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

Providing affordable homes

3.34 Affordable housing is defined as social rented, affordable rented, intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. The Strategic Housing Market Assessment's (SHMA) analysis is that tackling the backlog of need is an enormous task. The SHMA also sets out the requirement for a proportion of starter homes (homes for first time buyers under the age of 40 at a discount of at least 20% below the open market value) to be delivered on all suitable reasonably-sized housing developments.

3.35 Through its functions as housing and planning authority the Council will aim to maximise the number of decent affordable homes that can viably be delivered alongside market homes in order to meet need. Negotiating elements of affordable housing in new schemes will contribute valuably to meeting local need.

3.36 Reflecting economic viability considerations in general the Council will negotiate for an element of 30% affordable housing in any residential development

3.37 In applying the following policy, site specific considerations will be taken into account in relation to the element of affordable housing that will be expected. The presumption is that the affordable element will be delivered on the application site, unless robust justification exists for provision on an alternative site in the developer's ownership and control, or for a financial contribution in lieu of on-site provision which will help to deliver strategic housing objectives. It is accepted that on sites comprising a total of 10 dwellings or less, a financial contribution should not be sought.

3.38 Developers will be required to demonstrate how any affordable housing will be made available to households unable to obtain adequate housing through the private market and will be expected to engage with registered providers. (The Council can provide a list of provider partners). This may be secured by entering into a planning agreement. The developer will be required to demonstrate that enjoyment of the affordable housing as such can be guaranteed for successive as well as initial occupiers for the foreseeable future. However, eligibility of owners to acquire/ progress to full ownership is acknowledged as an exception.

Policy SP20 - Affordable Housing

Residential development schemes for more than 10 dwelling units, including mixed use developments incorporating residential shall be required to provide at least 30% of the dwellings as affordable housing in the following proportions:

  • 17% Starter Homes
  • 18% Affordable Rent
  • 65% Social Rent

The above requirements will only be reduced if it would make the proposed development unviable to meet them.