Regulation 18 draft Local Plan

Ended on the 8 January 2024
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(17)Chapter 6 - Housing

Housing - Image showing how many houses are proposed in the county and in the towns and larger villages. These are set out in the housing chapter Plus policy requirement of 30% affordable housing on sites of 10 or more new homes and the requirements for 16 pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 36 plots for Travelling Show people

Housing Allocations

It is important that a sufficient amount and variety of land can come forward for the development of new homes in the locations where it is needed, that meet needs of groups with specific housing requirements and that land with permission is developed without unnecessary delay.

We have used the government's standard method in national planning guidance to determine the minimum number of homes needed in Rutland for the plan period. This means that the Local Plan needs to identify sufficient land to deliver at least 123 new homes each year.              

What will the policy do?

The policy identifies the sites which the Council has assessed as being suitable for housing development and provides an indication of how many houses might be built on the site. This is calculated using a net developable area and a standard density of 30 dwellings to the hectare. The actual number of homes delivered on a site may be different as the development would be expected to take account of the character and context of the site in accordance with Policy H3 - Housing density.

(94)Policy H1 – Sites proposed for residential development

The following sites are proposed for residential development over the plan period. Sites are also shown on the Policies Map:

Site capacity for sites is calculated on the basis of 30 dwellings per hectare, based on a net developable area and are therefore potential figures.

Oakham Total: 225 dwellings

(19)H1.1 Tim Norton site 19 dwellings (brownfield)

(277)H1.2 Land south of Brooke Road 140 dwellings (greenfield)

(18)H1.3 Land south of Stamford Road 66 dwellings (greenfield)

Uppingham Total: 316 dwellings

(17)To be allocated through the Uppingham Neighbourhood Plan

Larger Villages Total: 184 dwellings

(25)H1.4 Officer Mess, Edith Weston 90 dwellings (brownfield)

(10)H1.5 Easson's garage, Cottesmore 8 dwellings (brownfield within PLD)

(5)H1.6 Main Street, Empingham 6 dwellings (brownfield within PLD)

(6)H1.7 Land South West of Belmesthorpe Lane, Ryhall 12 dwellings (brownfield within PLD)

(8)H1.8 Land at Main Street, Cottesmore 8 dwellings (greenfield)

(3)H1.9 Land east of Stamford Road, Exton 15 dwellings (greenfield)

(9)H1.10 Land at the Workshops, Exton 15 dwellings (brownfield)

(13)H1.11 Land off cemetery Road, Manton 10 dwellings (greenfield)

(2)H1.12 Land off Main Street, Market Overton 20 dwellings (greenfield)

Stamford Total: 650 dwellings

(157)Part of Stamford North 650 dwellings

(164)(Quarry Farm/Monarch Park) (greenfield urban extension)

Total Supply 1,375 dwellings

In additional the following sites are identified as Reserve Sites which may be required if the housing requirement increases or any of the preferred sites listed above become unavailable.

Reserve Sites Total: 657 dwellings

(35)H1.a Land North of Mill Lane Cottesmore 90 dwellings (greenfield)

(10)H1.b Land North of Pennine Drive, Edith Weston 84 dwellings (greenfield)

(6)H1.c Whitwell Road South, Empingham 40 dwellings (greenfield)

(32)H1.d Land at Manor Farm, Essendine 39 dwellings (greenfield)

(6)H1.e Land south of Oakham Road, Greetham 28 dwellings (greenfield)

(15)H1.f Land between Meadow Lane and Belmesthorpe Road, Ryhall 80 dwellings (greenfield)

(15)H1.g Land West of Ashwell Road, Oakham 286 dwellings (greenfield)

(11)H1.h South of Glebe Road, North Luffenham 10 dwellings (greenfield )

Why is this policy needed?

The government's standard method for calculating housing requirements for local authorities - called the local housing need (LHN) - gives a minimum housing requirement for Rutland of an average of 123 dwellings per annum (as at March 2023). The Local Plan will therefore make provision to meet this minimum requirement of 123 dwellings, over the period 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2041 (20 years); i.e., 2,460 dwellings over the plan period. This figure will be used as the basis for calculating the Five-Year Housing Land supply during the plan period.

The proposed supply of housing for this Local Plan is set out below. It is proposed to apply a contingency buffer of 10% to ensure delivery of the minimum housing requirement. This will also provide for a level of market choice.

The council is committed to delivering its LHN as a minimum through the allocation of suitable, available, and deliverable sites in this Local Plan. Taking account of commitments and completions since April 2018, the preferred site allocations proposed in Policy H1 meet the overall requirements for the amount and distribution of development set out in the Spatial Strategy.

Table 4

Requirement 2021-41

(123* dpa + 10% buffer)

Proposed target spatial distribution

Commitments at 31st March 2023*

Completions from April 2021 to March 2023*

Minimum indicative target housing supply to deliver the requirement

Stamford North**

650 leaving 2,056

650

Oakham

45% = 925

605

137

183

Uppingham

25%= 514

195

3

316

Larger Village with PLD

25% = 514

310

51

153

Small villages/ hamlets (without a PLD)

5% = 102

55

2

Indicative provision of an additional 45- dwellings assumed to be delivered through infill/windfall in these villages without proposing allocations in these settlements

County Total

2706

2705

1,165

193

1347

* These figures will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis during the preparation of the Local Plan.

** It is intended now that any development on the Rutland part of a comprehensive Sustainable Urban Extension to Stamford should count towards Rutland's housing needs and so reduce the requirement for new housing elsewhere in Rutland.

The NPPF states that the overall strategic housing requirement policy in the Local Plan should set out a housing requirement for designated neighbourhood plan areas which reflects the overall strategy for the pattern and scale of development and any relevant allocations. Therefore, this Local Plan establishes the strategy for the pattern and scale of development (in Policy SD2) and has allocated suitable and deliverable sites in settlements across the County (excluding Uppingham) and the proposed allocations included in this Plan are considered to meet that requirement.

It is expected that allocations in Uppingham will come forward through their Neighbourhood Plan. This is expected to cover the period up to 2041 and will align with the scale of development proposed for Uppingham set out above.

Neighbourhood plans can, however, make provision for more housing development than that required in the strategic policy and the Council supports groups that wish to provide site allocations for housing development within their neighbourhood plans that go beyond the minimum requirement contained in the strategic policy, particularly those who assess their local housing needs through an appropriate assessment and plan to meet it. As a general guide, additional housing development should not exceed 5% of the number of existing dwellings in the neighbourhood plan area or be no more than 20% greater than the minimum requirement already allocated in this Local Plan.

In making site allocations, neighbourhood plan groups should demonstrate how the selected site(s) meet the site appraisal methodology, including the Sustainability Appraisal which has been used to determine site allocations in this Local Plan and clearly set out how any additional local assessment criteria has been applied. In making additional allocations consideration should be given to delivering a proportion of this requirement as small/medium sites (of less than 1 hectare (ha)) for development by small scale local builders and as custom and self-build homes in accordance with Policy H8).

Annual monitoring of housing supply will be used to help monitor the rate of housing delivery on the allocated sites during the plan period in accordance with the housing trajectory set out in the Council's Authority Monitoring Report.

The sites that are allocated have been identified as a result of an extensive site appraisals process, which included appraisal against the Sustainability Objectives from the Sustainability Appraisal. All sites put forward to the Council through the Call for Sites in 2022 and subsequent site submissions and outstanding Local Plan and neighbourhood plan allocations have been appraised where they are within and immediately adjacent to the towns and those villages identified as Larger Villages.

The site appraisal process has considered each site against a consistent set of criteria which cover environmental, social, and economic factors. In order to ensure that sufficient land is identified which is deliverable and in a suitable location to meet the housing needs of the County, the site appraisal process considers the likelihood of suitable sites being delivered during the plan period. This includes land ownership, and the site promoters' intentions in terms of planning permission and releasing land; the involvement of developers and predicted build out rates. This is to try to ensure (as much as the Council can) that the sites which are allocated in the plan will be delivered.

Development principles to guide the form, layout, dwelling mix, and infrastructure needs of each allocated site will be set out in the next stage of the Local Plan.

What you told us about this topic

60% of respondents to the Issues and Options consultation indicated a preference to apply the Governments calculation of housing need with a contingency of 10% citing concerns about the impact of development on infrastructure and the environment as reasons for supporting this option. Making the best use of brownfield sites to minimise greenfield development was also suggested solution for delivering homes.

Of the 22% supporting the highest growth option of 190 dwellings per annum concern for addressing housing affordability and providing homes alongside employment growth were cited.

What alternatives have we considered?

The Council could allocate just a few very large sites on the edges of the towns or villages rather than spread development over a larger number of smaller sites. This approach might not make the best use of brownfield land and could have a significant impact on the landscape and setting of those settlements where sites would need to be allocated.

All or some of the reserve sites listed above could be allocated to meet this alternative approach.

The preferred approach is designed to minimise the overall impact of new development on the landscape and setting of settlements in the County, make the best use of brownfield sites and to provide a wider spread of development across more communities to help support them as vibrant places where people want to live. It is important to understand that some or all of the reserve sites may still need to be allocated in the final version of the plan if the minimum housing need increases or if any of the preferred sites become unavailable or undeliverable.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy?

CS9 – Provision and Distribution of new housing

SP2 – Sites for Residential Development

Stamford North urban extension

The Rutland County boundary with Lincolnshire is close to the town of Stamford in South Kesteven. Evidence has shown that the most appropriate location for the future growth of the town of Stamford is to the north of the town. This development needs some land located in Rutland in order to achieve a comprehensive and sustainable development. This plan therefore includes a proposal for land to form the western end of a larger urban extension to the north of Stamford.

What will the policy do?

The policy allocates the site, in Rutland for housing development as part of the Stamford north development. The policy restricts the scale of development to 650 homes and requires the inclusion of a country park, local centre, and a road access from the Old Great North Road to Little Casterton Road to connect through to Ryhall Road in the east. This road connection is critical to the delivery of the whole Stamford north development. It is essential that the part of the site within Rutland is developed as part of a comprehensive proposal alongside the development in Lincolnshire.

(158)Policy H2 – Cross-boundary development opportunity – Stamford North

Land at Quarry Farm (also known as Monarch Park), Little Casterton, is allocated for development as part of a larger development opportunity extending eastwards known as Stamford North. The majority of this development site is allocated in South Kesteven District.

The portion of land within Rutland will only be brought forward for development in conjunction with the land in South Kesteven as part of a comprehensive mixed-use scheme known as Stamford North.

A proposal for the development of the Quarry Farm site will only be supported where it is in accordance with an agreed Masterplan or Development Brief or as part of a comprehensive planning application for the whole of the Stamford North development area.

The masterplan and planning application is expected to include:

  1. appropriate full transport assessment and phasing plan for the entire site, based on the latest Stamford Traffic Model; and
  2. residential development of no more than 650 homes (on the site within Rutland) of a mix of type, size and tenure as evidenced in the latest Housing Market Assessment (HMA) and in accordance with Policy H4 and to include:                           
    1. 30% of the site capacity as affordable housing to meet the need arising in Rutland;
    2. the requirements of Policy H5 (Accessibility Standards) for accessible and adaptable homes;
    3. 2% of site capacity to be provided as serviced self-build/custom build plots;
  3. country park incorporating the appropriate mitigation of potential harm to biodiversity and wildlife assets, including the appropriate translocation of notable species;
  4. a distributor road facilitating the connection of the Old Great North Road, Little Casterton Road and Ryhall Road and any associated junction improvements arising from this new road, including increasing capacity at the A1/A606 junction;                           
  5. localised traffic and highway safety measures in accordance with the requirements of an agreed Traffic Impact Assessment and a travel plan; and
  6. appropriate community infrastructure to support the scale of development included on the site, through the payment of CIL and either by direct on-site provision or as a site-specific financial contribution to off-site provision serving the wider Stamford North development;
  7. safe and convenient highway, footway, cycleway connections shall be provided throughout the site connecting it to local schools, community facilities and into the wider town;
  8. the development should positively respond to green infrastructure opportunities and provide sensitive landscaping to the northern and western edges of the site and provide at least 15% biodiversity net gain on site; and
  9. an appropriate buffer for the protection and enhancement of the setting of the Scheduled Monument at Great Casterton, the area of this buffer should be determined through a Heritage Impact Assessment;                                                                                                                                                                                      

*The entire Stamford North proposal can accommodate 2000 homes, including land within South Kesteven, however only the 650 homes delivered at Quarry Farm (Monarch Park) will contribute towards Rutland's housing need.

Why is this policy needed?

The NPPF advises plan makers that the supply of a large number of new homes can often be best achieved through planning for larger scale development, such as new settlements or significant extensions to existing villages and towns, provided that they are well located and designed, and supported by the necessary infrastructure and facilities.

The Local Plan process also requires Local Authorities to work together to ensure effective delivery across county boundaries, through the duty to co-operate. Rutland County Council has been working with South Kesteven and Lincolnshire County Council over a number of years to ensure that future development of Stamford is carefully planned.

The parish boundary for Little Casterton adjoins the edge of Stamford, a market town within South Kesteven District, making this a sustainable location albeit outside the administrative boundary for Rutland. As such there is scope for development within this area to support a comprehensive scheme and to overcome infrastructure constraints, and it is proposed that Rutland County Council will continue to work jointly with South Kesteven District Council. It is expected that development on the Rutland part of this comprehensive scheme would contribute to Rutland's housing needs.

In developing new Local Plans for both South Kesteven District Council and Rutland County Council, the two authorities have worked jointly to assess the need for, and suitability of land which spans the County boundary to the north of Stamford. This work has concluded that some land within Rutland will be needed as part of a larger urban extension to support the sustainable growth of the town and to facilitate an appropriate road connection and necessary infrastructure improvements to support the amount of growth proposed.

The portion of the development area known as Stamford North lies within Rutland is known as Quarry Farm (or Monarch Park). This site will only be brought forward for development in conjunction with the land in South Kesteven as a comprehensive mixed-use scheme which delivers a new road connection between Ryhall Road in the east and the Great North Road to the west. Any housing developed on the Quarry Farm site will contribute towards Rutland's housing supply and CIL monies and any specific S106 or onsite infrastructure provision directly related to Quarry Farm will be made to Rutland County Council.

A part of the Quarry Farm site is identified as a candidate wildlife site and would not normally be considered appropriate for development. However, the wider economic and social benefits arising from a comprehensive development in this location which delivers this new road connection is considered to outweigh the potential impact of development on wildlife in this instance. The candidate status of the site is due to the identification of important flora on site. The Leicestershire County ecologist service has worked with Rutland County Council to assess the potential impact of development on the wildlife interest and how this could be mitigated. The development proposal therefore requires the creation of a new wildlife site and the translocation of the notable species.

The developers and landowners of the sites which comprise "Stamford North" within RCC and SKDC have jointly prepared a Stamford North Delivery Statement which sets out a proposed means of delivering the scheme in an appropriate and coordinated manner to the benefit of the communities in both council areas. Together they have prepared a draft masterplan which sets out how the requirements of both councils can be met on site. Alongside this a Traffic Assessment has been prepared which proposes improvements to relevant junctions and highways safely measures in the town. Both Local Planning Authorities will need to approve the details of the masterplan and the relevant highway authorities, including Highways England will need to be satisfied that the proposed highway improvements are appropriate.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation highlighted that the majority of responded (82%) agreed that the portion of the Stamford north proposal within Rutland should contribute towards meeting Rutland's housing need.

Those who disagreed with this option highlighted that growth on the edge of Stamford is likely to be meeting needs in Stamford, which is in SKDC and the SKDC Local Plan had been adopted on the basis of this site contributing to their housing needs.

What alternatives have we considered?

The Council could have decided not to allocate the sites listed; however, this would prevent the delivery of the wider Stamford north proposal and therefore stifle future growth and development of Stamford. It would also adversely impact the five-year housing supply for South Kesteven and impact on the Duty to co-operate requirement for both SKDC and RCC. Failure to meet the duty to co-operate will result in the Local Plan being found unsound at examination.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy?

None in the adopted Local Plan

Housing Density

What will the policy do?

The policy sets a minimum housing density for the County whilst encouraging development to make the most effective use of land. Density of new development is required to consider the character and setting of the area in which it is located and the importance of securing well designed attractive and healthy places. This will result in a mix of high- and low-density development in different parts of the County.

(18)Policy H3- Housing density

New residential development is required to make the most efficient use of land whilst responding to local character, context, and distinctiveness. Residential densities will vary dependent upon the local area context and character and the sustainability of the location, but generally should be no less than 25 dph (dwellings per hectare).

Why is this policy needed?

The NPPF states that local planning authorities should promote an effective use of land taking account of the need for housing and development within their area together with the local housing market and viability, the character and setting of an area and the importance of securing well designed attractive and healthy places.

The evidence on density requirements for new development has been reviewed and shows that the previous policy requirements for density has not generally been met. The Council has decided that a better approach is to promote the efficient use of land in a way which responds to and reflects the local character and the opportunities presented by the site. This will result in a mix of high- and low-density development in different parts of the County.

Neighbourhood plans may establish locally appropriate density standards where they have evidence that the standard(s) meets the requirements of national and strategic policies in terms of making the most effective use of land and delivering housing and other development needs; and that the density or densities are appropriate for the locality.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation highlighted dwelling mix rather than density. However, there was one comment that density could be up to 30 dwellings per hectare on village sites and another suggesting that PLDs had been applied in a way that led to excessive density in villages. Another comment was that the Objectives should, "…Allow Sites to increase density to make the best use of the land."

What alternatives have we considered?

The 'Why the policy is needed section' sets out why the preferred approach has been chosen and the alternatives – selecting a higher or lower density that were not taken.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy?

CS10 - Housing density and mix

Housing Mix

What will the policy do?

The policy sets out the requirements for housing development of ten or more homes to provide a mix of dwelling types, sizes and tenures to meet the housing needs of the County as evidenced in the Housing Market Assessment. This will ensure that an appropriate balance of new homes is delivered.

(29)Policy H4 - Meeting all housing needs

Development proposals for sites of 10 or more dwellings should provide a range of house types, sizes, and tenures to meet the general and specialist needs for housing in Rutland as identified in the latest Housing Market Assessment or other up-to-date evidence of local housing need.

New housing proposals shall also:

  1. enable older people to promote, secure and sustain their independence in a home appropriate to their circumstances, through the provision of specialist housing (as defined in the Glossary) across all tenures in sustainable locations. New housing proposals shall take account of meeting identified needs for a growing ageing population by providing appropriate accommodation, including extra care and other forms of supported housing; and
  2. enable the provision of high-quality family housing that meets changing household needs and responds to market demand; and
  3. enable the provision of high quality and affordable housing for all and accommodation that considers specialist needs and ensures that people can chose to live close to their families and work opportunities within the County; and
  4. increase choice in the housing market, including new build private sector rented accommodation (Build to Rent) across both rural and urban parts of the County.

Why is this policy needed?

As well as clearly defining the number of new homes needed within the County, it is also important that there is a clear understanding of the size, type and tenure of housing needed for different groups in the community so that an appropriate range of housing is required in particular locations, reflecting local demand can be planned for.

The Housing Market Assessment (HMA) 2023 (Figure 5.5) shows that Rutland has an existing housing stock which is biased towards larger housing within both owner- occupied and private rented tenures. Affordable housing for rent is spread more evenly across one-, two- and three-bedroom properties, although many of these are dedicated for older or physically disabled people which reduces drastically the number of one-bedroom dwellings available for younger single adults or childless couples. Modelling of household projections provides evidence about the mix of size and type of housing which will be required to meet the identified need. Housing provision in Rutland should be monitored against the following broad mix of market and affordable housing provision:

Table 5: Housing mix

Figure 4: Suggested size mix of housing by tenure – Rutland

Market

Affordable home ownership

Affordable housing (rented)

General needs

Older persons

1-bedroom

5-10%

15-20%

20-25%

55-60%

2-bedrooms

30-35%

40-45%

40-45%

40-45%

3-bedrooms

35-40%

30-35%

25-30%

4+-bedrooms

20-25%

5-10%

5-10%

Source: HMA 2023 (Chapter 5: Key Messages)

The HMA 2023 (paragraph 41) identifies that the number of people in Rutland aged 65+ is expected to increase by 24% during the period 2023 to 2033, leading to a need for specialist housing for older people. (However, as discussed below, there is not a clear need for more care bedspaces.) Given that the number of older people is expected to increase in the future and that the number of older single person households is expected to increase this would suggest (if occupancy patterns remain the same) that there will be a notable demand for smaller housing from the ageing population. In addition to homes for an ageing population, the Council's Older People's Accommodation Market Position Statement 2021 projects that existing residential and nursing care beds, taking account of vacant beds and a recently opened home, will be sufficient until around 2043 (paragraph 4.6). These figures will be revised as and when the Market Position Statement is updated.

The specific requirements for dwelling mix on sites proposed for allocation will be determined at the next stage of the Local Plan. This will include provision for an appropriate mix of housing size, type, tenure, and design to meet the different needs arising from population and household changes demonstrated in the HMA. The development principles included in these policies will guide the form, layout, dwelling mix, and infrastructure needs of each site.

It may not always be feasible to provide a mix of housing types, particularly on smaller sites but larger sites (of 10 or more dwellings) will be expected to include a range of housing types, sizes and tenures to ensure that the needs of all sectors of the community are met, including newly forming households, young couples and expanding households, as well as more specialist needs such as the elderly, learning disability and care leavers and those with physical disabilities.

Neighbourhood plans can also play an important role in identifying where there is a particular need for a specific type, size, or tenure of housing development. Where they have evidence to support such needs, they may choose to include a specific housing mix policy or allocate site or sites for specific types of development within their neighbourhood plan.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation highlighted two options for housing mix in Question 16:

Option A - Maintain the current flexibility on the different house types/sizes that should be provided by developers and encourage the mix to reflect local needs;

Option B - Set specific requirements for the types and mix of homes that should be provided on development sites, to ensure that new housing more closely matches need.

37% of responses supported Option A and 63% supported Option B. However, the general view from developers and agents was to support Option A whilst taking account of up-to-date evidence.

What alternatives have we considered?

Requiring or allocating care homes – however the projected need and existing bedspaces do not necessitate this.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy?

CS10 - Housing density and mix

Adaptable and accessible homes

What will the policy do?

The policy requires all new homes to be adaptable and accessible and meet the M4(2) accessibility standards which are additional to the standard Building Regulation Part M requirements. Large developments of 100 or more homes will be expected to provide 1% of the site capacity to meet the higher M4(3) standards.

(16)Policy H5 – Accessibility standards

All new dwellings are required to be adaptable and accessible as defined in part M4(2) Category 2 Accessible and adaptable dwellings of the Building Regulations, unless, by exception only, where M4(2) is impractical and unachievable.

(Exceptions may be due to issues such as topography, or flats that are first floor or above and which are not specialist accommodation for older people. Viability will not be an acceptable reason for failure to provide M4(2) where there are no such exceptional reasons, nor will any absence of compliant standard property types.)

On sites totalling 100 or more dwellings, a minimum of 1% of all dwellings is required to meet part M4(3) of the Building Regulations.

Why is this policy needed?

New homes should be high quality, accessible and sustainable. To achieve this, the Government has created new technical standards. These standards include optional additional standards for water, accessibility, and space. Local Planning Authorities can choose to include these optional standards in the local plan - if included, these accessibility standards are additional to the standard Building Regulation Part M requirements. The Council is mindful of the fact (detailed below) that the Government has announced that the M4(2) standard will become mandatory.

The Nationally Described Space Standard deals with the internal space within new dwellings. It sets out requirements for gross internal floor area at defined levels of occupancy as well as floor areas for key parts of the home, such as bedrooms, storage, and floor to ceiling heights. These standards are not part of the Building Regulations. In considering whether to impose the standards regard should be given to need for the standards in the area and the effect on viability.

Whilst there is evidence that current housing stock in the County, particularly properties of 3 bedrooms or less, does not meet these standards, due to the impact on the lower end of the housing market and the relatively low bedroom occupation levels in Rutland it is not considered appropriate to include the Nationally Described Space Standards in local policy at this time.

The introduction of optional accessibility standards may in practice help with dwelling space standards indirectly. The Building Regulation M4 is in 3 parts.

M4(1) – Category 1 Visitable Dwellings (all dwellings) (required)

M4(2) – Category 2 Accessible and adaptable dwellings (currently optional)

M4(3) – Category 3 Wheelchair user dwellings (optional)

In July 2022, the Government announced the outcome of the 2020 consultation on raising accessibility standards of new homes saying:

"Government proposes that the most appropriate way forward is to mandate the current M4(2) (Category 2: Accessible and adaptable dwellings) requirement in Building Regulations as a minimum standard for all new homes – option 2 in the consultation. M4(1) will apply by exception only, where M4(2) is impractical and unachievable (as detailed below). Subject to a further consultation on the draft technical details, we will implement this change in due course with a change to building regulations."

The Government will now consult further on the technical changes to the Building Regulations to mandate the higher M4(2) accessibility standard. No timescale has been announced.

This policy is needed:

  • to secure the provision of M4(2) dwellings before the proposed introduction of the revised Building Regulations
  • to ensure that provision is made for M4(3) dwellings on large sites.

The number of residents with mobility needs is set to increase substantially. Whilst not every person with mobility needs will need a property to the higher M4(2) accessibility standard, people's needs may change over time and properties built to M4(2) provide greater flexibility compared with M4(1) which is the normal minimum required by the Building Regulations at the time of writing. The Government has announced that the normal minimum accessibility requirement will be M4(2). In the meantime, before the Government has phased it in, the Local Plan policy will reflect this, backed up by the findings of the HMA 2023. Given the increased number of people with disabilities forecast in Rutland in the period to 2033 by the HMA, the M4(2) accessibility standard will be required where practicable. The HMA 2023 also highlighted a smaller need for M4(3) dwellings. Paragraph 41 estimates that the need is for up to 190 homes designed to accommodate wheelchair users (M4(3)) in Rutland for the ten-year period 2023-33. The HMA 2023 states in paragraph 6.67: "Nationally, around 3.4% of households contain a wheelchair user – with around 1% using a wheelchair indoors." The Council has taken a viable approach towards meeting this need. This is by requiring, on sites totalling 100 or more dwellings, 1% of all dwellings to meet the M4(3) standard.

Chapter 8 of the Whole Plan Viability Assessment makes allowance for the higher access standards proposed.

Research by the Council indicates that there is little or no overall need for additional care home beds during the lifetime of the Local Plan. Further information is included under Policy H4 - Meeting All Housing Needs.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation (question 19) highlighted that 81% of respondents felt that higher Building Regulations for accessibility should be required for some or all of new homes.

In response to question 19, 88% of respondents were in favour of identifying sites specifically for specialist housing for older people.

What alternatives have we considered

We have considered allocating sites specifically for older person's housing. We feel that this may be too much of an intervention in the market and that such sites may come forward on suitable brownfield sites, or as part of large allocations, without allocations being required solely for older people or people with disabilities being required. This was the case with the previous Local Plan. Allocating sites may lead to more provision than is required.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy

CS19 – Promoting good design (this will replace the "Lifetime Homes" elements of Policy CS19 although these have already passed into abeyance following the introduction of the optional Building Regulations in 2015.)

Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding

What will the policy do?

The policy supports the Government's intention to significantly increase self-build and custom-build housing by supporting proposals for individual plots and small sites for self and custom build homes which are located and designed in a way which meets the requirements of other policies in the plan.

(14)Policy H6 – Self-build and custom housebuilding

Proposals for self and custom build housing, to be occupied as homes by those individuals, will be supported by the Council where they are in conformity with all other relevant local and national policies.

Larger development sites will be encouraged to make serviced plots available for self and custom build homes.

Where evidence is provided demonstrating that a plot has been appropriately marketed for a minimum period of 12 months but has failed to be sold for self-build development the Council will consider whether the plot(s) may be built out by the developer in a way that is neither self-build nor custom-build.

Why is this policy needed?

In 2016 the Government introduced a requirement for local planning authorities to maintain registers of people and organisations wishing to acquire plots of land for self-build and custom housebuilding projects. The Government's intention is that there should be a significant increase in self-build and custom housebuilding (see Glossary for definition).

The Council is required to grant planning permission for enough plots to meet the demand, as evidenced by the numbers of people on Part 1 of its Self-build and Custom Housebuilding Register. There were 27 people on the Council's Self build Register at 31st October 2022. The quantified demand identified in the base periods has been met through a number of planning permissions granted. However there remains a shortfall in suitable plots and the demand for self-build plots is reflected in in the HMA 2023 which identifies a continuing demand for plots in the County and emphasises the need for a specific policy.

Communities preparing neighbourhood plans will also be encouraged to consider the identification of sites specifically for self and custom-build projects within their neighbourhood plan area.

The Council will encourage the provision of serviced self-build plots as part of larger development sites. In deciding the location and scale of serviced plots on larger development sites developers are encouraged to consider the practicalities, attractiveness and deliverability of the self-build plots in relation to the market development and the impact that self-build development can have on health and safety compliance during site construction and the impact of self-build construction on the construction of market development phases; in particular regard will need to be given to the impact of development where occupants have already moved in.

It is important that the policy approach is flexible and accounts for challenges associated with self-build and custom housebuilding. Consideration must be given to viability around delivering self and custom build plots on larger private schemes and the impact that self-build development can have on health and safety and compliance issues during site construction, or the potential negative impacts of significantly extending the construction phase on large sites; particularly where occupants have already moved in. The policy therefore provides a degree of flexibility to recognise these constraints and where it is evidenced, that the plots have been made available and marketed and priced appropriately for at least 12 months, serviced plots may be built out as conventional market housing or for affordable housing by the developer. It is important that it is evidenced that plots have been appropriately marketed in local estate agents and through specialist custom build agents such as Buildstore and Plotsearch.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation (question 18) highlighted two options for self-build (and custom-build) housing:

  • Option A: Encourage self-build development by setting out where it will be supported in principle.
  • Option B: Consider allocating sites specifically for self-build housing or requiring a proportion of large housing sites to be available for self-builders.

49% of responses supported Option A and 51% supported Option B.

There were concerns expressed about the practicality and demand for self-build plots within large market allocations. It was suggested by some that demand could be monitored and allowed for over time, possibly with the aid of a Supplementary Planning Document.

Monitoring shows that Rutland has delivered sufficient Self build dwellings to meet the need shown through its Self-Build register, however it is important that proposals for such development continue to come forward to address demand. A requirement for self-build plots to be made available on very large development will be applied to specific allocations and policy H6 above sets out where self-build homes will be supported in principle.

What alternatives have we considered?

The Council could allocate sites specifically for Self and Custom Build homes. This is not considered appropriate or necessary at this time.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy?

This is a new policy.

Affordable Housing

What will the policy do?

The policy sets out a requirement for a minimum of 30% affordable homes to be provided as part of developments of 10 or more homes in the parishes of Oakham and Uppingham, and on sites of 6-9 homes in all other parts of the County. The policy prescribes how affordable homes should be incorporated into a development scheme and what they are expected to include.

(38)Policy H7 - Affordable housing

All major residential developments comprising 10 or more dwellings (or with a site area of 0.5 hectares or more) will be required to make provision, onsite, for a minimum of 30% of the scheme's total capacity as affordable housing. On brownfield sites, consideration will be given to the application of vacant building credit.

This includes development incorporating Use Class C2 supported housing, where these meet the Council Tax definition of a dwelling.

In the Designated Rural Areas (all parishes outside Oakham and Uppingham parishes) developments of between 6 and 9 dwellings inclusive will also be required to make affordable housing provision for 30% of the scheme's total capacity. In Designated Rural Areas, developments of between 6 and 9 dwellings inclusive may make contributions in the form of off-site contributions unless a relevant neighbourhood plan requires provision to be onsite.

Otherwise, in accordance with the NPPF, the Council will only accept affordable housing provision off site; or as a commuted sum in lieu of onsite provision, where it is robustly justified and where the agreed approach contributes towards creating mixed and balanced communities.

The affordable housing requirement together with all other policy requirements in this plan have been assessed as being viable for the development types and sites allocated in this plan, therefore it is assumed that all development proposals will be viable. In exceptional circumstances, where robust evidence demonstrates that the specifics of an individual site and scheme justify the need for a viability assessment, consideration may be given to the viability assessment at the planning application stage. The Council will follow national guidance (set out in national PPG) to determine the exceptional circumstances where a site-specific viability appraisal might be accepted. In such cases the viability assessment should be prepared in accordance with the approach set out in national planning guidance and will be made publicly available. Independent verification of the viability assessment will be sought by the Local Planning Authority and the cost of this work will be borne by the applicant. The Council will determine how much weight it gives to the viability assessment in each case.

Affordable housing must:

  1. be of a combination of sizes and affordable tenure which meets the proven local and affordability housing need, including the number of bedrooms, property type and floor space;
  2. at least two-thirds of affordable housing will normally be affordable housing for rent and the remainder will be affordable home ownership, both within the definition in Annex 2 of the NPPF, with the exception of First Homes Exception Sites where a more flexible approach can be taken through Policy H9 (First Homes Exception Sites);
  3. normally where major development is proposed, as part of the overall affordable housing provision, planning decisions should expect at least 10% of the total number of homes to be available for affordable home ownership, unless a contrary approach is justified by the relevant paragraph of the NPPF;
  4. achieve a minimum of 25% of all affordable homes secured through developer contributions as First Homes (with the exception of Oakham and Barleythorpe whilst they are covered by their Neighbourhood Development Plan which was 'made' on 24 June 2022);
  5. where affordable home ownership is included, as part of the overall affordable housing provision , ensure the properties meet a range of relevant local demand and local affordability;
  6. be equivalent in standard and siting to typical open market properties of the same floorspace/number of bedrooms/general type;
  7. be well integrated with the open market housing through layout, siting, design, and style (to promote sustainable communities, the size and location of groups of affordable homes should be discussed and agreed with the Council);
  8. on very large sites (of 100 or more homes) affordable homes should be in groups of no more than 10 homes in different locations around the site;
  9. homes for ownership, other than flats and shared ownership, should be available on a freehold basis and not subject to leasehold arrangements; and
  10. be supported by appropriate nomination agreements to be agreed with the Council.

The Council may refuse development proposals which, in its opinion, seek to under-develop or split sites in a way that is likely to reduce the affordable housing contribution and/or promote off-site provision.

Why is this policy needed?

An adequate supply of housing which is affordable for local incomes is an essential part of creating sustainable communities and helps to support a thriving local economy and promote social inclusion. The planning system plays a central role in increasing the supply of affordable housing by creating mixed and balanced communities.

Rutland suffers particular problems regarding affordable housing, having some of the very highest average house prices in the region and a high proportion of large houses. The main method by which the planning system can help is by requiring developers to provide or contribute towards affordable housing as part of their developments and by allowing small developments solely for affordable housing as an exception to normal planning policies. The Council is required by the NPPF to meet the need for both market and affordable housing in its housing market area and policies for affordable housing should specify the type of affordable housing required. Other than in prescribed circumstances it is expected that affordable housing will be delivered on site.

Affordable housing is defined in the NPPF (2023) as housing for sale or rent for those whose needs are not met by the market (including housing which provides a subsidised route to home ownership and/or is for essential local workers). The NPPF goes on to define the following groups which meet this:

The NPPF provides a definition of each of these categories and should be consulted for clarity. Further details can also be found on the Council's website: https://www.rutland.gov.uk/housing/new-affordable-homes              

The Housing Market Assessment (HMA) (2023) for Rutland analyses the need for affordable homes in all categories of the definition and has split this analysis between a 'traditional' need (which is mainly for social/affordable rented accommodation and is based on households unable to buy or rent in the market) and the 'additional' category of need introduced by the revised NPPF/PPG (which includes housing for those who can afford to rent privately but cannot afford to buy a home). The HMA concludes that there is an annual need for an additional 78 "traditional" affordable housing units per year. There are many households in Rutland who are being excluded from the owner-occupied sector. It is also clear that there are a number of households likely to be able to afford to rent privately but who cannot afford to buy a suitable home. The analysis would therefore suggest that a key issue in the County is about access to capital (e.g., for deposits, stamp duty, legal costs) as well as potentially mortgage restrictions (e.g., where employment is temporary) rather than simply the cost of housing to buy. The HMA is inconclusive about the scale of the need for affordable home ownership but carries out further analysis based on an assumption of 36 additional affordable homeownership properties being needed per year.

Delivery

Under Policy H7, one-third of affordable housing will normally be affordable home ownership and the remaining two-thirds will be affordable housing for rent, both within the definition in Annex 2 of the NPPF. Policy H7 allows two over-lapping requirements in national planning policy to be met. Under paragraph 65 of the NPPF, 10% of the total homes on a major housing development (sites of 10 or more homes or of 0.5 hectares or more) should normally be available for affordable home ownership. Under the Written Ministerial Statement on First Homes, 25% of the affordable homes on a site should normally be First Homes.

In order to meet this need, Policy H7 sets out a requirement for 30% affordable housing on new housing developments which meet the thresholds established by national planning policy. Onsite affordable housing is therefore normally required on all major housing proposals with a capacity for 10 dwellings or more, or where the site has an area of 0.5 hectares or more. With the exception of the parishes of Oakham and Uppingham, all parishes in Rutland are 'Designated Rural Areas' under Statutory Instrument 2004/418. In these locations, housing proposals for six to nine dwellings will also be required to make provision for affordable housing which will normally be in the form of a commuted sum for off-site affordable housing provision.

Affordable housing is required from development incorporating Use Class C2 supported housing, where these meet the Council Tax definition of a dwelling. Paragraph 6.60 of the HMA states, "…it should be noted that in July 2020 the High Court rejected claims that 'extra care' housing should not contribute affordable homes because it falls outside C3 use (CO/4682/2019)."

In accordance with NPPF affordable housing provision should be made on-site unless the off-site provision or an appropriate financial contribution can be robustly justified, and the agreed approach contributes to the objective of creating mixed and balanced communities. Where commuted sum payments in lieu of onsite provision are robustly justified, these will normally be used for providing affordable housing within the vicinity of the development site. Otherwise, they will be pooled towards providing affordable housing elsewhere in Rutland. The sum payable will be calculated where practicable on the basis of the requirements set out in high level viability modelling and will vary according to the locality and circumstances of each site.

The Council's policy – and the calculation method used – is based on the commuted sum being broadly equivalent to the cost of on-site provision and will therefore contain elements of the construction and services cost as well as the land cost.

Demonstrating viability

The Whole Plan Viability Assessment (2023) assesses the viability of this requirement for a range of site types and locations in the County. The report concludes that this level of affordable housing should be viable across most site typologies. It is therefore assumed that the affordable housing requirement is viable and deliverable on all sites unless exceptional circumstances are demonstrated. The Council will use the guidelines set out in the national PPG to determine whether exceptional circumstances apply to a specific proposal. Only in such circumstances will a site viability assessment be considered. The Council may have a viability assessment independently appraised. Where this occurs the cost of the appraisal will be borne by the applicant. In accordance with the NPPF, affordable housing should be provided on site on major development proposals. The general presumption will be that the cost of providing affordable housing will be offset in the negotiation of the land purchase or option. The land value should include all costs including planning gain requirements. On larger sites affordable housing delivery may be phased over the lifetime of the development.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation highlighted the need for a breakdown of affordable housing types, including First Homes. It also highlighted the need for delivery of affordable housing to be viable.

Question 17 of the Issues and Options consultation regarded housing tenure mix within affordable provision. 34% of respondents wished to retain the current split of 67% affordable housing to rent and 33% affordable home ownership (Option A). Increasing the provision of affordable home ownership was supported by 16% (Option B), whilst increasing the proportion of affordable rent was supported by 50% (Option C).

What alternatives have we considered?

Increasing the proportion of affordable rented housing (and/or social rented housing) was considered, but any significant change would have impacted severely on viability.

Increasing the amount of affordable home ownership was considered, but this would not have met the needs identified in the Housing Market Assessment.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy?

CS11 - Affordable housing

SP9 - Affordable housing

Rural Exceptions Housing

What will the policy do?

The Policy numbers beginning 'SS' establish the spatial strategy for the County. This allows for larger scale housing development within the towns and larger villages through allocated sites and by small scale infill development. Local housing need, including some of the need for affordable housing in these locations, will generally be delivered through the application of Policy H7 Affordable Housing. However, in the smaller villages and hamlets, housing will primarily be delivered through small scale infill sites and rural exception sites. This policy sets out the circumstances and requirements for the delivery of affordable homes in the smaller villages and hamlets.

(8)Policy H8 - Rural exception housing

  1. Small sites for affordable housing (which meets the NPPF definition of affordable housing) may be permitted within or adjoining villages as an exception to normal policies of restraint provided that they:
    1. are justified by evidence of need from a local housing needs survey;
    2. meet the needs for affordable housing of households who are currently resident, or have a local connection as defined in the Council's published housing allocations policy;
    3. should have access to a basic range of services appropriate to the form of housing proposed;
    4. have appropriate safeguards in place to ensure that the housing will remain affordable to successive occupiers in perpetuity; and
    5. are supported by appropriate nomination agreements to be agreed with the Council.
  2. Exceptionally, the Council will consider provision of market housing as a means of cross subsidising affordable housing as part of a rural exception sites where:
    1. the provision of market housing to cross-subsidise the affordable housing is essential and proportionate; and
    2. the development meets the identified affordable housing requirement on site and not additional needs from elsewhere; and
    3. the land value for the affordable homes does not exceed the level that would have normally been paid for a rural exception site (to be confirmed by an independent valuer commissioned by the Council at the applicant's expense); and
    4. the land value for the market homes is not (adjusting for the size of the plot) 50% or more greater than the level that would normally have been paid for land on a rural exceptions site (to be confirmed by an independent valuer commissioned by the Council at the applicant's expense); and
    5. the proposal has not and will not receive any public subsidy for its development; and
    6. the site must be within, or immediately adjacent to, the Planned Limits of Development of a Larger Village as defined in Policy SS1 or adjacent to existing built form of a Smaller Village, and the number of market homes must in no circumstances exceed 30% of the overall homes on the site and that the total internal floor area of the market homes does not exceed the total internal floor area of the affordable housing for rent
    7. all sites must include affordable housing for rent; and
    8. the number of market homes must not exceed the number of affordable housing for rent; and
    9. they are supported by appropriate nomination agreements to be agreed with the Council.

Why is this policy needed?

National policy encourages Local Planning Authorities in rural areas to be responsive to, and plan for, housing development to reflect local needs, including where appropriate rural exceptions sites. In all cases rural exceptions sites should be small in scale and located within or immediately adjacent to villages and will be an exception to normal policies of restraint.

Policy H8 (Rural Exception Housing) also allows for small sites for affordable housing within or immediately adjacent to villages as an exception to normal policies of restraint, provided that they meet certain requirements in terms of meeting affordable housing needs and local affordability. This should be evidenced by a local housing need survey for the village, parish, or group of villages, and could be carried out as part of preparing a neighbourhood plan. Homes provided through this policy should remain affordable in perpetuity.

Market housing within rural exception sites

In normal circumstances a rural exception site will be solely for affordable housing. However, in exceptional circumstances, the Council will consider an element of market housing within a rural exception site in order to cross-subsidise affordable housing. For the purposes of this policy a 'market' dwelling is any dwelling which is not affordable housing as defined in the NPPF.

The number of affordable homes provided on a site should not exceed the proven need and the number of market houses proposed must be determined by submission of a robust viability assessment which shows the minimum number of market houses that would be required to make the scheme viable and therefore guarantee successful delivery of the affordable housing component. Viability assessment should meet the requirements set out in national Planning Policy Guidance (PPG), including ensuring that land values reflect the nature of an exception site and are robustly evidenced. In no circumstances should the proportion of market dwellings exceed 30% of the overall dwellings on site. The Council will have any such viability assessment independently verified at the applicant's cost.

Where exception sites include market housing, the combined gross internal floor area of those market homes must not exceed the combined gross internal floor area of the affordable housing for rent. It is envisaged that the average gross internal floor area of the market homes is unlikely to be less than that of the affordable housing for rent, but in any case, the number of market homes must not exceed the number of affordable housing for rent.

The requirement for a viability assessment will help to maximise the delivery of affordable homes in relation to market homes. Exception sites which contain market homes but no affordable housing for rent will not be permitted.

Exception sites which contain market housing must meet all their affordable housing provision on the development site, to demonstrate their viability and promote sustainable communities. Similarly, an exception site containing market housing must not be subsidised by another development seeking to make off site provision on the exception site, either through commuted sum or off-site provision in kind.

Successful delivery of these exceptional schemes will require Section 106 agreements including trigger points linking the delivery of market homes to the delivery of affordable homes. These will not restrict the price or include residency restrictions for open market homes but will require the home to be occupied as the sole or principal residence of an owner-occupier or tenant. It may also restrict the future increase in floor area, directly or indirectly, where this would not be in line with the policy.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation highlighted that there was scope for some sustainable development in villages. 50% of respondents (question 17) wished there to be more than 67% affordable rented housing within affordable housing provision.

What alternatives have we considered?

A higher proportion of affordable rented housing could be taken into account for grant-aided sites for potential viability but would not be viable for grant-less developments.

Not allowing a small amount of market dwellings in rural exception sites, but this is permitted in the NPPF.

Allowing exception sites in towns. However, this is not in line with the NPPF where the focus is on rural exception sites. Appropriate provision for First Homes Exception Sites in towns is made in Policy H9.

Social rented dwellings could be required instead of affordable rented dwellings, but in most cases, this is not justified due to viability issues.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy

CS11 - Affordable housing

SP10 - Market housing within rural exception sites

First Homes Exceptions Sites

What will the policy do?

The policy sets out where first home exceptions sites will be acceptable, why they are needed and how proposals for these will be assessed.

(6)Policy H9 – First Homes Exception Sites

  1. Small exception sites for First Homes may be permitted within or adjoining Oakham and Uppingham on land not allocated for housing provided that they:
    1. are within the Parishes of Oakham and Uppingham; and
    2. meet a need for First Homes that is not already being met in Rutland; and
    3. do not compromise the protection given to areas or assets of particular importance in the NPPF; and
    4. may include a small proportion of other affordable homes (and may be required by the Council) due to significant identified local need; and
    5. do not compromise land needed for employment purposes.
  2. Exceptionally the Council will consider provision of market housing as a means of cross-subsidising affordable housing as part of a First Homes exception site where:
    1. the provision of market housing to cross-subsidise the affordable housing is essential and proportionate and evidenced by an open book viability assessment at the applicant's expense (including an independent review of the assessment commissioned by the Council also at the applicant's expense); and
    2. the development meets the identified affordable housing requirement on site and not additional needs from elsewhere; and
    3. the proposal has not and will not receive any public subsidy for its development; and
    4. the number of market homes must in no circumstances exceed 20% of the overall homes on the site and that the total gross internal floor area of the market homes does not exceed the total gross internal floor area of the affordable homes.

Why is this policy needed?

First Homes are a specific kind of discounted market sale housing considered to meet the definition of 'affordable housing' for planning purposes. They are new homes that are built for first time buyers and must be discounted by at least 30% against market value. First Homes are the government's preferred discounted market tenure and should account for at least 25% of all affordable housing units delivered by developers through planning obligations. As part of the First Homes concept the Government has introduced First Homes exception sites.

First Homes are generally covered by the Affordable Housing Policy H7. Rural exception sites (Policy H8) can only be allowed in Designated Rural Areas in Rutland, whereas First Homes exception sites are the opposite and can only be allowed outside Designated Rural Areas. As Rutland has both areas Designated Rural Areas and those which are not (parishes of Oakham and Uppingham) a separate policy for First Home Exceptions Sites is needed to cover Oakham and Uppingham.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation (question 17) highlighted First Homes as a Government policy. There were references to viability and the perceived need for the Council to sub-divide needs by specific types of Affordable Home Ownership. Comments were made that First Homes need to be taken into account for any policies with respect to affordable housing.

What alternatives have we considered?

We could have not adopted a local policy and relied solely on national policy. However, this would not have enabled the Council to set locally important parameters, such as specifying the parishes the Government has determined to be Designated Rural Areas and the requirements regarding the cross-subsidy by a small amount of market housing in some cases.

We have also retained a requirement for these sites to be 'small' and not merely the 'proportionate' requirement in national policy.

Supporting Evidence

Under the Planning Policy Statement for First Homes and the associated Written Ministerial Statement, First Homes Exception sites that are proportionate in size may be permitted in areas that are not Designated Rural Areas. In Rutland, the only parishes which are not designated rural areas are the parishes of Oakham and Uppingham.

Housing Market Assessment (August 2023)

First Homes Informal Planning Guidance 2022.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy?

This is a new policy which does not replace any Local Plan policy. It takes account of national guidance on First Homes and First Homes exception sites.

Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

Government Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (2015) (PPTS) states that local planning authorities should make their own assessment of the need for sites and that Local Plans should include fair, realistic and inclusive policies. They should set pitch targets for Gypsies and Travellers and plot targets for Travelling Showpeople, setting a 5-year supply of deliverable sites and identifying a longer-term supply of developable sites or broad locations for growth.

What will the policy do?

The policy sets out the level of need for Gypsies and Traveller sites and for Travelling Show People sites, as evidenced in the GTTSAA and allocates specific sites to help meet the need. As these sites will not meet the full level of known need the policy also provides criteria against which planning applications for new sites or new plots and pitches to be assessed.

As part of the consultation process for this draft Local Plan, we are calling for the submission of further suitable sites for Gypsies, Travellers or Travelling Showpeople for consideration for allocation due to limited choice and potential suitability of sites submitted to date.

(12)Policy H10 – Meeting the needs of Gypsies, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople

The Council will seek to meet the need identified in the latest Gypsy, Traveller, and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment (GTTSAA) for the period 2022-2041:

  • 16 pitches for Gypsies and Travellers
  • 33 plots for Travelling Showpeople (of which there is already a consent granted for 5 plots)

Specific allocations to meet the identified need are proposed below and shown on the Policies Map:

Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation:

(3)H10.1 The Paddocks site at Langham – modest-scale use of land at or adjacent to the existing site, of a size to be confirmed through the Local Plan and/or development management process, aimed at the families of existing residents;

(19)H10.2 Stocken Hall Road, Stretton – submitted site of 0.9ha with potential suitability for up to 8 pitches; and

(55)H10.3 Seaton Road, Uppingham – submitted site of 0.33ha, with potential suitability for up to 3 pitches.

Travelling Showpeople Accommodation:
  • Five Counties extension, Greetham – 28 plots, to be safeguarded for Travelling Showpeople for the plan period, with the allocation of Area (1) (already partly consented) confirmed and with Areas (2) and (3) to be allocated as reserve sites, preferred in that order.

(3)H10.4 Area 1 Five Counties Extension

(1)H10.5 Area 2 Five Counties Extension

(1)H10.6 Area 3 Five Counties Extension

Additional provision will be delivered through safeguarding authorised sites and policy compliant extensions to existing sites.

Proposals for sites for Gypsy and Traveller and/or Travelling Showpeople which meet identified need within the County will be permitted provided that:

  1. in the case of permanent sites, there is reasonable and convenient access to schools, medical services, shops, and other community facilities; and
  2. the site is well located and provides safe and convenient vehicular, pedestrian and cycle access and adequate parking, and will not result in a level of traffic generation which is inappropriate for roads in the area;
  3. the impact on heritage assets, landscape character and/or sites/areas of nature conservation value including the internationally designated nature conservation site of Rutland Water is minimised;
  4. the site provides adequate on-site facilities for parking, storage, play and residential amenity (including basic essential services);
  5. the site is not visually intrusive and will not have a detrimental effect on the amenities of adjacent occupiers;
  6. adequate levels of privacy and residential amenity for occupiers will be provided;
  7. site shall normally only be occupied by households who meet the planning definition of Gypsies, Travellers or Travelling Showpeople, or those who met the definition when they first moved onto the site and who still remain within the definition afterwards, except that subsequently they may give up travelling permanently for welfare reasons;
  8. no significant barriers to development exist in terms of flooding, poor drainage, poor ground stability or proximity to other hazardous land or installation where other forms of housing would not be suitable;

Further future provision is proposed to be made through a separate Action Plan Development Plan Document relating to a masterplan for the St. George's Barracks site (Policy SS5).

Call for Sites

Why is this policy needed?

The Council has published (in 2023) a new assessment of the accommodation needs of Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople (GTTSAA) in its area. There are families within the study area who would like to increase the number of pitches and plots and/or number of caravans allowed per pitch or plot on existing site/yards and consider that the expansion of sites with adequate space would contribute towards meeting existing need. The report concluded that there is an overall shortfall in Rutland over the next 20 years of some 16 residential pitches for Gypsies and Travellers and 33 plots for Travelling Showpeople. The need for 33 plots does not take account of 5 additional plots allowed in 2023 as an extension to an existing site to meet their need.

Given the future need in Rutland arises from the growth of existing families that are already resident in the County, the Council's approach will be to respond to those needs where they arise through proposed allocation, the extension of existing sites together with any suitable policy compliant application should be considered before new sites are allocated. The Council will work with stakeholders to ensure that this need is met. Therefore, the broad locations for future residential Gypsy and Traveller sites in Rutland should reflect the existing location of sites and the nearest most sustainable settlements.

The proposals set out in the plan to undertake a separate Development Plan Document for the St. George's Barracks Site will potentially provide an opportunity to address future need for Gypsy and Traveller pitches and plots for Travelling Showpeople.

The Council has previously adopted a criteria-based policy towards sites for Gypsies and Travellers and this had been successful in ensuring that sufficient sites have come forward to meet the previous need for sites for Gypsies and Travellers that had been identified. The Council works with the Multi-Agency Traveller Unit (MATU) in Leicester to support the travelling communities within the County. Evidence from MATU suggests that much of the current need for pitches and plots in Rutland arises from the need to accommodate existing families and may be better met through extension to existing sites or on new sites of sufficient size to accommodate the whole family. MATU, from interaction with families, are of the view that much of the identified need for plots for Showpeople are from family members who are not intending to join the family business. MATU's canvassing of residents regarding an appetite for an expansion of further plots found that they were not currently in a position to bring forward a further significant extension of the site, beyond the 5 plots already authorised in 2023. As such, it is likely that the some of the need for Gypsies and Travellers and Travelling Showpeople will be met through planning applications in due course.

The purpose of Policy H10 is to set out proposed allocations and a criteria-based policy for use in the assessment of other potential sites to address identified accommodation needs.

What you told us about this topic

The Issues and Options consultation (question 20) highlighted that 72% of respondents agreed with the Council reviewing the findings of the GTTSAA and then, if necessary, setting a new pitch requirement and identifying sites to meet need identified in the study.

What alternatives have we considered?

We have considered the provision of a transit site, but the GTTSAA did not find the need for such a site. We have concentrated on allocating sites for Gypsies, Travellers and Showpeople that meet the planning definition in PPTS. The need from households that do not meet the planning definition is relatively small, as evidenced by the GTTSAA and has been addressed through changes to criterion (g) of the criteria-based policy.

There is a shortage of sites to meet the identified need for Gypsies and Travellers, and so it is intended to undertake a further Call for Sites to address this requirement alongside the Preferred Options consultation.

Which existing policies will be replaced by this policy?

CS12 - Gypsies and Travellers

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