Shenley Neighbourhood Plan – Housing Needs Assessment

Click to download: Shenley NP Housing Needs Assessment Final (02-05-18) (PDF / 2MB)

The Executive Summary Headlines section of the report is copied below for quick reference.

  1. The final Housing Needs Figure (HNF) for Shenley, taking market signals into consideration, is 220 dwellings to be delivered over the Plan period, or 14 dpa. This is an unconstrained figure and does not take into account policies relevant to housing delivery that may constrain supply.
  2. The Lower Quartile Affordability Ratio (LQAR), a key indicator for affordability of housing, has increased from around 5.5 in 1997 to 11.7 in 2013 in Hertsmere; that is to say that, in 2013, lower quartile house prices were almost 12 times lower quartile earnings. This suggests the difficulty of buying ‘entry level’ dwellings is particularly acute at the lower end of the income spectrum.
  3. Shenley shows signs that younger households are struggling to find suitable accommodation in the area.
  4. In order to release funds for Affordable Housing, we recommend Shenley Parish Council (SPC) encourage Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) to seek the lower Affordable Housing threshold allowed in rural locations (5 units or less rather than 10) outlined in national policy.
  5. In order to address acute affordability issues among those on lower quartile incomes, and address the decline in those aged between 25-44 and forecast loss of people of working age it is appropriate for social rented housing to form the majority of Affordable Housing provided. In addition, on the basis of the evidence gathered shared ownership represents a plausible route to home ownership to those on modest incomes, but starter homes do not given they would remain unaffordable to those on mean incomes.
  6. The fall in average household size is likely to continue in the NA as a result of growth in one-person households; in addition, SPC Household Survey identifies demand for smaller homes (2 and 3 bedroom homes, equating to homes of 3-5 habitable rooms).
  7. An analysis of age structure and household composition data suggests substantial existing and emerging misalignments between the housing mix in terms of type and size and the needs of current and future households. This is evidenced by the loss of younger people and those households with dependent children and the increase in one person households and those made up of solely of older people.
  8. While there has been a fall in the proportion of households accounted for by one family households that include dependent children in Shenley, the NA remains a place with a strong family character; in addition, in the Household Survey carried out by SPC, there is a strong call for four bedroom dwellings. This supports the notion that policy should support the delivery of affordable family dwellings (5-6 habitable rooms).
  9. Forecasts prepared for HBC relating to age groups 65-84 and 85 and over indicate substantial growth between 2017-34 (reaching 15% of all residents for the former, and from 3% in 2017 to 5% in 2034 of all residents for the latter). Given the similarity of trends identified in Census between the Borough and the NA, it is reasonable these forecasts trends will apply to greater or lesser degree in Shenley.