Government sets out support plans for Garden Villages

Berkeley Homes (St Edward) launches consultation site for new development at Hartland Village, aka Pyestock and Hartland Park

The Government has updated its policies on locally led garden villages, towns and cities. The update places particular focus on new garden villages ranging in size from 1,500 to 10,000 dwellings. The new guidance on how to apply for support for new garden villages can be found here.

Of course this is applicable to the proposed redevelopment of Pyestock into Hartland Village.

We must hope that Hart Council and Berkeley Homes will submit an Expression of Interest in Government support by the deadline of 31 July 2016.

 

Bramshill House proposal will build too many larger properties

Former police college, Bramshill House in Bramshill Parish Hart District Hampshire 16/00720/FUL

Former police college, Bramshill House in Bramshill Parish Hart District Hampshire 16/00720/FUL

We wrote earlier about the new proposed redevelopment of the brownfield former Police College at Bramshill House. We have now gone through the proposals in more detail and found that the developers are intending to build fewer smaller properties and more larger properties than would be suggested by Hart’s housing need. Moreover, CIty and Country’s document does not mention affordable housing at any point in its document.

To recap, Figure 9.8 of the SHMA sets out the estimated housing need by size of dwelling.  Applying these figures to the proposed 283 units and comparing them to the plans set out by the developers shows the following results:

Bramshill redevelopment proposal compared to housing need. Bramshill Parish Hart District Hampshire. Fielden and Mawson Planning application 16/00720/FUL

This shows that they propose to build 9 fewer 1-bed properties than needed, 20 more 2-bed properties, 61 fewer 3-bed properties and 50 more 4+bed properties than indicated by the Housing Needs Assessment.

We think that Hart District Council should take this into account in their evaluation of the proposal and also ensure that suitable affordable housing is built on this site or elsewhere as part of the overall proposal.

 

Applications made to redevelop Bramshill House

Former police college, Bramshill House in Bramshill Parish Hart District Hampshire 16/00720/ful

Former police college, Bramshill House in Bramshill Parish Hart District Hampshire 16/00720/ful

Developers, City and Country, together with their advisors Fielden and Mawson have submitted a number of applications to redevelop the former Police College at Bramshill House. The main application appears to be 16/00720/FUL that can be found on Hart Council’s planning portal. The main application document can be found here.

There are 6 individual applications, for a total of 283 dwellings:

  • Application 1 – Conversion of Bramshill House, the Stable Block and the existing Nuffield Hall, to provide a total of 25 residential units, a museum space and parking for 63 vehicles.
  • Application 2 – Conversion of Bramshill House, the Stable Block and the existing Nuffield Hall for use as a single residence and parking for 10 vehicles.
  • Application 3 – Conversion of Bramshill House, the Stable Block and the existing Nuffield Hall for use as offices, providing approximately 5,196m2 of commercial space and parking for 175 vehicles.
  • Application 4 – The provision of 235 residential units in the area known as The Core which includes; the Quad,
    Lakeside, Central Area, Walnut Close, Maze Hill and Sandpit Close. This application also includes parking for 586 vehicles.
  • Application 5 – The extensions to Maze Hill and Sandpit Close, providing 14 residential units and parking for 56 vehicles.
  • Application 6 – The provision of 9 residential units in the Pinewood area and parking for an 36 vehicles.

Due to the sensitivity of the site, there will no doubt be a lot of detail to go through to ensure the application meets environmental standards and that proper access to the road system is included. Provided these conditions are met, We Heart Hart welcomes this development on this brownfield site.

The development vindicates our earlier calculations of the brownfield capacity in Hart District, and these 283 units can be added to the 1,500 units being planned at Pyestock (aka Hartland Village), and make a big contribution to the 2,500 units required to be permitted up to 2032, according to the current SHMA.

This proposed development shows that we do not need a new development at Winchfield, nor do we need more urban extensions.

[Update] More details on the types of housing planned, here [/Update]

Barratts claimed housing need is tendentious nonsense

Barratt Developments Logo

As we reported here, a number of developers have put forward the idea that Hart District’s Local Plan housing target should be double that in the current housing market assessment. We have been through Barratt Homes‘ document and come to the conclusion that it is a load of tendentious nonsense.

In this post we demolish their main arguments.  Let us remember that Barratt Developments are behind the proposals for a new town at Winchfield and have a vested interest in putting forward the highest housing target they can. But as we shall see below, they really are simply thinking of a number and tripling it.

The Starting Point

They start innocuously enough, with the latest 2012-based population projections, leading to a starting point of 250 dwellings per annum, or a target of around 5,000 houses, somewhat less than the current SHMA figure of 7,534. Note that if this 5,000 number was used as our housing target, we would be able to meet our remaining housing target from windfalls and a few brownfield sites, and wouldn’t even need to redevelop Pyestock until after 2032.

Barratts Starting Point for Housing Need

Demographic Adjustments

However, they go on to say that the starting point should be ‘adjusted’ to allow for higher household formation rates (HFR) and more inward migration.

Barratts Demographic Adjustments for Hart District Housing Need 2011-2032

Barratts Key to charts

We would probably agree that some small adjustment needs to be made for HFR. However they argue that the 2008-based Government figures are somehow more accurate than the latest 2012-based figures. But the 2008-based forecasts were proven wrong by the actual census data in 2011, and even the 2011-based figures reverse the most recent trend towards slightly larger households.

Average Houshold Size projections for Housing Market Area

Average Household Size projections for Housing Market Area

But we really take issue with their logic on needing to take account of bigger inward migration to Hart from other districts. They appear to argue that because the 2012-based population projections are lower than the 2008-based projections, they simply must be wrong and need to be adjusted. They are arguing that because we built a lot of housing in the period 2003-2007, and created a great deal of housing supply, so inward migration increased, then we need to do that each and every year from 2011-2031.  They also suggest that Government’s population projections don’t include enough allowance for immigration to the country.  Let’s deal with their arguments:

First, the Government central projections already assume net immigration to the country of 185,000 per year out to 2039, nearly twice the Government’s target of 10’s of thousands, so we would argue that so migration from abroad is already in the starting point.

Second, by definition, migration from other parts of the UK, must be unmet need from other areas. But every area has to follow the National Planning Policy Framework and meet the needs of their local district, so where is this extra internal migration going to come from? As we have shown before, our analysis of five other housing needs assessments of planning authorities across Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Berkshire reveals an average housing uplift on the baseline population projections of around 42%. It simply cannot be right for every district to be assuming that they need to make an uplift to their housing targets because of inward migration from other districts, or we will end up with far more houses than we need.

Jobs Growth Adjustments

Barratts then go on to quote the average of three jobs forecasts that say that Hart District can and should produce jobs at a rate of 620 per annum, or 1,650 per annum across the whole Housing Market Area (HMA) that includes Rushmoor and Surrey Heath.

Barratts Jobs Growth Adjustments for Hart District Housing Need 2011-2032

Barratts Key to charts

This job creation rate for the HMA is higher than in the current SHMA (1,130 jobs per annum), which represents a near doubling of the job creation rate achieved in the period 1998-2012 and significantly higher than the 414 jobs per annum created in the same period for Hart District.

They then conclude that we need to build 730 houses per annum to meet these jobs forecasts, nearly three times the starting point of the population projections. They have literally taken the official Government projections and tripled them for no sound reason.

Of course, they then go on to say that we will need to have an even higher population in Hart, created by even more net migration to do the jobs in the forecasts.  But they don’t explain where this population is going to come from. Again, if overseas immigration is already factored into the Government population forecasts, and this even higher rate of population growth in Hart would have to be people from other districts, and those other districts are duty bound to meet the needs of their own people.

Elsewhere in the report, Barratts say that only 45% of Hart’s workforce work in Hart. Surely, if all these jobs were going to materialise in the district, more of the workforce would choose to work closer to where they live and we wouldn’t need more inward migration, and so our housing requirement would fall?

Their approach appears to be against the latest advice from the Planning Advisory Service which states that housing need should be “principally understood as a measure of future demand rather than aspiration”. Employment in the district should be a matter for consultation (see Peter Village QC opinion), and in any case a high level of jobs growth that requires more inward migration is by definition meeting the unmet needs of other districts and an ‘aspiration’ which is contrary to planning advice.

Affordable Housing

They then go on to claim that if we built 730 dwellings per annum, and affordable housing at the 40% rate in current policy we would deliver almost all of the affordable housing we need. But to support this claim, they say that Hart’s evidence base says we need 320 affordable houses per annum. This is four times the current SHMA (Figure 8.4) that says we need 79 affordable houses per annum, plus a few more intermediate houses.

 

 

All in all this report from Barratts is self serving, tendentious nonsense that should be dismissed out of hand.

 

Developers call for Hart’s housing target to be doubled

The new age of crony capitalism

We have taken a brief look at the submissions made by developers to the Hart Council Refined Housing Options Consultation, found some worrying results. Barratt Homes, Berkeley Homes and Martin Grant homes all call for Hart’s housing target to be increased, and some call for it to be doubled. It is important that everyone in Hart unites to challenge these ridiculous figures. We should also challenge the developers to build the houses that are already permitted and not ‘land-bank’.

According to the current Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), Hart must build 7,534 homes in the planning period up to 2032. This amounts to around 370 per annum. This number was arrived at by using the 2011-based population projections as a starting point. Since then the 2012-based population projections have been published and they show a lower population projection than the older numbers

However, Barratt Homes have come up with their own assessment of Hart’s housing need which is 730 homes per annum.

Berkeley Homes have also come up with their own housing target for Hart in the range of 540-685 dwellings per annum

Finally, Martin Grant Homes also say that Hart’s housing ‘need’ is 730 dwellings per annum, nearly double the currently assessed need.

What is particularly galling about these projections put forward by the developers is that they are not even building at anywhere near the 370 per annum rate required to meet the 7,534 target,

Hart District Housing Completions by year

Hart District Housing Completions by year

even though there are 1,075 homes that were granted permission in or before 2013, out of the over 3,000 outstanding permissions. It is ridiculous to suggest that these developers are going to double their build rate, because prices would collapse along with their profits.  This is just a way for developers to try and gain more planning permissions and then sit on them and produce houses at a rate that suits them.

Outstanding permissions in Hart District as of 20 April 2016 by year of grant

Outstanding permissions in Hart District as of 20 April 2016 by year of grant

We hope that all campaigning groups in Hart unite to challenge these ridiculous notions of housing ‘need’ coming from the developers. If we don’t then there is a strong risk we will be forced to build even more houses for Rushmoor and Surrey Heath and end up having to build Pyestock (aka Hartland Village) and all three of the options in the consultation.