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Housing

Affordable Housing

  1. Affordable Housing Requirements Advice to Developers

    Affordable Housing Requirements Advice to Developers

    When submitting a major planning application (sites of 10 or more) you need to consider affordable housing obligations that need to be provided on the site. These items relate to the affordable housing schedule which will form part of the s106 legal agreement accompanying the permission.

    Policy requires 35% affordable housing which would be split 80:20 social rent: intermediate product as detailed in the South Somerset Local Plan 2006 – 2028 adopted in March 2015.  

    The tenure split with will now change due to the introduction of First Homes and so the requirements for any application determined after 28th December 21 (or 28 March 2022 if there has been significant pre application engagement) will be worked out as shown in the examples below:

    Example 1: A scheme for 12 dwellings

    35% affordable housing requirement through Policy HG3: 12 x 35% = 4.2 (4 affordable homes)

    The 4 affordable homes need to be calculated as a tenure mix of 25% First Homes and 75% social rented homes:

    25% = 1 First Home

    75% = 3 social rented homes

    The NPPF requires 10% of homes to be for affordable home ownership – 10% of 12 dwellings = 1.2 (one dwelling rounded). The single First Home meets the NPPF requirement.

    Example 2: A scheme for 150 dwellings

    35% affordable housing requirement through Policy HG3: 150 x 35% = 52.5 (53 affordable homes)

    The 53 affordable homes need to be calculated as a tenure mix of 25% First Homes and 75% social rented homes:

    25% = 13 First Homes

    75% = 40 social rented homes

    The NPPF requires 10% of homes to be for affordable home ownership – 10% of 150 dwellings = 15 homes. As only 13 First Homes were calculated, a further 2 affordable home ownership products would be expected to meet the NPPF requirement.

    The breakdown of property types is determined using the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and also using the available demand data for affordable housing such as housing needs survey verified need and the expressed need on the housing register (Homefinder Somerset).  This data is updated on a Monthly basis and can be obtained using the following link: 

    https://www.southsomerset.gov.uk/your-council/data-and-information/housing-demand-freedom-of-information-requests/

    We would expect the affordable units to be pepper potted throughout the site, that the units are developed to blend in with the proposed housing styles and prefer the dwellings to be houses/bungalows or if flats have the appearance of houses. 

    We may on larger sites accept some clustering spaced throughout (up to 10 on larger sites and less on smaller developments) the site ensuring that there are social rented properties included in each cluster.  We would also need a site plan to show where the affordable dwellings will be located.

    We would expect our prevailing minimum internal space standards to be adhered to:

    1 bedroom flat

    2 Person

    47  sqm

    2 bedroom flat

    4 Person

    66  sqm

    2 bedroom house

    4 Person

    76  sqm           (86 sqm if 3 storey)

    3 bedroom house

    6 Person

    86  sqm           (94 sqm if 3 storey)

    4 bedroom house

    8 Person

    106 sqm          (114 sqm if 3 storey)

    4 bedroom parlour house

    8 Person

    126 sqm          (134 sqm if 3 storey)        

    We would expect the s106 agreement to contain appropriate trigger points to guarantee that some of the affordable housing provision is delivered in the event that the site gains permission but is only ever partially built out. 

    We would expect 1/3 of the affordable housing to be provided by the time 1/3 of the site has been completed and all of the affordable housing to be provided by 2/3 of the site being developed.

    The s106 should also include a schedule of approved housing association partners for delivery of the affordable units.  Our main partners are: 

    • LiveWest
    • Magna Housing
    • Stonewater Housing
    • Abri

    These items detailed above relate to the affordable housing schedule which forms part of the s106 legal agreement accompanying the permission.

    For further information, please contact your planning case officer.

  2. Rural Designation of Parishes in South Somerset

    On the 1st April the District Executive resolved that the Council should apply to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to formally designate our parishes with a population of less than 3,000 as ‘rural’ under section 157 of the Housing Act 1985.

    The Council received notification  from the Right to Buy Team at the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities that the legislation for our requested parishes to be designated as rural had been laid in Parliament. The Statutory Instrument came into force on Monday 29th November 2021 - The Housing (Right to Buy) (Designated Rural Areas and Designated Regions) (England) Order 2021. This designation is an important policy tool, and the reasons for seeking it are explained in the report to District Executive on 1st April 2021. 

    District Executive Report

    Rural Designation Map 

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