Affordable Housing Development

Housing development

For many years, house prices and rents in the UK have grown faster than average incomes. This has led to an increasing need for affordable housing as more people struggle to afford to purchase or rent a home.

Average house prices in the district have risen 25 percent over the last 5 years, with an average of £203,166 in May 2020. This follows a similar trend for the UK average house price over the same period. 

The demand for affordable homes, either for rent or to buy, is high across the district. The Council works with developers and Housing Associations (also known as 'Registered Providers') to try to increase the provision of affordable housing across the district to meet local needs. The Council has also developed a number of affordable schemes and has ambitions to build lots more.

Affordable Housing

The national definition of affordable housing is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. Affordable housing is housing for sale or rent, for those whose needs are not met by the market (including housing that provides a subsidised route to home ownership and/or is essential for local workers). The two types of affordable housing predominantly developed in the area are:

  • Affordable Rent - rents are set at whichever is the lower value of the Local Housing Allowance for the area or 80 percent of the market rent for a similar property in the area, including any service charges
  • Intermediate housing for sale - this covers shared ownership, shared equity and other models designed to help people purchase or part-purchase a home where they would not otherwise be able to get onto the property ladder.

Policy requirements for affordable housing

Using current planning policy the Council requires 25 percent of all developments of 10 or more homes or a maximum combined gross floor space of no more than 1000sqm in size to be affordable homes.

Any developers proposing to deliver less than 25 percent affordable housing must provide clear and robust evidence demonstrating the reasons for this. The Council will test this evidence and all costs incurred will be recharged to the developer.

Early dialogue with the Council's Strategic Housing Team is recommended for all schemes with an element of affordable housing. To contact the Strategic Housing team, please call 01775 764630.

How affordable homes are provided

There are a number of Registered Providers with stock across the district. The Council prefers affordable homes to be delivered through Registered Providers and early dialogue should be explored with them when plans are being developed. Registered Providers who may be interested in purchasing affordable homes from local developers include:

If you would like to deliver affordable homes or discuss this in more detail please contact Strategic Housing on 01775 764630.