The role of the Strategic Housing Team is to promote and facilitate the provision of new housing throughout West Suffolk. We work with a range of partners such as registered providers, housing associations, private developers and parish councils. We aim to ensure that the housing and in particular the affordable housing required within our planning policies and housing strategy is delivered.
Affordable housing is traditionally homes provided for people on lower incomes who are unable to meet their housing needs through the general housing market. Affordable housing in West Suffolk is predominately developed by registered providers, who focus primarily on the delivery of affordable rent and low cost homeownership housing (such as shared ownership).
The adopted Local Plan for St Edmundsbury Council and emerging local plans for Forest Heath Council (and all related policy documents, including guidance and SPD’s) will continue to apply to those parts of the West Suffolk Council area until a new Local Plan for West Suffolk is adopted. This is currently scheduled for mid-2023.
The National Planning Policy Framework states that affordable housing shall only be required for sites of 0.5ha and over or for 10 dwellings and over.
Our Core Strategy policies would then require 30% affordable housing.
The tenure requirement for Forest Heath is 70% affordable rent and 30% intermediate housing (such as shared ownership) and in St Edmundsbury, 80% affordable rent and 20% intermediate housing. Detailed guidance on delivering affordable housing within West Suffolk can be found within the Affordable housing supplementary planning documents (SPDs).
The council's encourage early engagement with developers regarding the affordable housing provision in order to discuss the required tenure and mix of the affordable housing. The Strategic Housing Team uses robust data sourced from the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and local authority Housing Register.
The council's core strategy will also consider small scale developments of affordable housing not identified within the local plan and sitting outside the development boundary that would normally be an exception to policy. This type of scheme is known as a rural exception scheme and is typically small-scale development of affordable housing brought forward to meet recognised local need in those villages.
If you would like to discuss affordable housing delivery in more detail, or are a parish council interested in bringing forward an exception scheme in your village, please contact the team.
Contact the team
Housing specialist strategy and enabling officer – Julie Salisbury
Phone: 01284 757608
Housing specialist strategy and enabling officer – Kim Langley
Phone: 01638 719344
Housing specialist strategy and enabling officer - Charlotte McCallister
Phone: 01638 719372