Woking Borough Council

CS11 Housing mix

Different households require different types and sizes of housing. It is important that the Council provide an appropriate choice and mix of housing across the Borough in order to create balanced and sustainable communities. Widening housing choice broadens the appeal of an area and assists in meeting the needs of existing residents as well as attracting new residents to the Borough. Ensuring that new housing takes account of local need and existing provision to create neighbourhoods where there is a genuine choice of the right housing to meet local need, both at neighbourhood and Borough wide level, is essential. The Council will therefore plan for a mix of housing that will be appropriate to the needs of the community, providing a range of types, sizes and tenures including housing for the elderly, lifetime homes and other specialist housing needs.

CS11: Housing mix

All residential proposals will be expected to provide a mix of dwelling types and sizes to address the nature of local needs as evidenced in the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment in order to create sustainable and balanced communities.

The appropriate percentage of different housing types and sizes for each site will depend upon the established character and density of the neighbourhood and the viability of the scheme.

The Council will not permit the loss of family homes on sites capable of accommodating a mix of residential units unless there are overriding policy considerations justifying this loss.

Reasoned justification

The Council will seek to achieve a mix of dwelling sizes to meet local need and demand. Research (SHMA, May 2009) has found that the overall need and demand for new homes in the Borough is:

  • 19% 1 bed
  • 28% 2 bed
  • 39% 3 bed
  • 14% 4+ bed.

The Council will expect new residential schemes to reflect the latest evidence of need, subject to density and character considerations.

Lower proportions of family accommodation (2+ bedroom units which may be houses or flats) will be acceptable in locations in the Borough such as the town and district centres that are suitable for higher density developments. Equally, lower proportions of smaller units will be acceptable in areas of existing low residential density where the character of the area will not be compromised.

Delivery strategy

The Council will work with developers to ensure that an appropriate mix of units is delivered on sites through the planning application process.

The Council will also prepare a Site Allocations DPD that will specify the mix of dwellings that will be expected to be provided on specific sites.

Through the Annual Monitoring Report, the Council will monitor the effectiveness of the policy with reference to any changes in need as evidenced through updates to the SHMA. The Council will consider reviewing the mix set out in this policy should the monitoring process highlight any issues concerning delivery or any changes in local evidence.

The Council will provide more details on the application of this policy on housing mix in the Design Standards SPD.

Monitoring and review

The policy will be measured against the following indicators and targets annually through the AMR to enable the Council to effectively manage the mix of new residential developments:

  • Size and type of new dwellings delivered by type and location.

Key evidence base

  • Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), 2009 produced by Fordhams Research.
  • Economic Viability Assessment 2010, produced by Adams Integra.