The recommendations in the extract minute from the Cabinet were proposed by Councillor Derek Bastiman and duly seconded. Introducing the report, the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Phillips proposed two further minor amendments to the Supplementary Planning Document which had come to light since the report was considered by the Cabinet and which would enable officers to request further information when undertaking viability appraisals if and when required, namely in Appendix 2:
· A note added stating that ‘The list of information required below under a Viability Appraisal is not exhaustive and further information may be required in certain instances’
· And a second addition stating in a footnote that ‘In certain circumstances a cashflow sheet will be required to set out costs and revenues of the proposal over the duration of the build that clarifies the monthly and overall finance costs’.
Members commented on the report. The Labour Group Leader, Councillor Siddons called on the Council to lobby central government about the problems caused by the government reducing the requirements on developers to provide affordable housing through national planning policy. Councillor Randerson asked the Council to put pressure on developers to provide affordable housing for rent for which there was particular need. Councillor Barnett urged a more imaginative approach by the Council, for example, to address the large numbers of second home holiday lets in Whitby, which other councils had adopted. Councillor Phillips recognised the continuing acute need for affordable housing in the Borough, and although the definition, quantity and quality of affordable housing was identified in national planning policy, the Council would continue to monitor developers’ obligations to provide as much affordable housing as possible through the planning system. She added that the Borough Council was no longer had its own housing stock, but would continue to support Beyond Housing and other social landlords to deliver more social housing. Opportunities would also be taken to lobby central government about the housing shortages in the Borough. Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff asked what the Council’s response was to the government’s decision in October to lift the borrowing cap to enable local authorities to build more homes. Councillor Phillips undertook to provide Councillor Donohue-Moncrieff with a full written reply.
RESOLVED that the Council:
i) Adopt the revised Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (with the noted further amendments) and that the document is thereafter used in the determination of planning applications;
ii) Amend the criteria for assessing persons who wished to be added to the self-build register as outlined above; and
iii) Instruct that further research and consultation is carried out into the Discount Sales Market Housing product by Planning and Housing Services and further guidance on this be published as an addendum to the Affordable Housing SPD if necessary.
Since the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was updated and adopted earlier this year the NPPF has been revised. It is important that the SPD is a dynamic document that is updated as and when changes take place to national policy and guidance.