Local Plan to 2030 - Main Modifications September 2018

Main Modifications to Ashford Local Plan

Policy HOU2 - Local Needs/Specialist Housing (MM59)

Addition of word in paras 5.17 and 5.19:

5.17    This policy applies to the delivery of local needs housing and subsidised specialist housing schemes. These are defined as:

5.19    Subsidised Specialist housing schemes: A specific type of subsidised housing accommodation (self-contained or communal) to cater for more vulnerable local residents who have a genuine need and local connection to the area. It allows certain residents to live a higher quality of life near to where they have support or are where they are familiar with their surrounding area.

 Deletion of final bullet point from para 5.23:

5.23    In order to qualify as a local needs housing scheme, a proposal will need to meet all of the following criteria in that:

  • it meets an identified housing need in the particular parish that cater for people who have a genuine local connection, in line with the Council’s Rural Local Needs Housing Guidance Note,
  • it provides local needs housing that is appropriate in terms of its tenure, type, size and cost to meet the needs identified,
  • the local need housing element is conditioned so that subsequent occupancy of the dwelling will be controlled by a binding agreement to ensure the property remains available to meet local needs in the future and does not only benefit the first occupier.
  • has the support of the relevant Parish Council.

Deletion of first sentence and replacement with new text to para 5.24:

5.24    Proposals may provide for one or more groups of people, although it should be noted that decisions on exception sites and the specific needs to be catered for are essentially local issues and the views of the local Parish Council will be taken into consideration. In practice this type of development is normally brought forward by a Housing Association working in close liaison with the relevant Parish Council and Ashford Borough Council. Given that the specific need to be catered for is a local issue, the Parish Council should be well placed to provide a robust view on the need for the development. The Council therefore considers the Parish Council’s views in relation to the need for the development particularly important in determining the acceptability of the proposal. It is expected that the Parish Council will play an integral role in the development of such proposals prior to it being submitted as a planning application; including involvement with the local needs survey. The requirements of a variety of groups of people that will be considered when assessing local needs is set out under the Council’s Affordable Rural Local Needs Housing Guidance note.

 Addition of word to title following para 5.25:

Subsidised specialist housing

Changes to Policy HOU2 as follows:

Policy HOU2 - Local needs / subsidised specialist housing

Planning permission will be granted for proposals for local needs / subsidised specialist housing within or adjoining rural settlements identified under policy HOU3a as ‘exceptions’ to policies restraining housing development provided that all the following criteria are met:

a)    a) the local need or requirement for specialist housing is clearly evidenced,

b)    the scheme has the support of the relevant Parish Council/s,

c)    b) the development is well designed, would not result in a significant adverse impact on the character of the area or the surrounding landscape and is appropriate to the scale and character of the village,

d)    c) there would be no significant impact on the amenities of any neighbouring residential occupiers.

It is expected that all local needs/ specialist housing schemes will be delivered without the need for any cross market subsidy.

Where this is not the case a proposal will need to be supported by robust and transparent viability evidence that will be independently verified by the Council. Should a viability case be proven, the Council will accept an enabling amount of starter homes and /or custom build/ self-build plots as a means of providing the necessary subsidy to allow the identified need to be delivered, providing the proposal remains in accordance with criteria b) – d) c) above.

Proposals which promote general market housing as a means of enabling the identified need element of a scheme will not normally be supported unless it can be demonstrated that there is an overriding planning benefit from its delivery and that there is no other cross subsidy solution.