4. Site Layout & Distribution
4.1 The layout of developments should integrate affordable (including any supported housing) with the open market housing in ways that minimise social exclusion. Affordable housing should be located fairly and equitably in terms of access, proximity to on-site amenities such as open space, play space and access to community facilities.
4.2 The distribution of affordable housing within a new development can have an impact on the social sustainability of a community, in terms of the quality of life of occupants. On the basis of local experience, clustering of no more than 25 units in one particular location has proven to be deliverable. When considering the overall layout of a development, regard will need to be had to the density, tenure mix and type and size of dwellings in establishing the most effective clustering approach. The council would expect to see smaller clusters of affordable housing within lower density schemes.
4.3 The geographical distribution of affordable homes will be considered on a site-by-site basis. The council will seek to ensure that new housing regardless of tenure and type is optimally distributed throughout the site. The creation of tenure monocultures should be avoided. The required density on a given site will need to have regard to its wider context and other policies of the local plan.
4.4 On phased developments or large developments split into parcels of land; developers must take into account the clustering of affordable housing on neighbouring parcels to ensure the even distribution of affordable housing clusters throughout the area as a whole.
Phasing on growth sites and larger sites
4.5 On larger sites where housing is delivered in phases, affordable housing should be delivered proportionately in line with the delivery of market housing. The delivery of affordable housing should run in parallel with that of market housing. This will be ensured through the Section 106 agreement for the development.
Density and dwelling mix
4.6 The agreed affordable housing mix in each development will need to address local need in terms of its:
- Provision of social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing.
- Provision of flats and family houses categorised by number of bedrooms.
4.7 Affordable housing should be provided in a range of sizes, types and tenures to meet a wide range of needs. Duplex dwellings and maisonettes will be treated as similar dwelling types.
4.8 Paragraph 159 of the NPPF requires that local planning authorities assess their full housing needs to identify the scale and mix of housing and the range of tenures that the local population is likely to need. Supporting this, Policy 45: Affordable housing and dwelling mix of the Local Plan states that it is vital to provide an appropriate mix of housing types and sizes to meet the projected and current needs of different households and the wider community. A Cambridge sub-region Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) has been undertaken to establish the level of housing need.
4.9 The findings from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) will be particularly important to the determination of an agreed mix of affordable housing and Appendix 6 of this SPD concerning the SHMA will be updated, when necessary, to reflect current need. The council will also use the most up-to date information available on local need to inform its negotiations on affordable housing mix, including local registers of need for rented and intermediate housing.
4.10 Regard will also be had to site characteristics, the scale of development proposed and the housing mix and dwelling type in adjacent existing areas.
4.11 The council resolves to achieve a minimum of 75% social rented and affordable rented housing and a maximum of 25% intermediate housing on qualifying sites in accordance with the provisions of the Cambridge Housing Strategy 2012-2015 and Cambridge City Council’s Tenancy Strategy 2012 and their successor documents. Table 2 in this SPD illustrates the tenure split required within the affordable housing component of a development. The SHMA will also be a key consideration in the determination of affordable housing type (see Appendix 6 – Cambridge Sub-Regional Strategic Housing Market Assessment). In the event that this cannot be achieved, affordable housing provision should reflect the market housing in the proposed development, unless there is a specific need for a dwelling type highlighted by the council.
4.12 Policy 55: Responding to context is still relevant where it is considered that a development proposes artificially under occupying a site in order to avoid the provision of affordable housing. In such cases, Policy 55 may be applied to ensure appropriate density for context.
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