Housing Sites

C.28 The following analysis is drawn from Durham County Council’s SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment 2018 (Durham County Council, 2018e,f). This provided the basis for the County Council’s estimate of the overall numbers of dwelling units required in Our Neighbourhood (paragraph 4.164), namely that a minimum of 1,297 new dwellings are required, comprising 639 on sites now under construction, 120 with planning permission but not yet under construction, 488 with planning permission and included in the emerging County Durham Local Plan, and 50 on a proposed new site. When a more up-to-date estimate by the County Council becomes available we will revise these details. It is noteworthy that, throughout Our Neighbourhood, there are student accommodation developments on land that would otherwise have been suitable for ‘normal’ residential units e.g. County Hospital, Chapel Heights, Kepier Court, Berendsen’s laundry.

Table C8: Housing sites in Durham County Council SHLAA 2018

Durham County Council’s Deliverable SHLAA 2018 sites

Housing capacity in SHLAA
2019

Completed
as at 01-04-2018

Remaining commitment
as at 01-04-2018

Sites under construction

4/DU/79 Mount Oswald

291

108

183

4/DU/128 Former Bus Depot, Waddington Street

19

14

5

4/DU/40
Potters Bank

22

20

2

4/DU/25 Former Johnston School Whinney Hill site

75

0

75

4/DU/19 Police Headquarters, Aykley Heads

217

62

155

Small sites total

15

4

11

Sub-Total

639

208

431

Sites approved but not yet started

24 The Avenue

12

0

12

Land at Kepier House, Gilesgate

35

0

35

Adj Providence House, Providence Row

6

0

6

Companions Club, Ainsley Street

9

0

9

Garages rear of Pimlico

4

0

4

Land at St Cuthberts House and Diamond Terrace

5

0

5

Magdalene Heights

10

0

10

Milburngate House

441

0

441

Mount Oswald

5

0

5

Sheraton House, Merryoaks

47

0

47

Small sites total

0

0

0

Sub-Total

608

0

608

TOTAL APPROVED SITES

1,247

208

608

Proposed new allocation in Preferred Options: Former Skid Pan, Aykley Heads

50

0

0

GRAND TOTAL

1,297

208

608

Note: Some of these developments have now (September 2019) been completed

C.29 There will, in addition, be windfall sites. It is estimated that an additional 100 houses would become available from small windfall sites over the period of the Plan. This figure is drawn from the emerging County Durham Local Plan.

C.30 If further houses become available for the long-term residents of Our Neighbourhood through the release of houses currently occupied by groups of students, this could amount to perhaps 500 over the Plan period.

THE NPPF REVISED METHODOLOGY FOR ASSESSING HOUSING REQUIREMENTS

C.31 The Government published a consultative Housing White Paper ‘Fixing Our Broken Housing Market’ (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2017) in February 2017 setting out ideas for increasing the production of new housing. One of the initiatives in the White Paper was to introduce a standardised approach to assessing housing requirements. This has subsequently been incorporated into the revised NPPF of February 2019. A total of 25,992 additional dwellings would be required in County Durham under the Government’s standardised methodology which requires use of 2014-based official projections rather than the latest (2016-based) official projections. Durham County Council has accepted this figure at the time of writing (September 2019).

C.32 Specific recognition is given in the 2019 revised NPPF (para. 14, 65) to the needs of neighbourhood plan preparation. Normally the local planning authority would provide a figure, derived from the relevant development plan. However, many development plans are out-of-date and of course do not use the proposed standardised methodology. The NPPF and Guidance suggests that a simple pro-rata approach should be used: the population in the neighbourhood plan area as a proportion of the population of the whole local planning authority area, and this proportion applied to the total housing requirement. Our Neighbourhood’s population is 4% of the County Durham total, so 4% of 25,992 i.e. 1,040 new dwellings would be required. However, this approach would seem to produce an over-estimate given that half the population in Our Neighbourhood are University students whose accommodation is in Colleges, PBSAs (purpose built student accommodation) and HMOs (houses in multiple occupancy). The 9,700 non-student population is 2% of the County Durham total, and this proportion represents a need for 520 new dwellings by the year 2035. Accordingly, while accepting the County Council’s estimate, other ways of calculating requirement indicate a lower figure for which the existing approved sites are significantly already more than sufficient.

See also Population and Households

Next section: Appendix D: Assets in Our Neighbourhood

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