2: Housing

Housing is an important issue, particularly its affordability, not just for Southend but nationally.

Government has set a clear agenda for growth to address the historic under delivery of new homes to meet future needs in this country and to support economic prosperity. As part of this approach changes have been recently made to national planning policy guidance which now requires local planning authorities to use a standardised methodology for calculating local housing need. Possible options for meeting this need are discussed in the Spatial Strategy section above.

Table 1: Housing need – Government Methodology (dwellings per annum)

Dwellings per annum

Government Methodology


995- 1,091



Castle Point








Total: South Essex


The Governments standard method for assessing housing need does not break down the overall figure into different types of housing. National planning policy guidance requires local planning authorities to have regard to the need for particular sizes, types and tenures of homes as well as the housing needs of particular groups in preparing their local plans.

Housing type

The type and quality of the housing offer can have a significant impact on the health and wealth of places. Their ability to attract and retain people and provide support for those who need it relies on good housing and attractive and inclusive neighbourhoods.

There is huge pressure on the housing sector within Southend and as such the Council has recently adopted a Housing Strategy, which will prioritise affordable, safe homes for all residents. The local plan will complement this and will consider how to meet the needs for different types of housing across the Borough when determining planning applications. A key part of this will be around delivering more affordable housing, but also how we can:

  • keep younger working age people living in Southend
  • help older people live independently for longer and provide attractive alternatives for people to downsize if they so wish
  • provide options for custom and self-build housing

Current planning policy[1] seeks to achieve a proportion of affordable housing on new development sites[2]. On large schemes (50+ dwellings) 30% of the housing proposed is required to be affordable, whilst for smaller sites of between 10 and 49 dwellings the requirement is 20%. Since these policy provisions were introduced in 2007 some 600 affordable homes have been delivered, which represents about 18% of all housing completions between 2007 -2018. However, this is well below the demand and identified future requirements and more needs to be done to address affordability issues.

National policy requires Local Authorities to identify and provide for Gypsy, Travellers and Travelling Showpeople in relation to the provision of sites on which caravans can be stationed. On this basis an accommodation assessment has been undertaken across Essex and found that there is no local need for gypsy and traveller sites in Southend.

1 Southend Core Strategy, Policy CP8 Dwelling Provision - 2007

2 Currently split 60:40 between social or affordable rent and intermediate housing such as shared ownership (Policy DM7 – Development Management Document 2015)

What does this issue cover?

  • Housing; Affordable housing;
  • Specialist housing; Self-build;
  • Accessible and adaptable development

What information or evidence do we need for this issue?

  • South Essex Strategic Housing Market Assessment 2016, Addendum 2017 (to be reviewed)
  • Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2018
  • Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) 2018
  • Greater Essex Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2018

See our evidence papers for more information

Related Southend 2050 Outcome

  • We are well on our way to ensuring that everyone has a home that meets their needs.
  • Key regeneration schemes, such as Queensway, seafront developments and the Airport Business Park are underway and bringing prosperity and job opportunities to the Borough.

What United Nations Sustainability Development Goals does this Issue contribute to?

If you would like to find out more on this issue we have prepared a Housing Topic Paper

Housing - Have your say

Please provide comment in support of your choice

How best do you think we should provide for our future housing needs?


Intensify housing development by:


allowing an increase of densities across the existing built up area?


directing higher density housing to specific locations, such as town centre, near train stations and prime bus routes (e.g. London Road, Southchurch Road, Victoria Avenue, Sutton Road)?


Allow redevelopment of some of the poorer quality industrial areas and/ or allow some sites currently zoned for employment use to be developed for housing? What sites do you think should be identified?


Allow housing development on land not currently built on, such as agricultural land, open space (excluding parks and coastline), and land at Fossetts Farm? What sites do you think should be identified?


Secure a proportion of affordable/ special needs housing on development sites. Do you think we should retain the current policy, seek a higher proportion of affordable housing or provide for a different policy approach/ solution?


How might the local plan be more responsive to the needs of younger people, older people and custom/ self-builders?


In terms of the layout and design of housing should we go beyond mandatory building regulations to ensure new homes are highly accessible and adaptable? In what circumstances should this be applied? Should a proportion of new housing on major development sites (10 homes or more) be built to accommodate wheelchair user needs? If so what proportion should this be?


Do you have any other issues/comments you would like to raise?