Role of the Housing Topic Group
We can identify gaps in housing provision and lobby to redress deficiencies. The two parish councils are not housing delivery agencies but, through the planning process administered by South Kesteven District Council, have an influence over the type, nature and design of housing.
Relevant aspects of the draft vision are aimed at securing:
● Growth that is proportionate and appropriate
● A more healthy and attractive place to live, work and play, a peaceful area
● A good place to grow up and grow old in, with healthier and mixed communities
● Supporting healthy behaviours and reductions in health inequalities.
● The housing needs of present and future residents with a supply that recognises local needs – particularly meeting historic unmet needs of single people and the elderly
● Significant advances in the affordability of large parts of every new major housing development.
● Improved well-being and active healthier lifestyles.
The type and tenure of housing. To review whether the delivery of housing meets the needs of local people, both present and future,
Place shaping. Does new development fit into the character of the Deepings, or otherwise enhance it. Does it help to ensure the viability and sustainability of the town, and is it well connected to services and local facilities with barrier free routes.
● Evidence points to local people broadly accepting that housing in the Deepings should continue to grow. This is tempered by continuing concern that growth has not been matched by infrastructure.
● Detached housing is the most prominent housing type for The Deepings (54% of all houses), the England average is 22%. Terraced properties and flats are far lower in proportion than the England average.
● The majority of housing is owner occupied (78%). There is a very low number of social rented homes (10%) compared to the national average (18%). Private rented property is also low (10% against the national 15%).
● The demand for affordable homes is strong irrespective of size. There are (at the end of 2017) about 300 applicant households (all with local connections) on the SKDC waiting list.
● Houses cost nearly 15 times the average annual earnings of low paid workers. This is the same as the England average.
● Planned housing growth. This is to be at the east and north at Towngate West and Linchfield Road through proposed allocations in the emerging local Plan. The growth up to 2036 includes these large sites but also permitted smaller development, and this will all add a further 20% or so to the existing 5550 households.
● Mix of housing types and tenures. This is required to meet local needs. There is a particular demand for two and three bed properties in the District, arising from newly forming households and older households seeking to downsize.
Ensuring an adequate supply of housing which is affordable for local incomes is an essential element of building a thriving and sustainable local economy and helps to promote social inclusion. Whist the District Council is building some, most will come from private developers as part of larger housing developments. More rented housing, both public and private is needed.
● Appropriate adapted and specialist housing is needed for an ageing population. The number of older people living in the District as a whole is expected to increase significantly – this has significant implications for meeting housing, health and care needs. Increasing need for specialist or extra care housing neds to be supported through targeted new build provision and providing adaptations to existing housing stock.