Local Plan 2036: Issues and Options Stage


  • Affordable Housing Quick poll

    What do we mean by affordable homes?

    Affordable housing is defined as housing provided to those who are unable to buy a property at normal open market values. The type and amount of affordable housing to be provided on individual developments will be determined through negotiation, and guided by local housing need surveys and data.

    Recently there have been a number of changes to affordable housing guidance. The new Local Plan will have to review this, and we are intending to introduce new approaches to existing policies and new policies to respond to the changes in planning legislation, national guidance and changing local circumstances.

    The proposed Affordable Housing Target for the West of England from 2016-2036 is to deliver 24,500 net new affordable homes. Currently the submitted Joint Spatial Plan aims to meet the West of England’s identified housing needs in a sustainable way through a substantial step change in the supply of affordable housing.  The JSP sets out a minimum target of 35% of affordable housing to be delivered on sites of five dwellings or more. In line with the Strategic Housing Market Assessment a combination of tenures (77% social rent & 23% Intermediate rent) is required in order to create mixed, balanced and sustainable communities.

    What are the different types of affordable housing?

    Social Rented - is owned by local authorities and private registered providers (housing associations), for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime. It may also be owned by other persons and provided under equivalent rental arrangements to the above, as agreed with the local authority or with Homes England (formerly known as the Homes and Communities Agency).                                          

    Affordable Rented - is let by local authorities or private registered providers of social housing to households who are eligible for social rented housing. Affordable Rent is subject to rent controls that require a rent of at least 20% below local market rent (including service charges, where applicable). It includes Build to rent schemes and housing provision intended to remain at an affordable price for future generations.

    Intermediate Housing - is housing provided for sale that provides a route to ownership for those who could not achieve home ownership through the market. It includes Shared Ownership, relevant Equity Loans, other low-cost homes for sale (at a price equivalent to at least 20% below local market value) and Rent to Buy (which includes a period of intermediate rent). Where public grant funding is provided, there should be provisions for the homes to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households, or for any receipts to be recycled for alternative affordable housing provision or refunded to Government or the relevant authority specified in the funding agreement.

    Which of these scheme do you see as a priority for delivering affordable homes?

    Designing Affordable Housing - what will this look like?

    The size and mix of affordable homes provided on a development will depend on the local levels of housing need, and aim to provide a suitable mix of house types and sizes.

    In line with our policy we would expect affordable homes to be ‘pepper potted' across a development to create a seamless integration of rented and market housing. Affordable homes should not be distinguishable from market housing in terms of appearance, build quality and materials.

    Do you agree that affordable housing should be "pepper potted" across development?

    What priorities would you give to the design of future affordable homes?

    Started by Claire Courtois 4 years ago.

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  • Local Plan Issues and Options Questions

    Here are some of the questions we've been asked already about the Local Plan. If you have a question that we haven't covered you can ask it below (please note that to ask a question through this forum you will need to log in). We will update this question and answer page during the consultation.


    What is a Local Plan?

    National guidance says that we should have an up to date Local Plan, which should provide a vision for future development within the area. It should set out how much housing and employment is needed, what infrastructure is required alongside the homes and jobs, and other economic, social and environmental priorities.

    Has North Somerset already got a Local Plan?

    Yes we have. The currently adopted Local Plan in North Somerset is made up of three documents; the Core Strategy, Development Management Policies and the Site Allocations Plan. These documents (along with Neighbourhood Plans that have been adopted) form the statutory development plan at the moment.

    So why do you need a new Local Plan?

    Our existing planning documents only cover the period up to 2026. We need to review the planning framework and update it to cover a longer period, up to 2036. With the other West of England authorities (Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire) we have prepared a Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) and submitted it for examination, which is ongoing. The JSP identifies the overall needs for housing, employment and key infrastructure such as transport across the wider Bristol area between 2016 and 2036 and sets the broad strategy for delivering this. Each of the four councils are now producing their own Local Plans to provide detailed guidance and policies to deliver their share of the requirements of the JSP.

    Why does North Somerset need so many houses?

    The Joint Spatial Plan for the West of England identifies a need for 102,200 homes to be built by 2036. North Somerset is expected to deliver around 25,000 of this total. These figures have been calculated taking account of lots of factors such as population forecasts and household formation rates. The housing requirement figures will be confirmed through the Joint Spatial Plan examination, not the Local Plan process.

    Where are they going to be built?

    The Joint Spatial Plan has already looked at this at a high level, taking account of factors such as protecting the Green Belt and Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding National Beauty and avoiding areas at risk of flooding. It sets out the following broad distribution for North Somerset for the twenty year period 2016-2036:

    Existing commitments
    (sites that already have planning permission or have already been identified by us previously)


    Small site windfall
    (based on past trends, we expect small sites to continue to come forward at a similar rate as previously)


    Strategic development locations
    (identified through the Joint Spatial Plan as the principal locations for new growth)            


    Urban living
    (maximising housing on previously developed sites, particularly in Weston-Super-Mare)


    Non-strategic growth
    (Sites of less than 500 houses, anywhere in North Somerset – in practice most these sites will be much smaller)





    It is now up to the Local Plan to firm up the details of how and where any new growth will take place. You can have your say on shaping the proposed new communities at Backwell, Banwell, Mendip Spring and Nailsea in section 4 of the consultation document. Section 5 focusses on urban living, and options for the non-strategic growth are set out in section 3.

    What about jobs - where will people work?

    We've had a study prepared to consider this, the Employment Land Review. This made some recommendations about protecting sites for employment, safeguarding land for future additional employment sites and considering ways to support business growth. We welcome your thoughts on how and where we should try and deliver jobs in section 6 of the consultation document.

    How will you make sure that transport infrastructure will be delivered along with the houses?

    The council are also working on a Joint Local Transport Plan with neighbouring authorities, alongside the Local Plan. This complimentary document will set the policy context for delivering transport schemes and initiatives. You can find out more about the links between these two documents in section 8 of the consultation document.

    Started by Natalie Richards (Planning Pol… 4 years ago.

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