 (3) wheelchair adaptable accessible homes (or any new or revised regulalations regulations that revoke or modify the Building Regulations).

Justification

For clarity and effectiveness

MM118

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy H3

Modification

Policy H3: Housing for Older People

All new residential development will be required to respond to the challenges relating to older people as set out in this chapter. Specifically, .

All development proposals for 100 dwellings or more will be required to provide bungalows, level-access accommodation or low-density flats for older people as part of the mix of housing required by Policy H1, unless an alternative approach can be demonstrated to be more suitable having regard to site suitability or viability constraints.

On larger sites of 2300 units or more, the provision of an Extra Care Facility will be required,. unless an alternative approach can be demonstrated to be more suitable having regard to site suitability or viability constraints. Extra care schemes will be restricted by S106 to ensure that the occupants are those in need of care and support in perpetuity.

  • To consider the strategic aims of the Council, it is ensuring that mainstream housing, extra-care homes and nursing care homes are provided throughout the Council area.
  • To provide accommodation in suitable and sustainable locations, based on the latest evidence base, these are especially town centres, near transport links, services, and leisure and health facilities.
  • To provide accommodation in various forms of tenure types, e.g. shared ownership, outright purchase, leasehold possibilities, affordable/private rented and other form of intermediate tenures.
  • To ensure that properties are built to a good quality standard and meet the needs of older people as they progress through their life changes.
  • To ensure that supported housing schemes provide the necessary care and support packages required.
  • The Council will require the development of bungalows, level access accommodation or low density flats to be provided for older people on development of 100 dwellings or more.

On larger sites of 200 units or more, the provision of an extra care facility should be investigated taking into consideration site viability and need. Where an extra care facility is not provided applicants must present evidence to support its exclusion from their proposals.

Justification

For clarity and effectiveness

MM119

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy H4

Modification

Policy H4: Affordable Housing

All qualifying sites of 11 10 or more units or sites of 10 or less units which have a combined gross internal floor space in excess of 1,000 square metres subject to NPPG future revisions and future relevant case law will provide 30% affordable housing. This proportion may change in accordance to the most up to date version of the SHMA, in which event the new revised proportions should be applied. The affordable housing from qualifying sites should be provided on-site.

Off-site financial contributions will only be considered where evidence is provided to confirm that on-site provision is not viable or that off-site contributions are more appropriate. This evidence must be agreed by the Council prior to independent verification. In such cases, a financial contribution will be calculated assuming 50% of the open market value of each dwelling in question.

The affordable homes should meet all of the following requirements:

  • Provide 72% 73% affordable rent and 28% 27% intermediate tenure or have regard to the most up-to-date SHMA*
  • Affordable units should be dispersed throughout the site and integrated with the market housing to promote community cohesion & tenure blindness. Clusters of no more than 10 affordable units for houses and no more than 15 affordable units for flats or on a case by case basis for larger sites
  • Large clusters of affordable units should be avoided and will be considered at the design stage and determined on a case-by-case basis
  • Affordable units to meet all nationally described space standards, in accordance with H2: Housing Standards
  • Where policy compliant affordable housing cannot be achieved, viability will determine affordable housing provision on a case-by-case basis
  • Quality and design of the affordable homes must be of an equally high standard to that of the private units on site.

* This proportion may change in accordance with the most up to date version of the SHMA, in which event the new revised proportions will be applied. 

Justification

To ensure that the policy is justified and effective

MM120

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 11.5

Paragraph 11.5.8

Modification

11.5.8: A local housing needs' survey will be conducted within the settlement to evidence the level of demand for affordable housing. It will identify the number of affordable homes, the tenure and size of the property needed. The housing needs survey can be conducted by any independent, accountable body but it must present its findings within a clear report to the Council. It is suggested that the Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity (BRCC) would be an appropriate body to conduct such surveys. The identified housing needs and requirements will form the evidence base upon which the Council, landowners, Registered Providers, house builders and the Town or Parish Council will work-up plans for the exception site.

Justification

For clarity and effectiveness

MM121

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy H5

Modification

Policy H5: Rural Exception Sites

Proposals for the development of Rural Exception Sites outside of the Green Belt will be permitted considered acceptable where: they meet the following criteria:

  • They are D designed to meet identified affordable housing need. s. The l Local needs must will be identified and evidenced based through a housing needs survey, conducted by an independent body;
  • They will provide affordable homes that will remain as affordable in perpetuity via a Section 106 legal agreement or Unilateral Undertaking;
  • They provide only a limited number of market dwellings expressly for the sole purpose of making the scheme financially viable. This will be subject to site specific viability testing and be limited to up to 20% of the total dwellings;
  • They are allocated in accordance with the Council's adopted Local Lettings Policy;
  • They deliver Ssmall scale development – usually be limited to 10 dwellings in order to preserve the character of the settlement. However, if a housing needs' survey supports, a demand for more than 10 dwellings and it can be demonstrated that a larger development will not have an adverse effect on the character of the settlement, larger sites may be considered;
  • They will deliver a A mix of tenures to be made available to meet the identified need from the housing needs survey; and
  • In the case of shared ownership, stair-casing or purchasing additional equity shares will be restricted to 80% of the properties open market value. This will ensure the property remains as affordable in perpetuity.
  • the site is situated outside the existing settlement boundary but relates well to the existing pattern of development and is in keeping with the surrounding character. of the settlement and is in-keeping with surrounding character.

Proposals for the development of Rural Exception Sites in the Green Belt must demonstrate very special circumstances and conform to the first eight criteria above. The site must also relate well to an existing settlement and be in keeping with the surrounding character

In the case of shared ownership, stair-casing or purchasing additional equity shares will be restricted to 80% of the properties open market value. This will ensure the property remains as affordable in perpetuity. 

Justification

To ensure that the policy is effective, justified and consistent with national planning policy

MM122

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 11.6

Modification

Delete Section 11.6

11.6 Starter Homes

11.6.1 The Housing and Planning Act 2016 sets out the Government's agenda to support homeownership, particularly through the delivery of starter homes.

11.6.2 A starter home is a new build property which is offered at a minimum of 20 % below the market value. The discounted price should be no more than £250,000 outside London and £450,000 in London.

11.6.3 Starter Homes are specifically aimed at the first-time buyer market and will be offered to people who are under 40 years old at the time of purchase and have not previously owned a home. The Starter Home property cannot be sold or re-let for a period of 8 years after initial sale; after which, the property can be sold on the open market at full value.

11.6.4 The appropriate balance between compliance with the Housing and Planning Act and also the strength of local evidence must be struck. Previous chapters adequately explain the overwhelming demand for affordable rented properties (as demonstrated by the SHMA 2015). Central Bedfordshire Council is of the opinion that appropriate weight should be given to this factual evidence when determining planning applications in support of a suitable local housing mix.

11.6.5 The Housing and Planning Act requires that local planning authorities may only grant planning permission if applicants enter into a planning obligation to provide a certain number of Starter Homes.

11.6.6 Starter Homes are now considered to be an Affordable Housing tenure under the revised NPPF and the Government Expects local planning authorities to deliver a proportion of Starter Homes as part of affordable housing delivery through S106 agreements. This will be confirmed following the consultation within the Housing White Paper.

11.6.7. The provisions within the Housing & Planning Act and subsequent discussions with DCLG confirm that the starter homes will apply to each individual qualifying site so Central Bedfordshire Council must have regard for the duty.

11.6.8 Para 5 (2) of the Housing and Planning Act states that local planning authorities can dispense with the planning condition relating to starter homes where:

  • (a) an application is made for planning permission in respect of a rural exception site, and
  • (b) the application falls to be determined wholly or partly on the basis of policy contained in a development plan for the provision of housing on rural exception sites.

11.6.9 Therefore the Starter Homes planning condition does not apply to rural exception sites or land allocated for the provision of rural exception sites.

11.6.10 Para (4) of the Housing and Planning Act states:

  • "The starter homes requirement" means a requirement, specified in the regulations, relating to the provision of starter homes in England.

11.6.11 We await the publication of the aforementioned regulations to specify the actual Starter Home requirement. However, the Housing White Paper has made its intentions clear to specify a minimum 10 % requirement which will encompass various homeownership options as well as Starter Homes. Until the consultation on the Housing White paper is concluded, and the secondar legislation is enacted, the Council will work on this assumption.

11.6.12 This local plan policy seeks to provide interim guidance in the Starter Homes requirement in the absence of secondary legislation.

Justification

To ensure that the plan is justified, effective and consistent with national planning policy

MM122a

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy H6

Modification

Delete Policy H6 in its entirety

Policy H6: Starter Homes

All qualifying planning applications must have regard for Starter Homes delivery, except in respect of planning applications for rural exception sites or land allocated for rural exception sites.

Starter Homes will be delivered on qualifying sites in accordance with the Housing and Planning Act or the most up-to-date, published secondary legislation or Government Guidance.

The current intention communicated in the Housing White Paper is that Starter Homes will form part of the minimum 10 % requirement for a range of home ownership products. Until the consultation on the Housing White Paper is concluded, the Council will work on this assumption.

The Affordable Housing policy (Policy H4) states that 27 % of all qualifying sites will comprise intermediate tenures, these are predominantly home ownership products, and therefore starter homes will be incorporated within this 27 %.

In the absence of detailed guidance, Central Bedfordshire Council will exercise local discretion in meeting the Starter Homes requirement. This includes the following:

  • Local variation on the suitability on Starter Homes on a case-by-case basis. This will include demonstrable evidence on local Housing Need, Affordability and accessibility of Starter Homes as part of the wider housing mix.
  • Consideration of a commuted sum payment to be used by the authority for providing Starter Homes. The process of which are to be spent in any location within its boundary that the authority deems suitable.

Justification

To ensure that the plan is justified, effective and consistent with national planning policy

MM123

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 11.7

Paragraphs 11.7.2 and 11.7.9

Modification

11.7.2 Self Build and Custom Housebuilding (SBCH) build housing is housing built or commissioned by individuals or groups of individuals for their own occupation. A serviced plot is defined by the Act as a plot of land that has access to a public highway and has connections for electricity, water and wastewater, or can be provided with those things in specified circumstances or a specified period. This definition These definitions may be amended by future legislation and guidance from the Government. The main difference between Self-Build and Custom Build is as follows:

  • Self-build

Self-build projects are defined as those where someone directly organises the design and construction of their own home. This covers a wide range of projects from a traditional DIY self-build home to projects where the self-builder commissions a company to build their home to their specification for them. Community-led projects can also be defined as self-build.

  • Custom build

Custom build homes are where an individual or group works with a developer to deliver customised or bespoke homes. The developer may secure the plot, manage the construction of an external shell and then work with the individual to tailor the external design and internal layout to match the individual's requirements.

11.7.9: Sites allocated in the Local Plan will be expected to deliver a minimum of 10% up to 20% of the planned dwellings as serviced plots for self and custom builders. The number of plots to be delivered on each site will be determined on a case by case basis at the time of application, reflecting the demand demonstrated on the register and by supplementary information at that time.

Justification

To improve plan clarity and following discussion at the Hearings (Include minimum of 10% of sites, and clarification).

MM124

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy H7

Modification

H76 Self Build and Custom Build Housing

The Council will support applications for delivery of serviced plots in suitable locations were they help meet the demand as demonstrated by the Council's Self & Custom Build Register.The Council will require Development proposals for sites of 10 or more dwellings (excluding schemes for 100% flats or conversions) will be requiredto provide serviced plots to meet demand evidenced by the Register. Up to deliver a minimum of 10% 20% of the sites dwelling capacity of these qualifying sites will be required to be delivered as serviced plots for SBCH. Applications that deliver a higher proportion will be considered favourably. These plots will be counted towards market housing delivery and will be subject to viability considerations.

Where plots have been made available and appropriately marketed for at least 12 months (or an alternative timescale agreed with the Council subject to specific site delivery timescales), and have not been sold, the plot(s) may either remain on the market or be built out by the developer.

Where development is phased, the SBCH requirement should be determined at each phase and delivered on a defined parcel of land, allowing SBCH delivery alongside traditional developer-led housing. The market response at each phase can inform the decision about delivery on subsequent phases. The delivery of SBCH within each phase will be expected to be policy compliant unless there is clear market indication of lower demand.

The Council will encourage applications for the delivery of serviced plots for SBCH on sites of fewer than 10 dwellings.

  • The Council will consider favourably applications for the delivery of serviced plots on sites of less than 10 dwellings.
  • The Council will require developers to enter into section 106 agreement that will cover issues including timescales and phasing of serviced plots delivery, appropriate marketing of these plots to self and custom builders and length of time after which unsold plots will be returned to the developer.
  • The Council will require all serviced plots to have or provide within a specified period (agreed in s106 agreement) access to a public highway, connections for electricity, water and waste water, and gas where present in the area.
  • Developments meeting the Council's threshold for affordable housing will be expected to deliver either on site affordable housing or payment of commuted sums for off site delivery in line with the Council's adopted policy.

Delivery of serviced plots on rural exception sites will be allowed in strict accordance with Policy H5 as part of the limited number of market dwellings permitted to enable the delivery of affordable houses.

Justification

To ensure that the policy is justified and effective

MM125

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Section 11.8

Paragraph, 11.8.3, 11.8.4,

Modification

11.8.4: In order to benefit from access to facilities and services such as health and education, first preference should be given to sites that are located closer to existing settlements. Proposals for Gypsy and Traveller, and Travelling Showpeople sites, should be within reasonable travelling distance to these services. What constitutes a reasonable travelling distance will vary in relation to location of the site and services, and the local pattern of development. However, traditionally some Gypsy and Traveller families prefer to live in the countryside, on privately owned and managed sites. Such locations will be considered where they are constraint free, or where any constraints could be satisfactorily mitigated.

11.8.5: In addition to consideration of access to services, the effect on the landscape and on the living conditions of existing and future occupants of land and buildings is of particular importance. Proposals Applications will be considered on their merits in the context of the site size and location, and the characteristics of the surrounding area, together with proximity to other nearby traveller sites, to ensure that collectively, such sites do not dominate the nearest settled community. What constitutes the nearest settled community will vary in relation to location and the local pattern of development. This issue will be considered on a case by case basis. Planning permissions might restrict the size of sites and, where appropriate, recommend a "cap" on the number of people allowed to live on the site on a permanent basis or the number of caravans being stationed on a site.

Justification

For clarity and effectiveness.

MM126

Category/ Policy No./ Paragraph No.

Policy H8

Modification

Policy H87: Assessing Planning Applications for Gypsy and Traveller Sites

Development proposals for sSites for Gypsies and Travellers, including extensions to existing sites will be permitted where subject to the following considerations requirements, in addition to other relevant policies within this Plan, are met;

  • The scale of the site and the number of pitches would not dominate14 the nearest settled community and would not place undue pressure on local infrastructure when the proposal is considered alone or in combination with other nearby traveller sites;
  • The character and appearance of the wider landscape is not detrimentally affected;
  • ;
  • Provides a good standard of amenity for all existing and future occupants of land and buildings
  • Site design demonstrates that the pitches are of a sufficient size to accommodate trailers/caravans, parking, and storage and amenity space for the needs of the occupants;
  • Adequate schools, shops, healthcare, and other community facilities are within reasonable travelling distance.
  • Suitable arrangements can be made for drainage, sanitation and access to utilities.
  • Proposals for mixed residential and business uses should have regard to the safety and amenity of the occupants and neighbouring residents.

Proposals for mixed residential and business uses should have regard to the safety and amenity of the occupants and neighbouring residents.

Justification

For clarity, effectiveness and to ensure that the policy is justified and consistent with national planning policy


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