- Beacons archive
- Beacons round 10
- Homes for the future
- Case studies
- Bolton application case study
- Greenwich application case study
- Sheffield application case study
- St. Helens application case study
- Greenwich Kidbrook case study
- Greenwich housing provision case study
- Greenwich requirements case study
- Greenwich Millennium Village
- Sheffield's Norfolk Park case study
- Sheffield 'SWaN' case study
- Older People’s Housing - Bolton Council
- Refurbishment of existing properties
- Park Hill
- Chaucer district centre
- Strategy, planning and delivery
Strategy, planning and delivery
Sheffield City Council - homes for the future case study
An important step in improving Sheffield’s approach has been to improve joint working and information sharing between the council’s Planning and Strategic Housing services.
Significant efforts have also been made to improve communications between the council and other partners; particularly neighbouring local authorities and the private sector.
Key steps have included:
- Ensuring services consult each other on draft policies and strategies
- Developing a shared evidence base in support of planning policies and housing strategies and seeking ‘buy-in’ from public and private sector partners
- Officer representation from both services and from key partners on delivery boards and steering/working groups
- Developing consistent policy approaches and analysis across housing market areas
Learning for other authorities
- Share draft policies and strategies with other council services
- Develop a mutual understanding of current and future planning and housing priorities
- Work together to establish and understand core housing market intelligence
- Keep the evidence base for policies and strategies up to date – information on sites, in particular, can change quickly
- Involve house builders and developers, mortgage brokers and lenders and estate agents to get a market perspective
- Make the most of knowledge elsewhere within the council – particularly in terms of constraints to development and mechanisms for delivery
- Aim to develop a consistent approach with adjoining housing market areas but take a pragmatic approach to market area boundaries/data availability
- Invest time in developing a comprehensive shared database and make use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Making it happen
The council’s Planning and Strategic Housing services have worked closely in developing planning polices and family of housing strategies.
This has included work on the council’s Local Development Framework (LDF), Housing Strategy and affordable housing supplementary guidance, as well as the evidence base to support these documents: Sheffield Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and the Sheffield and Rotherham Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).
Sheffield’s successful partnership with their neighbouring South Yorkshire local authorities has enabled them to better understand wider housing markets and their interdependencies. They have made good progress in planning and attracting resources to deliver their vision for Sheffield.
The council submitted its LDF Core Strategy to the Government in September 2007. Although this was supported by background reports setting out housing land supply, only limited evaluation of site deliverability - as required by national planning policy - had not been undertaken at that time.
Work on the joint Sheffield and Rotherham SHLAA had started but had progressed more slowly than anticipated and had not been completed by the time the Core Strategy Public Hearings were due to start in April 2008.
This led to deferral of some of the hearings until September 2008 to allow time to complete the work. A key message is to complete your SHLAA and SHMA before submitting your Core Strategy.
Joint working on the SHLAA and SHMA has been vital in providing a robust evidence base for the LDF Core Strategy. The SHLAA Working Group included representatives from adjoining local authorities, the Home Builders Federation, the Regional Development Agency, Environment Agency and the Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder body.
Officers from both Strategic Housing and Planning Policy were involved in the SHMA Steering Group. The assessment was undertaken by private consultants in accordance with Government guidance.
Workshops with public and private sector partners were held as part of undertaking the assessment and they were also briefed on the findings. The consultants also attended the LDF Core Strategy hearings to provide expert evidence on the HMA methodology. This proved useful in demonstrating compliance with national practice guidance and in countering objectors.
The Strategic Housing Service was not represented on the SHLAA Working Group for the first SHLAA; this led to some inconsistencies in each Service’s assessments of site phasing and deliverability. This is being rectified in the 2009 SHLAA update with the aim of improving information on council-owned land.
Although Sheffield and Rotherham councils have developed a common methodology on the SHLAA, differences in staff resources and LDF timetables have caused some difficulties in meeting some deadlines.
Sheffield published an interim report in order to meet deadlines set by the LDF Core Strategy Inspector. Results for the whole market area will be produced at a later date.
Making a difference
Sheffield’s Unitary Development Plan was adopted in 1998 and so did not reflect latest national planning policy on housing delivery. Most of the land allocated for new housing in the UDP has been developed and the city has increasingly relied on ‘windfalls’ - unallocated land - to meet its housing requirement.
Reuse of brownfield sites, renewal of housing areas and the expansion in the market for apartments has enabled Sheffield to meet the requirement set in the UDP and by the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS). Delivery is currently running about 30 per cent above the RSS requirement.
Sheffield is one of the first metropolitan districts to have their statutory Local Development Framework (LDF) Core Strategy adopted; prepared in accordance with the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004.
The LDF Core Strategy Inspector concluded that the SHLAA and SHMA represented robust evidence and found the Core Strategy to be sound. The SHLAA, and subsequent annual updates, will provide a key part of the evidence underpinning the LDF Site Allocations Development Plan Document and in demonstrating a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites.
Before the SHMA and SHLAA were undertaken the council had a patchy understanding of the housing market, land supply and timescales for delivery of housing sites.
The ‘Sheffield Housing Need Study 2004’ had provided an assessment of the need for affordable housing but wider market issues were less fully addressed. The SHMA provides a much wider assessment of housing demand both in terms of housing types, tenures and sub-areas.
The council is currently updating the SHMA. They will be talking directly to residents about their housing requirements and any problems or issues they are facing in the current housing market.
The council will also be talking to other stakeholders, and analysing a range of information to see how the housing market has changed since the previous SHMA.
Work is also progressing on the first update of the SHLAA. Looking further ahead, the council intend to develop an Integrated Strategic Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (SHELAA).This will enable more effective consideration of development options and minimise the risk of double-counting sites for different uses.
Work has begun on the production of a design guide for residential development in Sheffield. This will help to explain to developers the local character of Sheffield’s neighbourhoods and how this might be translated into the physical development.
This has a key role in raising design quality. It is proposed that the guide will be integrated into the LDF as a supplementary planning document.
Simon Vincent, Development Services
tel: 0114 273 5897
Jim Uttley, Housing Strategy and Policy
tel: 0114 273 6396
Simon Vincent, Development Services
tel: 0114 273 5897
Georgina Parkin, Housing Strategy and Policy
tel: 0114 273 6915