Extract from the Stroud Local Plan

This is an extract from the Local Plan that defines how exception sites ( i.e. sites outside the normal allowable development areas) may be used for Affordable Housing.  This underpins what the CLT can do.

The paragraph numbers in brackets relate to the Local Plan document.

(4.36) Aside from the major strategic housing allocations, most development will take place on sites that lie within the defined settlement development limits shown on the Policies Map.

(4.37) However, there are limited circumstances where certain forms of residential development on sites outside of defined settlements will be regarded as appropriate sustainable development. The following policy is designed to manage such development.

Delivery Policy HC4 Local housing need (exception sites)

Planning permission may be granted for affordable housing on sites adjoining identified settlement development limits. Such sites should be located adjoining an identified accessible settlement with limited facilities (‘third tier’) or above in terms of the Plan settlement hierarchy, unless specific local need and environmental considerations indicate that provision should be met at fourth or fifth tier settlements. The Council shall meet local affordable housing need, where:

  1. the Council is satisfied that there is a clearly evidenced local need, which cannot be readily met elsewhere in the locality, for the number and type of housing proposed
  2. The site is accessible to a range of local services, such as shops,primary schools, healthcare and public transport
  3. it is not subject to any other over-riding environmental or other material planning constraint
  4. appropriate legal agreements are entered into to ensure that such dwellings will remain available as affordable housing for local need, in perpetuity with the necessary management of the scheme
  5. the gross internal floor area of these dwellings shall comply with the latest recommended standards used by the Homes and Communities Agency.

(4.38) An exception site is one that would not usually secure planning permission for market housing. In rural parts of the District, there are particular difficulties in securing an adequate supply of affordable housing for local needs. The Council’s local housing needs ‘exceptions’ policy is an integral part of the corporate approach to meeting housing needs in our rural areas.

(4.39) Rural exception sites should only be used for affordable housing in perpetuity. This policy seeks to address the needs of the local community by accommodating households who have a strong local connection either by current or recent past residency or via an existing family or employment connection. Preference will be given to those with a strong local connection to the parish, followed by those with a strong local connection to the adjoining parishes, then to the Stroud District as a whole. A local Housing Needs Survey, produced either by the Parish Council or by a housing provider using a methodology agreed by the District Council, provides evidence of the extent and nature of local housing need.

(4.40) National policy suggests that local planning authorities should consider whether allowing some market housing on exception sites would facilitate the provision of significant additional affordable housing to meet local needs. In response, the Council will consider proposals where a majority of affordable homes are cross- subsidised by the provision of a minority of market housing, subject to the production of a detailed viability study demonstrating the requirement for this cross-subsidy. Although the policy would not preclude any developer carrying out a suitable scheme with appropriate covenants on the land or legal agreements, the Council will require the properties to be managed by a Registered Provider.

(4.41)  Particular importance is given to sustainability considerations including the location of a site in relation to an existing settlement and local services, the scale of development proposed, the impact on the character of surrounding development, the landscape and countryside, as well as other planning criteria. Where only a small number of dwellings are proposed, and other suitable sites are not available in the Parish, the requirement to have reasonable accessibility to local services could be outweighed by an identified pressing need for affordable housing.

Note that it is  para 4.40 above that is a concern to us, as it allows market led development to be proposed if it includes just a proportion of affordable houses.  However, this is dependent on ‘local need’ and the CLT hope to show that this need is being satisfied.

Para 4.39  Allows us to offer priority to local people