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PROPOSED SUBMISSION LOCAL PLAN 2006-2028 - Aug 12

Proposed Submission Local Plan 2006-2028

Housing

2.14 There are approximately 71,400 dwellings in South Somerset District, 85.5% are owned by the private sector (owner occupied or private rented) and 14.5% by the public sector[1] .The housing stock is largely made up of detached (34.3%) and semi detached dwellings (31.3%) followed by terraced dwellings (23.8%) and flats/maisonettes (9.6%). Other types of dwelling make up the remaining 1%.[2] The more urban areas of the District show a concentration of terraced housing and flats.[3]

2.15 Around half the dwellings in the District are in Council tax bands B and C.[4] The number of second homes within the District is lower than has been found regionally but is marginally higher than the national average.[5]

2.16 More recent development has started to raise the design standards of housing and their environments but there is a need to continue to seek improvements in architectural quality and the creation of housing with local distinctive character and a sense of place, taking advantage of new construction techniques and technological advances to improve performance and sustainability.

2.17 Like much of the south west, affordability is an issue within the District, with the average house price being over 9 times the average salary, which makes it very difficult for first time buyers to enter the housing market[6] particularly in the rural areas. The average house price in the 3rd quarter 2011 was £209,811.[7] Homelessness appears to be increasing with applications under homelessness rising from 37 in the 3rd quarter of 2008 to 70 in the 1st quarter of 2012 of which 48 were in priority need.

2.18 There is a need to find accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers, both transit and permanent sites[8] within the district. This reflects the requirements of the Government’s planning policy for travellers sites[9] published alongside the NPPF.

1. South Somerset District Council Annual Monitoring Report April 2008-March 2009 (December 2009) [back]
2. Taunton and South Somerset Housing Market Areas Housing Market Assessment 2009 [back]
3. Taunton and South Somerset Housing Market Areas Housing Market Assessment 2009 [back]
4. Taunton and South Somerset Housing Market Areas Housing Market Assessment 2009 [back]
5. Taunton and South Somerset Housing Market Areas Housing Market Assessment 2009 [back]
6. Taunton and South Somerset Housing Market Areas Housing Market Assessment 2009 [back]
7. Land Registry (July - September 2011) [back]
8. Somerset Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment (January 2011) [back]
9. Planning Policy for traveller sites’ published 23 March 2012, CLG [back]