2.3i - Requirement for New Homes

Housing is an important issue, particularly its affordability, not just for Southend but nationally. The Government Standard Method for calculating the number of homes required over a 20-year period for Southend indicates the need for approximately 23,600 new homes (1,181 homes per annum). Only about a third of this rate was built each year between 2001-2020, the majority of this development taking place on previously developed land within the existing built-up area of Southend. Sufficient levels of new family and affordable housing have not been delivered over the last 20 years.

If we do not seek to meet the Government housing target, either by ourselves or through South Essex Authorities working together, then it is likely that housing outcomes in the area will relatively worsen and the Local Plan will need to demonstrate robust reasons for why it is not possible to deliver more homes via the Local Plan. Furthermore, the Government’s ‘Housing Delivery Test’ may in future apply a presumption in favour of development. This will make it significantly harder to reject proposals that do not comply with the New Local Plan on matters such as poor design or loss of existing land uses. There is also a risk that development within the Green Belt could come forward in a more piecemeal way without the necessary infrastructure than it might otherwise occur if it comes forward as part of the Local Plan. There is therefore a clear imperative to look at all opportunities for how and where our housing need can be met.

Meeting the Requirement for New Homes

Following your feedback during the Local Plan Issues and Options Consultation (2019) we have carried out further assessment and refined the options further and present four mutually inclusive Strategy Options that can contribute to the supply of new homes (see also, Figure 7).

The Strategy Options are:

  • A. increasing Urban Capacity – sites that broadly accord to existing plan policies located on previously developed land.
  • B. facilitating Urban Change – including sites that would likely require a change to existing plan policies to come forward or would include the redevelopment of some existing residential accommodation.
  • C. provision of a new Neighbourhood – including sites within the Green Belt and at Fossetts Farm within Southend Borough.
  • D. new Development Outside the Borough – including sites that could provide expanded new neighbourhoods on the edge of Southend located within the Green Belt in Southend Borough and Rochford District or sites elsewhere in South Essex.

Figure 7: Potential Broad Strategy Options of Housing Supply

The Strategy Options

The number of new homes that could potentially be achieved from each strategy option and component is detailed below in Table 5.  A range of evidence base documents have been completed to determine potential development rates within the existing urban area having regard to density and character and form of the area. These can be viewed on the Councils’ website at https://localplan.southend.gov.uk/new-evidence.

This approach follows national planning policy by ensuring all opportunities to meet housing needs are explored before looking at sites within the Green Belt, including making as much use as possible of sites within urban areas, underutilised brownfield land and optimising densities in locations served well by public transport.

Each Spatial Option and Component consists of a number of individual sites that are being promoted to us for development.  To view and comment on individual sites please see Part 3: Neighbourhoods. You can also use the interactive mapping tool via the New Local Plan website.

The number of new homes coming forward on sites already with planning permission has been included within Table 5. However, they are not the focus of this consultation as the decision cannot be changed by its outcome.

Table 5: Potential Housing Contribution by Strategy Option

Local Area



Components of Strategy Option (Broad Type of Sites)

Potential No. of New Homes (rounded)


with existing policy[1]

Southend Borough

A. Increasing Urban Capacity

Sites with Planning Permissions[2]








Windfall (no-sites)


Existing Allocated Sites


Urban Area Sites (previously developed land)


Total (A)


B. Facilitating Urban Change

Housing Regeneration Sites






Employment Land Release Sites


Sites on Agricultural Land within Settlement Limits


Sites on Green Space within Settlement Limits[3]


Total (B)


Total Supply within Urban Area (A+B)



C. Provision of new Neighbourhood on edge of Southend

Fossett Farm Sites



Sites currently designated as Green Belt



Total (C)


Total Potential Supply in Southend Borough (A+B+C)







South Essex Local Authorities

D. Development

outside the Borough, including new neighbourhoods

Provision of new neighbourhood on edge of Southend in Southend Borough (Development Opportunity C) PLUS

Assistance from Rochford District Council to provide a series of new neighbourhoods on the edge of Southend currently designated as Green Belt[5]



(Total C+D = 12,100)


Neighbourly help from elsewhere

To be confirmed

Total Potential Supply (A+B+C+D)



Meeting Housing Need

As set out above national policy outlines that Local Plans must seek to meet housing need in full as well as any needs that cannot be met within neighbouring areas where it is possible to do so. The number of homes that is needed in Southend by 2040 is approximately 23,600 (1,181 homes per annum).

Table 5 sets out the maximum amount of housing that could be delivered within the existing urban area is 12,850 new homes (Strategy Option A and B).  This represents a significant uplift in the past deliver of housing within Southend. However, 8,900 of these new homes are from sites that already have planning permission, are already allocated for development or are assumed to come forward over the plan period from windfall supply and therefore do not comprise any new allocation within the New Local Plan.

If a new neighbourhood (Strategy Option C) were to be delivered on the edge of the urban area but within Southend, an additional 7,200 homes could be provided, which includes up to 5,350 homes on Green Belt land. This would result in a maximum supply of between 19,300 - 20,050 new homes within Southend by 2040[1], which represents a shortfall of 3,550 to 4,300 in the number of homes needed during the plan period (see Table 6). This shortfall may increase if sites presented within the New Local Plan are not brought forward or lead in times are such that less homes are delivered by 2040.

In such circumstances the Borough Council will continue to engage with Castle Point Borough Council and Rochford District Council as neighbouring authorities and other South Essex authorities to determine whether the shortfall in housing need can be delivered elsewhere.

Strategic scale development through the delivery of a series of new neighbourhoods (Strategy Option D), on the edge of Southend including land within Rochford District, has the potential to deliver a potential additional 4,900 homes[2] which would help meet the Government’s assessed Standard Method for housing needs for the area over a 20-year period.

Table 6: Housing Need versus Potential Supply

Housing Supply (estimated)

Housing Need (Government Standard Methodology)

Shortfall/ Surplus (estimated)
  by 2040 Total         23,600 by 2040 Total
Total supply in Southend, including the delivery of a new neighbourhood on Green Belt land  (Table 5: A + B + C)                   19,300 20,050 -4,300 -3,550
Supply in Southend if new neighbourhood on Green Belt land is not delivered (Table 5: A + B + Fossetts Farm Sites) 14,700 14,700          -8,900
Total supply including assistance from Rochford District Council to provide a series of new neighbourhoods on the edge of Southend (Table 5: A + B + C + D) 23,250 24,950 Potential to meet housing need

[1] Refers to likely compliance with existing policy, not a detailed assessment of the current adopted development plan. Sites within scenarios classified as non-compliant could still come forward now depending on the policy constraint and other material considerations, but generally would require policy review as part of the preparation of this new Local Plan. [2] Includes both large (5 homes or more) [2,664 dwellings] and small sites (less than 5 homes) with planning permission and those sites being implemented as of April 2019 [1,026] [3] Currently protected as public open space. The sites identified as having potential represent approximately 1% of all the protected green space in the Borough. [4] 4,600 homes estimated to be delivered within Plan Period to 2040 [5] Exploring strategic scale development on the edge of Southend. South East Essex Strategic Growth Locations Assessment 2019 [6] 3,950 homes estimated to be delivered within Plan Period to 2040 [7] 19,300 new homes within the Plan Period to 2040, due to the long lead in times for potential new neighbourhood as part of Strategy Option C.  [8] 3,950 within Plan Period to 2040 due to the long lead in times for potential series of new neighbourhoods as part of Strategy Option D.