Shropshire continues to improve planning policies for housing
Residents and businesses are being invited to comment on proposed changes to planning policy that will make it easier to build affordable housing in Shropshire.
The proposed changes will update the Type and Affordability of Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to address helpful feedback from the public and Shropshire Councillors.
The changes will help builders, particularly small-scale builders, by allowing a longer period in which to pay their affordable housing contribution. The measure creates a “win-win” situation, easing their cash flow while maintaining affordable housing contributions.
In response to the industry trend for noticeably smaller homes, often with inadequate storage to meet modern needs, Shropshire Council is proposing to introduce some minimum size standards for affordable properties. It also reflects changes introduced by the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework, particularly relating to agricultural workers’ dwellings, and supports self-build in Shropshire.
To provide affordable housing for local needs, the Type and Affordability of Housing SPD allows exceptions to normal planning policies, including Shropshire’s nationally acclaimed “build your own” scheme that has already helped many Shropshire folk to meet their own housing needs in an affordable way.
Proposed changes include making it easier for genuinely local people to qualify for affordable homes on so-called “exception” sites.
Councillor Mal Price, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economic growth and prosperity, said:
“We recognise the problems people face in securing good quality, affordable homes for themselves or their family members. The council’s planning policies take a positive approach, making it easier to build affordable housing, and trying to ensure that all new development contributes to meeting local needs.
“We will be listening carefully to what the public says in response to this consultation, and will reflect the comments received in the final version of the document. We are also interested in any innovative suggestions that people may have that could deliver more affordable housing.”
The Housing SPD Review 2012 is now available to view on the Shropshire Council website by following this link. Copies can also be requested by telephoning 0345 678 9004 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shropshire Council welcomes any comments, suggestions and proposed additions that members of the public have on the proposed changes. Comments should be made in writing by Tuesday 28 August 2012.
1. Shropshire Council’s Cabinet gave the go-ahead for the public consultation at its meeting on 4 July.
2. The Reviewed SPD will replace the current adopted Type and Affordability of Housing SPD that was adopted on 16 March 2011.
3. The results of the public consultation will be reported to Shropshire Council’s Cabinet in September 2012, at which the Reviewed SPD will be presented for adoption.
4. Developers are required to make contributions to affordable housing at a rate that is equivalent to 13% of their built floorspace. This rate will remain unchanged until 31 March 2013, when the results of a study into the viability of developments will be complete.
5. A review of the viability of developments is underway to assess whether the affordable housing target rate should be variable across Shropshire, with a higher rate in areas where development is more profitable.