North Somerset Local Plan 2038 Challenges and Choices Part 1: Challenges for the Future

Local Plan 2038: Challenges for the Future

Challenge 3: Providing homes and creating sustainable communities

Why do we need new homes?

Our population is growing and changing. By 2038 we expect there to be 16% more people living here than there are now. That’s about 30,000 more people and there are a number of reasons for this increase in population as explained below. We will be working with our neighbouring authorities, such as Bristol on issues such as such as housing, jobs and infrastructure.

29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 37Ageing Population:
At the moment our birth rate is higher than our death rate – last year around 2,500 babies were born, and 2,000 people died. By 2038 we predict that this trend will reverse – as our population ages the amount of deaths will exceed births.

Households are changing:
The amount of people who live in each household is also changing. People live longer than they did before, and more people live alone. We need a range of different
homes to accommodate everyone. Back in 2001 we would have needed 429 homes to house 1,000 people. In future we will need 470 homes per 1,000 people.

29761 Local Plan Challenges V9 40High house prices:

House prices are increasing. We need more homes that are affordable. The average house price in North Somerset is £250,000 vs the average annual income which is £25,000 meaning that the average house costs nearly ten times the average person’s income.

Moves from other parts of the UK:
This accounts for the largest part of our population change. Each year around 8,000 people move away from North Somerset to other parts of the UK. The majority of these are young people, presumably moving away to study or for work. Conversely, each year around 10,000 people move into North Somerset from elsewhere in the UK.

People move into North Somerset for lots of different reasons – to be near to family, to be close enough to their job to commute daily, because the house prices suit their budget, or simply because it’s an attractive place to live. This means that our population grows by nearly 2,000 people each year as a result.

International migration is not a big factor in our predicted population growth. Each year around 600 people move to North Somerset from outside of the UK, whilst around 500 leave.

How many houses do we need?

shutterstock_451241899The Government has set out a standard calculation for local councils to use when working out how many new homes they need. The calculation takes account of projected population and household growth and affordability. The Council will continue to assess the Government’s approach to ensure that it is fair and realistic. The calculation currently gives North Somerset a minimum requirement of 1,369 homes each year, that’s 20,535 homes over the fifteen-year period we are planning for which is roughly the equivalent to two more Clevedons! It will be a huge challenge to deliver this many each year houses each year, but the Local Plan is not just about delivering houses. It’s about providing homes and creating communities.

In order to do this the Local Plan will need to provide a wide range of different sites, housing types and tenures including affordable family homes, apartments as part of mixed-use schemes in town centres, affordable homes for rent and sale, plots for self-build, community led housing schemes, smaller properties for downsizers or first-time buyers and retirement accommodation. We will also need to consider providing a range of sites from potentially large new developments to smaller sites in and around existing towns and villages.

It will also need to ensure the necessary infrastructure is provided to support new homes and make sure that sure our children have school places and places to play, we can get to the places we need to go without gridlock on our roads, we continue to have access to health services, community and sports facilities and there are jobs near where we live. Although we might want these to be in place before any homes are built this isn’t always possible as they often need an established population to
operate efficiently.

Funding is always going to be a challenge, but all new housing pays a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which is a fee per house to fund infrastructure needed to support the new development. Over the last year each new house built in North Somerset has contributed £4,500 on average to this fund. We will continue to bid to central government for any funds which become available.

QUESTION 5: What sort of types and sizes of houses do you think will be needed for your community in the future?

Infrastructure required to support new homes:

On average every 1,000 new homes will require a 420-place primary school

All new developments will prioritise walking, cycling and public transport which needs to be accessible and efficient. Investment in transport will depend on locations chosen.

Parks & play areas
Access to public open space, sports facilities and play areas are an essential element of the design of new development.

Community Facilities
Community spaces are necessary for new neighbourhoods to grow and develop, and for people to feel part of the community.

We need a range of job opportunities to allow people to work close to where they live.

Local facilities
New homes can often help support local services and if enough homes are built new facilities can be secured to bring benefits to both existing and new residents.

QUESTION 6: What do you think makes a good community?