This article gives a brief overview on the work being undertaken by the Neighbourhood Plan Action Group (NPAG) to support the housing element of the 2021-2040 Long Leys Neighbourhood Plan. It then presents a brief background on the Neighbourhood Plan, and then greater detail on housing for those wishing to know more.
The subject of housing planning is a complex and technical one. Apologies in advance if you feel the contents are too detailed but we feel it is better to give wide access to this information.
At this stage no feedback is expected, but we would be happy to clarify (as much as we can) any queries you have that are not already covered in the article.
Overview of Progress (December 2019)
- We are waiting for the completion of the review of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan (CLLP) currently being done jointly by the three District Councils (City of Lincoln, West Lindsey & North Kesteven). As part of this review, a Housing Requirement Figure (HRF) for the Long Leys area will be produced. The HRF will tell us how many new homes the CLLP anticipates will be built in the Long Leys area by 2040.
- A Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) has been completed on behalf of the Long Leys community by specialist consultants AECOM. This is a technical housing report which can be viewed at https://long-leys.org/pdf/npag/Long-Leys-HNA-Final-Report.pdf
- From the HNA report, the following broad conclusions can be made:
- Long Leys has a far greater proportion of homes with four or more bedrooms than that seen across Lincoln as a whole and is lacking in 1-3 bedroom houses/flats which are required by newly forming households, first time buyers and elderly people wishing to downsize.
- Today, those on average (median) incomes in Lincoln, cannot afford market rents or to purchase a home in Long Leys. There is a lack of properties with tenures of shared ownership, social rent and affordable rent.
- To satisfy organic growth in the Long Leys population in isolation, around 2 new homes per year will be needed (0.4% growth per year) over the 2021-2040 period.
Once the Housing Requirement Figure for Long Leys is available, sometime in the New Year, the Long Leys community will be consulted on options for housing policy.
Background on The Long Leys Neighbourhood Plan
The Long Leys Neighbourhood Plan is being developed by LLRA and community volunteers, along with specialist support from a grant funded planning consultant and other specialist consultants. The overall project is being managed, on behalf of LLRA, by the Neighbourhood Planning Action Group (NPAG). If you would like to volunteer to help with any of the Neighbourhood Plan activity, which is 100% community led and controlled, then email us at NPAG@long-leys.org. Volunteers willingly give up their time to benefit the whole Long Leys community. See long-leys.org/neighbourhood-plan/ for more details on the overall project.
The 2021-2040 Neighbourhood Plan is likely to be completed by the end of 2020. Once completed, it will be voted on by all Long Leys residents in a referendum and would be adopted as a planning document if most voters are in favour.
Detail on Housing Needs In Long Leys 2021-2040
The detail below looks at how the level of house-building in our community will be estimated for the 2021-2040 Long Leys Neighbourhood Plan. A broad estimate of new housing volume is needed, as the Plan will identify where any required additional housing could be built and what additional facilities and infrastructure would be needed to support it.
1. The Last Twenty Years
In the last twenty years, Long Leys has grown from under 200 homes to around 631 homes today. We also have additional communal establishments such as Cloverleaf Care Home and short-term residents in the PICU unit at St. George’s hospital. This has taken our population from under 400 in 1999 to around 1,430 today. 75% of us live in homes that didn’t exist 20 years ago.
2. What Do We Need to Find Out?
The key question to answer initially is: “How much and what types of housing could Long Leys need over the next 20 years?”
The Neighbourhood Plan Action Group (NPAG) have started to explore this question but we are some months away from being able to answer it fully. Housing is a complex area for non-specialists to tackle but fortunately technical support is available to us when developing the Neighbourhood Plan. Housing is covered by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and there are clear technical guidelines for how the need for additional housing is calculated. The local planning authority (LPA) is also required to provide us with key information.
3. How Can the Amount Of New Housing Be Calculated?
There are (at least) two ways of looking at the housing number question:
- Consider how Long Leys would grow in isolation. Look at how the existing Long Leys population will change and develop over time assuming the number of people moving in and out of the Long Leys area itself is balanced (net zero).
- Consider Long Leys as one small element of the Central Lincolnshire area with a net gain of people from the rest of Lincolnshire.
Using NPPF guidelines delivers a housing growth of around 8% for the 2021-2040 plan period (about 0.4% per year). It’s a little more complex than that, as NPPF requires the population base to be taken in 2011, which is the date of the last National Census.
We could just plan for 0.4% growth per year in housing for the Long Leys area in isolation. In approximate terms that means we would have to find land for about 2 new homes per year over the 2021-2040 period.
But…..we are part of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan (CLLP) area. The planners for this may assume similar growth rates for Central Lincolnshire but they will not allocate housing uniformly across the area.
4. Where Are We Now?
Before we can make progress, we need City of Lincoln Council to provide a Housing Requirement Figure (HRF) for Long Leys, as part of the current review of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan (CLLP). The HRF should be available in the next month or so and will show what part, if any, Long Leys must play in delivering new housing for the overall Central Lincolnshire area.
In the meantime, we commissioned specialist consultants AECOM to look at the types of new housing needed to support natural growth in the Long Leys community up to 2040 (assuming that there is no net gain in population from outside the community, just natural growth within it). The 64-page Housing Needs Assessment (HNA) report is now available and can be viewed online at https://long-leys.org/pdf/npag/Long-Leys-HNA-Final-Report.pdf
5. What Does the HNA Tell Us?
Note: See Appendix A below for details of statistical adjustments made to data due to differences in the 2011 Census area and the Neighbourhood Plan area.
The HNA uses government guidelines and 2011 Census data to project that the number of households in Long Leys will need to grow by 12% between 2011 and 2040, to accommodate natural growth in our community. This equates to 0.4% growth per year over 2011-2040 or around 8% total growth over the 2021-2040 period. Using this growth figure NPAG has calculated that by 2040 Long Leys will need a further 60 homes (an additional 3 homes per year), taking the number of homes from 631 today to 691 in 2040.
Planning permission has already been approved for 17 additional new homes, meaning that housing sites for a further 43 homes will be needed in Long Leys by 2040 (approx. 2 homes per year). Existing planning permissions are: 10 homes at the former Plymouth Brethren Church site, 5 lodges at the Cloverleaf Care Home and 2 homes close to Mill Cottage just off Yarborough Road.
However, we may need to allow for more than 43 homes to be built if the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan review allocates a greater number than this to Long Leys. We will know this in the next few months, which will then allow us to plan for the anticipated number of houses. A higher figure clearly means more houses. However, it also potentially means more funding for improvements to community facilities. So, there is an important balance to be struck, which will be explored in coming months, with a community wide consultation.
The HNA report looks in detail at:
- Tenure & Affordability of properties
- Type & Size of properties
- Specialist Housing for elderly people
- Newly forming households/first-time buyers
Tenure & Affordability
Home ownership is the most popular form of tenure in Long Leys, followed by Private Rented accommodation. Other forms of tenure make up very small proportions.
Figure 1 below charts the annual income required to achieve each form of home tenure (blue bars) against the actual income of those on average (median) income (green bar) and the bottom 25% of earners (orange bar).
Those on average (median) incomes in Lincoln, cannot afford market rents or to purchase a home in Long Leys; their options are shared ownership, affordable rent or social rent.
Those on lower quartile (bottom 25%) incomes only have the option of social rent.
Long Leys has a far greater proportion of homes with four or more bedrooms than that seen across Lincoln as a whole, and is lacking in the one, two and three bedroom houses/flats which are required by newly forming households, first time buyers and elderly people wishing to downsize.
The age profile of Long Leys’ broadly speaking exhibits a larger proportion of middle-aged residents than seen at district and national levels, with fewer people over 85 and between 16-24 than seen across Lincoln as a whole.
There is an opportunity to supply dwellings that would be appropriate to the needs and financial capabilities of both young households and downsizing households, such as two and three-bedroom homes. This would encourage a more balanced community demographically going forward.
Specialist Housing for elderly people
It is considered by AECOM that Long Leys is, in broad terms, a suitable location for specialist accommodation based on accessibility criteria and cost-effectiveness. As such, there is potential for such accommodation to be provided within the Neighbourhood Plan area.
LLRA have commented that limited facilities in Long Leys make life difficult for elderly residents with limited internet skills, poor mobility or who are unable to drive. There is no doctor’s surgery or shop and the bus service is limited and does not serve local shops. These issues need to be addressed in the Neighbourhood Plan.
Wherever the specialist housing need is to be accommodated, partnership working with specialist developers is recommended, so as to introduce a greater degree of choice into the housing options for elderly people who wish to leave their family homes in their old age.
Specialist Housing for Young People
On the basis of ONS Census 2011 data, about 134 individuals below 35 currently living in Long Leys had not formed their own household by that year. This represents around 7.5% of the total number of households in Long Leys.
An estimated tenure split of new-build homes is shown in Figure 2, having regard to the specific tenure needs of newly forming households. It should be noted that this estimated split emphasises the importance to such households of both entry-level market sales (including affordable routes to home ownership) and private rent.
Neighbourhood planners should consider seeking to promote these tenures within new housing developments if the policy goal is to ensure that suitable and affordable housing for younger people can be provided within the Neighbourhood Plan area.
Figure 2: Tenures recommended in Long Leys to meet the needs of newly forming households
|Entry-level market sales/intermediate ownership product||14%|
Appendix A: Explanation of Statistical Adjustments Made to HNA data by LLRA
AECOM has analysed, using National Planning Policy Framework guidelines, the Long Leys area using 2011 Census and other data to provide recommendations for the 2021-2040 period on housing. 2011 Census data includes homes in both Long Leys and on the Burton Ridge, so LLRA undertook a survey to split out the two areas. Homes in Long Leys account for about 80% of the 2011 census area.
Modelling work as part of the HNA projected that by 2040 there will be a need in the 2011 Census area for 884 homes, 12% growth on 2011 or around 0.4% per year between 2011-2040. Figure 3 shows the LLRA estimate of how this would be split, with 691 homes within Long Leys and 193 homes in the Burton Ridge area.
Figure 3: Split of Homes Between Long Leys & Burton Ridge parts of Census area
|Change from 2011||+93||+73||+20|
* LLRA estimate of split
In 2019 Long Leys has 631 homes, as 13 new homes were built in Albion Close in 2014.