Housing Strategy and Delivery Plan - Housing Strategy 2021 to 2026

Contents

The Aims - What we would like to see by 2026

  • An increase of new homes built: introducing new development methods to meet the housing shortfall as outlined in the Bassetlaw Plan.
  • Bassetlaw continuing to investigate models of affordable home ownership: looking at new methods of delivery including discounted market sale and shared ownership.
  • Partnership agendas.
  • Increased supply of social rented homes available for local people in housing need.
  • Understanding needs and how to deliver more specialist housing for both older and disabled groups.
  • Quality homes in the Private Rented Sector including a reduction in empty homes.
  • A significant improvement in standards in the Private Rented Sector.
  • A continued reduction in homelessness across the district through meaningful prevention activities.
  • Greater joint working initiatives to improve health through Green efficiencies such as Eco-Flex energy solutions.

Strategic Housing Introduction

With a population of 114,143 (2014 estimate), Bassetlaw is a rural district which comprises the towns of Harworth, Retford and Worksop, and the large villages of Carlton in Lindrick, Langold and Tuxford, as well as smaller parishes and settlements.

With such a rich diversity of localities, it is recognised that the concerns and housing needs of one area can be significantly different to another.

This Housing Strategy has been prepared for the purpose of enabling responses to the key housing issues in individual areas through:

  • advising on housing requirements in response to planning applications;
  • maximising the use of our Council Housing stock;
  • to improve standards in the Private Rented Sector;
  • and assist in reducing the number of homeless across the District.

The actions to support all of the Key Priorities are set out in the Housing Strategy Delivery Plan.

Strategic Context

The key policies and strategies that influence housing in Bassetlaw reflect recent legislation on how public services should be delivered locally.

The strategic context is set out below to show the structure from the national to the local level.

National Context

  • Localism Act (2011)
  • Local Growth: Realising everyone’s potential (2010)
  • Laying the Foundations – A Housing Strategy for England (2011)
  • Welfare Reform Act (2012)
  • Housing and Planning Act (2016)
  • Welfare Reform & Work Act (2016)
  • Homeless Reduction Act (2017)
  • Homes Fit for Human Habitation Act (2018)
  • National Planning Policy Framework (2019)
  • Tenant Fees Act (2019)
  • Business & Planning Act (2020)
  • Benefits Act (2020)

Regional Context

  • D2N2 (Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire) Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
  • Sheffield City Region Combined Authority
  • Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership

Local Context – Bassetlaw District Council

  • Council Plan (2019-2023)
  • Emerging Bassetlaw Plan (2019-2034)/ Adopted Core Strategy (2011)
  • Affordable Housing SPD (2014)
  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment Update (2017)
  • Anti-Poverty Strategy (2012-2015)
  • Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Prevention Strategy (2017 -2022)
  • Empty Homes Strategy (2018 - 2022)

National Context 

This Housing Strategy has been refreshed in response to National agenda’s, which have affected the country as a whole. The failure to negotiate an early deal on leaving the European Union has caused uncertainty among housing developers and stalled housing delivery: limiting the supply of affordable housing.

The introduction of Universal Credit has added to financial instability and has significantly increased the amount of discretionary housing payments made by Local Authorities. These payments go to those in severe hardship who are at risk of losing their home.

The COVID19 pandemic has placed Local Authorities under immense pressure: having only just adapted new ways of working as part of the Homeless Reduction Act, Authorities across the country had to get ‘everyone in’ to prevent homelessness throughout the pandemic. This has led to huge additional costs, for which no one could have predicted.

This combination of external forces will mean the next five years is likely to be a period of ‘recovery’ across all tenure types as we work to meet housing demand.

Regional Context

Geographically, Bassetlaw is between in two regional areas for growth and economic prosperity:

North Midlands Combined Authority & D2N2 - Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)

D2N2 is one of the largest Local Enterprise Partnerships in England. The LEP is governed by a private sector-led Board; and supported by high profile and respected leaders from businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers, higher and further education providers, community and voluntary services organisations – working in partnership to secure a more prosperous, productive and sustainable future for the our area.

North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw Housing Market Area

Housing market areas were identified on the basis of functional relationships, rather than single Local Authority administrative boundaries. This led to a growing emphasis on working within defined sub-regional housing market areas.

Bassetlaw, along with North East Derbyshire, Bolsover and Chesterfield were identified as a Housing Market Area (HMA) in 2005. The designation recognised that the four local authorities face many similar issues. Our local economies and housing markets are influenced by the larger urban areas of South Yorkshire to the north, and to the south the cities of Nottingham and Derby. This was evidenced in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment update 2017.

 

The Local Context - Bassetlaw District Council

The Council owns a total of 6698 properties across 49 Parishes. This includes 566 two bedroomed houses, 1948 three bedroomed houses, 123 four bedroomed and 3 five bedroomed properties. There are a total of 2443 bungalows available for senior citizens, 1 three bedroomed, 1452 two bedroomed and 949 with one bedroom. In addition there are 1035 flats, 273 of which are designated for the over 60’s. There are also a range of specialist homes which have been adapted for the physically less able.

In 2019, Bassetlaw District Council saved over £1M by reabsorbing the Arms-Length Management Organisation A1 Housing. This means the Council now manages its own Council housing: this includes rent collection, letting properties and coordinating repairs and maintenance programs.

The highest demand accommodation, (as indicated in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2017), is for 2 bedroomed bungalows and 3 bedroom houses across all areas – this is confirmed by the bidding history for current Council stock.

Since 2018 a total of 128 properties have been sold under the Right to Buy; to help sustain the availability of affordable rental properties the Council works directly with developers to supply housing demand information and negotiates Section 106 Agreements for affordable housing. We have delivered 78 new Council homes in Harworth and 51 new units as part of the Priory Court development.

The Council Plan 2019-2023 sets out the Council’s ambitions for Bassetlaw.

  • Investing in place
  • Investing in housing
  • Investing in communities

The Housing Strategy will play a key role in ensuring Bassetlaw can realise its vision by supporting the ambitions for Local Growth, Quality Housing and Decent Neighbourhoods.

The Emerging Bassetlaw Plan

The Bassetlaw Plan sets out the Council’s priorities when it comes to housing, regeneration and local development up to the year 2037.

The Draft Bassetlaw Local Plan includes priorities such as:

  • Government requirement for at least 10,013 homes to be built in Bassetlaw by 2037
  • The allocation of land dedicated for future employment, which will help to create 11,800 new jobs
  • Supporting infrastructure that will bring road improvements, enhanced bus services, new cycle and walking paths, new open space and improved doctor’s surgeries and schools
  • The creation of a new Garden Village
  • Two of the new developments in Worksop and Retford will encourage residents to lead healthy, active lifestyles through the creation of walking and cycle routes and open spaces
  • Initiatives that protect town centres and help them adapt to peoples’ changing behaviour and the effects of the Covid:19 pandemic
  • Help to manage the effects of climate change and enable the creation of green energy and low carbon technology sectors at the High Marnham Energy Hub

View the Draft Bassetlaw Local Plan.

Neighbourhood Planning

Bassetlaw District Council is committed to recognising community ambitions for planned growth. A significant number of Neighbourhood Plans are currently being developed across Bassetlaw. These plans are drawn up by local communities and seek to set locally specific planning aims and policies. These policies include seeking the delivery of new housing to address locally defined aspirations for a mix of housing types to meet the needs of local communities. This positive move of community-led housing growth is continually encouraged and the Council is wholly supportive

Neighbourhood Planning can involve any of the following:

  • Neighbourhood Development Plan - establishes the vision and planning policies for the use and development of land in your neighbourhood
  • Neighbourhood Development Order – allows the community to grant planning permission for types of new developments you want to see go ahead
  • Community Right to Build Order – is a type of Neighbourhood Development Order which gives communities the power to develop, for  instance, small-scale housing and other facilities that you want without the need to apply for planning permission

There are currently 32 Neighbourhood plans, each at a different stage of development.

The Challenges faced in Bassetlaw

The key challenges for housing in Bassetlaw are:

  • High demand for family accommodation and two bedroomed bungalows across all areas of Bassetlaw
  • More homes are needed to assist existing council tenants who are subject to an under-occupation benefit shortfall to downsize
  • The low average household income in Bassetlaw rules out home-ownership for many, placing greater pressure on renting in both the private and social rented sector
  • High turnover of tenancies in the Private Rented Sector and the need to drive up the standard of accommodation
  • To attract investments and the creation of jobs, employers need to be confident that there are adequate levels of good quality housing available to attract the right employees
  • The significant increase in the ageing population is generating a need for specialist accommodation across Bassetlaw

How Strategic Housing is helping

To help deliver the new homes that Bassetlaw needs the Housing Strategy supports the emerging Bassetlaw Plan:

  • Encourage maximum delivery of affordable housing on eligible new build sites
  • Direct plans for growth so that they are linked to plans to increase economic growth and prosperity
  • Work with partners in the region to ensure we have the combined capacity and skill to enable growth, and a commitment to delivering the infrastructure which ensures growth is sustainable
  • Provide advice to developers, housing providers and landowners to help realise ambitions for sites
  • Work with planning colleagues and partners to ensure that people of all ages and circumstances have equal opportunity to access market, affordable and social housing solutions which meet their needs and aspirations
  • Explore avenues for funding to encourage investment for residential growth
  • Investigate alternative models of housing delivery to meet the District’s needs
  • Advising the Development Team on demand for land from parties interested in building their own home by maintaining the custom or self-build register, to facilitate land matching from the Land Availability assessment

What Bassetlaw is already doing:

  • The Council is engaging with the NHS to ensure the sustainability transformation plans (STP’s) recognise the impact of poor housing on health while showing how local health services will evolve and become sustainable over the next five years
  • The Bassetlaw Plan will propose what targets the Council should set for building new housing over the next 15 years, and how the Council can achieve those targets through the planning system
  • Making the best use of Council stock, working with the most vulnerable in society
  • Attempting to work much closer to the Private Rented Sector to raise standards of housing
  • Released the Eco-Flex Statement of Intent to allow affordable warmth measures to be carried out on residential and privately rented homes
  • Bassetlaw District Council consulted on the introduction of selective licensing the outcome was to introduce a Thriving Neighbourhoods strategy to work with partners in areas of high deprivation and crime

The Council has completed a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2017), and will look to review this in the medium term to ensure that the latest demographic information is available.

Housing Strategy Objectives

The objective of this Strategy is to set-out how the Council will support the availability of good quality homes which best meet the needs of the current and future residents of Bassetlaw. The specific Strategic Priorities are recognised to be the key housing issues drawn from the current Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

Strategic Priority 1: Providing Affordable and Social Rented Homes

Those aspiring to home ownership can be supported by Government incentives such as Help to Buy and Starter Homes; this could make home ownership a reality for some. However, we recognise that the average household income for a Bassetlaw family is below the national average, and is likely to make home ownership unachievable for many. We also know that renting can often be a preferred choice as it offers greater flexibility and less commitment than homeownership.

We will:

  • Actively negotiate Section 106 Agreements to encourage affordable housing delivery
  • In principle support planning applications for new residential developments which deliver the policy requirement of affordable housing
  • Encourage the development of homes for social rent on new residential development sites
  • Consult the market to better understand demand for future development to enable greater movement within stock
  • Drive the delivery of council housing stock to meet current demand; family accommodation and ground floor living
  • Allocate our Council housing to those in greatest need

Strategic Priority 2: Improve the Quality of Private Rented Accommodation

The Council recognises the important role that the private rented sector in Bassetlaw plays in meeting housing demand. We know that this sector has grown by 180% since 2001, and demand has been increasing every year since. The biggest threat to homelessness comes from the private rented sector in the form of Section 21 Notices. This change in legislation makes it much easier for Landlords to evict tenants: this has increased the number of homeless presentations significantly across the whole of the UK.


In 2018/19 Bassetlaw considered operating a selective licensing scheme for private rents in certain areas: this was declined in favour of developing a Thriving Neighbourhoods Strategy.

We want:

  • Thriving neighbourhoods
  • A better understanding of who our private rented sector partners are
  • Good quality housing delivered through the private rented sector
  • Greater stability for tenants
  • Landlords that are confident to provide the homes that residents need
  • To bring privately-owned empty homes back into use

Strategic Priority 3: Independent Living for our Ageing and Vulnerable Population.

Housing that can best meet the changing needs of occupants will ensure residents can enjoy a home that enables independence and the health and wellbeing benefits that this will bring. We expect the number of households with support needs to increase by 4,000 over the 18 years to 2031. We also expect a large increase, of 49%, in the number of households with persons of pensionable age (6,200 households). The demand for adapted properties has increased, particularly in relation to family accommodation.

We want:

  • Effective use of the Better Care Fund to help residents remain at home for longer
  • Tailored consultations of ageing and vulnerable groups to better appreciate aspirations and demand
  • To continue to offer support and adaptations for households to remain living in their homes, where this is the most appropriate solution for them
  • Work with partners through the Health and Wellbeing Board to deliver appropriate support either as through DFGs or tailored schemes
  • To encourage the development of Extra Care Schemes and bungalows in areas of high demand
  • Increase in shared ownership to allow downsizing for homeowners

Strategic Priority 4: Thriving Neighbourhoods Strategy.


We want:

  • Housing & Households: To improve the quality and living standards for residents and making improvements to dwellings
  • Wellbeing & Lifestyle: Improve the wellbeing of residents and encourage better lifestyles
  • Employment & Education: Improve the opportunities available for employment and education
  • Physical Neighbourhoods: Improve the Physical neighbourhood to encourage greater ownership and investment

The actions to support all of the Key Priorities are outlined in the Housing Strategy Delivery Plan.

Delivery

In accordance with Bassetlaw District Council’s Council Plan 2019 - 2023 the Housing Strategy will be delivered in collaboration with key services across the council. This holistic approach ensures the skills and experience of services across the council are coordinated to deliver on the key priorities of the Housing Strategy.

Resources

The services which contribute to the delivery of the Strategic Priorities include:

  • Strategic Housing
  • Environmental Health
  • Housing Needs, Homeless Prevention and Homelessness
  • Planning Policy
  • Development Team
  • Regeneration
  • Benefits and Revenues
  • Communications
  • Corporate Management

 

 

 


Last Updated on Friday, May 21, 2021