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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 18/04/2006
Housing Supply - Policy Context


Current national policy on housing supply (PPG3)
PPG3 promotes a Plan, Monitor, Manage approach to housing supply. It states that local authorities are expected to manage the release of housing over the plan period in order to control the pattern and speed of urban growth. In Waverley’s case, the “plan period” for both the Core Strategy and the Housing DPD is up to 2018.

In relation to the allocation of sites for housing, PPG3 sets out the following criteria for assessing their potential and suitability:-
the availability of previously developed sites;
the location and accessibility;
the capacity of existing and potential infrastructure;
the ability to build communities; and
the physical and environmental constraint on the development of land.

In relation to “windfall” sites, PPG3 states that Authorities should make specific allowances for all types of windfalls in their plans. The allowance should be based on both past trends and the likely future potential as assessed in a capacity study.

Draft PPS3 and housing supply
The recently published draft PPS3 puts forward some potentially significant changes in national policy in relation to the supply of housing. These potential changes include:-

providing a greater link between housing supply and the local housing market. The draft PPS3 indicates that local authorities should collaborate on carrying out Housing Market Assessment (HMAs) for the sub-regional housing markets, which will have been identified at the regional level. Housing distribution set by the region would be based on the housing market areas rather than, at present, by local authority area.

requiring local authorities to allocate sufficient land and buildings for the next five years, with the Housing Trajectory extending a further 10 years beyond this. The draft PPS3 states that the supply for the first five years should only include an allowance for brownfield windfall sites where the particular local circumstances justify it and where sustainability appraisal indicates that allocating sufficient land would have unacceptable impacts.

the draft PPS3 states that in general local authorities should not phase land within the first five-year land supply.

the draft PPS3 does not retain a requirement for Councils to adopt the plan, monitor, manage approach to managing the supply of housing.

Regional Planning Guidance for the South East (RPG9)
Policy H5 of RPG9 relates to housing provision. It states that within the context of improving the quality of urban living, full use should be made of the opportunities for increasing housing development within urban areas. The accompanying text states that local authorities should base policies for the release and development of land on a sequential approach as set out in PPG3.

The draft South East Plan and housing supply
The draft South East Plan promotes the use of detailed ‘Housing Delivery Action Plans’. It states that these should not identify individual sites for housing, as this should be done through Local Development Plan Documents (such as the Housing DPD). Housing Delivery Action Plans should set out the overall strategy for ensuring that housing allocations can be met, having regard to the outcome of urban potential studies and housing market assessments. They should identify potential and existing barriers to new housing delivery and set out the actions that need to be taken to overcome these barriers. The draft SEP states that new housing provision should be phased within Local Development Documents (such as this DPD) to ensure that identified needs can be delivered in a planned fashion and to ensure that it does not overload the capacity of local infrastructure.

The Surrey Structure Plan (SSP) 2004 (Policy LO6)
Policy LO6 of the 2004 SSP, which sets out the housing requirements for each district, also states that authorities should adopt a ‘Plan, Monitor, Manage’ approach, with appropriate phasing policies in Local Development Frameworks (LDFs). In the section of the SSP explaining how Policy LO6 will be implemented, it states that, inter alia, authorities will ensure that there is sufficient housing to meet the annual average requirement for at least 5 years; and will phase the release of housing sites, having regard to the provision of adequate infrastructure and services and the availability of previously developed land within the urban areas.

Waverley Borough Local Plan Policy H2
This policy is a phasing policy, which relates to large windfall sites that are of a predominantly open nature (including sites with a large area of garden land). In essence, if the housing land supply in the area, relative to the SSP 2004 requirements, is greater than 5 years + 20% (i.e. at least 6 years), the Council may refuse permission on the grounds of prematurity. This policy was included in the current Local Plan with the endorsement of the Local Plan Inspector, who considered it to accord with PPG3.