West Oxfordshire Local Plan Housing Consultation

10 Meeting the needs of specific groups

10.1 The NPPF requires local authorities to plan for a mix of housing based on the current and future needs of different groups including older people, families with children, people with disabilities, service families and people wishing to build their own homes.

10.2 In this section we focus on how the Local Plan will seek to address the needs of the following groups:

  • Older people;
  • Young people;
  • People with disabilities;
  • Black and minority ethnic households;
  • Households with children;
  • Service families;
  • Those wishing to 'self-build' or 'self-finish' their own home; and
  • Travelling communities

Older People

10.3 In line with the national position, West Oxfordshire has an ageing population and the Local Plan has an important role to play in ensuring that a suitable type and mix of housing is provided to meet future needs.

10.4 There are a number of different types of housing suitable for older people including:

  • Sheltered/age exclusive housing
  • Extra-care housing (also known as very-sheltered housing)
  • Close care or assisted living housing
  • Care homes
  • Care homes with nursing (previously known as nursing homes)

10.5 Existing properties can also be adapted to meet the needs of older people in order to enable them to stay in their own home.

10.6 In 2012 the Council published a detailed evidence paper on older persons housing and the SHMA (2014) also provides further evidence. Some of the key issues are outlined below.

West Oxfordshire's Ageing Population

10.7 Between 1981 and 2011 the population aged 60+ in West Oxfordshire increased by 82% (+11,900). 18% of people are currently aged 65 and over (compared with 16% nationally) and 22,740 people are aged 85 (2.6% of the total population compared to the national average of 2.2%).

10.8 West Oxfordshire has the highest population of people aged 55 and over in Oxfordshire (31%).

10.9 Importantly, future projections suggest that the proportion of older people will continue to increase across Oxfordshire. The table below illustrates the projected change in the period 2011 - 2031.

Table 10.1 - Projected Change in Population of Older Persons (2011 - 2031) Source: Oxfordshire SHMA (2014) 

Age group

Cherwell

Oxford

South Oxon

VoWH

West Oxon

Oxfordshire

Under 55

21.2%

50.8%

14.3%

38.1%

9.9%

28.7%

55-64

32.4%

27.6%

23.0%

22.9%

21.0%

25.5%

65-74

61.6%

44.3%

41.0%

49.2%

52.3%

49.7%

75-84

76.7%

39.1%

64.7%

67.4%

79.2%

66.4%

85+

142.8%

47.9%

134.6%

142.8%

159.4%

126.8%

Total

31.1%

48.1%

24.0%

41.7%

23.6%

34.3%

Total 55+

58.0%

36.6%

46.0%

49.7%

54.1%

49.3%

 

10.10 It can be seen that in West Oxfordshire the proportion of people aged 55+ is projected to increase by 54% with a particularly high increase in the proportion of people aged 85+ (160%).

10.11 Reflecting this ageing of the population, across Oxfordshire as a whole there is projected to be a large rise in the number of people with dementia (+98%) along with an 82% increase in the number of people with mobility problems.

10.12 In West Oxfordshire the number of people with dementia is expected to increase by 1,685 to 3,098 (120%). In terms of mobility problems, the number of people affected is expected to increase by 3,582 to 7,197 (99%).

Current Provision of Housing for Older People

10.13 With regard to the existing stock of specialist housing for older people there are around 614 units in West Oxfordshire. The majority of these (523) are in private market schemes with the remainder (91) provided in the affordable sector.

10.14 Relative to the District's population this level of provision represents just 66 units per 1,000 persons aged 75 and over - the lowest of all Oxfordshire local authorities.

10.15 Across Oxfordshire as a whole the current supply is equivalent to 133 units per 1,000 persons aged 75 and over - lower than the national average of about 170 units.

Future Requirements

10.16 The County Council has published an Extra Care Housing Strategy which aims to deliver 55 units of extra-care housing per 1,000 population aged 75 or over. This rate is to meet an expected demand, across West Oxfordshire of 478 units in 2008, rising to 945 by 2031.

10.17 The SHMA provides further advice on meeting the future housing needs of older people. In general terms, it suggests there is a need to provide housing for older people as part of achieving a good mix of housing but recognises that many older people are able to exercise choice and control over their housing options e.g. those with equity in their own homes.

10.18 It also highlights falling demand for residential care in some areas and a rise in the average age of people living in sheltered housing requiring higher levels of support as well as the emergence of new models of housing including enhanced and extra-care housing which allow for changing circumstances in situ rather than people having to move (e.g. increased level of care provision).

10.19 The SHMA emphasises that there is a need to provide choice, including supporting people to stay in their own homes for example through adaptations to properties and the provision of floating support.

10.20 The SHMA also provides an indicative assessment of the number of units of specialist housing for older people that are likely to be needed in the future. The figures should be treated with some caution as they are based on a number of assumptions, however they do provide an indication of future potential requirements.

10.21 In order to maintain the current position in West Oxfordshire (133 units per 1,000 people aged 75+) there is a need to increase provision from 614 units to 2,505 units (a net increase of 1,891).

10.22 To increase the level of provision in line with the national average (170 units per 1,000 people aged 75+) there is a need to increase overall supply to 3,202 a net need of 2,588 units.

10.23 This does not take account of replacement provision of existing accommodation that may no longer be fit for purpose and as such the 'gross' need is expected to be higher.

10.24 The SHMA suggests that decisions about the mix and type of housing for older people should be taken at the local level, taking account of specific needs and the current supply of different types of units available. It recommends that decisions on the type and tenure of specialist housing are arrived at through joint working between the County Council, district council and other stakeholders.

Proposed Way Forward

10.25 It has long been one of the Council's goals to offer support to older residents and to promote the provision of suitable accommodation, particularly in mixed communities. Adopted Local Plan Policy H3 - Range and type of residential accommodation includes advice on the provision of lifetime homes, sheltered accommodation etc. for the elderly and is supported in greater detail, by the West Oxfordshire District Council Strategy for Older People.

10.26 In light of the SHMA findings and other available evidence the Council will:

  • Seek to enable the provision of sufficient specialist housing provision to meet demand (balanced against other identified needs);
  • Increase specialist provision for all client groups in line with identified needs;
  • Encourage the provision of specialist housing for older people as part of the overall mix of housing on development schemes including in particular the strategic sites identified in the Local Plan;
  • Encourage the delivery of homes in both the affordable and housing market sectors that can be easily adapted to meet the changing needs of occupants as they get older and support people who require aids and adaptations in order to be able to stay in their own home;
  • Support in principle the redevelopment of existing older persons accommodation that may be unsuitable and/or fails to comply with current legislative requirements;
  • Seek to effectively utilise the existing affordable housing stock and will support and encourage those in affordable housing who wish to down-size in order to help release larger affordable homes for younger households;
  • Seek ensure enough subsidised or low cost housing of a decent quality is provided for those who cannot afford market prices;
  • Seek to facilitate the requirements of older owner-occupiers wishing to 'downsize' into non-specialist accommodation (e.g. bungalows); and
  • Work with the County Council, other local authorities and stakeholders in relation to the delivery of specialist housing for older people.

Consultation Question 33)  Please see question set at bottom of page.

Young People

10.27 Providing for the needs of younger person households is an important consideration. The ability to retain young people in an area can assist in providing a more balanced demographic profile as well as providing a vital part of the local workforce.

10.28 The SHMA highlights the fact that of those households that are headed by a younger person, very few are owner-occupiers and there is a particular reliance on the private rented sector and to a lesser degree, social rented housing.

10.29 It suggests that factors such as a balanced approach to housing in terms of bedroom sizes and property types, along with high standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) will help younger households to access housing.

10.30 The Council will therefore seek to ensure a good, balanced mix of house types and tenures is provided in all new housing developments. The provision of affordable housing and support for self-build projects will also help to meet the needs of younger people.

Consultation Question 34) Please see question set at bottom of page. 

People with disabilities

10.31 The SHMA suggests that across Oxfordshire as a whole, demographic trends are expected to lead to a significant growth in the population and number of households with disabilities over the period to 2031.

10.32 PANSI (Projecting Adults Needs & Service Information System) data estimates there will be 40,537 people with a serious and moderate physical disability aged between 18 and 64 in Oxfordshire by 2015. In West Oxfordshire, there will be 6,698 residents (17%) with a serious and moderate physical disability.

10.33 There are several options for meeting the needs of people with disabilities, ranging from the provision of wheelchair accessible properties to the delivery of specific supported housing options. The table below taken from the Oxfordshire SHMA provides a summary of estimated specialist housing requirements in the period 2013 - 2020.

Table 10.2 - Specialist Housing Requirements 2013-20 - adult population 

Area

Number

%

Cherwell

82

21%

Oxford

102

26%

South Oxon

74

19%

VoWH

70

18%

West Oxon

63

16%

Oxfordshire

391

100%

 

10.34 The table shows a need for an additional 391 units of accommodation across Oxfordshire (about 56 per annum on average). Of these, around 38% are for people with physical disabilities, 25% for those with learning disabilities and 38% for people with mental health problems.

10.35 In light of the above, the Council will:

  • Encourage the provision of wheelchair accessible housing in all new developments that are suitably located and provide reasonable access to local amenities;
  • Support the provision of supported housing to move people out of, or prevent moving into residential settings where appropriate and to meet specific client group needs such as Acquired Brain Injury and Learning Disabilities;
  • Encourage the provision of adaptable homes to enable people who develop a disability to be able to remain in their own home; and
  • Seek to ensure the provision of a choice of suitable housing in a range of tenures.

 

Consultation Question 35) Please see question set at bottom of page. 

Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Households

10.36 West Oxfordshire has a very low percentage of black or minority ethnic households compared to the other Oxfordshire local authorities. This is illustrated in the table below.

Table 10.3 - Black and Minority Ethnic Population (2011) Source: Oxfordshire SHMA and 2011 Census

Ethnic Group

Cher-well

Oxford

South Oxon

VoWH

W Oxon

Oxford-shire

South East

England

White: British/Irish

87.1%

65.2%

91.7%

90.6%

93.2%

84.6%

86.1%

80.7%

White: Other

5.1%

12.4%

4.3%

4.4%

3.6%

6.3%

4.6%

4.7%

Mixed

1.8%

4.0%

1.3%

1.3%

1.2%

2.0%

1.9%

2.3%

Asian

4.3%

12.4%

1.8%

2.4%

1.4%

4.8%

5.2%

7.8%

Black

1.4%

4.6%

0.6%

1.0%

0.4%

1.7%

1.6%

3.5%

Other ethnic group

0.4%

1.4%

0.2%

0.3%

0.2%

0.5%

0.6%

1.0%

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Total population

141,868

151,906

134,257

120,988

104,779

653,798

8,634,750

53,012,456

% non-White (British/Irish)

12.9%

34.8%

8.3%

9.4%

6.8%

15.4%

13.9%

19.3%

 

10.37 It is evident that the proportion of non-white (British/Irish) residents at just 6.8% is lower than any other Oxfordshire local authority.

10.38 The SHMA concludes that across Oxfordshire as a whole, BME households appear to be typically younger and less likely to be owner occupiers. There is consequently, a greater reliance on the private rented sector. BME households are also more likely to be overcrowded and less likely to under-occupy dwellings.

10.39 The SHMA suggests that the implications of this are more for housing strategy than planning, and suggest a need to consider particularly how the needs of different groups are met within the local housing market, to explore the reasons for higher levels of overcrowding in BME communities and how this can be addressed. It will also be important to consider the role which the Private Rented Sector plays in meeting needs of new migrant communities and the standards of housing in this sector.

10.40 In light of the above, no specific measures are proposed to be introduced through the Local Plan in order to meet the needs of black and ethnic minority households other than in relation to the overall objective of securing a balanced mix of house types and tenures.

Consultation Question 36) Please see question set at bottom of page.

 

Households with children

10.41 The SHMA provides some limited commentary on meeting the needs of families (i.e. any household with at least one dependent child). It suggests that across Oxfordshire, the number of children (aged under-15) is expected to increase markedly by around 38,000 in the period 2011 - 2031 (33%).

10.42 In West Oxfordshire, according to the 2011 census there were 19,500 people aged 0 - 15 (18.6%) similar to the national and regional averages.

10.43 The SHMA highlights the fact that households with children are about four times more likely than other households to be overcrowded and that other than for married couple households, levels of under-occupancy are very low.

10.44 It states that households with children should be seen as a priority and that Councils should therefore seek to ensure that the housing offer meets the needs of such households, in particular the need to ensure a reasonable quality of housing in the private rented sector.

10.45 The Council will therefore seek to achieve a good, balanced mix of dwelling sizes, types and tenures including market and affordable housing in order to ensure households with children are able to access suitable housing.

Consultation Question 37) Please see question set at bottom of page.

Service families

10.46 The SHMA does not consider the needs of service families in detail but with RAF Brize Norton located within the District this is an important consideration for West Oxfordshire. The Council works closely with the Ministry of Defence in order to understand the future needs associated with RAF Brize Norton including future accommodation requirements for service personnel and their families.

10.47 In 2012 the MOD announced that they needed fewer homes for service families than originally planned. 200 new homes will be built on the REEMA North site in Carterton and the REEMA Central site which had originally been reserved for service family housing will be released to the open market.

10.48 The needs of a number of service families are also met on the open market in rental or owner-occupied properties.

10.49 The Council will therefore continue to work closely with the MOD to ensure that the accommodation needs of service families linked to RAF Brize Norton are catered for over the period of the Local Plan.

Those wishing to self-build their own home

10.50 Self-build is essentially about wanting to build your own home. There are different types of self-build ranging from a true-self build where someone with the appropriate skills actually builds their own home to self-finish where a professional builds the house for someone to choose the fittings, fixtures and decoration.

10.51 Self-build projects can also be community-led with a number of affordable homes being built for the benefit of the local community through a community land trust or similar enterprise.

10.52 The SHMA highlights that research into self-build is fairly limited including data about how many schemes are coming forward. It suggests that in policy terms there is some potential to encourage developers of large sites to designate parts of those sites as 'serviced plots' which can then be developed as self-build. It does however highlight the financial challenge faced by those wishing to self-build with most self-build schemes commissioned by those with substantial savings rather than borrowings.

10.53 The Council is committed to supporting access to both affordable and market housing for local people and will therefore:

  • Support people who wish to build or commission their own homes;
  • Encourage developers of large developments to designate a proportion of self-build plots for those who wish to self-build or part-completed houses for those who wish to 'self-finish';
  • Work with any self-build groups to help identify suitable and deliverable sites including through the development of Neighbourhood Plans;
  • Consider the use of affordable housing commuted sums to acquire land in order to facilitate the delivery of community self-build schemes in appropriate locations;
  • Support self-build projects by exempting them having to pay a commuted sum towards the provision of affordable housing (subject to self-build certification); and
  • Encourage the re-use of empty properties through self-build projects.

Consultation Question 38)  Please see question set at bottom of page.

Travelling communities

10.54 All Councils are required to make adequate provision to meet the housing needs of gypsies, traveller and travelling showpeople. Councils should undertake an assessment of need and develop effective strategies to meet those needs through the identification of land for sites. They should set 'pitch' targets for gypsies and travellers and 'plot' targets for travelling showpeople. Like mainstream housing, Council's should be able to demonstrate a 5-year supply of deliverable sites when measured against those targets.

10.55 The SHMA does not address the needs of travelling communities but the Council already has a good idea of how many pitches and plots are needed to meet future needs from a number of previous studies.

10.56 In relation to gypsies and travellers the most recent evidence suggests there is a need for around 20 additional pitches in the period up to 2029. For travelling showpeople there is a need for around 27 plots over the same period. Taking into account existing provision there is a shortfall of around 16 pitches for gypsies and travellers and 21 plots for travelling showpeople.

10.57 The Council's intention is to identify specific sites for travelling communities through the Local Plan (Part 2) document consultation which will begin in January 2015. In the interim, a criteria-based policy will be applied to any speculative planning applications that are received.  

Consultation Question 39) Please see question set at bottom of page.

Consultation Question 33) Housing Provision for Older People

Do you agree with the measures outlined above and consider they will help to meet the future housing needs of West Oxfordshire’s ageing population?

Are there any other specific measures that should be introduced to help meet the future housing needs of older people in West Oxfordshire?

Option Results Count
Agree
Disagree
Observations

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Consultation Question 34) Housing Provision for Younger People

In addition to securing a good and balanced mix of house types and tenures, providing more affordable housing and encouraging self-build, are there any other specific measures that the Council should be pursuing through the Local Plan to help meet the future housing needs of younger people in West Oxfordshire?

Option Results Count
Yes
No
Observation

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Consultation Question 35) Housing Provision for people with Disabilities

Do you agree with the measures outlined above and consider they will help to meet the future housing needs of people with disabilities in West Oxfordshire?

Are there any other specific measures that should be introduced to help meet the future housing needs of those with a disability?

Option Results Count
Agree
Disagree
Observation

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Consultation Question 36) Housing Provision for BME Households

Other than in relation to the overall objective of securing a good, balanced mix of house types and tenures, are there any specific measures the Council should be seeking to introduce through the Local Plan to address the needs of black and minority ethnic households in West Oxfordshire?

Option Results Count
Yes
No
Observation

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Consultation Question 37) Housing Provision for Households with Children

Other than in relation to the overall objective of securing a good, balanced mix of house types and tenures including market and affordable housing, are there any specific measures the Council should be seeking to introduce through the Local Plan to address the needs of households with children?

Option Results Count
Yes
No
Observation

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Consultation Question 38) Self-Build

Do you agree with the measures proposed and consider they will help to meet the future housing needs of those wishing to undertake self-build projects in West Oxfordshire?

Are there any other specific measures that should be introduced to help meet the future housing needs of those wishing to self-build?

Option Results Count
Agree
Disagree
Observation

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Consultation Question 39) Travelling Communities

Other than the application of a criteria-based policy to deal with speculative planning applications and specific site allocations for travelling communities to be identified in the Local Plan (Part 2) document are there any other specific measures that the Council should be seeking to introduce to meet the future housing needs of travelling communities?

Option Results Count
Yes
No
Observation

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