Sevenoaks District Draft Local Plan Consultation July 2018

Document Section Draft Local Plan July 2018 Providing for Housing Choices Market and Affordable Housing Mix Policy 8 - Market and affordable housing mix [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID DLPP1086
Respondent Tetlow King Planning (Planning… [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 27 Sep 2018
Current Status Accepted

In the foreword to the Housing White Paper, the Prime Minister stated:

"Our broken housing market is one of the greatest barriers to progress in Britain today.

Whether buying or renting, the fact is that housing is increasingly unaffordable – particularly

for ordinary working class people who are struggling to get by.

"Today the average house costs almost eight times average earnings – an all-time record. As a

result, it is difficult to get on the housing ladder, and the proportion of people living in the

private rented sector has doubled since 2000.

"These high housing costs hurt ordinary working people the most. In total more than 2.2

million working households with below-average incomes spend a third or more of their

disposable incomes on housing.

"I want to fix this broken market so that housing is more affordable and people have the

security they need to plan for the future.

"The starting point is to build more homes…

"We need to build many more homes, of the type people want, in the places they want to live.

To do so requires a comprehensive approach that tackles failure at every point in the system."

3.2 Following on from this recognition of the need to provide more homes, the DCLG’s consultation

paper, "Planning for the right homes in the right places" highlights the importance of providing an appropriate housing mix at paragraph 88:

"It is important that local planning authorities do not just plan for the right number of homes,

but also the different size, type, tenure and range of housing that is required in their area."

3.3 The affordable rent to buy tenure provides an innovative solution to the challenges that faces the housing market in this country. By focusing upon aspiring home owners that are currently unable to compete within the open market and unable to save for a mortgage, it provides an alternative to the private rental sector which is characterised by high rents, an insecurity of tenure and below-average living conditions. Crucially, the model also provides an opportunity for households that would not qualify for affordable housing. Accordingly, it provides a response to recognised pressures at a number of points in the system in a way that is not otherwise being provided.

3.4 The potential contribution of affordable rent to buy can be most effectively understood through a demonstration of the level of need that exists for the product. This report has set out a robust methodological approach to undertake such an assessment of need. This approach draws upon the policy contained within the NPPF and guidance set out in the PPG, together with the conclusions of relevant High Court and Court of Appeal judgments and appeal decisions, and Lichfields’ considerable experience in assessing the overall need for housing in local authority areas (FOAN) and affordable housing need. It is an approach that draws upon readily available data sources and which benefits from transparency and clarity.

3.5 By demonstrating that a need exists for affordable rent to buy properties, and that this represents a distinct component of the overall housing need for an area, it will be possible to build a strong case in support of any planning application for development. This will be which can be very significant to a local area and the people that will benefit from this innovative form of housing tenure.

3.6 The assessment of the need for affordable rent to buy housing should be undertaken within the context of the FOAN for each local authority area and should contribute towards meeting this overall need. In particular, affordable rent to buy homes are helping to address the specific needs of a given section of the population whose needs are currently not being met by the traditional housing tenures.

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