Agenda item

Maidstone Affordable and Local Needs Housing Supplementary Planning Document


The Strategic Planning Manager introduced the report and stated that government guidance allows for the production of a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to build upon and provide further detailed advice and/or guidance on policies within an adopted local plan. Policies 19 and 20 of the Council’s adopted local plan refer to the production of an SPD. The SPD would not introduce new policies into the local plan. The Council would need to comply with the adopted Statement of Community Involvement.


The Strategic Planning Manager highlighted that Adams Integra had been commissions to take forward the SPD, with pre-consultation engagement having taken place during the drafting of the document. This involved developers, registered providers and a working group of Members. A statutory six-week public consultation was undertaken, with changes made to the SPD in line with the pre-consultation engagement and the consultation itself. The SPD would have various purposes that included the facilitation of negotiations with, and to provide certainty to, landowners, lenders, housebuilders and registered providers, with regard to the Council’s expectations for affordable and local needs housing within specific development schemes.


The report included a summary of the content of the SPD, with the SPD shown in Appendix 1. It was noted that there was a correction to be made to paragraph 2.9 of the report, whereby 2015 would be replaced with 2011.


Particular attention was drawn to the national and local context provided, with paragraph 1.11 of the report having made reference to the 67% of need across the borough is for social or affordable rent tenures, with 33% for intermediate housing. Individual site requirements were also included within the SPD that included the desire to keep affordable units when a resident leaves the property, specific requirements for housing for the elderly, to include extra care and specialist housing. The provision of affordable housing being delivered on site of specific developments was covered, with a high land price outlined as insufficient justification for the under provision of affordable housing.


Councillor Mortimer address the Committee as a visiting member, in his capacity as Chair of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee. An expression of support for the SPD was given, with specific reference made to the importance of the provision of affordable housing.


In response to questions, the Strategic Planning Manager confirmed that the proportion of affordable homes needed would not be addressed through the SPD, but through the SP20 policy of the adopted local plan. To change the proportions required the adopted local plan would need to be reviewed. With regard to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, viability studies and a strategic market assessment would be conducted in order that the evidence produced be considered in the creation of future policy, as part of the non-spatial plan making that would commence in early 2021.


The Committee felt that further consideration regarding accessibility requirements was required. The Housing Delivery Manager confirmed that the demand for wheelchair accessible homes on the housing register was low and that pre-application discussions with developers encourage development to standard M42 – the adaptable accessible standard.




1.  Subject to the amendment of paragraphs 2.9 and 11.4 within Appendix 1, the adoption of the Affordable and Local Needs Housing Supplementary Planning Document, for use in decision making be agreed;


2.  The Consultation Statement shown at Appendix 2 be noted; and


3.  As part of the Council’s ongoing emergency housing strategy, work be undertaken to ensure that the issues of accessibility and appropriateness of a home for lifetime live-in be assessed within the general housing issue, be agreed.







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