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					Appendix 1 to DPP27/2007

Housing Issues and Options
Discussion Paper

Introduction
The discussion paper sets out the issues relating to housing policy and
evaluates the different options for tackling the issue by listing their advantages
and disadvantages.

Issue A
How do we deliver enough homes to meet our overall housing
requirement?

Why is it an issue?

      We have to meet the draft South East Plan requirement of 5,200
       homes in East Hampshire District by 2026. This figure may change.
       The Panel Report into the examination of the draft South East Plan
       recommends that 7,700 homes are delivered by 2026: the extra 2,500
       to be solely for Whitehill/Bordon. Furthermore, the Government may
       increase this figure.
      PPS3 requires us to identify land for the new homes that we are
       required to deliver in our Development Plan Documents (DPD). Our
       Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) must show enough housing sites that
       will meet the housing requirement for five years.
      We are presently carrying out a Strategic Housing Land Availability
       Assessment (SHLAA). A SHLAA identifies potential housing sites
       within the district to help decide where we will locate new homes to
       meet our housing requirement.
      The housing allocations in the adopted Local Plan are only up to 2011.
      At the moment the Local Plan relies on windfalls to help meet the
       requirement in addition to allocating sites. PPS3: Housing says that we
       need to be more certain how and where housing development will meet
       our housing requirement. It states that we can not rely on windfall sites
       to do this.
      Some of our existing allocated sites in our Local Plan are not being
       developed for housing.
      Increased delivery of homes means that more affordable homes will be
       delivered on appropriate sites to meet housing need.
      Different types and sizes of homes are required to meet both housing
       demand and housing needs and help create mixed communities.
      If we fail to deliver the homes that are required we will not benefit from
       the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant.
How can we tackle this issue?

A1) Allocate more land than is necessary by East Hampshire to meet the
housing requirement in the South East Plan

Allocating more land for new homes on deliverable sites than is required in
our Development Plan Documents will enable us to overcome a shortfall of
housing if some of the allocated sites do not come forward. Deliverable sites
are those that are in suitable locations and are available for building within the
first five years of the DPD because there are no constraints on them. If we do
this we will need to decide how much we should over allocate housing sites.
In the past an over allocation of 10% was considered good practice.

Advantages
    It will allow us to have greater control over the timing and nature of
      development because delivery is not relying on just a few sites.
    It increases the likelihood of housing, affordable housing and a mix of
      different types and sizes being delivered if an allocated site doesn’t
      come forward.
    It allows for flexibility for the market to adapt to different types and
      sizes of sites if the market changes.
    It allows us to benefit from the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant.

Disadvantages
    It will be hard to control development coming forward earlier than
      anticipated.
    More housing could be built than is actually needed to meet our
      housing requirement in the South East Plan. This could create
      pressure on the infrastructure.

A2) Use a reserve housing mechanism

Another option is to allocate reserve sites so that if allocated sites and
windfalls don’t come forward to meet the housing requirement for the first five
years of the plan, we can release these reserve sites to make up the shortfall.

This differs from the current reserve site mechanism in the adopted local plan
that operates on a county wide basis. These are only released if monitoring
showed that the County as a whole is not meeting the housing requirements
of the County Structure Plan. A new reserve site mechanism would be solely
controlled by East Hampshire District Council.

Advantages
    Will provide an incentive to landowners of allocated sites to build their
      sites.
    This is a good example of plan, monitor and manage.
    There is greater control over housing completions to ensure that we
      meet the housing requirement.
      The District Council retains control over the mechanism of releasing
       sites.
      It allows us to benefit from the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant.

Disadvantages
    It will require the allocation of greenfield land as reserve sites.

A3) Introduce a policy to replace allocated sites that have not been built

Although we have identified suitable sites in our local plan some of these are
not being developed. The reasons why developers are not building new
homes on these sites vary and sometimes it is not explained to us. The
Government has made it clear however, that it is our responsibility to ensure
that sites are delivered.

At the moment sites that are allocated in our local plan for housing remain on
the allocations list for the whole plan period. We could introduce a policy that
replaces sites from the allocations list that have not been started within three
years of the DPD being adopted. It is likely that if such a policy is to be
introduced, the mechanism for removing sites will be through the Annual
Monitoring Report.

Advantages
    It will provide an incentive to landowners of allocated sites to build their
      sites.
    This is a good example of plan, monitor and manage.
    It allows us to benefit from the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant.

Disadvantages
    It does not take account of a market collapse which may stop sites
      being built.
    It may result in lower standards of development as landowners will
      need to deliver housing quickly.

A4) Compulsory Purchase allocated sites

Where an allocated site is not coming forward, another option is that the
Council could carry out a compulsory purchase order on the site to ensure
that development takes place.

Advantages
    The threat of Compulsory Purchase may be an incentive to developers
      to build the housing on the site.
    It will allow our housing partners to be involved in developing the site.
    It will ensure that we will not be forced to find alternative sites to
      replace a site not coming forward.
    It allows us to benefit from the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant.
Disadvantages
    Compulsory Purchase is an expensive and lengthy process and in itself
      does not guarantee that housing on the site will be delivered.
    It is also a complicated process as we would need to work in
      partnership with a developer who would be happy to acquire the land.

A5) Increase the density of new housing development

The local plan states that within settlement policy boundaries housing
development should be between 30 and 50 dwellings per ha. In areas which
are close to local facilities, services and public transport, the policy allows a
density of over 50 dwellings per ha. An option is to increase the density of
new development so that over 50 dwellings per ha is acceptable for the whole
of the settlement and not just confined to town centres. This would increase
the amount of homes being delivered.

Advantages
 It reduces the need to have to find greenfield sites to meet our housing
   requirement.
 It improves sustainability as it allows more people to live in town centres.
 It will increase the delivery of affordable housing because site size
   thresholds for providing affordable housing will be exceeded more often.
 It helps meet our target of meeting 60% of new housing on previously
   developed land.

Disadvantages
    Higher densities can have an adverse impact on rural villages.
    It can result in overcrowding as there is less space for people to live in
    Social tension can be created as people have to live in close proximity
      to each other.
    It could have an impact on the character and amenities of the
      surrounding area.
    It could put pressure on existing infrastructure.
    Imposing high density targets is meaningless on small sites.


Issue B
How do we increase the overall delivery of affordable
housing?
Why is it an Issue?
   The Housing Market Assessment has shown that we need 670
      affordable homes per annum if we are to meet housing need. Even if
      all housing that is required by the South East Plan each year was built
      as affordable homes this would still not be enough to meet the
      demand.
   Many people can not afford to live in the district which prevents the
      creation of mixed communities.
      The average price of a house now costs over 8 times the average
       annual salary.

How can we tackle this issue?

B1) Increase the percentage of affordable housing required on
appropriate sites.

The draft South East Plan recommends that 35% of all new housing should
be affordable housing. The Housing Market Assessments for Central and
South Hampshire both recommend that the percentage should be 40%. At
the moment on sites for new housing development that are above the site size
threshold our local plan seeks 35% of the housing to be affordable.

Advantages
    More affordable housing will be delivered, in line with the aims of the
      Housing Green Paper.
    It is a simple method to understand.
    An increase to 40% will be consistent with other local authorities in
      Hampshire.
    An increase to 40% will mean the same approach for both the South
      Hampshire and Central Hampshire sub regions.

Disadvantages
    A higher requirement may affect the viability of the site therefore
      stopping homes being built. No work on the viability of increasing the
      percentage above 35% has yet been completed.
    Contributions to the provision of other infrastructure requirements may
      suffer if the housing scheme is to remain viable.
    Social tension can be created between different income groups.

B2) Ask for affordable housing on smaller sites than existing?

At the moment our local plan states that affordable housing is required on a
site for housing development that is:
a) 15 homes or more, or 0.5 ha or more and in a settlement of more 3,000
    population;
b) 5 homes or more, or 0.15 ha or more, in a settlement of 3000 and less.

Our policy in the local plan for building new homes concentrates development
in existing built areas. Sites within built up areas are usually infilling
development and the reuse of existing sites. The sizes of these sites are
mainly very small. This means that the number of occasions the site size
thresholds are exceeded to secure affordable housing is limited.

Furthermore some developers have been submitting applications just below
the site size thresholds set out in the local plan to avoid providing affordable
homes.
An option to increase affordable homes is therefore to lower or even remove
the site size thresholds so that sites smaller than those set out in the local
plan will have to provide affordable housing. The following are the advantages
and disadvantages of this option.

Advantages
    More affordable housing will be delivered on smaller sites increasing
      the overall delivery of affordable housing.
    Where there are no site size thresholds there is an opportunity for
      getting affordable housing contributions where it is not practical to have
      just one affordable housing unit.
    It will increase delivery in the rural areas.

Disadvantages
    It may affect the viability of the site therefore stopping the homes being
      built.
    The time and effort in negotiating on very small sites may stop
      developers wanting to develop the site.
    Where there are no site size thresholds it may not be practical to have
      just one affordable housing unit.

B3) Adopt a sliding scale

A “sliding scale” would introduce a range of thresholds where a different
amount of affordable housing would be required depending on the size of the
site. The Council has long seen this as a good way forward. However, it is
important that this option is compared with other options for increasing the
delivery of affordable housing.

The “sliding scale” set out below was the option felt most appropriate for the
Council to adopt based on the current policy of providing 35% affordable
housing at 15 dwellings or more. If we choose to have a higher percentage of
40% then we would need to revisit the sliding scale.

      Number of         Amount of affordable   Equivalent %
      Dwellings         homes required         contribution of
      approved on the                          development
      site (site size
      threshold)
               5                  1                     20%
               6                  1                     17%
               7                  2                     28%
               8                  2                     25%
               9                  2                     22%
              10                  3                     30%
              11                  3                     27%
              12                  4                     33%
              13                  4                     31%
              14                  4                     29%
          15 or more                                    35%
Advantages:
    It is simple to understand
    There is not just one threshold so that it allows for different amounts of
      affordable housing to be provided on different sized sites so that the
      impact on the viability of the development is gradual.
    It allows for affordable housing to be provided on sites in the larger
      settlements smaller than we could get before.
    It stops developers applying for housing just below the site size
      thresholds to avoid providing affordable housing.

Disadvantages
    It has implications for the smaller rural settlements with a population
      below 3,000. If it is to deliver more affordable housing in these
      settlements then we would need to start the sliding scale below 5
      dwellings.

B4) Have different affordable housing percentages and site size
thresholds for different settlements.

The need for affordable housing differs from area to area. An option therefore
is to have higher percentages and lower site size thresholds for affordable
housing in those settlements that have the greater need. The Housing Market
Assessment for Central Hampshire considers that it is likely to be possible
that up to 50% affordable housing could be achieved in settlements less than
3,000 because housing development in these areas is more viable. If we
think that having a sliding scale for the district is the best way of increasing
the delivery of affordable housing an option could be to have a different sliding
scale for different settlements of the district.

Advantages
    It will ensure that need is met where there is greatest need.

Disadvantages
    It will be difficult to understand and administer.
    It could stop sites being built in areas where low house values will
      make schemes unviable.

Issue C
How do we meet the specific needs for affordable housing in
rural areas?
Why is it an issue?
   There are fewer sites for housing development to provide affordable
      homes in the smaller settlements.
   House prices are generally higher in rural areas compared with the
      larger settlements.
   People who have a local connection with rural villages can not afford to
      live in them.
   A mixture of different types of people living in rural villages is being lost
      There have been problems with finding rural exception sites.

How can we tackle this issue?

C1) Continue with our existing policy of rural exception sites.

At present we have a policy in our local plan that is an exception to normal
policy as it allows for a site that is solely for affordable housing to be built
outside a settlement policy boundary. In order to be allowed the development
has to meet certain criteria such as it meets a proven need and that the
homes will only be for those who have a local connection.

Advantages
    The policy is familiar to users.
    Schemes are community lead and not imposed.

Disadvantages
    Not enough affordable housing sites are being delivered.
    It relies on sites being suggested as the issue arises rather than a co-
      ordinated strategic approach.
    Hope value is attached to sites.
    It takes time for exception sites to be delivered – usually three years.
    The distribution of exception sites for villages is not equal. Some
      villages have a number of sites whilst others that need affordable
      homes do not have any.

C2) Allocating sites solely for affordable housing within and outside
rural settlements

The reason for not enough rural exception sites being delivered varies but this
may be because landowners are reluctant to release sites solely for affordable
housing needs because they think they can get open market housing on it or
that there is local opposition to the affordable housing site.

Therefore an option is to allocate sites in Development Plan Documents solely
for affordable housing in and outside those settlements where need is clearly
proven in addition to having a rural exception sites policy.

Advantages
    A search for sites will be co-ordinated through the DPD process which
      involves public scrutiny.
    Greater certainty that sites will be developed when allocated.
    Suitable locations could be found for development rather than relying
      on sites being put forward by owners that are not appropriate.
    Unlike exception sites the Council has more control over their
      development through plan, monitor and manage.

Disadvantages
    Sites may take a long time to get through the process.
      Landowners may be even more reluctant to release their sites as they
       will feel that if a site can be allocated for affordable housing then it
       could be allocated for market housing in the future.
      It will be difficult to bring forward in and outside settlements where
       allocations for market housing have been made.
      Not community led

C3) Allowing a mixture of market housing and affordable housing on
sites outside rural settlements.

One of the reasons why exception sites solely for affordable homes are not
coming forward is because the development is not financially attractive to
persuade landowners to release their land. Some Councils have introduced a
policy to allow development to include both market and affordable in or
adjoining a settlement so that the market housing would cross subsidise the
affordable homes.

Advantages
    There is more incentive to the landowner to release the site for
      building.
    A better social mix is created on the site.
    It is more acceptable to local communities than a development just for
      affordable housing.
    It provides finance for affordable housing, therefore making it viable.

Disadvantages
    It will result in market housing outside settlement policy boundaries.
    It could involve longer negotiations with landowners where they will try
      to seek a higher proportion of market housing on the site.

C4) Introduce a rural development policy

A variation to the policy of allowing both market and affordable housing in
sites outside settlement policy boundaries is to introduce a policy like Test
Valley’s (Attached as Appendix 2 to the Panel Report). This policy permits
development for housing, employment and community facilities adjoining
settlements which contains schools, shops, community hall and access to
public transport and has a population of less than 3,000. Where housing is
proposed it must satisfy any existing need for affordable housing in the
settlement or adjoining area.

If we were to introduce such a policy we would need to look at the criteria for
selecting villages where rural development would be acceptable. We would
also need to prescribe the amount of market housing that is acceptable on the
site.

Advantages
    There is more incentive to the landowner to release the site for
      building.
      It provides finance for affordable housing, therefore making it viable.

Disadvantages
    It will result in market housing outside Settlement Policy Boundaries.
    It will not allow for affordable housing needs to be met in those smaller
      rural settlements that do not have schools, shops, community facilities
      or access to public transport.


Issue D
How do we make sure that the mix of new housing meets
housing need and demand?
Why is it an issue?
   PPS3 says that the mix for market housing should reflect demand and
      the mix for affordable homes should meet affordable housing needs.
      PPS3 also says that we should have a mix of housing to support mixed
      communities.
   The Housing Market Assessments says there are higher proportions of
      larger houses in the district when compared to the South East as a
      whole.
   There has been an increase in flats in town centres. This means that
      young single persons and couples are likely to live in these areas
      which have an impact on the areas’ community mix.
   The increase in flats also means that more people live in private renting
      in these areas. The private renting of flats has a higher turnover than
      other types of home so the community is less stable.
   The increase in flats can also have an impact on those areas that
      surround town centres where there are larger homes. This is because
      families and older couples move away from the centre to find suitably
      sized homes.
   There has been a growth in one person households but this does not
      imply that the majority of homes should be for small homes because
      people look to “trade up” to larger homes.
   There are high levels of overcrowding in social rented sector because
      these homes are smaller.
   There is pressure on all sizes of affordable homes including larger
      homes because these are the homes that are less likely to become
      available.
   The Housing Market Assessments shows that the vast majority of
      households who need affordable housing require social rented
      accommodation
   The concentration a particular affordable housing tenure will have an
      impact on the mix of housing in an area.
How can we tackle this issue?

D1) Continue with a general policy for a mix of housing
At the moment the local plan has a general policy that states that housing
development should contribute towards a range of house sizes, types and
tenures that meets local housing requirements. This approach could be
continued with rather than a policy that specifies the mix of housing we are
looking for.

Advantages
 It provides flexibility to adapt to changes in market demand and
   affordable housing needs.
 Evidence from the Housing Market Assessment shows that it is difficult
   to know what exactly is the right mix of homes for individual sites.

Disadvantages
 It does not give certainty to developers.
 It could result in lengthy negotiations to agree the right mix

D2) Have a policy that sets out a specific mix of homes
The opposite of a general policy is one that would set out the specific mix
of homes either for a specific site, specific area or for the district as a
whole.

Advantages
 It makes it clearer to developers what is required.
 It removes the need for lengthy negotiations to agree the right mix.

Disadvantages
 It is not flexible to react to changed market circumstances and
   affordable housing needs.
 The Housing Market Assessment shows that it is difficult to know
   exactly what the right mix of housing is.

D3) Set out density targets and design for new homes

Another option is not to be specific about the actual types and sizes of
homes we would like to see but influence them through policies that set
out densities and the design of new homes. Developers have built mainly
small homes where high densities have been encouraged because it
makes the development more profitable. The Council could set out density
limitations and design codes on specific housing sites that would influence
the size and type of houses developers would need to build.

Advantages
 It is clear to developers what mix is required.
 It gives the Council the ability to influence the size and types of homes
   on a site.
   The Housing Market Assessment recommends that the best way of
    tackling an imbalance of housing types and sizes is to influence new
    development rather than specify the mix.

Disadvantages
 It is not flexible to react to changed market circumstances and
   affordable housing needs.
 It does not allow for Council to actually control the mix of new housing.

D4) Allocate a range of different types and sizes of sites for new
homes.

A certain type and size of house are best suited to a certain size and type
of site. Allocating a range of different site sizes and types will allow a
range of different types and sizes houses to be built. This could help us
meet specific types and sizes of homes where there is a lack of these.

Advantages
 It allows for the mix of housing to still meet demand and need if the
   market changes because there are a range of sites.
 It does not rely on a few sites to create the best mix.
 The Council will have more control over the overall mix of housing
   across the district.
 The Housing Market Assessment recommends that the best way of
   tackling an imbalance of housing mix is to influence new development.

Disadvantages
 There may not be enough sites within the district to allow us to allocate
   a range of different types and sizes of sites to meet housing needs and
   demands.
 Some types and sizes of homes may not be built in the location it is
   required.
 The Council may not be able to control a mix of different types and
   sizes of homes on individual sites.

D5) Continuation of the existing approach to affordable housing
relating to the split between social rented and intermediate housing

The existing advice in our non statutory planning guidance is that the
Council’s preferred tenure for affordable housing is for social rent.
However, the mix between social rented and intermediate housing is
determined on a site by site basis depending on local demand. A
continuation of this policy will allow us to decide the split on a specific site
when an application is submitted.

 Advantages
 It is flexible to adapt to changes to affordable housing needs.
 It can also be used to vary the split to ensure that the overall housing
   development remains viable.
   It allow specific site issues to be taken into account such as the level of
    social and private rented accommodation in the vicinity. Therefore it
    can help create a mixed community.

 Disadvantages
 It is not clear at the outset for developers to allow them to financially
    appraise schemes.
 It could result in long negotiations to agree the split.

D6) Set a specific percentage split of social rented and intermediate
housing.

Any new housing development would be required to meet a specific
percentage split of social rented housing and intermediate housing. The
Council could vary the percentage split for different areas. Alternatively it
could have different percentage split for different site sizes. The Housing
Market Assessment suggests that no more than 25% of all new housing
should delivered as social rented housing.

 Advantages
 It is clear from the outset what is required of developers.
 It avoids long negotiations to agree the split.

 Disadvantages
 It is not flexible enough to adapt to market changes.
 It is not flexible enough to meet local need and specific site issues.
 It could result in a concentration of one particular type of tenure in an
    area where that particular tenure already dominates. This could affect
    creating a mixed community.

Issue E
How do we designate new residential areas as Policy H9 -
Areas of Special Housing Character and Policy H10 –
Special Housing Areas?
Why is it an issue?

   PPS3 and policies in the local plan encourages new housing
    developments within settlement policy boundaries to be built at higher
    densities. This has put pressure on existing residential areas for new
    infill housing development. This can then completely change the
    special character of that area.
   However, PPS3 also recognises that new housing development that is
    not right for, or does not improve the character and quality of, an area
    should not be accepted.
   Existing Policy H9 and H10 designations have been successful in
    protecting residential areas of a special character from infill
    development.
   The number of Policy H9 and H10 areas should be increased if we
    want to protect additional areas that are under pressure.
   The Core Strategy can set out the criteria used for designating Policy
    H9 and Policy H10 areas. It can not actually designate the specific
    areas themselves.

 How can we tackle this issue?

 E1) Use the broad principles for designating Policy H9/10 areas
 already set out in the adopted local plan.
 The core strategy could state that we are looking to increase the number
 of designations using the broad principles set out in the adopted local
 plan: second review. They are:
 The existing area has been developed at a low density.
 The homes are substantial ones set in large plots.
 Many of the properties are characterised by having mature trees within
    them.
 The properties make a valuable contribution to the street scene.

 Advantages
 Any new designations would be consistent with the designations in the
   adopted local plan.
 It allows flexibility to designate new areas if they meet the broad
   principles for designating areas.

 Disadvantages
 The principles for designating Policy H9/H10 were made some time
    ago and the pressure for infilling in residential areas has increased
    since then as higher densities and development on brownfield land has
    been encouraged by the government.
 Too many new Policy H9/H10 areas may devalue the policy if the
    areas that are designated are not high quality.
 The criteria are not specific enough and therefore may be difficult to
    justify new designations.


E2) Specify and broaden the criteria for designating H9/H10 areas.
This option would involve setting out in the core strategy specific criteria for
designating H9/H10 areas. For example such criteria could include for
protection:
  Specific existing plot sizes.
  Specific types and design of housing.
  Specific residential landscape features.

Advantages
 There will be clear justification for designating new areas.
 Changing the criteria for designations allows the number of Policy
   H9/H10 areas to be increased to tackle the growing pressure for
   infilling.
   It allows for a range of different character areas that can be designated
    through the use of a range of different criteria.

Disadvantages
 It is too prescriptive. Some areas worthy of designation may not meet
    the specific criteria.
 Specific criteria will not allow the Council the flexibility to adapt them to
    make new designations if they are needed.

				
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