East Hampshire District Local Plan: Joint Core Strategy
6. Sustainable Communities
6.1 Throughout East Hampshire everyone has a right to live in a decent home in a community where they want to live. Equally there is a need to ensure that people’s quality of life can be enhanced by providing access to the right community facilities and services. The vision recognises this and states that people should “have good access to a range of housing, jobs, leisure and community facilities…”. In trying to create sustainable communities it is important to ensure that key issues of provision, affordability, choice and need are carefully balanced.
6.2 The Spatial Strategy (Policy CP1) sets out the basis to provide the necessary housing and community facilities across the District, whilst indicating that future development will be focused mainly on Whitehill Bordon. It also indicates that the provision of development should ensure the protection and the enhancement of the built and natural environment in particular the protection of the special qualities of the South Downs National Park.
6.3 Access to a decent home and a choice of housing are fundamental to the quality of life for people in East Hampshire.
6.4 The population, not just in East Hampshire, but across the country is steadily increasing and in the future more homes than ever will be needed to accommodate this trend.
6.5 In addition, the price of housing in East Hampshire means that a significant proportion of households are excluded from the open housing market.
CP8 SPATIAL STRATEGY FOR HOUSING
In accordance with Policy CP1, the policy for housing provision and distribution in the District is to provide for up to 4,000 new dwellings at Whitehill Bordon (see Policy CSWB4) and to meet the requirement for 4,400 new dwellings in Central Hampshire* and 1,320 new dwellings in South Hampshire* 2006-2028 by means of, firstly:
- completion of existing permissions and allocations,
- development within the defined settlement policy boundaries of towns and villages where it is consistent with maintaining and enhancing their character and quality of life, and then by
the allocation of sites at the most sustainable
settlements to provide:
- Central Hampshire (South Downs National Park)*. 330 dwellings in Petersfield
- Central Hampshire (North of the South Downs National Park)*. 200 dwellings in Alton
- South Hampshire (Southern Parishes)*. 200 dwellings in Horndean (Sites will be identified through the ‘Development Allocations’ DPD or Neighbourhood Plans)
In addition, provision will be made on sites that provide a contribution towards addressing identified local affordable housing needs (Policy CP9).
Within the South Downs National Park any housing provision should meet the needs of the local communities in the National Park area.
*The housing requirements are based on two areas. Firstly, the Central Hampshire part of East Hampshire District which is made up of the South Downs National Park and the area to the ‘north of the South Downs National Park’ and forms part of the Rest of Hampshire in the South East Plan. Secondly, the South Hampshire part of East Hampshire District which is made up of the three ‘Southern Parishes’ and forms part of the South Hampshire Sub-region in the South East Plan.
6.6 As of April 2011 there have been 1,736 completions, which together with an existing commitment on large sites of 1,107 dwellings and a large and small urban potential of 979. This gives a total of 3,822 dwellings to be deducted from the requirement of 4,400 dwellings, leaving a requirement for at least 578 additional dwellings to be found on new allocations. The inclusion of the necessary development to support the strategy (i.e. the 330 proposed new homes at Petersfield, 200 proposed new homes in Alton and the area wide provision of 350 affordable homes) a higher potential number of additional dwellings (880) has been identified. This larger number will also provide the necessary flexibility should some sites not come forward.
Summary of Housing figures (At April 2011):
|Central Hampshire (South Downs National Park and North of the South Downs National Park)||No. of dwellings|
|Plan Requirement 2006 – 2028||4,400|
|Housing Completions 2006/7 – 2010/11||1,736|
|Large sites with planning permission and large and small urban potential||2,086|
|Local affordable housing need allocations (Policy CP9)||350|
|Total provision 2006-2028||8,702|
6.7 As of April 2011 there have been 208 completions, which together with an existing commitment on large sites of 82 dwellings, 580 dwellings on the outstanding Local Plan reserve housing sites and a large and small urban potential of 203 gives a total of 1,073 dwellings from the requirement of 1,320. There is, therefore, a requirement for around 250 additional dwellings to be found on new allocations.
Summary of Housing figures (At April 2011):
|South Hampshire (Southern Parishes)||No. of dwellings|
|Plan Requirement 2006 – 2028||1,320|
|Housing Completions 2006/7 – 2010/11||208|
|Large sites with planning permission and large and small urban potential||285|
|Large site commitments*||580|
|Local affordable housing need allocations (Policy CP9)||50|
|Total provision 2006-2028||1,323|
Note: a more detailed breakdown of housing supply is set out in Appendix 3.
6.8 A new strategic development area at Whitehill Bordon will include provision for up to 4,000 homes over the Plan period. The Whitehill Bordon development, whilst providing for the housing requirements and wider social and economic requirements of the town, will meet some of the housing need and demand arising from the wider area (see Policy CSWB4).
6.9 The Council is fully committed to the successful development of Whitehill Bordon. Any proposal which undermines this would be contrary to the core strategy and could have adverse implications for the successful implementation of this sustainable brownfield development project.
6.10 Housing provision in the Joint Core Strategy is based on the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS). The South East Plan says that in East Hampshire an extra 5,200 homes (excluding Whitehill Bordon) between 2006 and 2026 must be provided. These new homes will be split between 4,000 homes for the Central Hampshire area and 1,200 for the South Hampshire area (Horndean, Clanfield and Rowlands Castle).
6.11 In East Hampshire the South East Plan housing targets are the same as the Option 1 targets (excluding Whitehill Bordon). These figures were not changed through the process of examination and adoption of the South East Plan. They are, therefore, locally determined figures. A separate study has been undertaken into the local housing requirements within the District28.
6.12 A five-year supply of land for housing needs to be provided, plus 20%. Planned provision must be made for a period of at least 15 years from the adoption of the Joint Core Strategy. Specific sites need to be identified for the first five years and, where possible, for years 6-10 and 11-15. Housing provision has therefore been made for the period to 2028. The overall requirement for the Plan period based on the annual pro-rata figure is for 4,400 new dwellings in Central Hampshire and 1,320 new dwellings in South Hampshire 2006-2028.
6.13 With respect to the Central Hampshire part of the District, the RSS housing figures reflect the substantial body of work carried out for the South East Plan. The figures reflect the environmental and other constraints recognised as existing across the central belt of Hampshire, and in particular in East Hampshire, with the South Downs National Park and internationally protected wildlife designations (Special Protection Areas etc).
6.14 For the South Hampshire Sub-region (PUSH), the housing requirement in the South East Plan was derived by the PUSH local authorities and was not changed through the process of examination and adoption of the South East Plan. It is therefore a locally-determined figure.
6.15 The southern part of East Hampshire shares a housing market with the PUSH area with many residents looking to the area for employment and education, health, recreation and other social infrastructure. The southern parishes are therefore closely linked to the PUSH area, and the success or failure of the PUSH area will have major implications for the southern parishes.
6.16 In addition to the housing provision made on greenfield sites in the largest settlements, provision has also been made on sites that provide a contribution towards addressing identified local affordable housing needs (see Policy CP9). The level of provision for the District could be around 400 dwellings.
6.17 Within the South Downs National Park, housing provision will be restricted to that needed to serve its communities. The National Park Circular29 states that “The Government recognises that the National Parks are not suitable locations for unrestricted housing and does not therefore provide general housing targets for them. The expectation is that new housing will be focused on meeting affordable housing requirements, supporting local employment opportunities and key services”.
6.18 The Joint Core Strategy provides for the necessary level of housing required by the RSS. In addition the strategic development area at Whitehill Bordon will include provision for up to 4,000 homes over the Plan period and will meet some of the housing need and demand arising from the wider area. The Joint Core Strategy has therefore achieved a balance in providing for local housing requirements, as set out by the RSS and the Local Housing Requirements study, whilst recognising the constraints applicable to the District.
6.19 A Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)30 has been prepared and has informed the housing delivery in this strategy.
6.20 The housing figures set out in the table above include completions for the period 2006/7 to 2010/11. The figures include existing large sites (10 dwellings or more) with planning permission, large and small urban potential sites identified through the SHLAA. The small urban potential category includes small sites with planning permission. Reserve sites from the adopted Local Plan in the South Hampshire part of the District have been released by the Council and have been included as part of the land supply. Where they have planning permission they are included as commitments.
6.21 In satisfying the housing requirement, priority should be given to the use of previously developed land and land should be used efficiently where development takes place. The Council will, therefore, actively seek to re-use brownfield sites wherever possible before considering the release of greenfield sites. However, ‘garden grabbing’ will be resisted where the use of back gardens for development, or development at higher densities, would adversely affect the character of the area (see Policy CP27).
6.22 The Council and National Park Authority has taken a very cautious approach towards redevelopments and windfall sites. Inevitably, sites will come forward for housing within the towns and villages that are not included in this estimate and it is very likely that actual completions will be higher than set out above.
6.23 Sites will be allocated in the Allocations DPD to meet the housing requirements set out in Policy CP8.
Distribution of Housing
6.24 The distribution of housing on new allocated sites will follow in principle the approach defined in the Spatial Strategy (Policy CP1). The most sustainable settlements have been identified in the work on the settlement hierarchy. This will be tempered by the requirement to consider further, through the Allocations Development Plan Document, the implications of the localism agenda.
6.25 In addition, it may be appropriate to consider other matters, such as outstanding housing commitments and level of recent new housing development in settlements before new allocations are made.
Central Hampshire area
6.26 In the Central Hampshire part of the District future development will be focused mainly on Whitehill Bordon and will include provision for up to 4,000 homes over the Plan period (see Chapter 9). Outside of Whitehill Bordon the level of housing development does mean that greenfield sites will be needed in the Central Hampshire area. The preferred strategy states that the majority of development should be focused on Alton and Petersfield, the market towns.
North of the South Downs National Park
6.27 Alton is an important market town and is at the top of the settlement hierarchy. The town is well established and has a wide range of shops, schools, jobs and community facilities. Alton will remain one of the main focuses of development in the future. It is considered that in the period up to 2028 Alton should provide an additional 200 dwellings beyond existing commitments. The new housing will help to meet housing need, particularly for affordable housing, and will provide enabling development for the Butts Bridge improvements and for replacement sports provision.
6.28 Liphook, a large local service centre, and Four Marks/South Medstead and Grayshott, small local service centres, will receive some development. Liphook already has a high level of housing commitments for its role as a large local service centre. Provision will be made in Liphook, Four Marks/South Medstead and Grayshott for up to 25 dwellings, and on the remaining villages with settlement boundaries for up to 10 dwellings per settlement, on sites that provide a contribution towards addressing identified local affordable housing needs (see Policy CP9).
South Downs National Park
6.29 Within the South Downs National Park housing provision will meet the needs of the local communities in the National Park area and will be focused on meeting affordable housing requirements. Petersfield is one of the principal settlements within the settlement hierarchy. It is a centre for a good range of employment, shops, services and facilities and forms the hub for this part of the South Downs National Park. It is considered that in the period up to 2028 Petersfield should provide an additional 330 dwellings beyond existing commitments. The focus of the new housing development will be to maximise opportunities for local people to access affordable homes in the local area. It will be for the Petersfield Neighbourhood Plan, or if a neighbourhood plan does not progress for a South Downs National Park Allocations DPD, to allocate the necessary sites for housing taking into account the need to ensure that any impact on the landscape is minimised and mitigated31.
6.30 Liss is identified as a small local service centre in the settlement hierarchy and has a reasonable range of services and facilities. Provision will be made in Liss for up to 25 dwellings, and on the remaining villages with settlement boundaries for up to 10 dwellings per settlement, on sites that provide a contribution towards addressing identified local affordable housing needs (see Policy CP9).
South Hampshire area
6.31 The level of housing development does mean that greenfield sites will be needed in the South Hampshire area. The spatial strategy states that the majority of development should be focused on Horndean, the large local service centre. Horndean lies on the northern edge of suburban housing which has grown along the old A3 from Portsmouth 16 miles to the south. It is one of the most sustainable settlements in the District in terms of accessibility. It is considered that in the period up to 2028 Horndean should provide an additional 200 dwellings beyond existing commitments.
6.32 Clanfield and Rowlands Castle, the small local service centres, will receive some development. Clanfield already has a high level of housing commitments for its role as a small local service centre. Provision will be made for up to 25 dwellings in Clanfield and Rowlands Castle on sites that provide an exceptional contribution towards addressing identified local affordable housing needs (see Policy CP9).
CP9 AFFORDABLE HOUSING SITES TO MEET LOCAL HOUSING NEED.
Sites for Affordable Housing will be identified through the Allocations Development Plan Document and working with local communities, to meet identified local affordable housing need.
Within the South Downs National Park, the identification of sites will ensure that there is no conflict with National Park purposes.
These sites could provide for:
Position in Hierarchy
(As defined in the Hierarchy Table in Chapter 4)
|Number of Dwellings per Settlement|
Liphook and Small Local Service Centres
(Four Marks/South Medstead, Grayshott, Liss, Clanfield and Rowlands Castle)
|Up to 25|
|Other settlements with a settlement policy boundary||Up to 10|
Market housing (which should normally be low cost market housing, such as starter homes) will be permitted, but will make up to no more than 30% of the total dwellings on the site. The intention on such sites is to maximise the percentage of affordable housing provided.
Within the South Downs National Park the low cost market housing element should only be permitted to meet the proven need of the local communities in the National Park.
6.33 Rural exception policies, which provide 100% affordable housing, are well established and the Council has applied such a policy in the Adopted Local Plan. However, a different approach is also required if the necessary level of affordable housing is to be provided for local people, particularly in the smaller settlements, where opportunities for housing development are very limited. In order to help meet local affordable housing need, it is considered appropriate to allocate sites for affordable housing.
6.34 In order to bring these sites forward, individual site circumstances will be considered and a proportion of low cost market housing will be allowed on allocated affordable housing sites. It is considered that low cost market housing should make up no more than 30% of the total dwellings on the site32. The percentage of low cost market housing to be provided will be dependent on site viability or economic, social or environmental reasons.
6.35 The potential occupants of the housing development will, where appropriate, need to show that they have a local connection to that settlement. Applicants will, furthermore, be required to enter into a Section 106 Obligation or other legal agreement to ensure that, where applicable, all the affordable dwellings permitted as part of the scheme provide affordable housing for local people in perpetuity. In the South Downs National Park this could include ensuring the low cost market housing remains so in perpetuity.
6.36 The number of dwellings provided in an individual settlement, (up to around the limit proposed) will depend on the sustainability, characteristics, and the level of affordable housing need of the settlement. Development beyond the limit specified per settlement in this Policy could only come forward through Policy CP12 ‘Affordable Housing for Rural Communities’. If all settlements listed make an allocation(s) up to the limit proposed, then total provision of housing under this Policy for the period 2006-2028, could be in the region of 400 dwellings (South Hampshire 50 dwellings, National Park 175 dwellings and Central Hampshire 175 dwellings).
6.37 The dwellings on these sites must achieve high standards of design, energy efficiency and external appearance and the level of parking provision must reflect the rural location.
6.38 Monitoring of the allocated affordable housing sites will ascertain whether the sites are coming forward for development, which together with monitoring of affordable housing need, will determine whether an early review of the policy is required. Allocated affordable housing sites will be designated through the Allocations DPD. Details of the implementation of the policy will be set out in the Allocations DPD or supporting SPD.
6.39 The Circular for National Parks indicates that National Parks should maintain a focus on affordable housing and to work with local authorities and other agencies to ensure that the needs of local communities are met and the affordable housing remains so in the longer term. Within the South Downs National Park therefore, the low cost market housing element should only be permitted to meet the proven need of the local communities in the National Park.
CP10 HOUSING TENURE, TYPE AND MIX
To address housing requirements and to help to create sustainable communities new residential development will be required to:
maximise the delivery of affordable housing;
provide a range of dwelling tenures, types and sizes to meet housing needs;
provide housing that meets a range of community requirements, including housing for the elderly and those with special or supported needs; and
meet Lifetime Homes Standard as appropriate.
The Council and National Park Authority will seek to maintain a range of dwelling sizes in the settlements and countryside to meet housing needs. This will include the protection of areas of special housing character in settlements and applying restrictions on the size of replacement dwellings and extensions to existing dwellings in the countryside.
Within the South Downs National Park housing provision will be restricted to the tenure, type and mix needed to serve local communities in the Park.(see Policy CSWB4 for specific proposals for Whitehill Bordon)
6.40 Housing needs have been assessed through the South Hampshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHSHMA) 2006, the Central Hampshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (CHSHMA) 2007 (East Hampshire Summary Report), Hampshire Home Choice (affordable housing) Register and the Annual Monitoring Report.
6.41 The provision of affordable housing to meet a pressing need in the District is a priority for the Council and National Park.
6.42 Both the South and Central Hampshire SHMA’s found that the largest increase in households is expected to be for single persons. The SHMA found that this increase in single persons included the elderly.
6.43 Provision should be made in new housing developments, sheltered housing and extra care housing to support older people living in their homes. With an ageing population it is particularly important to accommodate the needs of the elderly. Providing homes built to Lifetime Homes Standards33 will help to achieve this. Further details of how this will be implemented will be provided in a subsequent SPD. Providing for the elderly and those with special or support needs will also help to ensure more inclusive communities.
6.44 Both the South and Central Hampshire SHMA’s acknowledged that you cannot just presume that smaller households need smaller houses, because there is not a clear link between household size and the demand for house type and size. New housing provision should also include accommodation that will encourage eldrly people to downsize.
6.45 Rather, therefore, than being prescriptive about the size and type of homes in the Joint Core Strategy, the actual types and sizes should be outlined in the Development Allocations DPD or SPD, as appropriate, and subject to:
- an up to date assessment of household profile, market demand and housing need for specific areas;
- how it will contribute to the mix of the surrounding community; and
- the size and type of site.
Such an approach to house size and type would also ensure that the demand for accommodation for particular groups, such as the elderly, is delivered.
6.46 The Central Hampshire SHMA found there was a relatively high proportion of larger homes in East Hampshire, particularly in the rural area, with corresponding evidence of a need for smaller homes. When assessing development proposals within the smaller villages, attention will be paid to the need for the provision of smaller homes. However, this will be supported by design policies to ensure that higher-density development does not adversely impact on the character of individual villages.
6.47 Linked to the above is the trend of replacing and extending homes in the countryside. This creates larger and larger properties which could ultimately result in a limited choice of house types in the countryside. Restrictions will, therefore, be applied on the size of replacement dwellings and extensions to existing dwellings in the countryside to ensure that the existing variety is not diminished. A detailed policy will be included in a DPD.
6.48 Within the District there are certain streets and areas which have been developed at a low density and provide substantial homes set in large plots, often with mature trees around them. They have a special character which should be protected from further intensification of development or change of use in order to retain the important contribution which they make both to the variety of the housing stock and the street scene. The designation and the consideration of additional areas will be implemented through the allocations DPD.
6.49 Within the South Downs National Park housing provision will be restricted to the tenure, type and mix needed to serve local communities in the National Park. In addition to its two main purposes34, the National Park has a duty in pursuing the purposes to foster the social and economic well-being of communities within it. The National Park Circular35 indicates that the expectation is that new housing will be focused on meeting affordable housing requirements, supporting local employment opportunities and key services. Development in villages and settlements with boundaries may provide for some market housing, but in the general context of meeting primarily local housing needs, while also avoiding village ‘cramming’ to ensure the character and landscape contribution of the village/settlement is conserved and enhanced.
CP11 AFFORDABLE HOUSING ON RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT SITES
In order to meet affordable housing needs, all residential development, which results in 1 or more additional dwellings (net), should contribute towards the provision of affordable housing. New residential development will be required to:
provide affordable housing to meet a range of requirements of the local community, including the elderly and those with special or supported needs; and
provide a range of affordable housing types and sizes.
The target is for 40% of all new dwellings to be provided as affordable housing. In Whitehill Bordon the target will be 35% (see Policy CSWB4).
Affordable housing will normally be provided on-site. On smaller sites (4 dwellings or less (net)), where on-site provision is likely to be unsuitable, a financial contribution or off-site provision will be required.
The target number and tenure split of affordable housing will be negotiated on a site-by-site basis, depending on individual site circumstances (e.g. development viability, site surroundings) and affordable housing needs.
The type and size of dwellings, in terms of bedroom numbers, habitable rooms or floorspace and will be determined on a site-by-site basis using the most appropriate basis that helps deliver the type and size of affordable units needed, as identified by the Council.
The affordable housing should be fully integrated within the residential development by being dispersed amongst, and indistinguishable from, the market housing. It should be spread randomly throughout the development and be genuinely ‘pepper-potted’ and not in blocks.
In the South Downs National Park new residential development will be required to maintain a focus on affordable housing provision, and any affordable housing provided should meet the needs of the local communities in the National Park area.
The affordable housing provision will be secured by a planning obligation/legal agreement or Community Infrastructure Levy.
6.50 A robust affordable housing policy is required in order to ensure the development of balanced and integrated communities and to deliver good quality, affordable housing for local people for present and future generations. Both the Central and South Hampshire SHMA indicate there are high levels of affordable housing need.
6.51 The Council has carried out extensive research into affordable housing provision, particularly with respect to issues of economic viability36. The affordable housing policies seek to make best use of the opportunities for affordable housing provision arising as part of the general housing development that takes place. This is tempered by the findings of the research and the understanding that this can only be achieved where it is economically viable to do so.
6.52 Both the South Hampshire and Central Hampshire SHMA and the Viability Studies have suggested that 40% of affordable housing can be justified on the basis of housing need in the District. The Central Hampshire SHMA indicated that it would be possible to achieve up to 50% in some areas.
6.53 There would need to be justification to impose a higher quota than 40%. However, in some areas this may be feasible given the level of housing need and the limited opportunities for delivering affordable housing.
6.54 The target is therefore set at 40%; in Whitehill Bordon the target will be 35% (see Policy CSWB4). On certain sites a greater percentage may be imposed, with negotiations on a site by site basis. The Policy allows flexibility to consider site specific factors, including market changes, viability and what is right for the community. If a developer is proposing a lower target than 40% then they will need to clearly demonstrate to the planning authority why such a variation is necessary. Independent third party valuation expertise will be requested at the developer’s expense.
6.55 Affordable housing will be measured in terms of the number of affordable homes provided as a proportion of total site numbers. However, in order to meet the identified housing need, the appropriate amount will be determined by using an appropriate measure, on a site by site basis. In particular, unit sizes should be proportionate to the unit sizes across the site or to meet a specific housing need, whichever is the most appropriate based on site circumstances, as determined by the planning authority.
6.56 If development is successfully focused within existing urban areas it will mean that sites are generally small which will make the delivery of affordable housing more difficult. This, together with the fact that fewer new large greenfield allocated sites are required, makes it imperative, therefore, that smaller sites provide for affordable housing. This approach was supported by the findings of the South and Central SHMAs and the viability studies. The threshold at which affordable housing should be provided on site is therefore set at 5 dwellings or above and a contribution will be required below that.
6.57 The application of the quota often results in the provision of a fractional part of a unit, which can be a sensitive viability issue on small sites, depending on whether the fraction is rounded up or down. Where the application of the 40% target results in the requirement for part of a dwelling to be provided, a contribution equivalent to that part will, therefore, be required.
6.58 Details of the working of the contribution scheme and related matters will be set out in a supporting Supplementary Planning Document.
6.59 It is considered that the provision of rented and intermediate housing on a site will allow for a mix of different income groups to reside within affordable housing schemes. However, the Policy also needs to ensure that the planning authority can be flexible, particularly when dealing with small sites or where it is appropriate to consider other site specific factors, including market changes, viability and what is right for the community. In reaching any decision the planning authority will bear in mind the identified high level of need for rented housing which is affordable.
6.60 The policy seeks to ensure that the affordable housing is dispersed amongst the market housing and is to be genuinely ‘pepper-potted’ and not in blocks. Due to maintenance and management arrangements it may be acceptable to develop small clusters of up to three affordable homes but the clusters should be dispersed and indistinguishable from the market housing.
6.61 The general criteria for determining the size and type of affordable homes will be set out in SPD for particular locations. This would allow for the flexibility needed. The Council will set out the size and type of affordable housing likely to be needed on specific sites through the sites allocation DPD or development brief SPD. This would allow the use of the most up to date information.
6.62 The people expressing a need to live in the settlement will need to show that they:
- are unable to afford open market housing which is for rent or sale within the settlement;
- are closely connected or have previously been closely connected to the settlement through work or residence;
- have immediate family (parents, grandparents, children or siblings) who live in the settlement; or
- have a real need to live in the settlement in order to work or look after/be looked after by immediate family (e.g. parents, grandparents, children or siblings).
6.63 In the South Downs National Park affordable housing provision should meet the needs of local communities in the National Park area. The Circular for National Parks indicates that National Parks should maintain a focus on affordable housing and to work with local authorities and other agencies to ensure that the needs of local communities are met and the affordable housing remains so in the longer term.
CP12 AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES
Outside settlement policy boundaries, residential development will only be permitted if:
it provides affordable housing for local people who are unable to obtain accommodation on the open market;
there is a proven local affordable housing need;
the need cannot be met within the settlement to which that need relates;
the settlement provides a range of local services and facilities, or has accessibility to larger settlements nearby which provide a wider range of services and facilities;
the site is modest in scale and relates well, in terms of location and in size, to the existing settlement;
it provides dwellings which will be available as affordable housing for local people in perpetuity; and
within the South Downs National Park, there is no conflict with National Park purposes.
On such sites, the development will be required to provide 100% affordable housing, unless exceptional circumstances can be proven.
6.64 New residential development is not normally permitted outside of settlement policy boundaries and very limited residential development takes place within the rural settlements. This can lead to specific problems of housing affordability in rural areas and generally results in low levels of affordable housing provision in such areas.
6.65 Rural exception policies, which provide 100% affordable housing, are well established and such a policy has been applied in previous Local Plans. Policy CP9 provides for the allocation of affordable housing sites to meet local needs, particularly in the smaller settlements. The Policy allows for a proportion of market housing to be included, to assist in bringing these sites forward. It is not considered appropriate to allow an element of market housing on sites brought forward through Policy CP12 as this will generally apply to sites brought forward in addition to those under CP9 and to the smaller settlements without a settlement policy boundary. It is unlikely therefore, that allowing some market housing on sites brought forward through this Policy would facilitate the provision of significant additional affordable housing to meet local needs. However, there may be circumstances where an element of market housing could bring forward a site which would otherwise not be possible, for example where there are unusually high development costs. In such cases independent third party valuation expertise will be requested at the developer’s expense in order to justify such an exception.
6.66 New small scale housing development may, therefore, be permitted outside of settlement policy boundaries of settlements and in those settlements without a defined settlement boundary, where it meets an identified local affordable housing need. Potential sites may be identified through Village Plans and through discussions with parish councils and local communities.
6.67 The people expressing a need to live in the settlement will need to show that they:
- are unable to afford open market housing which is for rent or sale within the settlement;
- have previously been closely connected to the settlement through work or residence;
- have immediate family (e.g. parents, grandparents, children or siblings) who live in the settlement; or
- have a real need to live/continue to live in the settlement in order to continue their work or in order to look after/be looked after by immediate family (e.g. parents, grandparents, children or siblings).
6.68 Applicants will be required to enter into a Section 106 Obligation or other legal agreement to ensure that all dwellings permitted as part of the scheme provide affordable housing for local people in perpetuity.
CP13 GYPSIES, TRAVELLERS AND TRAVELLING SHOWPEOPLE
Provision will be made for additional permanent residential pitches for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople as required by the appropriate assessment(s) of need.
In addition, provision will be made to meet requirements for any transit and temporary stopping purposes identified through the appropriate assessments.
Proposals for permanent and transit sites for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople will only be permitted if:
- they are necessary in order to meet the requirements of an appropriate assessment of need;
- they are located conveniently for access to schools, medical services and other community facilities;
- adequate provision can be made for access, parking, turning and servicing;
- the site is capable of accommodating the number of caravans/mobile homes proposed;
- the site can be adequately screened or landscaped to blend the site into its surroundings;
- the site is capable of being provided with essential services; and
- in addition for transit sites, they are accessible to the main transit routes through the District.
Planning permission will not be granted for the replacement of lawful Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople sites by permanent dwellings or other uses unless it can clearly be demonstrated to the satisfaction of the local planning authority that there is no genuine need or likely future need for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople sites in the locality and other planning policy requirements are met.
In the South Downs National Park Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople provision should only contribute towards meeting the local needs generated within the National Park.
6.69 Government guidance indicates that councils should assess and meet gypsy, traveller and travelling showpeople’s housing needs in the same way as other housing needs, including providing land for sites.
6.70 Without adequate sites this group has to resort to unauthorised sites which may result in problems with local communities. It also makes it more difficult for them to access local services and facilities.
6.71 A new assessment to establish the need for gypsy, traveller and travelling showpeople accommodation is to be carried out. Sufficient sites to accommodate any required pitches identified through the study will be allocated through the Allocations DPD.
6.72 A criteria-based policy is also required to ensure that the provision of gypsy, traveller and travelling show people accommodation is located in a sustainable manner. In applying the policy, the extent to which a traditional lifestyle and a settled base can contribute to sustainable development will be considered. In addition, sites for mixed residential and business uses (e.g. storage of equipment for travelling showpeople) will be considered where appropriate.
6.73 The Good Practice Guide, Designing Gypsy and Traveller Sites (CLG May 2008) indicates that the guidance for permanent sites largely also applies to transit sites except that the importance of proximity to community facilities is primarily in respect of the need for access to schools. This issue will be taken into account when applying the policy to transit sites. It is considered that in respect of transit sites the proximity of the main routes is a more important factor than it is to permanent sites, due to the greater need for ease of access for the more frequent coming and going of caravans.
6.74 In selecting sites the policy criteria, together with other relevant issues (e.g. flood risk, contamination), will be used as a check list to determine whether a site is suitable and available.
|Where else to look?|
Circular 01/2006 Planning For Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites highlights the need to make site specific provision to meet the needs of gypsies and travellers. www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/circulargypsytraveller
Circular 04/2007 Planning for Travelling Showpeople highlights the need to make site specific provision to meet the needs of travelling showpeople. www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/circulartravellingshow
CP14 PROTECTION AND PROVISION OF SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Development proposing the change of use or loss of premises or land currently or last used for community facilities, public services, leisure and cultural uses will only be permitted where both the following criteria are met:
the facility is no longer required and alternative facilities are easily accessible for the community they are intended to serve; and
it can be demonstrated through a rigorous marketing exercise that the use is no longer viable, that all reasonable efforts have been made to retain it and that there is no alternative use that would provide a beneficial facility to the local community.
Proposals for new and improved community facilities, public services, leisure and cultural uses that result in improvements to meeting the needs of the district will be supported. Such facilities will be required to be easily accessible to all sectors of the community and, in rural areas where public transport may be poor, support will be given to innovative schemes that seek to improve local delivery of services. These facilities and services will be secured through developer contributions either through S106 or the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) mechanisms.
6.75 The Government is aiming to create strong, vibrant and healthy communities with accessible local services that reflect community needs and support well-being. To achieve this, local authorities should deliver the right community facilities, schools, hospitals and services to meet local needs.
6.76 There are a number of key challenges for the District in striving to provide people with somewhere where they can live and enjoy a safe and healthy life. As well as providing opportunities for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, the Joint Core Strategy plans for people to have access to the facilities and services they need both now and as they grow older. East Hampshire is comparatively affluent and the people who live here are generally very healthy with most indicators being better than the England or South East averages. The number of older people in the population is increasing and in the coming years their changing needs must be planned for.
6.77 East Hampshire has the market towns of Alton and Petersfield that provide centres for the provision of services and facilities. However, in addition there are significant rural areas in the District that present difficulties and challenges in terms of service delivery and accessibility. The ability of local people to reach the services that they require will need to take account of this. Although other settlements such as Horndean, Liphook and Whitehill/Bordon are also well placed to provide facilities, the more rural communities must not be neglected. It will be necessary to look at new and innovative ways that services may be provided to meet their needs. In addition, the trend of an ageing population in East Hampshire will also require special attention. The needs of the old, while also not overlooking the young, will provide a challenge for the future delivery of all services and facilities.
6.78 Changing lifestyle trends of people will also need to be taken into account. For example, predicted rises in alcoholism and obesity will make different demands on healthcare provision.
6.79 As well as providing new facilities it is equally important to try and protect existing facilities and to retain them wherever possible. In this respect where the loss or change of use of a facility is proposed it will be necessary to comply with both criteria of the policy. Once lost it will be hard to replace buildings that are in general community use, for example public houses and local shops.
6.80 For this reason a rigorous marketing exercise will be required in order to demonstrate that all attempts to retain the community use have been undertaken. Proposals seeking the loss or re-use of such facilities will be required to show that the land or building has been marketed for a period of at least 12 months. The marketing should explore all alternative community uses; be realistic, appropriate and genuine; and a record of all marketing should be submitted with the application proposal. As a minimum this record should include the following:
- Confirmation by the marketing agent on headed company paper that the premises were appropriately and extensively marketed for the required length of time as set out by the Council;
- Dated photographs of marketing board(s) on the premises of an appropriate quality, size, scale, location and number during this time;
- An enquiry log showing the number of enquiries, their nature, how they were followed up and why they were unsuccessful;
- A copy of all advertisements in the local press and relevant trade journals (spread at appropriate time intervals throughout the marketing period);
- Evidence of any other forms of marketing (for example via the internet).
6.81 Where the proposal relates to a significant facility, the marketing process may need to be extended. The advice of the Council should therefore be sought prior to the commencement of any marketing exercise to ascertain the period and extent of marketing required and to discuss the extent of alternative uses that should be explored.
|Where else to look?|
CAMRA (campaign for Real Ale) Public House Viability Test: In relation to public houses this provides useful guidance when preparing a viability statement. camra.org.uk/viabilitytest
Open Space, Sport and Recreation
CP15 PROTECTION OF OPEN SPACE, SPORT AND RECREATION AND BUILT FACILITIES
Development that results in the loss of a sport, recreation or play facility will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that:
there is a surplus of provision according to the local open space and built facilities standards; and
alternative facilities of equal or better quality can be provided in an equally accessible location.
CP16 PROVISION OF OPEN SPACE, SPORT AND RECREATION AND BUILT FACILITIES
All new residential developments will provide, as a minimum standard, the equivalent of 3.45 ha of public open space per 1,000 population to serve the needs generated by the new development. Contributions to built facility provision will also be required to meet various standards depending on the facility being provided. Standards for both open space and built facilities are set out in the East Hampshire PPG17 Open Space, Sport and Recreation study (including built facilities) 2008 (or the most up to date similar survey).
Improvements will be made to enhance recreation, play, sports and built facilities within communities and throughout the district. Opportunities to improve physical fitness and well being will be enhanced by the provision of accessible green spaces in towns and villages and encouraging opportunities for walking and cycling wherever possible.
The improvement of open space, sport and recreation facilities, including built facilities, will be implemented in the following way:
new sites will be allocated in the Development Allocations development plan document;
all new residential development will be required to make provision for public open space that is designed to a high standard and is ‘fit for purpose’, either through on-site provision or by financial contribution to enhance or create off-site provision and management of open space (based on the minimum requirement of 3.45 ha per 1,000 population);
provision will be secured through developer contributions through S106 or the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) mechanisms;
where any deficiency in a particular category of open space in an area exists, the Council and National Park Authority will seek to offset this deficiency by seeking to secure a higher provision of this particular category of open space for the benefit of the community although the overall requirement of 3.45 ha per 1,000 population will remain;
well designed high quality play spaces for children and young people will be supported;
informal recreation will be encouraged by the implementation of green infrastructure opportunities in towns and villages.
6.82 Open space contributes not just to the provision of open space itself but also in the way it can be of benefit to people’s health and quality of life. Improvements to people’s general day-to-day living can be made in many ways from the allocation of allotments to meet local needs to the identification of a green infrastructure network for the District that can bring opportunities to improve fitness and general well-being. A strategy of protection and provision is therefore needed for the existing facilities and the opportunities that the District can provide in terms of its wealth of beautiful countryside.
6.83 Open space provides opportunities for recreation and healthy lifestyles for people who live and work in the District as well as visitors. Provision of recreation and open space is strongly supported by Government guidance which advises that local open space standards should be developed.
6.84 Although the District is generally very well supplied with green space, the quality and accessibility does vary. Maintenance of play facilities and other forms of open space can bring its own difficulties while other facilities, such as leisure centres and tennis courts, may have undergone recent refurbishment and investment but still be in a poor state of repair. The challenge for the future is to protect our existing open spaces and built facilities and also improve the quality and accessibility of many of them. In addition, as new development proposals are considered, there will be a need to provide new open spaces and built facilities to meet the changing and growing demands of the population.
|Where else to look?|
|Sport England website - www.sportengland.org|
28 Local Housing Requirements Study. June 2011. Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners 29 English National Parks and the Broads. UK Government Vision and Circular 2010 30 Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment 2011 31 The Petersfield Plan. Options Report. October 2011. David Lock Associates 32 Rural Exceptions Enabling Study March 2011 plus Addendum May 2011 33 Lifetime Home Revised Criteria July 2010. www.lifetimehomes.org.uk 34 See paragraphs 2.74 and 2.75 for description of purposes and duty of National Park Authorities 35 English National Parks and the Broads. UK Government Vision and Circular 2010 36 Viability Study, June 2010