Give your views on specialist housing guidance

Published: Thursday, 25 July 2019

Northampton Borough Council is set to consult on standards for new build specialist housing, including housing for older people and those with disabilities.

The draft Northampton Specialist Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) has been produced in response to the National Planning Policy Framework, which aims to significantly increase the supply of market and affordable properties that meet the needs of those with special housing requirements.

Evidence of the need for specialist and accessible housing is already outlined in the draft Northampton Local Plan Part 2 and the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy.

The draft SPD builds on this existing guidance and, when adopted, will become a material consideration in the determination of planning applications.

It also sets out indicative targets for different types of specialist housing, the expected space standards the houses should meet and the type of locations in which they should be constructed. These targets will then help guide developers and planners when negotiating specialist housing as standalone developments or as part of larger sites.

In particular, the SPD goes into detail about the amount of housing that should be constructed to wheelchair accessible standards in both new market and affordable housing developments and re-iterates the requirement that 35% of properties in developments of 15 or more should be affordable housing.

Councillor James Hill, Cabinet member for planning, said: “Delivering the right homes in the right locations is essential to meet the housing needs of Northampton’s residents, and the Council has a priority to build strong and resilient communities which support vulnerable people to achieve their full potential. 

“We also have an aging population, so we must take steps to ensure that older people can live in their own homes, independently and for as long as possible.

“The draft SPD will provide direct guidance for developers, with all relevant data and requirements for delivery of specialist housing available in one document.”

At its meeting last night (Wednesday 24 July) Cabinet agreed for the supplementary planning document to go to consultation.

The consultation will run for eight weeks from 8 August to 3 October, during which further details will be available on the Council’s ‘current consultations’ page at https://www.northampton.gov.uk/info/200024/consultations/892/consultation

A copy of the supplementary planning document can be found at http://www.northamptonboroughcouncil.com/councillors/documents/s59805/19_07_24_Draft%20Specialist%20Housing%20SPD%20FINAL.pdf