Draft Thanet Local Plan - 2031 - Pre-Submission Publication, Regulation 19

3 - Housing Strategy

3.1 The Plan's housing strategy sets out how the Local Plan seeks to meet the housing needs of Thanet alongside other partners, including the Council's housing regeneration, empty property and strategy functions. The Local Plan proposes to do this by:

  • identifying sufficient and suitable land for expected population growth;
  • requiring the right types of homes, including affordable homes and self-build and custom-build housing, to be provided to support economic growth and to meet the needs of the local community;
  • supporting the re-use of empty properties and restricting the loss of existing residential property; and
  • supporting area specific regeneration objectives.

3.2 The Local Plan must allocate enough land to accommodate the amount of housing needed by 2031. This amount of housing is known as the Objectively Assessed Need (OAN) and is calculated based on a number of factors including population growth, population change market signals and in-migration (including from London) and out migration. This Local Plan allocates sufficient land to meet the housing target over the plan period.

3.3 The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) aims to boost the housing supply and expects Local Plans to meet the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable homes.

3.4 The assessment of development needs is presented in the Thanet Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) January 2016 and update September 2016. Neighbouring Councils and other key stakeholders were invited to participate in workshops on the methodology and findings of the SHMA and subsequent review. In identifying this need it is important to consider key functional linkages between places where people live and work - this is known as a Housing Market Area and comprises the districts of Thanet, Canterbury and Dover. (There is also some overlap with parts of other adjoining authorities - Faversham in Swale, Chilham in Ashford and Folkestone in Shepway). The Council has worked closely with neighbouring authorities in addressing strategic housing needs and other cross-boundary issues. The Council intends to meet its housing need within the Thanet district.

3.5 The key driver of housing growth in Thanet has been the number of in-comers choosing to live in the district. Further in-migration will be needed to provide an adequate labour supply to deliver the economic strategy.

3.6 The Council's Housing Strategy seeks to create sustainable communities, recognising the need for Thanet's residents to have access to high quality housing which they can afford.

3.7 In particular it recognises the need for a greater emphasis on provision of family homes, that need for affordable housing outweighs supply, the importance of bringing empty property back into use to provide new homes, and the need to work with the private sector to drive up standards in the private rented sector. Its main objectives are to: -

  • Deliver a range of homes to meet the local housing need which residents can afford;
  • Make better use of the existing housing stock across all tenures and improve housing conditions;
  • Enable vulnerable people to access good quality housing and to live independently;
  • Provide an accessible housing options service for Thanet residents;
  • Deliver housing in support of our regeneration and economic development objectives

3.8 Reflecting this, an imperative of the housing strategy of the Local Plan will be to facilitate delivery of the type and quality of homes that will meet the needs of settled and mixed communities including in particular those aspiring to take advantage of and generate new employment opportunities.