Affordable housing

Affordable Housing helps people who cannot afford to buy housing on the open market or rent private properties to gain access to housing.

Policy Context

An adequate supply of housing affordable for local incomes is an essential part of a thriving local economy and helps promote social inclusion. The planning system plays a central role in increasing the supply of affordable housing by creating mixed and balanced communities.

Our requirements for affordable housing are set out in Policy H2 of the adopted Local Plan 2011-2036

Policy H2 of the Local Plan sets out that all development comprising 11 or more dwellings (or greater than 1000m2 gross floorspace) should make provision for affordable housing. Such wording was consistent with national policy at the point of the Local Plan being prepared. The National Planning Policy Framework revisions sets out the following government position

"Provision of affordable housing should not be sought for residential developments that are not major developments..." (para 63)

Consequently, there is a slight conflict between the adopted Local Plan and the NPPF policy. The Council will therefore seek an affordable housing provision under the following example circumstances;

-        Where a proposal is for 10 or more dwellings;

-        or on a site over 0.5 hectares.

Where affordable housing is to be provided on site, a target of up to 30% of the total capacity of a scheme should be affordable, except within the urban area of Grantham as defined on the Policies Map where the requirement on such developments will be 20%.

All affordable housing will be expected to include a mix of socially rented and intermediate housing appropriate to the current evidence of local housing need. Affordable units should be well integrated with the open market housing through layout, siting, design and style and be of an appropriate size and type to meet the local housing needs identified by current evidence of need for that area.

Additionally, Policy SP4 of the Local Plan allows that development on the edge of settlements can come forward where there is community support or as a Rural Exception Scheme which meets a demonstrated local need under the following:

-        Is justified by evidence of local need and affordability, from an appropriate local housing needs survey; and

-        Meets the affordable housing needs of households who are currently resident, or have a local connection to the parish; and

-        The occupation of the dwellings will be secured in perpetuity and that no other more suitable site(s) is available within the settlement.

In negotiating the level of affordable housing on sites, we will consider the overall viability of individual development schemes.

We would also normally require that:

·     affordable homes should be designed to create mixed integrated communities. Affordable housing should not be distinguishable from the market housing in terms of build quality, design, materials, details, privacy and shared amenity standards are of equal quality and do not set them apart from the other properties on sale

·    affordable housing must meet relevant/current design and quality standards set out within the adopted Local Plan and adopted Design guide Supplementary Planning Document.

·    where a financial contribution is acceptable to the Council, the sums payable shall be calculated as being equivalent to the difference between the open market value of the agreed number of units which are being provided on site and the purchase value that a registered housing provider (RHP)/Council would be willing to pay for these units as affordable housing units. For rented units, RHP values are assumed to be equivalent to 40% of open market value (OMV) and for intermediate units RHP values are assumed to be equivalent to 60% OMV.

Working with developers

Affordable housing should be offered through one of our preferred Registered Housing Providers (RHPs). We welcome early talks with developers to help make sure their affordable housing fits in with our policy as well as their aims.

The council offers a pre-application service for advice prior to submitting applications. See further information >>