Development Management Development Plan (DPD)

Ended on the 9 August 2010
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Section 6: Residential Accommodation

Issue DM11 – Dwelling Mix

Issue
The Council needs to ensure that new housing reflects the needs of Southend-on-Sea’s existing and future communities and improves the quality and mix of new market and affordable housing in the borough. It is considered that an appropriate size and mix of housing should be provided that takes account of the local housing need and housing market demand. The Council seeks to restrict the provision of single type and size dwellings in developments as this can have the accumulative impact of sterilising the function and character of existing and new streets and neighbourhoods and will not contribute to developing sustainable neighbourhoods.

Context
New housing development also has a crucial role to play in regeneration and the Core Strategy focuses the scale and distribution of housing growth in the town so that it can meet local housing needs and provide good quality homes for future labour supply.

The South Essex Strategic Housing Market Assessment (South Essex SHMA) was published in September 2008 and subsequently updated in March 2010. Whilst the update took consideration of the impact of the post-2007 recession on the sub-regional housing market, the key headline issues identified in the original report remained the same.

Southend-on-Sea has distinctive and varying housing pressures. The South Essex SHMA states that 70% of households in Southend-on-Sea are comfortably off or better which is a higher proportion than the sub-region and national averages. This is evident by the acute demand pressures for 3-bed and 4-bed properties in Southend-on-Sea.

Despite this demand for family housing the South Essex SHMA indicates that Southend-on-Sea suffers from a higher level of overcrowding than elsewhere in the South Essex Thames Gateway sub-region. It is stated that this overcrowding occurs mainly within the private rented housing sector. Southend-on-Sea contains a lower proportion of social rented properties compared to the sub-region average but has an above average private renting and flatted accommodation, linked in part to the sub-division of larger properties. Consequently it contains the largest proportion of 1-bed and 2-bed properties in the sub-region. However the South Essex SHMA indicates a growing need to supply more family housing.

The South Essex SHMA provides an assessment of the future market housing requirements for Southend-on-Sea and Thames Gateway sub-region. In respect to the relationship between planning policy and the market housing mix, the South Essex SHMA concluded by stating the size of dwellings relates more to age and wealth of a household than it does to the sizes of households. Notably it was found that a household across the South Essex Thames Gateway sub-region undertakes various levels of occupation density forms during a lifecycle. For example a young household may have children and as the children mature into adults they move on, with many households choosing to remain in their existing housing rather than downsize. A typical family house could experience density of between 1 and 6 persons at a given stage of its lifecycle. Consequently the South Essex SHMA found that within the South Essex Thames Gateway sub-region 75% of households under-occupy their home. In this respect the Council considers that a flexible approach to market housing mix should be sought in planning policy and in particular it considered that developers should bring forward proposals for market housing which reflect demand and the profile of households requiring market housing. Family accommodation will be encouraged where site conditions allow. In order to sustain mixed communities it is considered that a mix of housing is required within each development and that the mix should be agreed with the Council during pre-applications discussion.

The affordable housing sector is more regulated in that housing is allocated in relation to the housing size required and as such this policy should be more detailed in terms of the proportion of housing size types. Indeed this approach is consistent with national planning policy, which requires local planning authorities to set out the likely overall proportions of households that require affordable housing. The South Essex SHMA made a number of recommendations regarding the sizes of affordable housing that should be sought for each local authority area. The recommendations were based upon an appraisal of both the scale of current waiting lists for different property types together with levels of lettings and turnover for different property sizes. The proposed affordable housing mix reflects the recommendations set out in the South Essex SHMA and the suggested option seeks to remain flexible to take account of any changes to proposed mix in any SHMA updates (or equivalent successor). The proposed affordable mix should not be treated as a definitive mix but rather a negotiation figure.

Dwelling Mix – Suggested Option

Our approach is:
To ensure that future market and affordable dwelling provision meets the needs of Southend-on-Sea’s existing and future population.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Requiring all residential developments to provide a dwelling size mix that incorporates a range of dwelling types and bedroom sizes, including family housing on appropriate sites, to reflect the borough’s housing need and housing demand.

2. Seeking the following affordable housing dwelling size mix where affordable housing is provided:Dwelling size: No.Bedrooms 1-bed 2-bed 3-bed 4-bed Proportion of affordable housing total 30% 25% 30% 15%

Where this affordable mix is not considered appropriate, developers will be required to justify to the satisfaction of the Council, a more appropriate affordable dwelling mix. The Council will take account of the latest available evidence from the South Essex SHMA (or its equivalent successor) and the site context when considering the affordable housing mix.

Dwelling Mix – Alternative Options

1. Base the market housing mix on the affordable housing mix.

It is not considered appropriate to set a numerical market housing mix as this may not be appropriate on all development sites. Furthermore this approach would conflict with PPS3 which states that market housing should be based on housing demand, which is susceptible to change on a regular basis. A mix of dwelling sizes will be sought which should include family housing as demand for this mix of housing is identified in the South Essex SHMA and is necessary to deliver sustainable communities.

2. Not require a mix of housing types and sizes.

It is considered that there is a need for a mix of housing types and sizes to fulfil the requirements of the Sustainable Communities Plan and ensure that sustainable neighbourhoods are achieved. Furthermore, the existing lack of a policy direction on this matter has resulted in an over concentration of 1 and 2-bedroom flats within developments that consequently fail to assist in delivering sustainable neighbourhoods and fails to meet the demand for family accommodation.

3. Do not set out an affordable housing mix.

National planning policy requires the affordable housing mix to be based housing need. The South Essex SHMA sets out the housing need for Southend-on-Sea and therefore to meet national planning policy, this mix should be used as the starting point for negotiating the affordable housing mix.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 7
  Strategic Objective 14
Policy CP8: Dwelling Provision

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

n/a

Issue DM11: Questions

(8) 44. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(2) 45. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(4) 46. Are there any other housing matters that the Council should consider as a part of this issue?

Issue DM12 – Affordable Housing Tenure

Issue
The adopted Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy requires all residential proposals of 10-49 dwellings or 0.3 hectares up to 1.99 hectares make an affordable housing or key worker provision of not less than 20% of the total number of units on site; and all residential proposals of 50+ dwellings or 2 hectares or more make an affordable housing or key worker provision of not less than 30% of the total number of units on the site. There is a need to consider the tenure mix of the affordable housing that is provided within new developments.

Context
There are two types of affordable homes, social rented housing and intermediate affordable housing. Social rented housing includes housing rented from registered affordable housing providers such as Housing Associations. Intermediate affordable housing costs more than social rented housing, but substantially less than market housing. It caters for occupiers who are unable to afford market housing, such as key-workers and first-time buyers. The South Essex SHMA indicates that in Southend-on-Sea there is a significant need for social rented housing and that there is a potential market for intermediate home ownership.

The South Essex SMHA recommended that an 80:20 split of affordable housing between social rented and intermediate provision should be set out in planning policy. However the South Essex SHMA also states that scale of intermediate housing market in Southend-on-Sea is 32%. Therefore to further sustainable communities within Southend-on-Sea, a minimum split of 70:30 split of affordable housing between social rented and intermediate provision should be the starting point for negotiation.

Dwelling Mix – Suggested Option

Our approach is
To deliver the appropriate level of affordable housing tenure to meet the housing needs of the borough.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Seeking an indicative affordable housing tenure mix, where affordable housing is provided, of 70:30 between social rented accommodation and intermediate housing. This affordable housing tenure mix may vary on a site-by-site basis subject to specific site conditions and a developments financial viability.

Dwelling Mix – Alternative Options

1. To not have an affordable housing tenure mix.

It has been found that by not having an indicative affordable housing tenure mix, the wrong type of affordable housing is delivered which fails to meet Southend-on-Sea’s affordable housing needs and therefore is detrimental to the delivery of sustainable communities in the borough.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 7
  Strategic Objective 14
Policy CP8: Dwelling Provision

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

n/a

Issue DM12: Questions

(5) 47. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(1) 48. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 49. Are there any other affordable housing considerations that are not addressed in the Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy and have not been considered in this document that the Council should consider?

Issue DM13 – Retention of Residential House Types

Issue
It is important to ensure that a range of housing types is retained, particularly for families and the elderly so that the needs of all are met. The existing supply of bungalows provides important accommodation for the elderly however there has been a growing pressure in Southend-on-Sea for the conversion and redevelopment of such properties that is cumulatively resulting in a diminished supply of private residential accommodation required to meet the needs of the elderly population of Southend-on-Sea. There is also a significant need and demand for 'family' housing (three or more bedrooms) in the borough and as such this type of housing should be protected.

Context
The key ambition of the Southend-on-Sea Sustainable Community Strategy is to be a borough with decent housing, in safe and attractive residential areas, that meets the needs of those who want to live here. The objectives that support this ambition include ensuring that there are a range of housing options to meet the needs of existing and future residents and the local workforces. A further Council objective seeks to increase the number of older people who are helped to live at home.

The Southend-on-Sea Sustainable Community Strategy states that providing good quality housing and a well integrated blend of different housing types and tenures is a vital part of achieving the strategic vision of ‘Southend Together’. It is further stated that housing needs to be flexible so that it continues to meet people’s needs as they change and caters for the diverse needs of the community.

The South Essex SHMA states that one in four households in South Essex is made up of pensioners, whilst 30% of households are family households with dependent children. The SHMA also notes that Southend-on-Sea has an above average pensioner households (27%). The population projections referred to in the SHMA indicate significant growth in older olderb person single person households.

The South Essex SHMA recommends that planning policy addresses the need to protect and make provision for bungalows as it can assist in releasing existing family homes on to the market for younger households and improve use of the existing stock. The Southend-on-Sea’s Older People’s Accommodation and Support Needs Strategy 2008 – 2011 states that 81% of residents age 55-64 live in a house or bungalow, with the figure decreasing to 48% of those age 85 years and over. This demonstrates the continuing need for specific housing types such as bungalows to meet the needs of an aging population and enable them to live in their own home.

There have been a number of planning applications in Southend-on-Sea over the last number of years that have sought to redevelop bungalow dwellings for higher density housing schemes. This has had a negative impact upon the supply of this type of housing for elderly. With the projected increase in the elderly population in Southend-on-Sea that does not require specific care assistance and seeks to remain in their home it is clear that there is a pressing need to protect bungalows dwellings in the borough and where appropriate encourage their provision as part of the housing mix. The Council considers that the bungalow dwelling type provides a valuable lifetime housing resource that should not be lost to the detriment of existing and future generations.

The trend over the last couple of decades has been for family housing being converted into separate smaller self contained flats. This has had the accumulative impact of diminishing the supply of family accommodation. The South Essex SHMA highlights the need for family accommodation in Southend-on-Sea. It notes that there is a high proportion of 1 and 2 bedroom dwellings which has resulted in an undersupply of family accommodation. As such there are very acute demand pressures for properties with 4 or more bedrooms and strong pressures for three-bed properties, which indicate a need to protect the supply of family housing.

Retention of Residential House Types – Suggested Option

Our approach is
To retain Southend-on-Sea’s existing residential house types that make an important contribution to the needs of the borough’s residents and contribute to sustainable neighbourhoods.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Protecting single storey dwellings (bungalows) from conversion or redevelopment where deemed necessary to maintain the supply of private housing for the elderly population.

2. Resisting the loss or conversion of family dwellings that make an important contribution to sustainable neighbourhoods and character of the area.

Retention of Residential House Types – Alternative Options

1. To consider the loss of single storey dwellings (bungalows) and small family dwellings on a site by site basis.

It is considered that these house types make an important contribution to the social profile of Southend-on-Sea and that greater protection should therefore be afforded to them. To consider the loss of such house types on a site-by-site basis could result in the accumulative loss of these important house types that sets the precedent for further losses.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 7
Policy CP8: Dwelling Provision

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy H3: Retention of Small Family Houses
Policy H4: Preservation of Residential Uses

Issue DM13: Questions

(6) 50. Do you agree with the suggested option?
51. Do you consider the alternative option to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 52. Are there any other issues relating to single storey dwellings (bungalows) and small family dwellings that the Council should consider?

Issue DM14 – Residential Space Standards

Issue
The internal dimensions of a dwelling will significantly influence the quality of life of the occupiers. Dwelling size can dictate not just how comfortable an occupant feels in their home, but also the level of privacy. There has been an increasing trend within Southend-on-Sea over the last 10 years for smaller dwelling dimensions, whilst the essential appliances required for modern living are increasing in size. This is leading to cramped living conditions and a poor quality of life for the occupants. It is necessary to ensure that everyone in the borough has best possible quality of life by ensuring that appropriate minimum space standards based on dwelling occupancy are incorporated into policy.

Context
A significant proportion of Southend-on-Sea developed between the Victorian period and the 1930’s. During this period the internal size of 3-bedroom dwelling was 120m2 while the recent trend in Southend-on-Sea has been for 4-bedroom houses built at 100m2 or less. There is an increasing conflict in Southend-on-Sea where living conditions are becoming cramped as the requirements of the modern society in terms of furniture, appliances and technology are unable to sufficiently fit within new developments adequately.

The HCA is currently consulting on residential space standards. Subject to the results of this consultation, the Council would seek to incorporate the HCA’s proposed space standards.

The usability of the internal space is also important to ensure that the layout is efficient to meet the modern needs of a household without impacting upon their quality of life. For example a kitchen will need to be large enough to accommodate space for an oven, hob, microwave and fridge/freezer, washing machine, sink and have sufficient work surfaces in the right places with storage to meet the needs of the occupiers.

An important growing issue for the modern household is the need for storage space. Sufficient storage space should be incorporated into new developments for two types of storage i.e. long-term storage for items rarely used and day-to-day storage for items needed at a moments notice for example clothes, vacuum cleaners, toys, bed linen and buggies.

In addition to the space standards, the HCA is also consulting on design quality of new developments with a focus on improving the functionality of new dwellings. There is synergy between the HCA’s desired outcomes for new housing and the Council’s approach as both seek to: improve the quality and functionality of new dwellings; deliver adaptable homes that accommodate changing needs of the occupier; limit their environmental impact; and create greater housing choice. The Council will consequently seek to use the HCA’s final housing quality calculator as a measure in which to assess whether all new market and affordable dwellings are of a sufficient standard.

Residential Space Standards – Suggested Option

Our approach is
To ensure that new housing developments provide the highest quality internal environment that will contribute to improvements to the quality of life and modern needs for all the borough’s residents.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Ensuring that the design of all new dwellings have adequately sized rooms and convenient and efficient room layouts that will meet the needs of residents over their lifetimes. All new dwellings will have to meet the following minimum internal space standards:

Dwelling Size / No. of People Minimum Gross Internal Floor Area m2
1-bed / 1 person (Studio) 32.5
1-bed / 2 persons 48
2-bed / 3 persons (Flat) 61
2-bed / 3 persons (House) 71
2-bed / 4 persons (Flat) 70
2-bed / 4 persons (House) 80
3-bed / 5 persons (Flat) 86
3-bed / 5 persons (House) 96
4-bed / 6 persons (Flat) 99
4-bed / 6 persons (House) 109
7+ persons Add 10m2 for every extra person above 6 people

In addition, new dwellings will also have to meet the following requirements:

  • Provision of a storage cupboard with a minimum floor area of 1.25m2 should be provided for 1-2 person dwellings. A minimum of 0.25m2 storage area should be provided for each additional occupant.
  • Suitable space should be provided for a washing machine, for drying clothes, and for waste and recycling bins within the home.
  • The minimum floor area for bedrooms to be no less than 7m2 for a single bedroom and 12m2 for a double/twin bedroom.
  • Suitable cycle storage with convenient access to the street frontage.
  • Non-recyclable waste storage facilities should be provided in new residential development in accordance with the Code for Sustainable Homes Technical Guide and local requirements.
  • Refuse stores within buildings should be located to limit the nuisance caused by noise and smells and should be provided with a means for cleaning.
  • Opportunity to connect to a high speed broadband connection.

2. Requiring all residential schemes to provide usable private amenity space for the enjoyment of occupiers. Residential schemes with no amenity space will only be considered acceptable in exceptional circumstances which will need to be fully justified. The amount, quality and usability of the amenity provision will be assessed against the criteria set out in the Design and Townscape SPD.

3. Requiring all new dwellings to meet the Lifetime Homes Standards.

4. Seeking 10% of new dwellings on major developments to be built to full wheelchair standards which will be considered on a site by site basis.

5. Requiring all residential development applications to be accompanied by plans that provide indicative furniture and storage arrangements within the proposed rooms to demonstrate that the proposed space is of an adequate size that allows an efficient internal layout and circulation.

Residential Space Standards – Alternative Options

1. Consider residential space on a site by site basis.

It is necessary to ensure that new dwelling provision is of a sufficient quality that meets the needs of its occupiers. Without any minimum standards, the Council has found that many proposals are off poor internal quality.

Whilst affordable housing has to meet minimum standards to receive grant funding, it is considered that occupiers of market housing should not be discriminated against with respect to dwelling size. It is incorrect to assume that because one household can afford their home they then require less space than a household in need of affordable housing. The Council will consider the quality of all new dwellings irrespective of tenure.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 7
  Strategic Objective 14
Policy CP8: Dwelling Provision

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

n/a

Issue DM14: Questions

(5) 53. Do you agree with the suggested option?
(1) 54. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 55. Should the Council incorporate minimum private amenity space standards for residential development into planning policy?
(2) 56. Are there any other issues relating to residential standards that the Council should consider?

Issue DM15 – Student Accommodation Space Requirements

Issue
Essex University opened its Southend Campus within Southend-on-Sea Town Centre in 2007. The new university campus provides modern, state of the art accommodation for four university departments; the School of Entrepreneurship and Business; the School for Creative and Cultural Industries; School of Health Sciences; and the School of Education. The University of Essex has further plans to develop the Southend Campus including provision for a sports centre and research park.

It is anticipated that this development will create a future demand for student accommodation within the borough. The Council is committed to supporting the development of Essex University in Southend-on-Sea and as such seeks high quality student accommodation to provide the best possible environment in which learning can take place. As such it is considered necessary for a student accommodation policy to be included that sets minimum space standards.

Context
The University of Essex has started to and will make a significant contribution to the local and regional economy and labour market. It is important that the University of Essex’s attractiveness and potential growth is not compromised by inadequate provision for new student accommodation. It is recognised that new student accommodation may reduce pressure on other elements of the housing stock currently occupied by students, especially in the private rented sector.

The University of Essex has an accreditation scheme that all approved private landlords must meet. This accreditation scheme provides a measure in which to ensure that private student accommodation is of a high quality and meets the needs of students. The proposed student accommodation standards seek to meet the minimum requirements set out in the accreditation scheme.

Student Accommodation Space Requirements – Suggested Option

Our approach is
To ensure that new student housing is located in accessible locations with good access to public transport services and that the proposals provide the highest quality internal environment that enables and encourages a productive learning and living space for the occupants.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Encouraging the development of student housing within the town centres, and places with good access to public transport services, providing that it does not harm the local character.

2. Ensuring that the design of all new student accommodation will have adequately sized rooms and convenient and efficient room layouts that will meet the needs of the occupants.

3. Ensuring that each student bedroom has a minimum room size of 6.5m2 for single bedrooms and 10.2m2 for double bedrooms. Each bedroom must have a convenient layout that provides: adequate hanging storage space for clothes; adequate study desk and chair; and adequate shelving storage for books.

4. Ensuring that new student accommodation contains either a living room or a dining room/ kitchen diner of a suitable size for all the residents. The layout of this room would have to enable all the occupants to use the room simultaneously in a comfortable manner.

5. Ensuring that the kitchen has sufficient food storage for each resident and has sufficient work surface space.

6. Ensuring that suitable covered, safe and secure cycle storage with convenient access to the street frontage.

7. Ensuring that sufficient waste and recycling bins are provided. Refuse stores within buildings should be located to limit the nuisance caused by noise and smells and should be provided with a means for cleaning.

8. Connection to high speed broadband.

Student Accommodation Space Requirements – Alternative Options

1. Consider student accommodation proposals on a site-by-site basis.

The suggested option has taken account of the University of Essex’s student accommodation accreditation standards. The aim of the policy is align these standards in planning policy to ensure that high quality student accommodation is achieved. It would therefore be inappropriate to consider the space standards on a site-by-site basis.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 7
  Strategic Objective 14
Policy CP8: Dwelling Provision

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

n/a

Issue DM15: Questions

(4) 57. Do you agree with the suggested option?
58. Do you consider the alternative option to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 59. Are there any other issues regarding student accommodation that the Council should consider?

Issues DM16 – Houses in Multiple Occupation

Issue
The Council recognises that Houses in Multiple Occupation make contribution to the local housing market in terms of providing low cost accommodation for low income single person households. However the concentration of this type of accommodation within just a few areas has created a number of problems that has been detrimental to the surrounding area. The Council wants to promote lifetime and inclusive neighbourhoods and it is considered that this would mean limiting the concentration of houses in multiple occupation within a street and area.

Context
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) refers to residential property where common areas such as bathrooms and kitchens are shared by more than one household. HMOs consist of a variety of property types such as bedsits, shared houses, purpose-built HMOs. The majority of people occupying HMOs in Southend-on-Sea have tended to be young and single low-income households and are transient in that they only live in the premises for a short time.

Within Southend-on-Sea, HMOs have traditionally tended to be located within older housing stock. There is a local issue in Southend-on-Sea in respect to the quality of life, whereby many of the HMOs are poorly maintained, in disrepair, overcrowded and have insufficient amenities.

The geographical concentration of HMOs has led to a number of negative impacts within a number of areas within Southend-on-Sea. Not least has been the problem of untidy property frontages and litter strewn over local streets. The concentration of HMOs has led to increased population densities which has strained existing services such as refuse disposal and street cleansing and caused parking provision problems.

Houses in Multiple Occupation – Suggested Option

Our approach is
To recognise the importance of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) to the housing stock in Southend-on-Sea and ensure that such residential accommodation types are integrated and respect the character of the parent building and the surrounding area.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Only allowing the sub-division of a single house where there is no adverse impact on the external character of the dwelling or the surrounding area within which the proposed HMO is located. The Council will resist the conversion of existing family accommodation into HMOs.

2. Ensuring that proposals that would lead to an unacceptable concentration of HMOs within the area or street frontage will be resisted. HMOs must not exceed 10% of the total residential frontage within a street.

3. Resisting HMOs where they will detrimentally impact upon amenity in terms of noise, loss of privacy and general disturbance to neighbouring dwellings.

4. Ensuring that adequate space is available for bin storage and rubbish collection.

5. Resisting HMOs in areas where there is or will lead to on-street parking pressures.

6. Resisting the HMOs in areas away from the main public transport corridors.

7. Ensuring that adequate usable private amenity space is provided or ensuring that the proposed HMO is in close proximity to public amenity space.

Student Accommodation – Alternative Options

1. Consider HMO accommodation proposals on a site-by-site basis.

It is considered that this approach could lead to an unacceptable concentration of HMOs and may result in an unsatisfactory environment within the surrounding area.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

The East of England Plan (2008) Policy ENV7: Quality in the Built Environment
Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 7
  Strategic Objective 14
Policy CP8: Dwelling Provision

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy H7: The Formation of Self-Contained Flats

Issue DM16: Questions

(4) 60. Do you agree with the suggested option?
61. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
62. Should the Council restrict HMOs in specific areas?
63. Is the 10% cap on HMOs within a street appropriate or should another % cap be considered?
64. Are there any other issues regarding HMOs that the Council should consider?

Issue DM17 – Specialist Residential Accommodation

Issue
It is necessary to ensure that there is a greater choice of residential accommodation available to vulnerable groups whilst avoiding an over-concentration of such accommodation in any one area. Such facilities should not be isolated as it is not considered to be conducive to social inclusion, balanced communities and sustainable development. These types of facilities should be located in accessible areas, close to main facilities and public transport routes to cater for residents, staff and visitors, and promote social inclusion.

Context
The Council’s Sustainable Community Strategy seeks to ensure that opportunities and support is provided to people of all ages and abilities. In a housing sense it is important that good quality housing is provided that is appropriate to an individual's needs. The Council seeks to ensure that everyone is able to live in their own home but recognises that there will be instances where specialist residential accommodation will be required to meet specific elements of Southend-on-Sea’s population. Such residential accommodation could include: extra care and supported accommodation and residential facilities for mental health, learning disabilities, dementia, physical and sensory impairment, and drugs and alcohol dependency.

The Southend-on-sea Older People Strategy highlights that the borough has a significantly higher proportion of people aged over 65 than the average for England and that this population is expected to grow over the next 20-years. Whilst older person housing represents one form of specialist residential accommodation it does highlight the issues involved. Approximately 80% of people in Southend-on-Sea aged 65 to 85 own their own homes. The Southend-on-Sea Older People Strategy recognises that most people want to remain safe and secure in their own homes for as long as they are able. There will inevitable be a need for facilities such as specialist extra care facilities to provide accommodation for the small proportion of older people that can not live in their own home.

Specialist Residential Accommodation – Suggested Option

Our approach is
To develop lifetime neighbourhoods where Southend-on-Sea’s community has access to a variety of specialist residential accommodation types to suit their needs regardless of age or health or ability.

We consider that this can be achieved by:
1. Supporting development proposals for specialist residential accommodation to meet the needs and requirements of Southend-on-Sea’s population such as extra care and supported accommodation and residential facilities for mental health, learning disabilities, dementia, physical and sensory impairment, and drugs and alcohol dependency. Specialist residential accommodation will be considered acceptable where:

  1. There is a clearly identified need for the proposed specialist residential accommodation.
  2. It does not result in the loss of an important existing use such as residential or hotel.
  3. It would not lead to an over concentration of similar uses detrimental to the character of a residential area or residential amenities.
  4. The quality of accommodation meets Lifetimes Homes Standards.
  5. The accommodation is fully integrated into the surrounding area.
  6. The accommodation will be accessible to public transport, shops, services, community facilities, public open space and social networks appropriate to the needs of the intended occupiers.

Specialist Residential Accommodation – Alternative Options

1. To consider proposals for specialist residential accommodation on a site-by-site basis.

The need for specialist residential accommodation is set to grow over the long-term. The Council considers it important that such accommodation is managed so that it contributes to sustainable neighbourhoods without adversely impacting upon area. It is considered that such proposals on a site-by-site basis could lead to an over-concentration of such facilities in just a few areas to the detriment of the area.

Development Plan Policy Linkage

Southend-on-Sea Core Strategy (2008) Strategic Objective 7
  Policy CP6: Community Infrastructure
Policy CP8: Dwelling Provision

Relevant Southend-on-Sea Borough Local Plan Saved Policies

Policy H8: Sheltered Housing and Residential Institutions
Policy H9: Non Self-Contained Residential Accommodation (first alteration)
Policy U6: Non-residential Health Care Facilities

Issue DM17: Questions

(2) 65. Do you agree with the suggested option?
66. Do you consider the alternative options to be more appropriate? If so, please state why.
(1) 67. Are there any other specialist residential accommodation issues that should be considered?
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