As some Local Authorities start to get their houses in order with regard to their local plan policy we take a look at the opportunities that still exist for housing development.

Allocated development

If your property has been allocated for development in any of the emerging local strategies and plans, the chances are you already know about it. Developers have been keen to enter options on allocated land.

Non Allocated development

If your site has not been allocated there may still be an opportunity for housing development. Generally sites must be within 1 kilometre of a primary school in a settlement where there may be a bus service, shop and other local facilities. If the Local Authority is yet to identify their Five year housing supply as is the case in Tewkesbury and the Cotswolds then these sites have a great chance of success.

Small scale

If the land you own is a little further from the daily essentials it will be tricky to win the sustainability argument. However,there may be an opportunity for a community led development if there is a need for more housing. A proposal supported by the Parish Council, local councillor and with relatively few neighbours objections could lead to a successful application. The route to gain local support may be with an element of affordable housing to meet an identified need or the provision of another ‘service’ such as space for a playing field. If you chose to go down this route, early communication with the Parish Council is vital.  This will ensure all parties are singing from the same sheet with regard to development. These types of development would need to be relatively small, say up to 10 dwellings, to ensure the levels of support required, can be achieved.

Brownfield sites

The Starter Home initiative for brownfield sites across England was launched in the spring however is only now being looked at more closely as the five year housing supplies are being satisfied. This scheme encourages development of brownfield sites to create a type of affordable homes. These homes are not conventional affordable homes (as they are not owned by a housing association or subsidised by the government) but affordable by design. This uses planning restrictions (Section 106 obligations) to ensure there is a limit on their value, the age of the person that can buy them and it must be the purchasers first house. This should make the dwellings affordable and provide a greater contribution to the overall housing supply.  Any brownfield development would not have to be 100% Starter Homes.  It could however provide a mixture with some open market dwellings, thereby increasing the viability of any proposal. This is attractive for both private investors and some of the smaller scale housing developers.  So if you have an underutilised brownfield site it is worth considering.

For more information on brownfield sites please visit the following website

Isolated dwellings

Single dwellings in the open countryside still remain relatively restricted. The options in this instance are:

  • Barn conversions – development of a barn that would lead to an enhancement of the immediate setting
  • Rural workers dwellings – having a financially sustainable enterprise that requires someone to be on site at all times
  • Exceptional innovative housing – Houses that go above and beyond the ordinary and are truly ‘Grand Designs’

If you would like more information regarding the above article,  please contact one of the team at Carver Knowles and we will be very  happy to assist you.