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Advice For Developers

When negotiating Affordable Housing as part of residential development, the Council will have regard to its new Core-Strategy, which was formally adopted in October 2011.

Sedgemoor Core Strategy

The Council adopted its Sedgemoor Core Strategy in October 2011. This has replaced the Sedgemoor Local Plan as the principal strategic Development Plan Document for the district.

Actual contributions will be negotiated on a site by site basis having regard to viability and the nature of the site to be developed. 

 For more details, please refer to the Core Strategy.

When considering affordable housing implications of a development, particular reference should be made to the following Core Strategy policies:

D5        Housing

D6        Affordable Housing

D7        Rural Housing Needs

P4        Key Rural Settlements

As a guide, The Council will seek the following affordable housing contributions from any qualifying development:  

  • On site; The Council prefer on-site delivery of affordable housing where possible. However, in some circumstances the authority will also consider off-site provision ( for example through a commuted sum) to support affordable housing elsewhere across the district, or a mix of on-site and off-site provision where appropriate;
  • The Council will seek an affordable housing contribution of up to 40% as set out in policy D6;
  • 70% of the affordable homes should be social rented, with the balance consisting of intermediate products (affordable-homes-ownership and affordable rent);
  • Free from public sector investment;
  • All the affordable social rented homes should be transferred to one of the Council's Main Development Housing Association Partners currently working in Sedgemoor;
  • Affordable housing units must be constructed to 'Code for Sustainable Development' level 3 (as a minimum) or another subsequent standard as agreed with the Council;
  • The precise unit mix and type should be agreed with the Council prior to commencement of construction;
  • The affordable housing units must be undistinguishable from the open market units on the site;
  • In the event that a below policy affordable housing offer is put forward, the applicant will need to provide written justification for such an offer.

If viability is cited as a reason for a below policy affordable housing offer, the applicant will be expected to provide a detailed financial appraisal that will be independently scrutinised to verify the lower-than-policy position.

If a below policy affordable housing package is agreed, the Council will insist on an annual uplift financial review clause to be included within the legal agreement. For example, where development has not yet commenced and the financial circumstances may have improved in the meantime, this clause will allow the authority to review the finances associated with the development and therefore the affordable housing provision required on an annual basis.

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