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Guildford Borough Council

Submission Local Plan: Strategy and Sites - Main Modifications

Submission Local Plan: Strategy and Sites - Main Modifications - Part 1: Policies

4.2 Housing Policies

Policy H1: Homes for all

Introduction

4.2.1 We want to deliver a wide variety of high quality homes that provide all tenures, types and sizes of housing to meet the needs and demands of different people in our community. This includes housing for families, older people, people with disabilities, travellers and students. New housing developments must take account of local need to give a genuine choice and mix of housing and help create balanced, sustainable and inclusive communities.

POLICY H1: Homes for all

Housing mix and standards

(1) New residential development is required to deliver a wide choice of homes to meet a range of accommodation needs as set out in the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment. New development should provide a mix of housing tenures, types and sizes appropriate to the site size, characteristics and location.

(2) Development that results in the net loss of all existing housing, including sites allocated for housing within the Local Plan will not be permitted. Development that results in the net loss of (C2 use class or C3 use class accommodation or traveller accommodation), including sites allocated for such use in the Local Plan, will not be permitted. Significant reductions from the approximate housing numbers or reductions from the specific traveller accommodation provision and housing uses as set out in the site allocations will be resisted.

(2a) All new residential development must conform to the nationally described space standards as set out by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).

Accessible homes

(3) On residential development sites of 25 homes or more, 10% of new homes will be required to meet Building Regulations M4 (2) category 2 standard (to be 'accessible and adaptable dwellings'), and 5% of new homes will be required to meet Building Regulations M4 (3)(b) category 3 ('wheelchair user dwellings'), or any subsequent legislation on making homes accessible and adaptable.

Specialist accommodation

(4) The provision of well designed specialist forms of accommodation in appropriate sustainable locations is encouraged, taking into account local housing needs.

Student accommodation

(5) Purpose built student accommodation for full time higher education Guildford based students will be encouraged on campus locations where appropriate. About 60 per cent of full time Guildford based University of Surrey students are expected to be provided with accommodation on campus.

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople pitches and plots

(6) Sufficient sites are allocated within the Local Plan to meet the accommodation needs of Gypsies, Travellers or Travelling Showpeople (as defined by Planning Policy for Traveller Sites) as set out in the latest Traveller Accommodation Assessment as well as to cater for the potential additional needs of households of unknown planning status. These sites are for a mix of tenures and provided on a number of small sites and as part of larger development sites to help create sustainable and mixed communities. Sites are also allocated within the Local Plan to contribute to meeting the assessed needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople who do not meet the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites definition.

(6a) In addition to site allocations within this Local Plan, accommodation for Gypsy, Traveller or Travelling Showpeople (whether they meet the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites definition or not) should be provided on development sites of 500 homes or more whilst there remains an identified need in our borough. For 500 to 999 homes two pitches or plots should be provided, for 1,000 to 1,499 homes four pitches or plots, for 1,500 to 1,999 homes six pitches or plots and for 2,000 or more homes eight pitches or plots.

Houses in multiple occupation

(7) Proposals for houses in multiple occupation that require planning permission will be supported where the balance of housing types and character of the immediate locality would not be adversely affected and there is sufficient amenity space available.

Self-build and custom housebuilding

(8) Self-build and custom housebuilding will be supported if the proposed development has no adverse effect on the local character. On development sites of 100 homes or more 5% of the total homes shall be available for sale as self-build and custom housebuilding plots whilst there is an identified need. For phased development, self-build plots must be delivered and serviced at the earliest stage possible. Self-build and custom housebuilding plots are encouraged on smaller residential development sites.

(9) Self-build plots made available must respond to the sizes identified on the register. Plots must be made available and priced and marketed appropriately as self-build or custom build plots for at least 18 months.

 

Definitions

4.2.1a Evidence of active and comprehensive marketing is defined in appendix A2. 'Existing housing' in H1 (2) means housing in existence at the time of the planning application.

Reasoned justification

4.2.2 We have assessed the types, sizes and tenures of homes required to meet the needs of our community through the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). This includes accommodation needs of families, older people, people with disabilities, service families, people wishing to build their own home and students. The Traveller Accommodation Assessment (TAA) has assessed the need for traveller accommodation. We will have regard to the findings of the latest SHMA when determining the right balance of homes in new development and would encourage applicants to discuss housing mix with the Council's Planning and Housing Officers.

4.2.3 From the SHMA 2015 and Addendum Report 2017 we know that in our borough:

  • there is a need for 40% one bedroom, 30% two bedroom, 25% three bedroom and 5% four bedroom affordable homes
  • there is a need for 10% one bedroom, 30% two bedroom, 40% three bedroom and 20% four bedroom market homes
  • we have an ageing population with a significant projected growth in the over 65 year olds
  • there is a projected increase in people with long term health problems or disability
  • there is an estimated need for 433 registered care bedspaces over the plan period
  • there is an estimated need for 1,061 specialist accommodation for older people over the plan period
  • households headed by someone aged under 35 are projected to increase
  • there are approximately 15,635 households with dependent children
  • there are approximately 4,689 households containing non-dependent children.

4.2.4 A flexible housing stock will help meet the wide range of accommodation needs so we will expect all new homes to be flexible, accessible, adaptable and age friendly. New homes should support the changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life. The requirement for 15% of all new residential development to meet Building Regulations M4 (2) category 2 accessible and adaptable dwellings including a percentage of M4 (3)(b) category 3 standard wheelchair user dwellings will help to address the accommodation needs of people with disabilities and older people.

4.2.5 We wish to see an appropriate mix of homes provided across the borough, including in the villages. Whilst all new development must be in keeping with the character of the surrounding area this does not preclude the delivery of smaller units as these are capable of being designed in such a way that respects the prevailing built form.

4.2.6 In most cases the accommodation needs of different groups will be met as part of the general housing supply within the overall assessed housing need (use class C3 dwelling houses) through a mixture of different tenure, size and designed homes. Exceptions to this include residential care or nursing homes, student halls of residence and traveller accommodation.

4.2.7 For the purpose of monitoring the contribution of new homes towards our identified local housing requirement, we will include use class C3 dwellings[12] and certain uses that do not have a specific use class (known as sui generis uses[13]) such as large houses in multiple occupation or self-contained accommodation for the elderly. We have different targets for traveller accommodation that we will monitor separately. Purpose built student accommodation on campus and use class C2 residential institutions for older people are considered separately from general housing needs in this plan. Any additional student accommodation or residential institutions built over and above projected need (as identified in the SHMA) will count towards the general housing requirement, based on the amount of accommodation it releases into the general housing market.

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Family housing

4.2.9 The number of children under 15 is projected to increase throughout the plan period. We also know that households with dependent children are more likely to be overcrowded, therefore we need to plan carefully for family housing. This includes encouraging a reasonable quality and size of accommodation in the private rented sector, in particular two and three bedroomed homes.

Accessible accommodation and housing for older people

4.2.10 Different types of homes are required to offer a real choice of accommodation, be it smaller well-located market housing, accessible or adaptable accommodation, step-free housing or more specialised homes offering improved safety and support suited to the various needs of people. Requiring 15% of new residential development (on sites of 25 homes or more) to meet the building regulations 'accessible and adaptable dwellings' M4(2) or 'wheelchair user dwellings' M4(3) standard will help our future housing stock meet identified accommodation needs. Relaxing the requirement for new homes to meet Building Regulation standard M4(3)(b) wheelchair accessible dwellings to the more flexible M4(3) (a) wheelchair adaptable dwellings standard will only be agreed where substantial evidence is provided to justify an exception. The percentage may be altered to reflect figures in the latest SHMA. Accessible dwellings should be provided on parts of residential development sites that are not designated for self-build and custom-build houses.

4.2.11 Providing suitable homes will help meet the needs of the current and projected growth in the number of older people living in our community. Housing stock should be flexible to meet the needs of an ageing population and enable people to remain in their own homes for longer should they wish. Smaller homes in suitable locations should also be provided to enable people to downsize and either remain within their local community or move to an alternative area with good access to local facilities. Integrating technology in new homes can assist with telecare and telemedicine facilities. Good design such as level access and flush thresholds to properties, a WC at entry level, door openings of a suitable width and care with the design and internal layout and circulation space can help ensure accommodation is adaptable and wheelchair friendly. Considering factors including a building's layout, materials, soundproofing and good lighting can also help people with dementia or sight loss to continue to live as independently as possible. With increasing life expectancy, the need for residential care or nursing homes for the frail elderly is also recognised.

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Specialist accommodation

4.2.13 Some of our community need accommodation that caters for their specific needs. This is often for more vulnerable members of our society, such as the frail, elderly or those needing specialist social support, who would benefit from on-site support. To create inclusive communities, this type of accommodation should be located in accessible areas with links to public transport and local facilities.

4.2.14 Vulnerable people can include those who are homeless, people with physical or mental health issues, people with learning difficulties, people with alcohol or drug problems, young people at risk, ex-offenders and those at risk of domestic violence. A stable environment enables people to have greater independence and a chance to improve their quality of life.

4.2.15 Specialist accommodation includes hostels, homes for those in later life such as extra care housing, homes for those with disabilities and support needs, and residential institutions. Accommodation should be well designed to ensure it is adaptable and wheelchair friendly. We will work with our partners, including Surrey County Council, to identify and secure provision of suitable sites for specialist housing.

Student accommodation

4.2.16 Guildford town is fortunate to have a variety of further and higher education establishments including the University of Surrey, Guildford School of Acting, the University of Law, Guildford College including Merrist Wood, the Academy of Contemporary Music and the School of Horticulture at RHS Wisley. The University of Surrey is by far the largest student establishment in the borough and has purpose built accommodation on and off campus.

4.2.17 Some students live at home, live on campus, live in purpose built student accommodation either on or off campus, rent rooms in private shared houses or have alternative accommodation arrangements such as using rooms at the YMCA or home stays. Many students are part-time or undertake long distance learning courses. Whilst students should have a choice of accommodation, this should be balanced with the housing needs of the general population.

4.2.18 To minimise the pressure on the existing housing stock it is important that new accommodation is provided to meet any significant increase in full-time Guildford-based students. Windfall sites in sustainable locations close to higher education establishments may be suitable for purpose built student accommodation; however, we will resist purpose built student accommodation on sites allocated for C2 or C3 use class housing. The University of Surrey projects a significant growth in student numbers over the plan period (as set out in the SHMA) and is therefore expected to accommodate a proportion of student bedspaces in halls of residence or purpose built student accommodation on campus. Our housing target includes provision for future Guildford-based students opting to live in market housing. Together, these measures will enable the University of Surrey to grow at a sustainable rate whilst minimising the impact on the local housing market.

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Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople pitches and plots

4.2.20 National planning policy for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeopleis set out in the National Planning Policy Framework and Planning Policy for Traveller Sites and we will expect all new sites to meet the requirements of national policy. New pitches and plots should have adequate utility services and amenity space, safe turning space and parking and be in areas with reasonable access to schools, health services and local services. Travelling showpeople sites may also need space for related business storage.

4.2.21 The Guildford borough Traveller Accommodation Assessment (TAA) 2017 found that there was an accommodation need for Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeoplefor a mix of tenures for both public and private sites. Small-scale traveller sites are supported as we believe these will better integrate with the locality. Where larger sites exist, we will support reconfiguration and improvements to the overall living conditions.

4.2.22 The identified traveller accommodation target is set out in Policy S2 (3). Sufficient sites are identifiedallocated within the Local Plan to meet the target based on the accommodation need identified in the TAA (2017) for 4 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 4 plots for Travelling Showpeople up to 2034. There are also sufficient allocated sites to make provision for 8 permanent pitches to meet potential additional need of households of unknown planning traveller status. These allocated sites are for a mix of tenures and provided on a number of small sites and as part of larger development sites to help create sustainable and mixed communities.

4.2.23 Whilst tThe needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople who do not meet the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites planning policy definition fall outside this target[14]allocation,. However, in order to meet their assessed needs, as demonstrated through the TAA (2017) findings, we will seek to provide 41 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 4 permanent plots for Travelling Showpeople who do not meet the planning policy definition. A total of 59 Gypsy and Traveller pitches (net) and 8 Travelling Showpeople plots (net) have been identified in the site allocation policies. We will also seek to make provision for 8 permanent pitches to meet potential additional need of households of unknown planning traveller status.OurThe TAA (2017) found no evidence of need for a transit site within our borough. The Council will keep this position under review and, should the need for a transit site arise, will work with neighbouring authorities to address this.However, we will continue to work with neighbouring authorities to address the issue of transit sites if necessary.

4.2.24 Sites allocated for 'Gypsy and Traveller pitches (sui generis)' shall be considered for use by "Gypsies and Travellers" as defined by Planning Policy for Traveller Sites and/or for those who do not meet that definition, according to their needs as identified in the council's Traveller Accommodation Assessment (2017) (and any updates) and in accordance with Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (or any updates which may be issued in the future). In addition to Local Plan site allocations, Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeopleaccommodation is required within development sites of 500 homes or more, whilst there remains a need in Guildford Boroush, to help create sustainable, mixed communities with suitable accommodation for all. The loss of pitches or plots will be strongly resisted.

Houses in multiple occupation

4.2.25 Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) are dwellings lived in by more than one family or groups of individuals who share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom. They provide a valuable source of accommodation to meet the needs of some of our local population. They can offer a more affordable way to live in the borough, particularly for students, low paid workers and key workers such as police, teachers and nurses who cannot afford to access housing on the open market. However, it is important to get the balance of housing types right in an area to ensure it remains a vibrant community and to maintain the character of the area.

4.2.26 A concentration of homes leased to students can result in empty properties outside term time and impact on the vitality of an area. Therefore, when planning permission is required to convert a house into an HMO we will look carefully at the existing situation within that particular street. Currently, you do not need planning permission to convert a dwelling house to a HMO for fewer than six people.

4.2.27 We will work closely with colleagues to monitor the impacts of HMOs and refuse planning applications for conversions of existing houses to those in multiple occupation where the balance of housing types would be adversely affected.

Self-build and custom housebuilding

4.2.27a There is a legal responsibility to keep a register of individuals or interested associations that are seeking a plot of land to construct a self-build or custom build house as a sole or main residence. We will have regard to the information on the register when carrying out our planning, housing, land-disposal and regeneration functions.

4.2.27b To help deliver a wide choice of accommodation the provision of self-build or custom housebuilding plots is required within residential schemes of 100 homes (gross) or more. A figure of 5% of the total homes numbers shall be available for sale as self-build and custom housebuilding plots whilst there is an identified need on our Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register.

4.2.27c On strategic development sites, the delivery of a significant proportion of self-build or custom build plots will be expected within the first phase of development. Where a site has 5 or more self-build or custom build dwellings the Council may require these dwellings to be developed in accordance with an agreed design code. Where plots have been available at market value and marketed appropriately for at least 18 months and have not sold, the plot(s) may remain on the open market as self-build or be built by the developer.

4.2.27d Higher density residential sites for development of flats are unsuitable for self-build and custom housebuilding plots; they are therefore exempt from the requirement to provide plots.

Delivery

4.2.28 The housing mix will be delivered by:

  • ensuring an appropriate mix of accommodation within residential planning applications by working with developers
  • updating the Strategic Housing Market Assessment to show any changes that need to be reflected within the housing mix
  • monitoring the effectiveness of the policy and adjusting as appropriate
  • working with further education establishments to identify student accommodation needs
  • working with our partners including Surrey County Council to identify and secure suitable specialist housing sites.

4.2.29 Traveller pitches and plots will be delivered by:

  • identifying possible public and private pitches and plots within the Land Availability Assessment
  • allocating identified sites for traveller accommodation
  • granting planning permission for suitable sites that meet policy criteria and
  • reviewing the accommodation needs of the travelling community through an updated Traveller Accommodation Assessment to inform the 15-year projection where appropriate.

Key Evidence

  • West Surrey Strategic Housing Market Assessment (Guildford Borough Council, 2015) and Guildford Addendum Report 2017
  • Census 2011
  • Traveller Accommodation Assessment (Guildford Borough Council, 2017)
  • Land Availability Assessment (Guildford Borough Council, 2017)

 

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data source

Permissions granted for different size and types of housing compared to the identified mix in the Strategic Housing Market Assessments

Permissions granted for new or extended older persons' specialist housing (including care homes and warden-assisted accommodation) or general specialist housing

To deliver the identified mix of housing sizes, types and numbers as set out in the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment

Planning applications and appeals and building completions data

Number of pitches or plots granted planning permission for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople measured against the targets set out in this policy or, if applicable, an updated accommodation assessments

The number of unauthorised or illegal traveler encampments or developments and enforcement action

To meet the need for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation as set out in this policy, or the latest Traveller Accommodation Assessment or any document which replaces this Planning applications and appeals
Number of planning permissions for student accommodation To meet the need as set out in the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment Planning applications and appeals
Number of planning permissions for self-build or custom build housing To meet the need as set out in the Self-build and Custom housebuilding register Planning applications and appeals
Number of planning permissions for Houses in Multiple Occupation To monitor the balance of housing types in the immediate locality Planning applications and appeals

 

 

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[12] Self-build and custom built houses are classed as C3 use class dwellings.

[13]  The Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended).

[14] Planning Policy for Traveller Sites 2015 paragraph 9 states that Local planning authorities should set pitch targets for gypsies and travellers and plot targets for travelling showpeople as defined in Annex 1 which address the likely permanent and transit site accommodation needs of travellers in their area.