Your planning application and affordable housing

newly built red brick house against blue sky

National and local planning policies have requirements that some affordable homes are provided on larger private housing developments through section 106 planning obligations. The Joint Core Strategy Policy (SD12) states that ‘on sites of 11 dwellings or more, or sites with a maximum combined gross floor space of greater than 1000 sqm a minimum of 40% affordable housing will be sought within the borough of Cheltenham'. However, it should be noted that the Affordable Housing thresholds found in the JCS has been superseded by the latest national planning policy framework (NPPF), which requires that schemes of 10 dwellings or more should deliver affordable housing.

Pre-application advice

We want to begin working with you at the very earliest stage to ensure your planning application is successful.  Together we’ll look at:

  • Achieving our affordable housing policy
  • Dwelling mix - numbers, type and tenure specific for your site
  • Viability
  • Site plans, looking at Housing Quality Indicators (HQIs), Lifetime Homes and the specific needs of families.
  • Planning Layouts- to ensure that your site creates a resilient, mixed and balanced community.
  • Provision of level access and wheelchair accessible affordable homes.

More detailed requirements concerning the provision of affordable housing are set out in supplementary planning guidance on affordable housing and in draft section 106 planning obligations. The council is working on an updated Affordable Housing SPD, which will be published in due course.

Getting planning permission

To ensure that the affordable housing element of a housing scheme is provided, the Council will not grant planning permission for the proposed development until the developer and preferably the registered provider delivering the affordable housing element of the scheme, have entered into planning obligations.

The council is likely to require a deed of covenant for affordable housing, previously known as a nominations agreement.  The covenant sets out conditions such as the percentage of affordable housing to be allocated to persons in housing need in accordance with the council’s published housing allocations policy.The current nominations policy requires the Council to maintain nomination rights for 100% of first lets and 75% of all subsequent lets, with the remaining 25% of lets being reported in writing to the Council on an annual basis.  This covenant secures the conditions of the affordable housing that fall outside of the section 106 agreements for both the council and the provider.

Contact us

Contact the housing enabling team