Skip to main content
Guildford Borough Council

Proposed Submission Local Plan: strategy and sites 2017

Proposed Submission Local Plan: strategy and sites 2017 - 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

(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 housing or specialist 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.

Density

New residential development is require to make the most effiecient use of land whilst responding to local character, context and distinctiveness. Residential densities will vary dependent upon the local area context and character and the sustainability of the location. Higher density development will be supported in Guildford town centre.

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 'accessible and adaptable dwellings' and 5% of new homes will be required to meet Building Regulations M4 (3)(b) category 3 wheelchair user accessible dwellings standard or any subsequent legislation on making homes accessible and adaptable.

Specialist accommodationhousing

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

Student accommodations

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

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople pitches and plotss

(6) We will identify Ssufficient sites are allocated within the Local Plan to meet the for Travellers' 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 will be 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. New sites must have adequate utility services and amenity space, space for related business activities where appropriate, safe vehicular access, turning space and parking and be in areas with reasonable access to schools health service and local services. Sites should not significantly impact on visual amenity and local character of the area or adversely affect an environmentally sensitive location.

(7) Accommodation for Gypsy,Traveller or Travelling Showpeople (whether they meet the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites definition or not) accommodation should be provided on development sites of 500 homes or more whilst there remains an identified need. 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

(8) Proposals for houses in multiple occupation that require planning permission will be supported only 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

(9) 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.

(10) 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.

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 433242 registered care bedspaces over the plan period
  • there is an estimated need for 1,061334 specialist homes 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 We want a A flexible housing stock will that helps 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 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. The eExceptions to this include is 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[1] and certain uses that do not have a specific use class (known as sui generis uses[2] ) 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.

Density

4.2.8 We have a responsibility to use our natural sources, such as land, wisely. Efficient use of land is essential. Housing density describes the number of homes developed within a particular site area. It is usually calculated by the number of dwellings per hectare (dph). Increasing densities can help to reduce the land needed for new homes and make development more sustainable. It can also support more facilities and services. Certain areas can accommodate higher densities provided there is no adverse imapct on the character of the area and the infrastructure is able to cope. Planning applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis having regard to local context, character of the surrounding area and the sustainability of the location. This will include consideration of established street patterns, plot sizes, spaces around buildings, and relationship with nearby buildings as well as form, massing, height of existing buildings and structures, and materials.

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 hHousing for older people

4.2.10    We need to provide suitable homes for the current and projected growth in the number of older people living in our community. 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. The need for residential care or nursing homes is also recognised.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.

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 improved 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.

Self-build and custom housebuilding 

4.2.12     We have 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.  

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 accommodations 

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. numbers is matched by the provision of purpose built student accommodation. 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 it is therefore expected required to accommodate a proportion of student bedspaces in halls of residence or purpose built student accommodation on campus., as set out in the most up to date Strategic Housing Market Assessment. Our housing target includes provision for future Guildford- based students opting to live in market housing. Together, these measuresThis will enable the University of Surrey to grow at a sustainable rate whilst minimising the impact on the local housing market.

 4.2.19     For the purpose of this policy the term ‘eligible students’ applies to students requiring accommodation in the locality and excludes those students not requiring student accommodation such as those on distance learning courses, year out placements, part-time students and those living in their own or family home.

Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople pitches and plotss 

4.2.20    National planning policy for Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople is 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 this 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 Showpeople for a mix of tenures for both public and private sites. We support sSmall-scale tTraveller sites (up to nine pitches or plots) 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    We have identified sSufficient sites are identified within the Local Plan borough to meet the accommodation needs for 4 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers 43 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 6 permanent and 4 plots for Travelling Showpeople up to 2034 17. Between 2017 and 2027 there is a need for an additional 30 pitches and 2 plots or any new target as identified within an updated Traveller Accommodation Assessment. Whilst the needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople who do not meet the planning definition fall outside this allocation, in order to meet their assessed needs we will seek to provide 41 permanent pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 4 permanent plots for Travelling Showpeople who do not meet the definition. We will also seek to make provision for 8 permanent pitches to meet potential additional need of households of unknown planning traveller status.

4.2.23    Our TAA found no evidence of need for a transit site within our borough. However, we will continue to work with neighbouring authorities to address the issue of transit sites if necessary.

4.2.24    We require tSites 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 (and any updates) and in accordance with Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (or any updates which may be issued in the future). Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation is required within development sites of 500 homes or more to help create sustainable, mixed communities with suitable accommodation housing 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 less 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 flatted developments 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

•   National Planning Policy Framework 2012

•   Planning Policy for Traveller Sites 2015

  • West Surrey Strategic Housing Market Assessment (Guildford Borough Council, 2015) and Guildford Addendum Report 2017
  • Census 2011
  • Guildford borough Traveller Accommodation Assessment (Guildford Borough Council, 20172)
  • Guildford Borough Council Land Availability Assessment (Guildford Borough Council, 2016)

 

Monitoring Indicators

Indicator

Target

Data source

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

Monitoring the density of development granted planning approval

Permissions granted Monitoring planning approval 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 Ttraveller and Travelling Showpeople accommodation, measured against the targets set out in this policy or, if applicable, an updated traveller accommodation assessments

The number of unauthorised or illegal traveller encampments or developments and

enforcement action

To meet the need for Gypsy Ttraveller 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 applications permissions for student accommodation and self-build or custom build housing.

To meet the need as set out in the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment or on the Self-build and Custom housebuilding register.

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

Monitor the nNumber of planning permissions for Houses in Multiple Occupation planning applications

To monitor the balance of housing types in the immediate locality

Planning applications and appeals

 

1. Self build and custom houses are classed as C3 use class dwellings [back]
2. The Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended) [back]