West Oxfordshire District Council have announced a new consultation for two of their emerging planning documents, the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule and the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD). Both of the consultations are running from Friday 10th July until 5pm on Friday 21st August.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Draft Charging Schedule
CIL is a charge levied per square metre on most new development, which is to be used for improvements to the local infrastructure such as roads and new leisure facilities. Once the schedule is adopted, the charge will apply to all future planning applications as well as those that are awaiting determination. The chargeable floorspace relates to gross internal area (GIA).
The Council are aiming to adopt the CIL charging schedule by Autumn 2020.
The proposed charge is set out in the charging schedule, the document that is undergoing consultation, and is outlined below:
|Zone||1 – 10 Dwellings||11+ Dwellings||Extra-care Housing||Strategic Sites|
|Low||£200 per m2||£100 per m2||£100 per m2||£0 per m2|
|Medium||£250 per m2||£125 per m2||£100 per m2||£0 per m2|
|High||£300 per m2||£150 per m2||£100 per m2||£0 per m2|
|Non-residential CIL (District-wide)|
|All non-residential uses (except retail)||£0 per m2|
|Food supermarket retail (A1)||£100 per m2|
The CIL rates above will be index-linked, meaning that the charges will change annually in accordance with the RICS All-in Tender Price Index. An updated version of the charging schedule will be published annually to reflect this.
The low zone is expected to cover the key settlements of Carterton and the surrounding area. The medium zone is expected to cover settlements such as Witney, Charlbury and Chipping Norton whilst the high charge zone covers the rest of the district, including Woodstock and Cassington. The draft zones can be seen in the figure below:
There are some exemptions to the charge, including for some residential annexes and extensions, self-build houses and flats.
The new schedule and supporting evidence can be viewed online here:
Affordable Housing Draft Supplementary Planning Document (SPD)
The Affordable Housing Draft SPD addresses affordable housing, providing guidance to support the local planning authority, developers, housing providers and local communities on how West Oxfordshire District Council will achieve the delivery of affordable housing within the district.
The feedback received will be considered before the draft SPD is submitted for examination is published in autumn 2020, before undergoing a further public consultation prior to any further amendments and adoption. Once it is adopted, it will be a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.
The current demand for affordable housing is shown in the graph below. It illustrates a significant demand for smaller 1 and 2-bedroom units. This demand is reflected in Policy H3 of the adopted Local Plan which requires that 65% of affordable dwellings should be smaller units.
The threshold for affordable housing is set out in Policy H3 and states that housing schemes of 11 or more, or which have a maximum combined gross floor space of more than 1,000m2 will be required to provide affordable housing on-site as a proportion of the market homes as follows:
- High value zone – 50%
- Medium value zone – 40%
- Low value zone – 35%
The draft SPD echoes and supports what is stated in Policy H3. The documents outlines the future affordable housing provision in West Oxfordshire, the affordable housing standards and design requirements as well as viability and delivery mechanisms. It also discusses new routes for delivery, including:
– The ‘Blenheim approach’, where WODC continue their partnership with Blenheim Estate to deliver affordable housing which will be owned by Blenheim with the aim of keeping them in the rental market. Shared ownership properties will also be provided; and
– The ‘Partnership with Legacy Landowners’, where WODC aims to partner with legacy landowners to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing. They are encouraging discussion with landowners who are considering development, and are particularly interested in rural exception sites that would meet the affordable housing needs of smaller rural settlements.
It should be noted that the main delivery mechanisms will continue to be S106 agreements. An example of this can be viewed in Appendix 3 of the draft SPD.
With regards to design criteria, WODC have set out the following criteria when designing affordable housing:
- There should be no distinction between affordable units and market units;
- The level of parking provision should be the same for both affordable housing units and market units; and
- The affordable units should be distributed evenly throughout the development, where practicable, in order to promote social inclusion and mixed communities. Any deviation from this will be examined during the application process.
In addition to this criteria, following WODC declaring a climate and ecological emergency they have begun to push for zero-carbon homes and sustainable design. In future, the environmental sustainability will become an increasingly important factor in the determination of planning applications. This is reflected in WODC expecting all applications to take full consideration of the environmental and climate change policies within the Local Plan & asking applicants to demonstrate, within the application, how the design of new affordable homes will meet or go beyond the high standards of sustainability.
The SPD is available for viewing online at the following link:
Should you wish to understand what this could mean for your land and developments or are considering making commenting on either document, please get in touch to discuss your options.Back to news