Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Providing for Housing Choices Provision of Affordable Housing Policy 9 - Provision of affordable housing [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP993
Respondent Jon Kirby ID-2728 [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 26 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted
Response Type OBSERVATIONS
Comment

Policy 9 seeks the provision of up to 40% affordable housing on sites of 15 dwellings or more. Affordable housing is defined as social rented, affordable rented, intermediate tenure and starter homes, all of which should be available at costs that are affordable to households whose needs are not met in the open market.

8.2 The level of affordable housing is justified on the basis that affordability is a key issue in the District, with house prices 13 times annual earnings, compared to 6.5 times nationally.

8.3 The supporting text explains that, depending on the geographical location of development sites, proposals for new dwellings are expected to be in accordance with the recommendations set out in Table 6.

Table 6: Affordable Housing Split in Sevenoaks District

Of the 40% affordable housing target (subject to viability testing):

Affordable housing

% area

Affordable housing

1-2 bed

Affordable housing

3+ bed

Affordable housing

Older persons

Sevenoaks and

surrounds

28%

78%

8%

14%

North East

26%

77%

6%

17%

North West

16%

81%

10%

9%

South

13%

82%

3%

15%

Upper Darent

Corridor

10%

47%

43%

10%

Darent Valley

7%

93%

0%

7%

8.4 This part of the policy which seeks varying levels of affordable housing depending on house type and geographical location may be overly prescriptive in its current form. Given the fact that there is an identified lack of affordable housing in Sevenoaks District, it is perhaps best to include more flexibility within the policy wording in order that affordable housing can benefit more people.

8.5 The Council’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) recommended a target of at least 35% affordable housing for all suitable sites. Policy 9 outlines the Council’s affordable housing contributions, with a target of up to 40% on sites of more than 15 dwellings, subject to viability. Affordable housing is to be provided on-site unless the Council advises that a financial contribution is preferred.

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