On 1 April 2019 Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council will be replaced by a single district council called West Suffolk Council. It will entirely replace the borough and district councils but will continue to deliver the same services while finding improved ways of supporting communities, businesses and the local economy. Over the next few weeks you may notice changes to the website, forms, letters and emails, and there will be limited access to some of our online systems as we prepare for the creation of the new council.
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.
Within the council's core strategy we seek to achieve the following affordable housing provision:
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.
Strategy and Enabling Officer – Julie Salisbury
Phone: 01284 757608
Strategy and Enabling Officer – Kim Langley
Phone: 01638 719344
Service Manager (Strategic Housing) – Simon Phelan
Phone: 01638 719440