New Forest District Council: providing affordable housing through a core strategy

The Council recognises that there is a very high need for affordable housing in the Plan Area.

New Forest District Council has a housing requirement in the Plan Area (New Forest District outside the New Forest National Park) of 3,920 in the period 2006 to 2026. The Council's adopted Core Strategy forecasts that we will meet this target with the need for two new housing allocations: one at Totton (100); and one at Ringwood (150). These will provide the 250 dwellings required to meet the housing requirement, with affordable housing requirements of 50 per cent on both sites.

However, the Council recognises that there is a very high need for affordable housing in the Plan Area and decided to make more allocations in most of the other towns and larger villages with the aim of providing a high level of affordable housing to address local needs. Policy CS12 of the Core Strategy provides for up to 810 dwellings to be provided on such sites. These allocations are additional to those required to meet the housing target (although it was agreed at the Core Strategy Examination that they could also act as a contingency in the event of under-delivery against the housing target).

The Council's evidence (Affordable Housing Economic Viability Assessment) showed it was viable for new green field allocations made for this purpose to contribute 70% affordable housing (comprised 40 per cent social-rented, 30 per cent intermediate) with the remainder being low-cost market housing such as starter homes, self-build units and extra-care housing. This Policy (CS15) was adopted in the Core Strategy in 2009.

Subsequent to this, the Council has been progressing its Local Plan Part Two: Sites and Development Management. This Plan will deliver the Core Strategy through, amongst other things, making allocations to meet Policy CS12. Following detailed assessments, not all the possible capacity provided for in CS12 has been able to be identified through allocations in the Local Plan Part Two (i.e. we have not been able to identify suitable sites in some of the settlements). However, the Plan identifies sites to provide around 600 dwellings of which 70 per cent would be affordable.

As part of the process of formulating the plan and appraising the proposed allocations, site owners were contacted and asked to confirm various matters of availability and deliverability including meeting the policy requirements for 70 per cent affordable housing. Only those sites where landowners confirmed that this requirement would be met have been taken forward in the process.

Outcome and impact

  • 250 dwellings required to meet the Core Strategy housing requirement with affordable housing requirements of 50 per cent
  • 70 per cent affordable housing to be delivered on green field allocations around most settlements, made in addition to the Core Strategy requirement.


James Ives
Senior Policy Planner
Tel: 023 8028 5345