An outline of the housing polices covered by the neighbourhood plan
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Homes should only be built in the countryside if they are next to built-up areas and owned by local people, says the Sid Valley Neighbourhood Plan (SVNP).
The Herald will be taking each section of the plan and breaking down the policies and their proposed impact on the Sid Valley community ahead of a referendum on September 19.
If adopted, the SVNP will act as a blueprint for future developments in the area until 2032.
A large portion of the document is dedicated to housing, with policies on residential developments (policy 9), exception site (policy 10), affordable housing within the built up area boundary (BUAB) (policy 11), housing by number of bedrooms (policy 12) and local connection policy 13).
The SVNP found that, in general, residents were in favour of developments within the BUAB - areas defined as 'built-up' and appropriate for development. Anything outside of these 'built-up' areas are 'countryside'.
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It also found that the only developments people wanted to see outside the BUAB was replacement dwellings, new houses required for employed persons in rural businesses, or through the conversion of redundant farm buildings.
However in exceptional circumstances residential developments, with no more than 15 homes, can be built on land immediately next to the BUAB as long as the residents have a local connection, the homes are sized to meet local housing need, are in keeping with the area and 66 per cent is made up of affordable homes.
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The only time that the occupants do not have to meet the local connection criteria is when it has been demonstrated that such restrictions will impact economic viability and will prevent the delivery of the affordable housing.
Any new open market housing can also not be used as second homes, the plan states.
The plan states at least 50 per cent of homes in developments, with more than 10 homes in the BUAB, must be affordable - 70 per cent must be social or rented and 30 per cent should be shared ownership or shared equity. They must also be spread out throughout the development.
Affordable homes is social housing with rent capped at no more than 80 per cent of the local market average. Properties bought through a scheme such as Help to Buy or shared-ownership are also included.
The plan also highlights the expected number of two and three/four bedrooms homes needed as part of new development.