Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Affordable Housing provision

8.34 The number, type and tenure of affordable housing will be negotiated on a site by site basis informed by the Strategic Housing Market Assesssment which indicates that there is a requirement for 75% of affordable homes to be 1-2 bedrooms with the remaining 25% to be 3 - 4 bedrooms. The number of units to be provided should be delivered at nil public subsidy as there is no guarantee that any form of public funding will be available for development projects. Developers and landowners should therefore, in the first instance, calculate the cost of contributions to affordable housing on the basis that public subsidy will not be available[1]. Factors such as local need, market and site conditions, and site-specific development costs will be taken into account and an open-book approach will be taken to negotiation where necessary. All affordable housing produced through planning obligations is required to meet prevailing minimum space standards as determined by the Homes and Communities Agency (or any successor organisation).

8.35 Government policy[2] recognises that, when seeking affordable housing contributions, the presumption is for the provision to be made on the actual application site. This is in order to ensure that developments provide a reasonable mix and balance of housing types and sizes. However, there may be particular circumstances where the Council and developer agree and where it has been adequately justified, that a commutation scheme may be acceptable, either by way of off-site provision or a financial contribution in lieu of on-site provision (this should be broadly of an equivalent value). Off site provision should be made in accordance with the settlement strategy set out in this document and arrangements must be made to secure the transfer of the site to a PRP or other affordable housing provider at a value that ensures that the delivery of affordable housing is viable.

8.36 In cases where open book valuations point to reduced affordable housing provision on site publicly funded options may be used, if available and if considered appropriate, to restore affordable housing provision on site towards target levels.

8.37 In terms of developability, and for ease of management, affordable housing should be dispersed throughout a development site although clusters of affordable housing are acceptable in some circumstances..

Policy HG4 Provision of Affordable Housing
 

Planning permission for the erection of new dwellings will be permitted provided that, where it is viable to do so, the scheme provides affordable housing in accordance with the following:

Settlement
Affordable housing target
Threshold (number of dwellings)
OR Hectares (irrespective of the number of dwellings)
Yeovil Urban extension
35%
6

0.1ha

Yeovil
35%
6
0.1ha 
Market Towns
35% 
6
0.1ha
Rural Centres
35%
6
0.2ha
*Rural Settlements
35%
6
0.2ha
 
  • All affordable housing contributions shall enable the provision of the number of affordable dwellings without the need for public subsidy.
  •  Affordable housing will be provided on the application site except where there are good planning grounds that indicate that the provision of affordable housing would not be appropriate on that site and it is preferable that a financial or other contribution should be made towards the provision of affordable housing on another site in the settlement or nearby settlement.
  • Where the above level of affordable housing provision renders a site unviable a reduction of provision will be accepted on the basis of an open book submission in accordance with Policy SS6 and the Planning Obligations Protocol 2006.

* Threshold only applies to those developments considered to be acceptable by nature of their sustainability as permitted by Policy SS2. It is not applicable to 100% affordable housing only rural exception sites.

1. The SHLVA assumes nil public subsidy [back]
2. Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing (2010) paragraph 31. [back]