Planning for Housing Delivery, Spelthorne Borough Council

Client: Spelthorne Borough Council
Location: Staines
Discipline(s): Economic Planning

The report enabled officers at Spelthorne Borough Council (SBC) to provide evidence-based advice to councillors as to the risks of excluding Green Belt sites from their housing land supply. The study identified and evaluated (for example) the risks of failure to show a five year housing land supply and delivering the tenure and size of homes required to meet demand in the area.

Outcome

GL Hearn undertook a detailed analysis of market signals and SBC’s monitoring data of completed homes to understand the demand and supply balance in the residential housing market in the borough. This facilitated a granular assessment of trends, and the implications for housing delivery based on the distribution of allocated sites.

Statistical evidence was supported though an in-depth consultation exercise with house-builders, Registered Providers, and estate agents to gain a 'coal face' view of the market.

The study set out achievable build out rates (BOR) for sites in SBC’s housing trajectory, highlighting where forecasts appeared to be optimistic. To do this, an examination of historic BOR on green and brownfield sites of different sizes in different CIL zones was undertaken. This provided a benchmark against which the Council’s housing trajectory could be tested. This evidence allowed us to provide a more accurate assessment to the Council of the threat to the five year housing land supply by excluding Green Belt sites than if the trajectory had been taken at face value.

The study also looked specifically at the reason for vacant homes in an area of high demand and the risk of the market failing to deliver the right type and size of home as a result of concentrating development on brownfield sites.

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In producing our study, GL Hearn has successfully hit all points of the brief and given us a clear and succinct yet technical report to guide our Local Plan. Highly recommended to produce a bespoke piece of work to meet specific client requirements.
Planning Policy team
Spelthorne Borough Council