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Major new planning policies outlined for York

For sale board - housing

6:33pm 24th February 2012

City of York Council will be taking major steps forward next week to finalise a key Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), which will inform strategic housing and planning policies for the next five years.

The Local Development Framework Group will meet on Monday 5th March to discuss and recommend approval of a new SHMA , which outlines an up-to-date and robust evidence base to inform the Local Development Framework. It also underpins the development of planning policies for new homes and affordable housing policies.

If approved, the SHMA will replace the previous study published in 2007. The report was commissioned by the York and North Yorkshire Strategic Housing Partnership in September 2010 to provide a sub-regional Strategic Housing Market Assessment with detailed appendices for each of the eight North Yorkshire councils.

Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for City Strategy, said:

"This is an important new piece of up to date evidence showing continuing high levels of affordable housing need in York and North Yorkshire, despite the government's tightening of the definition of need. It shows how important it is to get house building, with appropriate levels of affordable provision, going again."  

The findings of the research will be used to inform each authority's housing and planning policies, Across North Yorkshire 16,000 households completed a survey of their housing needs and this together with secondary data sources has provided the study with robust data on which to reach conclusions on current and future housing needs.

The SHMA is split into three significant sections looking at the current housing market, the future housing market and housing needs. .

Outlined in these sections are a number of key changes which have been taken into account to understand the requirements of York's housing market, such as population growth, demographic profile changes and housing requirements/affordable housing.

York's population has increased by 9 per cent since 2001, with a more pronounced growth in population aged between 20 and 35 years when compared to the sub-region. This is linked to student numbers, post-graduate retention and York's role as an economic and employment hub.

The demographic profile shows York is unique in North Yorkshire in having projected growth in all age groups compared to some other local authorities, which are shown to have a reduction in working age populations.

There is anticipated to be a lower rise in the 60+ population compared to other North Yorkshire authorities, but an 87 per cent increase in 85+ between 2008-2026, accounting for the vast majority of single person households.  

The study considers the need for affordable housing by examining the current outstanding backlog of need and the projected need over the next five years. The study identifies an annual need for 790 additional affordable homes to address this shortage.

If approved by the LDF working group on 6th March, the report will be recommended to Cabinet and that the SHMA be used as evidence base to inform the LDF.

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