The lack of affordable housing to buy or rent in the New Forest is making life unnecessarily harder for young people and working families. Ideally, the District Council would be building 500 social rented homes a year to reduce the size of the waiting list and free up housing stock in other sectors but that is not happening. That means that we must make sure developers build the affordable housing they say they will during the early stages of planning application. New Forest District Council has the power to do this by:
Consider offering a fast-track planning system to applications which deliver 50%, or more, affordable housing to incentivise this behaviour by developers.
Require any planning application which does not meet the affordable housing requirement, contained in the New Forest (outside the National Park) Local Plan, to submit an Economic Viability Assessment which must be fully public and will be published alongside the other planning application materials.
Require such Economic Viability Assessments to be in a standard form, to be agreed by New Forest District Council, to aid understanding and comparison by members of the Planning Committee and the public.
Consider a threshold approach to internal review of Economic Viability Assessments, whereby large applications would be reviewed by external experts to ensure the accuracy of the assessments, especially around residual land values and assumed sales rates.
Employ ‘clawback’ mechanisms as standard when large applications cannot comply with the affordable housing thresholds, to ensure that any subsequent improvement in viability is accompanied by an appropriate increase in the affordable housing provision.