- Peterborough Housing Strategy 2016-21
- Strategic tenancy policy
- Sub-Regional Strategic Housing Market Assessment
- Other housing related strategies
- Key partners
- Affordable rented housing
- Affordable housing delivery
- Information for developers
- First Homes
- Affordable housing capital funding
- Custom and self build housing
Peterborough Housing Strategy 2016-21
The council produces strategies that set the housing priorities for Peterborough, and what we are going to do to address them. On 12 April 2017 the Council formally adopted the Peterborough Housing Strategy 2016-21.This strategy sets out our priorities, commitments and programme for a wide range of housing matters, including rural issues.
We have identified four key priorities for the Peterborough housing agenda:
- How we will support substantial and sustainable growth in Peterborough
- How we will increase the supply of homes which people can afford
- How we will improve housing conditions in Peterborough to support health and wellbeing
- How we will ensure that a range of supported and specialist accommodation is available in Peterborough
As part of the strategy's development, a period of public consultation was undertaken to ensure that all stakeholders and partners had the opportunity to influence the final document. A separate report summarising the key and most frequently raised issues arising from the consultation has been published alongside the Housing Strategy.
Strategic tenancy policy
As part of the Localism Act 2011 registered providers were granted freedoms that allow them to:
- provide new tenants with a fixed-term tenancy if this is considered to be more appropriate than the offer of a lifetime tenancy
- determine the length of the fixed term offered to each tenant on an individual basis
- develop their own policies setting out the criteria to be used to determine whether or not to reissue a new tenancy at the end of a fixed term
- build new homes and re-let existing homes under the new ‘affordable rent’ tenure, which enables housing providers to charge higher rent levels for accommodation than is presently charged for social rented accommodation.
The Peterborough Strategic Tenancy Policy seeks to ensure that rents remain affordable, that homelessness levels do not increase, that tenancy flexibilities are applied in a sensitive manner, and that tenant mobility is protected.
Sub-Regional Strategic Housing Market Assessment
Strategic Housing Market Assessments (SHMA) are a requirement under national planning policy, and are a key part of the evidence required to ensure the delivery of the right amount of new homes that meet the needs of our communities, now and in years to come.
In August 2014, Peterborough City Council, Rutland County Council, South Holland District Council and South Kesteven District Council published a full refreshed Strategic Housing Market Assessment for the Peterborough sub-region, which encompasses the geographical area of all four local authorities.
The SHMA only assesses our housing needs; it does not take account of any constraints in being able to meet this need. It also looks at the affordability of new homes in the district and makes recommendations about the amount of new homes which may be required to meet specialist housing needs.
In October 2015 an update to the Peterborough Sub-Regional Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) 2014 was published and the four partner authorities are now pleased to confirm the publication of a further update in March 2017.
The purpose of the SHMA 2017 Update is to take account of the latest Population and Household Projections and ensure an up to date evidence base for the Local Plan. This approach accords with National Planning Policy Guidance.
Please be aware that the new Peterborough Local Plan was adopted on 24 July 2019.
Part of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Devolution Deal is a proposal for a new Peterborough University with degree-awarding powers. Although the University proposal is still at an early stage, an assessment of the potential impact of the University on housing numbers has been undertaken to sit alongside this SHMA update. Any additional needs arising as a result of the University will need to be considered separately to the main conclusions of the SHMA update (for example through the Local plan process).
The March 2017 SHMA Update should be read alongside the 2014 SHMA.
Other housing related strategies
The Local Investment Plan sets out the investment required for Peterborough to inform funding discussions with the Homes and Communities Agency.
We have a number of key partners to ensure the provision of high quality affordable housing on new developments and within existing townships and villages. Our key partners include:
- Registered Providers - also known as Housing Associations, are independent not-for-profit organisations that build and manage low-cost housing for people in housing need.
- Homes England - is a government body that funds investment in affordable housing.
- Private developers - assist with providing affordable housing in Peterborough.
- Help to Buy Agent (East and South East) - is the registered provider acting as the agent for those looking to buy their own home through the Government Help to Buy scheme.
- Adult Social Care - the Strategic Housing Market Assessment sets out the housing needs for a number of groups within population who have supported housing needs.
Affordable rented housing
Affordable rent is the most prevalent tenure of new build affordable housing in Peterborough. Owned and managed by registered providers, affordable rented housing is made available to tenants at up to a maximum of 80% of the rental cost of a similar property in the private rented sector. In Peterborough we ask all of our Affordable Housing Providers to ensure that their rent levels do not exceed the Local Housing Allowance Rates. This is set out in our Strategic Tenancy Policy. See above for a link to the document.
The allocation of affordable rented accommodation is overseen by the council. Advice about how to make an application for affordable rented housing in Peterborough is available from our Housing Needs team by calling customer services on 01733 864064 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Affordable housing delivery
It is estimated that the average house prices in Peterborough have increased from £175,862 in March 2016 to £211,226 in March 2019. (Average price based on sales only, Cambridge sub-region’s Housing Market Bulletin, Issue 41). This can have a knock on effect of more people being unable to access home ownership, therefore the continued supply of new affordable housing will meet the needs of some households priced out of the market.
A number of new affordable homes have been provided in Peterborough in recent years:
- 2020/21 - 293 new affordable homes
- 2019/20 - 271 new affordable homes
- 2018/19 – 146 new affordable homes
- 2017/18 – 120 new affordable homes
- 2016/17 – 133 new affordable homes
- 2015/16 - 167 new affordable homes
- 2014/15 - 488 new affordable homes
- 2013/14 - 162 new affordable homes
- 2012/13 - 276 new affordable homes
Information for developers
We are committed to the strategic housing policy objective to ensure that everyone has the opportunity of living in a decent home which they can afford, in a community where they want to live. To enable this, we work closely with partners to maximise the provision of affordable housing.
Planning Policy relating to affordable housing
Peterborough’s new Local Plan was adopted at full Council on 24 July 2019. It sets out a series of policies on a wide range of topics, and will significantly influence how Peterborough grows over the next 20 years until 2036.
The policies relating to affordable housing in the Local Plan are contained in policy LP8 on page 29 include the following:
- Developers are expected to provide housing that contributes to meeting the housing needs of the Peterborough housing market area, as identified in the latest Strategic Housing Market Assessment and in any other appropriate local evidence.
- Development proposals of 15 or more dwellings (whether as new-build or conversion) should, through negotiation, provide 30% affordable housing. The affordable housing needs of the most vulnerable group will be prioritised.
- The exact tenure mix on each site will be a matter for negotiation, informed by the latest evidence of housing need. The council’s preference and starting point for negotiation, as informed by the latest needs assessment, is for a greater part of affordable housing to be for affordable rent. The target is a 70% affordable rented tenure and 30% shared ownership tenure. This should not be applied prescriptively on all schemes, and the split may differ depending on the specific circumstances of a scheme.
- All new rented tenure affordable housing will be required to be built to meet minimum national space standards (as defined by the Building Regulations).
- All dwellings should meet Building Regulations Part M4(2) (this standard has replaced the Lifetime Homes Standard) unless they are exceptional design reasons for not being able to do so (e.g. Listed Building constrains or site specific factors such as vulnerability to flooding or site topography). On all development proposals of 50 dwellings or more, 5% of homes should meet Building Regulations Part M4(3)(2)(a). This standard is homes built to the Wheelchair Adaptable Standard. Planning permission will be granted for accommodation which is entirely aimed at meeting the housing needs of the most vulnerable, provided that the development:
- Meets an identified need and is supported by Adult Social Care Commissioning;
- Will be suitable for the intended occupiers in terms of standard of facilities, the level of independence and the provision of support and/or care;
- Will be accessible by non-car means to essential services and community facilities as appropriate to the needs of the intended occupiers;
- Does not conflict with any strategic policy of the Local Plan and does not have any fundamental constraint.
- Development proposals for rural exception site affordable housing outside of but adjacent to village envelopes may be accepted provided that:
- It meets an identified local need for affordable housing which cannot be met within the village envelope; and
- There is a demonstrable local support for the proposal, and
- There are no fundamental constraints to delivering the site or significant harm arising.
For guidance on how Affordable Housing will be secured through S106 Agreements please refer to the document below.
Peterborough City Council explanatory note on implementation of First Homes Policy - April 2022
This note intends to help all parties understand the approach we will take in relation to the implementation of national First Homes policy. This note is not formal policy but acts as the starting point for how officers are likely to approach the implementation of First Homes for development schemes in Peterborough. This note may be updated, as experience of implementation of First Homes is undertaken or should national policy or guidance change.
Affordable housing capital funding
Peterborough City Council is committed to supporting and investing in the provision of affordable housing. To assist provision, the Council has set aside funds to deliver affordable housing in Peterborough through a third party. These funds have been acquired as a result of Section 106 planning agreements, where a financial payment to the Council has been negotiated instead of on site affordable housing provision.
From July 2016 the Council has introduced a more flexible approach to accessing these funds and the previous under-utilised policy framework has been withdrawn.
The first step for Affordable Housing providers seeking to access funding is to contact the Housing and Strategic Planning Manager to discuss a potential scheme.
In order to consider funding requests we will need to know details about the scheme proposal, the housing need it is seeking to meet and why funding is being sought. We will expect that schemes seeking funding will contribute to meeting the housing needs of more vulnerable groups in the city and, in the event that we decide to offer support, we will want to explore a range of options around the type of funding support that the Council can offer.
Like many Affordable Housing providers, the Council is changing its approach to funding finance. While there will still be circumstances in which the Council will be prepared to offer grant funding, we will also want to fully explore all options around equity investment or a loan as alternatives. This is to ensure that, where feasible, we can recycle funds back into the Section 106 fund, to enable the maximum benefit from these affordable housing funds for the city.
Since our intention is not to have a prescribed format for accessing funding, the precise requirements for securing funds will depend on the nature of each proposal, but we will work with the Affordable Housing provider to clearly communicate what information is required to support the funding request in each case.
Custom and self build housing
As required by legislation, the Council has a register for people who are seeking to buy a serviced plot of land in Peterborough City Council’s administrative area for the purpose of building their own home. The Government has issued Regulations about eligibility for entry on the register.
An individual is eligible for entry on the register if that individual is:
- aged 18 or over;
- a British citizen, a national of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom, or a national of Switzerland;
- seeking (either alone or with others) to acquire a serviced plot of land in the relevant authority’s area to build a house to occupy as that individual’s sole or main residence.
In addition, and as permitted by the regulations, Peterborough City Council also require the following in order to be entered on the register:
- pay a registration fee to the council of £20
- if you want to be entered on Part1 of the register, you must meet the local connection test (set out below);
If the applicant is a group or an association, each member must fulfil the eligibility criteria and must each pay a £20 registration fee.
What is the benefit of being on ‘Part 1’ of the Register?
Part 1 of the register comprises those people and organisations who meet all of the eligibility criteria, including the local connection test. Part 2 comprises those people and organisations who meet all the eligibility criteria, apart from the local connection test.
To you as an individual or association, there is no direct benefit to being on ‘Part 1’.
However, the Council has a duty to facilitate the provision of enough service plots of land to meet the demand for the number of applicants on Part 1 of their register within a 3 year period.
Registration on either Part 1 or Part 2 does not however guarantee that a suitable plot will be identified, or become available.
What is the local connection test?
In order to meet the local connection test, you will need to:
- currently live, or have lived within the Peterborough authority area for either 6 of the last 12 months or 3 of the last 5 years; or,
- currently work within the Peterborough authority area; or,
- have an immediate family member living within the Peterborough authority area(Immediate family means a parent, child, or sibling, or another family member if there is a particularly close relationship); or
- be in service of the regular or reserve armed forces of the Crown or have applied within five years of discharge, and would have met any of the above at the date of commencing service.
An initial registration fee of £20 applies to new applicants from 1 June 2017. In an association, each member must pay the £20 fee.
Individuals and associations that have already entered on the register prior to 1 June 2017 will remain on the register without being required to pay the registration fee.
An annual fee of £20 per applicant, along with an updated registration form, to confirm continued eligibility, will be required to be submitted by 30 October each year from new and existing applicants to the register. Each September we will send a registration form to all those who are currently on the register.
New applications to the register can be made at any time throughout the year, but all applicants before 1 September each year will be required to re-register and pay a further registration fee by the 30 October each year in order to remain on the register, regardless of when they last registered.
How to pay
You can pay your £20 per person registration fee using the pay online facility.
Please note: Payment must be received before being registered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria in full prior to submission of the fee. The fee is non-refundable if not eligible.
There are various types of custom build project, which include:
- Individual self build – an individual purchases a plot of land and builds a house to live
in. They may do some or all of the build themselves, or employ a builder, architect and in some cases, a project manager to oversee the build.
- Group self build – a group of people come together to design and develop a custom build housing development which they then live in. They may build this themselves or with help from a developer to manage the project.
- Developer-led custom build – a developer divides a larger site into individual plots and provides a design and build service to purchasers. This gives people a chance to tailor existing house designs to suit their own preference and needs.
Registering your interest in Custom and Self Build
Having read the guidance and criteria rules set out above, and you would like to be placed on the register, please complete the relevant registration form and email it to email@example.com, or post to:
Custom and Self Build Register,
Place and Economy,
Peterborough City Council,
Sand Martin House
How we will use information from the Register
By signing up, you will help us find out more about the demand for custom build plots in Peterborough, and the house sizes that applicants would like to build.
The register is not a public document. We will not pass identifiable information from the Register on to anyone outside the Council without the written consent of the person who registered their details.
Further Information and Advice
If you would like to know more about the Custom and Self Build project, have any queries about the registration, or would like a copy of the registration form sent to you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01733 863872.