Hastings Local Development Framework - Core Strategy Informal Consultaton 27 June - 8 August 2011
3.0 How many new homes?
Housing provision – What has changed?
3.1 Now that the Government is planning to withdraw the South East Plan there is an opportunity for Hastings to review its housing target.
3.2 In line with the Government’s localism agenda, it is now up to local authorities, working with their communities, to decide how many homes should be built in their area. It will still be necessary for us to justify whatever housing target is chosen and to be able to defend the target figure and future housing supply policies during the formal Examination process for our own local plan (the Local Development Framework Core Strategy). Previously the South East Plan dictated that 4,200 new homes should be built in Hastings between 2006 and 2026.
Getting more detail
3.3 This is only a summary of how we’ve arrived at our recommendation. More detail can be found in our background paper “Future Housing Provision in Hastings” (2011), at Appendix A.
Do we actually need a target?
3.4 As part of the LDF process we have a duty to assess future demand for new homes and to plan for it. The Government says that we still need to identify enough sites and broad areas for development to deliver enough new homes for at least 15 years from the adoption of our Plan and to have a five year constant supply of deliverable sites.
What factors do we need to consider?
3.5 Future housing development is a critical part of the regeneration and growth agenda for the town and in deciding on the number of new homes we need to plan for, we need to consider:
- the need/demand for housing to help support regeneration efforts
- the level of housing need and affordability issues within the town
- the demand for new housing arising from population and household change and growth
- the quality and mix of the existing housing stock, and
- the amount of land available in the town that new homes could be built on
What we recommend and why
3.6 The housing target we are recommending for the period 2011 to 2028 is 3,418 net new homes (201 per year). This is broadly in line with the South East Plan figure. Net new homes are the total overall change after demolitions, change of use and redevelopment have been taken into account.
3.7 Although the Government plans to abolish the South East Plan, there is still a significant body of evidence underpinning the housing numbers in it. Our research indicates that a target of 3,418 net new homes will support regeneration, whilst respecting the town’s environmental assets – which includes areas of wildlife, landscape, and recreation importance. The starting point for this figure is one based on the amount of development that is already in the pipeline (that is, sites already under construction, with planning permission, or already allocated for development). New sites together with some reliance on windfall 1 development will still be needed. The Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA)2 provides evidence that this target can be met.
What other possibilities have been considered?
3.8 We have considered higher and lower growth scenarios. If we look at population projections alone, this would result in a need to build many more new homes than previously thought possible – some 7,840 new homes by 2028 or 461 per year. Building at this level would require more high density development, and there would be far more pressure to build on undeveloped (Greenfield) land and in environmentally sensitive areas.
3.9 We have also considered a lower level of growth. This would result in approximately 1000 fewer new homes than the level we are recommending. As well as reducing our ability to address some of the demand for general market housing, it also means fewer affordable homes for people to live in, since the delivery of both are closely linked. It reduces our ability to promote housing choice – helping us to create opportunities for younger people to remain in the town, provide more family sized and larger homes and helping to attract more skilled workers to Hastings.
3.10 We have also carried out a Sustainability Appraisal to determine the likely effects of each scenario on our social, environmental and economic objectives. This is explained in more detail in Appendix B of this document.
3.11 We think the best way forward is to have a housing target that allows us to maximise and support the following issues without increasing the pressure to build in the town’s most environmentally sensitive areas:
- The need to provide housing to support regeneration, economic and skills growth and development in the town
- That we wish to promote choice around housing, encouraging higher skilled people to move into the Town and creating opportunities for younger people to remain in Hastings. This includes providing more family homes and larger sized dwellings
- The need to provide more affordable housing
- The need to achieve a balance between meeting other competing land use requirements – chief among these is land required for creating jobs
(45) A: Proposed Target – Housing Provision
Between 2011 and 2028 it is recommended that the net new homes target for Hastings should be 3,418 or 201 new homes per year.
1 Windfall sites are those which have not been previously identified as available for development. 2 www.hastings.gov.uk/ldf/shlaa.aspx