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Information for residents and developers
Please remember that, while the District Council and its partners will do what they can to assist local residents to meet their own housing needs, ultimate responsibility still rests with the individual householders and local communities concerned.
Parish and Town Plans
All local communities throughout the District are encouraged to produce Parish Plans (or equivalent). These can provide an invaluable tool for assessing and addressing unmet local housing needs.
The occupancy of most new affordable homes, as well as some market properties, is restricted to households with a strong local connection. This is achieved by a type of legal agreement known as a 'planning obligation' (also known as Section 106 Agreements).
In rural areas, the 'Local Choice' and rural 'exception' initiatives provide local communities and individual households with the opportunity to devise "self help" solutions to local housing problems.
For many years, the vast majority of new homes in the District have been built by private-sector housebuilders. However, the conventional development model is changing. In future, the District Council will expect all market housing to be more closely aligned to the needs and aspirations of local communities. The benefits of development must also be shared more equitably with host communities. This should develop the confidence and support of those communities for new development.
On many housing sites there is a requirement for developers to provide a proportion of affordable homes. Normally, this will be a minimum of 35% of the total residential floor area of a given development. In such cases:
- Working closely with the Council's partner housing associations from an early stage is encouraged as a good way of ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of affordable homes that meet quality benchmarks.
- The delivery of affordable homes will be secured through planning obligations. These normally follow a standard format.
- Occupancy of homes built in this way is generally restricted to people with a local connection to the town or village concerned.
- There is a general expectation that the affordable homes will be provided without the use of public subsidy. This should normally be possible by utilising cross-subsidy from the sale of market properties. Developers must ensure that the purchase price offered for land is suitably discounted to reflect these obligations.
Meeting Housing Needs
The Council has adopted a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) providing more detailed guidance on the operation of its planning policies concerning the type and location of new affordable and market homes.
'Local Choice' initiative
In addition to sites allocated for development in Local Development Documents, there may be scope for development of local market housing as part of 'Local Choice' schemes. Click the 'Local Choice' link on the right of this page for more information about this initiative.
Completed housing schemes are evaluated to assess their outcomes in terms of sustainability and effectiveness in meeting local housing needs. Download a copy of the current evaluation document for details of the criteria against which schemes will be evaluated. Prospective developers and their architects are strongly encouraged to bear these criteria in mind when designing schemes.
For further information please contact the Development and Enabling Officer on 01789 260843, by fax on 01789 260860, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org