2.3 Providing New Homes

What does this issue cover?

  • Exploring identified housing need and the supply of new homes
  • Identifying sites for future housing to meet anticipated needs
  • Identification of comprehensive new neighbourhoods

What information or evidence do we need for this issue?

  • Housing and Employment Land Availability Assessment (HELAA) (2020)
  • South East Essex Strategic Growth Locations Assessment (2019)
  • South Essex Strategic Growth Locations Study (2020)
  • Housing, Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy (2018)
  • Southend and Rochford Settlement Role and Hierarchy Study (2020)
  • Rochford and Southend Joint Green Belt Study (2020)
  • Rochford and Southend Landscape character, sensitivity and capacity study (2019)

Related Southend 2050 Outcomes - where we want to be

  • We are well on our way to ensuring that everyone has a home that meets their needs
  • Residents feel safe and secure in their homes
  • We are all effective at protecting and improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable in our society

What You Said

As described above within Section 2: Spatial Strategy, the Issues and Options consultation document (2019) set out three possible options for meeting future development needs, namely:

Option 1: all development provided within the existing built up area.

Option 2: most development provided within the existing built up area with some development on the urban edges on green field and Green Belt land in Southend.

Option 3: Option 2 + working with neighbouring authorities to develop a comprehensive new settlement on Green Belt land (strategic scale development).

Of the three options, Option 3 attracted the most support as it provided the best opportunity for accommodating the necessary growth.

Our Response

Having regard to your feedback and recognising that Option 3 attracted the most support we have carried out further assessments and refined the options to include potential development sites for this consultation.

It was also clear from your feedback that we needed to fully assess different options to achieve a higher level of development from within the existing urban area of the Borough without detrimentally affecting the character and fabric of the urban environment. This is critical to determining what residual level of need is required to be accommodated outside the existing urban area and to provide an evenly phased development programme across the whole of the plan period.

Worsening Affordability and Housing Pressures

Housing in Southend, and South Essex as a whole, has become less and less affordable in recent years. Indeed, for many it is simply unaffordable. When compared to the national average, we have high rates of overcrowding, enforced house sharing, and homelessness. We continue to see rising house prices and private rents outstripping local wage levels. It is very hard for our young people to get on the housing ladder. Not enough housing is being built in the area and the New Local Plan needs to facilitate a step-change in housing delivery in the future whilst respecting climate change implications, protecting our parks, delivering new infrastructure, including schooling and transport and safeguarding the character of the town.

Having an up-to-date Local Plan that is shaped through community engagement, provides an important tool to help manage future development proposals that would otherwise come forward without local policies guiding the type, scale and location of new development.

Housing Allocation Southend as a borough