Negotiating Affordable Housing
Lancaster City Council has a responsibility for making sure there is a range of housing types available to meet the needs of the district’s residents, including affordable housing. The approach to meeting housing needs is set out in Policy SC4 of the Lancaster District Core Strategy, which sets out the council's intentions to:
- Maximise the opportunities offered by the development of new dwellings to redress imbalances in the local housing market
- Achieve housing that genuinely addresses identified local housing need
- Secure units of 'in-perpetuity' affordable housing
Policy H10 of the adopted Lancaster District Local Plan also includes policies relating to affordable housing that have been partly superseded by Policy SC4 of the adopted Core Strategy. However Policy H10 will continue to be taken into account alongside Policy SC4 until it is entirely superseded by the Development Management Development Plan Document (DPD) when this document is adopted.
SPG 10 Affordable Housing (adopted March 2002) expanded upon Local Plan Policy H10 (please note that SPG 10 refers to Policy H9 which was later amended to Policy H10) by providing some background to the need for affordable housing in the district, and providing guidance on what should be considered when preparing affordable housing proposals. Following receipt of the 2007 Housing Needs Survey Update the 2008 Practice Update was published which updated the practice for negotiating affordable housing.
The Affordable Housing Practice Update was prepared following the preparation of an Affordable Housing Viability Study by consultants Adams Integra. The study provided the council with up to date evidence on the circumstances in which the district’s housing market can deliver various levels of affordable housing. This was achieved by examining the influence of a range of affordable housing targets and thresholds on the viability of sample schemes.
Consultation on the process of negotiating for affordable took place over two stages. The first stage focused on the preparation of the Affordable Housing Viability Study, and the second on the Affordable Housing Practice Update. This was supported by a Key Stakeholder Group that met in October 2009, March 2010, and August 2010, and comprised residential developers, planning agents, land agents, and registered providers of social housing. Following these meetings, the Key Stakeholder Group as well as a number of additional stakeholders who were asked for comments on the Draft Practice Update over a four week period. In addition the draft document was also published on the council’s website to enable the wider public to provide comments.
Following this process the council implemented the Affordable Housing Practice Update in January 2011. The document can be downloaded as a pdf document from the right hand side of this page. A short briefing note on the Affordable Housing Viability Study, the full consultant report and appendices, the executive summary, and the Key Stakeholder Group briefing note can also be downloaded as pdf documents.
The council is now consulting on the Draft Meeting Housing Needs Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). This document will support people in preparing planning applications for residential development in the district, and provides detailed advice regarding the housing related policies in the adopted Lancaster District Core Strategy. Following adoption, the SPD will replace both SPG 10 and the Affordable Housing Practice Update.
Further information on the SPD consultation