Our strategic aims are set out in the Council Plan 2019-2023 and Housing Strategy although a new Plan covering the period to 2027 is under preparation. Policies relating to the overall level and distribution of new housing are laid out in our Core Strategy and other planning policy documents. We prepare a Monitoring Report to keep track of our progress on meeting strategic housing requirements.
To deliver the new affordable homes we need, we work with:
Housing Associations - They are responsible for building and then letting or selling new affordable homes to local people. The following housing associations are active in developing new homes for local people in our district:
We maintain a list of development contacts at partner housing associations.
Homes England and the Regulator of Social Housing
Homes England is a public body whose responsibilities include increasing the number of new homes built in England. They provide a range of important funding streams for new affordable homes. The Regulator of Social Housing is responsible for the regulation of ‘registered providers', such as housing associations, in England.
The Rural Housing Enabler
The District Council funds Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC) to provide the services of a full-time Rural Housing Enabler as an independent resource for all local communities within Stratford-on-Avon District. For further information and contact details see ‘Local needs/community led schemes' section below.
Developers and house-builders
Planning policies generally require the provision of affordable housing as part of market-led housing schemes. This is an important dimension of ensuring sustainable development. Early identification and collaboration with potential partner housing associations (Registered Providers) is vital. In addition, more information and advice on specific issues, and some case studies of recent schemes, are provided below.
The county council is the adult social care authority for our district and, as such, are interested in ensuring that the current and future care needs of local residents are considered when developing new housing.
Our Annual Review provides an over-view of our performance in providing new affordable homes during the previous financial year (1 April – 31 March). This also includes a commentary on key issues affecting, or likely to affect, the delivery of new homes in the District. For general information about housing supply and related matters please refer to the Authority Monitoring Reports.
To assist house-builders and other interested parties, these pages include information and advice on certain specific topics: see further sections below. We may look to expand the topics covered: thus any suggestions in this respect are always welcome
Working with our partners is central to our aim of building enough quality affordable homes to meet the needs of our district and its communities.
Many affordable homes on new housing schemes are built as a result of planning policies requiring them to be provided. In these cases, and also in the case of community-led schemes, developers are required to sign a legally-binding agreement to secure delivery of the required affordable homes and regulate their further occupancy. These legally-binding agreements are known as planning obligations or Section 106 Agreements.
We periodically publish templates containing appropriate model clauses for these Agreements in order to guide applicants, speed up the administrative process, and aid public understanding. These clauses will vary depending on the type and location of development.
Please see our index to identify the relevant template.
Further information about the Council's approach can be found in our Development Requirements SPD.
Our expectation is that the relevant model clauses will be used unless there are special circumstances justifying a different approach. The drafting of Agreements will normally be undertaken by the Council's legal services team, following instruction by the planning case officer.
Exceptionally, where it may be necessary to vary an existing Section 106 Agreement, there is a special protocol for dealing with such requests.
If you are seeking to vary an existing Section 106 please check that the local connection and nomination clauses are as per the model clauses.
In July 2018 the Government published a revised version of its National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (subsequently amended in February 2019) setting out a new national threshold for the provision of affordable housing.
To assist with clarity and for the avoidance of doubt, the Council produced a Position Statement in September 2019 in respect of the requirement for affordable housing under Core Strategy Policy CS.18.
Local communities are encouraged to bring forward community-led development schemes to meet local housing and possibly other community needs. Successful examples of such schemes already exist (see case studies below).
Community-led schemes are sometimes also known as ‘Local Need' or ‘Local Choice' schemes. Their key features are that they are community-led and respond to an identified local need – typically for affordable housing and/or ‘local market' housing. Local communities interested in developing such schemes should contact Sarah Brooke-Taylor, the Rural Housing Enabler, at Warwickshire Rural Community Council (WRCC), telephone 01789 842182 or 01789 472611, email firstname.lastname@example.org. See also further information about neighbourhood planning.
Sarah can help communities to undertake parish housing needs surveys and identify suitable sites for development.
More information on how to progress local needs schemes and the role of WRCC can be found on their website and in the presentation given at the Rural Housing Event in Ettington in June 2017.
For local connection criteria in Section 106 agreements, see the affordable housing model clauses above and the below feedback from the Rural Housing Enabling Event in 2013. Over 70 representatives including parish councils, housing providers, developers, agents, the district councils and other stakeholders attended this event which gave everyone an opportunity to learn how to progress rural housing schemes by sharing information and experiences.
Case studies are available for an illustrative range of recently-completed affordable housing schemes, as listed below. Please note all case studies are subject to periodic updating.
For further information: please contact the Development and Enabling Officer at email@example.com, or contact the Housing Policy & Development team at firstname.lastname@example.org.