Northampton Local Plan 1997

CHAPTER 3 : HOUSING

SITES FOR MAJOR NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT 

3.5. The provision for residential development is in accordance with Alteration No. 1 to the Northamptonshire Structure Plan approved in 1992. Until amended, the Structure Plan (approved in February 1989), provided for 16,550 dwellings in the 18 year period between 1983 and 2001. Alteration No. 1 provides for 20,000 dwellings in Northampton between 1988 and 2006. As both Plans cover an 18 year period this represents a comparative increase in the proposed rate of development. The 1989 Structure Plan identified areas for major residential development within the town. These were the Southern District, Wootton, Upton, Duston and Kings Heath. In approving Alteration No. 1, the Secretary of State for the Environment deleted reference to these specific areas. Apart from the southern expansion areas where virtually all of the sites scheduled for development have now been completed or are under construction, virtually no development has commenced on the remaining sites and it is considered that these still represent the most suitable areas for future major residential development.

POLICY H1 : sites for major new residential development

H1 MAJOR NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE DIRECTED TO WOOTTON FIELDS, UPTON, BERRYWOOD AND KINGS HEATH.

POLICY H1 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES S1 S5 N7 N9 & N9A

WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

3.9. The development of Upton and Duston will be guided by proposals developed in the South Western District Plan which was approved by the Council in 1989 following public consultation. These have been incorporated into the Local Plan. The South West District Plan dealt with a substantial area of some 870 hectares much of which is open countryside within the Nene Valley but it also includes the extensive grounds of St Crispin hospital (referred to as the Berrywood area). In addition to a residential content of approximately 4,125 dwellings, the proposals include business development, a country park and other recreational uses. It will be by far the largest area of housing built since town expansion and therefore every consideration has been given to safeguarding where possible the environment and the existing natural features, whilst still enabling the redevelopment of the site. 

3.10. Already in considering a major outline application covering development of most of the residential areas, there has been full consultation concerning the provision of infrastructure. It is not considered appropriate to allocate specific sites for these uses at present in order to allow appropriate flexibility. However it is important to state clearly through local plan policy the types of provision considered necessary for residential development in this area. The resulting list within Appendix 3 is considered reasonable in scale and kind, when considered against the potential significance of the development of Upton and Berrywood. The Council will be prepared to review the list should circumstances alter which make this necessary.

POLICY H4 : Sites for major new residential development

H4 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE UPTON AND BERRYWOOD AREAS SHALL INCLUDE THE PROVISION OF THE FACILITIES LISTED IN APPENDIX 3.

POLICY H4 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES S5 S10 N9 & N9A

WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

3.11.          The development of the Kings Heath area will generally be defined on its northern boundary by the NW bypass and on its eastern boundary by the Greenspace of the River Valley. Further development beyond the proposed bypass or a development which would cause a significant intrusion into the river valley would seriously detract from its attractive open character. Much of Kings Heath is situated on high ground relative to the rest of the town. Development in this area will be limited together with the provision of effective landscaping both within and around the development to minimise its visual impact. The routes of the road proposals, the sites for retailing and the detailed boundaries of housing development at Kings Heath as shown on the Proposals Map should not be interpreted as explicit or prescriptive in terms of location at this stage. 

3.12.         The Kings Heath area has long been acknowledged as being of potential archaeological value and recent surveys have established the existence of a series of settlements consisting of a Neolithic causewayed enclosure, an iron age settlement and a Saxon settlement. Their importance is such that they need to be preserved not only as individual sites but jointly in the context of a wider area of historic landscape. This is identified as a site of archaeological value on the Proposals Map and is referred to in paragraph 2.127. The Northamptonshire County Archaeologist will be recommending that the site is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. Proposals put forward by the landowner have indicated that the Kings Heath residential development area (referred to also as Dallington Heath) could provide approximately 2000 dwellings.

POLICY H5 : sITES OF NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT AT KINGS HEATH (DALLINGTON HEATH) SUBJECT TO THE SECURING OF MATTERS A, B, AND C AND THE SAFEGUARDING OF MATTERS D, E, F AND G: 

A) THE PROVISION OF ADEQUATE STRUCTURAL LANDSCAPING

B) THE PROVISION OF EDUCATION AND COMMUNITY FACILITIES

C) THE PROVISION OF SUITABLE LEVELS OF PUBLIC OPEN SPACE

D) THE VIEW OF THE SKYLINE

E) KNOWN FEATURES OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL INTEREST

F) EXISTING FOOTPATHS AND BRIDLEWAYS

G) THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE DEVELOPMENT TO THE PROPOSED NORTH WEST BYPASS AND THE TOWN CENTRE LINK ROAD.

POLICY H5 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES S1 S5 S10 & N7

WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

 OTHER HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

3.13. In relation to annual completion rates, the contribution made by small sites is significant. Many of these include changes of use and conversion to flats or other houses in multiple occupation. An assessment of their contribution to the overall housing provision is contained in paragraph 3.24.

3.14. In considering applications for development of small sites the Council will apply the relevant control policies to ensure an acceptable layout, density and design and to prevent the development of new housing in inappropriate locations. These are further amplified in the policies contained in this chapter and elsewhere in the Written Statement.

POLICY H6 : OTHER HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

WITHIN THE PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS  MAP, PLANNING PERMISSION FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL BE GRANTED EXCEPT WHERE: 

A)   THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE AT A SCALE AND DENSITY WHICH WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHARACTER OF THE SURROUNDING AREA OR WOULD RESULT IN AN OVER INTENSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE 

B)   THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT COMPLY WITH THE COUNCIL'S HIGHWAY DESIGN GUIDE (APPENDIX 8) AND GUIDE TO PARKING STANDARDS (APPENDIX 11) 

C)   THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD BE PIECEMEAL IN CHARACTER AND LIKELY TO PREJUDICE THE POSSIBLE SATISFACTORY DEVELOPMENT OF A LARGER AREA

D)   THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD RESULT IN THE LOSS OF, OR THE LOSS OF POTENTIAL FOR GARAGING, PARKING, SOCIAL, EDUCATIONAL,  RECREATIONAL OR OTHER FACILITIES FOR WHICH THERE IS A NEED IN THE AREA, OR TREES OR LAND OF SIGNIFICANT AMENITY VALUE.

POLICY H6 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICY H1

WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

POLICY H7 : OTHER HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

H7 OUTSIDE THE PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, PLANNING PERMISSION FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL ONLY BE GRANTED WHERE: 

A)   A SATISFACTORY RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENT CAN BE ACHIEVED 

B)   THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT BE AT A SCALE AND DENSITY WHICH WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHARACTER OF THE SURROUNDING AREA OR WOULD RESULT IN AN OVER INTENSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITE 

C)   THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD COMPLY WITH THE COUNCIL'S HIGHWAY DESIGN GUIDE (APPENDIX 8) AND GUIDE TO PARKING STANDARDS (APPENDIX 11) 

D)   THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT BE PIECEMEAL IN CHARACTER AND LIKELY TO PREJUDICE THE POSSIBLE SATISFACTORY DEVELOPMENT OF A LARGER AREA 

E)    THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT RESULT IN THE LOSS OF, OR THE LOSS OF POTENTIAL FOR GARAGING, PARKING, SOCIAL, EDUCATIONAL, RECREATIONAL OR OTHER FACILITIES FOR WHICH

POLICY H7 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICY H1

WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

3.15.         The areas identified in paragraph 3.5 for major residential development are all "green field" sites except the hospital buildings at St Crispin and isolated houses at Upton. Whilst there are no similar sites in the remainder of the town there are other sites with a development potential which need to be realised if the Structure Plan (Alteration No. 1) target is to be achieved. Taking June 1993 as the base date, proposed sites which are 0.4 hectares or more in area and which do not have the benefit of planning permission are listed in Appendix 4. Sites which have been the subject of planning applications and on which the Council has resolved to grant permission subject to the applicant entering into an agreement with the Council, sites which have permission but have not yet started and sites which are under construction are listed in Appendix 5.

3.16.         The Council recognises the part that residential accommodation can play in revitalising town centres. Accordingly, town centre schemes will be encouraged to include a residential content where appropriate. This type of housing has the advantage of not exacerbating peak hour traffic and in recent years there have been several successful schemes that have brought residents into the town centre. Further additions to these can only be of benefit.

POLICY H8 : OTHER HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

H8 PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED FOR THE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITES AS LISTED IN APPENDIX 4 AND THOSE SITES IN APPENDIX 5 LISTED AS HAVING "APPROVAL IN PRINCIPLE".

POLICY H8 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICY S1

WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

3.17. Some of the older houses in the town have extensive grounds which have been suitable for residential development. In granting planning permission, the Council has sought to ensure that the amenities of the existing house and adjoining properties have been retained in accordance with policies H6 and H7. The Council will continue to apply these policies in determining further applications for this type of development, and will also ensure that it complies with the design criteria as set out in Appendix 7. In so doing it may decide that additional development would adversely affect the amenities and character of a particular area, in which case further applications would be refused.

3.18. Many of the houses in the former suburban areas of the town have exceptionally long rear gardens. In certain circumstances these have been developed without adversely affecting the amenity and privacy of the houses at the front. However, this is rarely achieved in the case of "backland development", consisting of one house immediately behind another and sharing the same access, although much will depend on the size of the plot and its relationship to adjoining dwellings. A better result is usually achieved if the development consists of several plots comprehensively laid out. In assessing whether a proposal complies adequately with Policy H10 the main source of guidance is Appendix 7 (residential design guide).

POLICY H10 : OTHER HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF RESIDENTIAL BACKLAND WILL NOT BE GRANTED UNLESS IT CAN BE SHOWN THAT THE SITING AND LAYOUT OF THE DEVELOPMENT WILL NOT BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHARACTER AND AMENITY OF THE LOCALITY AND WILL NOT CAUSE DISTURBANCE TO OR ADVERSELY AFFECT THE PRIVACY OF ADJOINING DWELLINGS. THIS INCLUDES EXISTING DWELLING(S) WITHIN WHOSE CURTILAGE THE DEVELOPMENT IS PROPOSED.

POLICY H10 : Interactive mapping JCS

3.19. In recent years there have been a large number of schemes for the residential development of commercial property in the older residential areas, either by redevelopment or conversion. This not only removes what has often been a "bad neighbour" use but also often provides relatively low cost housing in areas which are usually in need of rejuvenation and as such is encouraged by the Council. In so doing, the normal off-street parking requirement has occasionally been relaxed where it is considered that it can be justified overall in terms of the environmental improvement to be gained from the scheme.

POLICY H11 : Other housing development

PLANNING PERMISSION WILL BE GRANTED IN PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF EXISTING COMMERCIAL PROPERTY FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT, EITHER BY CONVERSION OR REDEVELOPMENT, SO LONG AS THE OVERALL EFFECT WOULD BE TO MAINTAIN OR IMPROVE THE APPEARANCE AND CHARACTER OF THE AREA.

Policy h11 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 3.29. The inclusion of areas whose sole use is to cater for children's play is not normally required within new developments. In  many instances where these have been provided in  the past, particularly by the Northampton Development Corporation in the eastern expansion areas, their use has been abused and the equipment vandalised to the extent that instead of being a facility they have become a nuisance to nearby residents. Therefore, in recent years, such facilities have generally only been located within areas of amenity open space which have been provided as part of the overall residential development. By this arrangement it is still possible to ensure ready access from nearby housing whilst minimising any potential disturbance.

POLICY H14 : rESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

WHERE THE COUNCIL CONSIDERS THAT AMENITY OPEN SPACE SHOULD BE PROVIDED IN ASSOCIATION WITH NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT BY REASON OF THE LOCATION, SCALE AND CHARACTER OF THE SITE, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED UNLESS FACILITIES FOR CHILDREN'S PLAY ARE ACCOMMODATED WITHIN THE AMENITY OPEN SPACE.

POLICY H14 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY 

3.34.                         As would be expected with a town that has experienced a major influx of population in the younger age groups over the last twenty years, the number of elderly people as a proportion of the total population has slightly decreased. This is in marked contrast to the national situation. However, during this period the Council has provided a large amount of specialist housing for the elderly including 72 warden assisted schemes. Although the population will continue to grow, net inward migration will all but have ceased by the end of the Plan period, and it is reasonable to suppose therefore that the proportion of elderly people in the population will begin to increase. This will also be linked to some extent to a possible movement of dependent relatives of the original "migrant" population into Northampton. 

3.35.                         In areas of major private residential development provision has been made for sheltered housing for the elderly for example at East Hunsbury and Collingtree Park. Reserve sites for elderly persons dwellings/sheltered housing are being negotiated as part of the Upton and Berrywood housing development in order to ensure that new residential areas provide opportunities for different housing needs to be met. The Council will continue to negotiate provision by the private sector in major residential development where appropriate, in addition to its own schemes. 

3.36                         Where sites for sheltered housing are provided, either by way of a planning permission or a formal agreement with the Council, only in very exceptional cases will they be allowed to be developed as non specialist housing or other type of use. This also applies to any agreement on a minimum age requirement.

 

POLICY H16 hOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY

WHERE ANY MAJOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IS CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE IN RELATION TO ITS TOPOGRAPHY, EXISTING OR PROPOSED COMMUNITY/MEDICAL/RETAIL FACILITIES AND ACCESS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORT, THE COUNCIL WILL NEGOTIATE THE PROVISION OF PURPOSE BUILT HOUSING SUITABLE FOR THE ELDERLY AT A SCALE REFLECTING THE ESTABLISHED LOCAL NEED FOR SUCH PROVISION.

POLICY H16 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES 

3.37.                         The results of a housing needs survey commissioned by the Council in 1994 projects 8,378 households (11.8%) as having a member with a disability and 5,094 (7.2%) with a member with a long term illness. Providing suitable housing for disabled people is an important component of community care and where possible this should be included within "conventional" housing estates thereby helping to remove some of the stigma often attached to disability. This is particularly relevant in that, of the 2,000 households containing ill or disabled persons projected by the survey as requiring housing over the next three years, in 1,820 (91%) cases the disabled person wished to move with the rest of the household. 

3.38.                         Mobility housing is defined as dwellings suitable for easy adaptation for a disabled person, including those confined to a wheelchair, without structural alteration and encompassing suitable sized rooms, doors and external access. This can be achieved by constructing standard house types to mobility standard whereby certain features are provided which are suitable for both able-bodied and disabled people, for example wider doorways than standard, ground floor toilet and staircases capable of taking a stair lift. Appendix 9 gives a guide to minimum design standards for housing identified as having mobility provision.

 

POLICY H17 : hOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITES

H17 WITHIN NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS AND WHERE THERE IS AN ESTABLISHED LOCAL NEED, THE COUNCIL WILL ENCOURAGE THE PROVISION OF MOBILITY HOUSING. IN THE CASE OF SCHEMES WITH TEN OR MORE DWELLINGS IT IS EXPECTED THAT SUCH PROVISION WILL BE NOT LESS THAN 10% OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF DWELLINGS, WHERE PRACTICABLE DISTRIBUTED EVENLY THROUGHOUT THE DEVELOPMENT.

Policy H17 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

EXTENSIONS

3.39. Extensions to existing dwellings form a significant part of the building works being undertaken in the town at any one time. Some idea of the extent of this activity is indicated by the fact that during 1989, for every two new dwellings granted planning permission there was an application under the building regulations for an extension to a dwelling.

3.40. The majority of extensions are included within the provisions of the Town and Country Planning General Development Order 1988 and a planning application  is not therefore required. The implications of these permitted development rights and their possible removal has already been discussed in paragraph 3.33 and the same consideration would apply in relation to extensions.

3.41. It is difficult, and indeed undesirable, to impose rigid design standards for extensions to all the various styles, sizes and age of dwellings. The most important considerations are the effect the extension would have on the appearance of the house and its relationship to adjoining properties, the basic criterion being whether the extended dwelling would have been acceptable as an original proposal. In assessing whether a proposal complies adequately with Policy H18 the main source of guidance is the Councils residential design guide contained in Appendix 7 to the Plan.

POLICY H18 : EXTENSIONS

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR EXTENSIONS TO DWELLINGS WILL BE GRANTED SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

A) THE DESIGN AND APPEARANCE OF THE EXTENSION ITSELF BEING ACCEPTABLE 

B) THE DESIGN OF THE EXTENSION BEING IN KEEPING WITH THE APPEARANCE AND CHARACTER OF THE ORIGINAL DWELLING

C) THE EFFECT UPON ADJOINING PROPERTIES.

POLICY H18 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 

CONVERSION TO FLATS 

3.44. The Council acknowledges that the conversion of suitable property to flats with a good standard of accommodation provides a much needed addition to the available stock of cheaper dwellings. Conversions can also have a marked effect on the established character and amenity of primarily residential areas which hitherto were occupied by single families. Concern that a planning permission could set a precedent for further conversions which would be detrimental to the character of a particular street or area is not in itself justification for refusing permission. Each proposal will be treated on its merits based on the situation existing at the time and not in anticipation of a situation that might prevail in the future as a consequence of similar permissions. Conversely, when it is considered that any further conversions would be detrimental to the character of an area, no further permissions will be granted, irrespective of their individual merits.

POLICY H21 : CONVERSION TO FLATS

SUBJECT TO COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER POLICIES OF THE LOCAL PLAN, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR THE CONVERSION OF A HOUSE INTO FLATS WHERE IT IS CONSIDERED THAT THE INTRODUCTION OF OR INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF CONVERSIONS WOULD PREJUDICE THE CHARACTER OR AMENITY OF A PARTICULAR LOCALITY, IRRESPECTIVE OF WHETHER OR NOT THE HOUSE IS SUITABLE FOR CONVERSION.

POLICY H21 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

3.45. Houses which are exceptionally large for single family accommodation are particularly well suited to sub-division. Conversely, experience has shown that the typical small two storey terraced house with a narrow frontage does not normally convert without extension to acceptable standards of accommodation and is therefore better suited to single family occupation.

POLICY H23 : CONVERSION TO FLATS

SUBJECT TO COMPLIANCE WITH OTHER POLICIES OF THE LOCAL PLAN, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT BE GRANTED FOR THE CONVERSION TO FLATS OF A DWELLING WITH A COMBINED GROUND AND FIRST FLOOR AREA (MEASURED INTERNALLY) OF 100 SQUARE METRES OR LESS AND WITH A FRONTAGE (MEASURED INTERNALLY) OF LESS THAN 4.7 METRES.

Policy H23 :INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

3.46. Notwithstanding the advice contained in paragraph 6 of Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 concerning the relevance of "functional requirements within a development", a policy adopted by the Council in 1988 for flat conversion contained minimum room sizes as recommended by the Institution of Environmental Health Officers in order to avoid overcrowding or a general reduction in living standards. The policy also specified a minimum size of external amenity space, not only to maintain the amenity standard of flats, but also to safeguard the standards of neighbouring housing. Considerations of room size and amenity space are particularly relevant to flat conversion especially at the lower end of the market where developers frequently seek to maximise the number of units at the expense of acceptable living conditions. Although these standards are not planning matters, the Council will recommend to applicants that proposals should comply with the Institution of Environmental Health Officers minimum room standards and seek to provide external amenity space with reasonable access for occupants to a minimum standard of 20 square metres where 1/2 bedrooms are proposed and 40 square metres where 3 or more bedrooms are proposed.

POLICY H24 : CONVERSION TO FLATS

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR FLATS WHOLLY OR PARTLY IN BASEMENT AREAS WILL BE GRANTED ONLY WHERE ADEQUATE SELF-CONTAINED ACCESS IS PROVIDED AND THERE IS ADEQUATE NATURAL DAYLIGHT AVAILABLE IN THE HABITABLE ROOMS AND WHERE THE OUTLOOK IS NOT UNDULY OBSTRUCTED.

POLICY H24 :INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 

3.49. Vacant space over many of Northampton's town centre and suburban shops is commonplace - a legacy from the time when shopkeepers lived above their shops. The potential that this empty space offers for creating housing and upgrading the environment of shopping streets is significant. In recent years initiatives have been promoted to encourage the residential use of vacant space over shops and the Council will continue to welcome such proposals. Such schemes can contribute to low cost housing.

POLICY H26 : CONVERSION TO FLATS

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR THE CHANGE OF USE OF FLOORS ABOVE SHOPS TO RESIDENTIAL ACCOMMODATION WILL BE GRANTED WHERE THE PROPOSAL WOULD: 

A) BRING BACK UPPER FLOORS INTO PRODUCTIVE USE

B) FORM AN ACCEPTABLE RESIDENTIAL ENVIRONMENT

C) PROVE ACCEPTABLE IN RELATION TO TRAFFIC AND PARKING 

D) MAINTAIN OR ENHANCE THE CHARACTER OF THE SURROUNDING AREA.

POLICY H26 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

HOSTELS

3.56. Under the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Amendment Order 1994, the term "hostel" is no longer included in Class C1 and is now "sui generis". It includes accommodation for people who for example are homeless, on probation or ex-offenders. Whilst there is undoubtedly overall supervision of the physical well-being of occupants, this cannot be taken as being "care" as defined in the Use Classes Order 1987. Although such uses are appropriate to residential areas, as with other forms of multiple occupation, a concentration in any particular area can have a direct and a detrimental impact on the character of the locality. This is dealt with in para 3.64.

POLICY H28 : HOSTELS

WITHIN THE PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS, AND SUBJECT TO POLICY H31, PLANNING PERMISSION FOR A HOSTEL WILL BE GRANTED SUBJECT TO THE DEVELOPMENT COMPLYING WITH THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA: 

A)   IT WOULD NOT SIGNIFICANTLY HARM THE CHARACTER OF THE SURROUNDING AREA OR THE AMENITY OF NEARBY RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES 

B)   IT WOULD NOT RESULT IN AN OVER-CONCENTRATION OF SIMILAR USES IN ANY ONE STREET OR AREA OF THE TOWN DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHARACTER OF THAT STREET OR AREA.

POLICY H28 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

RESIDENTIAL  INSTITUTIONS 

3.57.                         The uses covered in this category are those included in Class C2 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. These  include residential care homes (RCHs) and nursing homes. In this chapter, they are considered in the context of conversions of existing houses. An old established town like Northampton contains many large substantial houses, mainly within the primarily residential areas, which are attractive to those wishing to provide some form of residential institutional use.

3.58.                         In considering their location it is important to ensure that they are reasonably dispersed throughout the town and that localised concentrations are avoided. These can not only have an adverse impact on the amenity of neighbouring properties and the overall residential character of the locality but can also defeat the objective of trying to enable the occupants to become assimilated within a normal community environment. This was instrumental in the Council adopting a policy in 1986 whereby there was a presumption against the approval of any new RCHs in parts of the Abington, Castle, St. Crispin, St. George and South wards. This policy has not been generally endorsed on appeal and in the majority of cases each one has been determined on its individual merits.

3.59.                         It has been decided therefore that rather than have defined areas within which there will be a presumption against a particular form of accommodation, in this instance residential care homes, it is more appropriate to consider the overall situation in a street or locality in terms of whether there is a shift from single family accommodation to other forms of accommodation including those in Class C1 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987. This is dealt with in policy H31. 

3.60.                         When granting permission for RCHs and nursing homes, the Council will also impose a condition requiring that the development is begun within two years to avoid the accumulation of unimplemented planning permissions. It will also continue to monitor the distribution of permissions with a view to preventing an over concentration in any areas of the town.

 

POLICY H29 : RESIDENTIAL INSTITUTIONS

WITHIN THE PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS PLANNING PERMISSION FOR RESIDENTIAL INSTITUTIONS AS DEFINED IN CLASS C2 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (USE CLASSES) ORDER 1987, WILL BE GRANTED SUBJECT TO COMPLYING WITH THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA: 

A)   THE EXISTING PROPERTY IS CONSIDERED TO BE TOO LARGE FOR SINGLE FAMILY OCCUPATION 

B)   THE USE WOULD NOT HAVE A DETRIMENTAL EFFECT ON THE AMENITIES OF OCCUPIERS OF ADJACENT OR NEARBY PROPERTIES

C)   THE USE WOULD NOT RESULT IN AN OVER CONCENTRATION OF SIMILAR USES IN ANY ONE STREET OR AREA OF THE TOWN, LEADING TO A MATERIAL CHANGE WHICH WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO THE CHARACTER OF THE STREET OR AREA 

D)   THE PARKING REQUIREMENT CAN BE ACCOMMODATED WITHIN THE SITE AND THE TRAFFIC GENERATED BY THE DEVELOPMENT WOULD NOT INCREASE TRAFFIC CONGESTION OR BE A DANGER TO ROAD SAFETY.

POLICY H29 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

MULTI-OCCUPATION WITHIN A SINGLE DWELLING 

3.62.                         This includes the occupation of a residential unit by more than 6 persons living together as a single household, which would thereby require planning permission in accordance with Class C3 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 or for any number of persons not living together as a family. It also includes bed-sit accommodation. Frequently the fabric of these buildings is poorly maintained which leads to a deterioration of the appearance and character of the surrounding area.

3.63.                         Although there continues to be a demand for this type of accommodation, the Council is concerned that its provision should not be to the detriment of the locality and its residents. Where appropriate, in relation to local circumstances it is prepared to relax its normal parking requirements for a house in multiple occupation.

 

POLICY H30 : Multi - OCCUPATION WITH A SINGLE DWELLING

WITHIN THE PRIMARILY RESIDENTIAL AREAS IDENTIFIED ON THE PROPOSALS MAP, PLANNING PERMISSION FOR THE USE OF A RESIDENTIAL UNIT BY MORE THAN 6 PEOPLE LIVING TOGETHER AS A SINGLE HOUSEHOLD OR ANY NUMBER OF PERSONS NOT LIVING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY, WILL BE GRANTED SUBJECT TO COMPLYING WITH THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:

Policy H30 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

 

CUMULATIVE EFFECT 

3.64.                         The introduction of new, or extensions to the various types of accommodation previously referred to, into areas of otherwise single family accommodation can have a detrimental impact on their residential character and amenity. This is usually due to disturbance and noise arising from an increase in activity and occupation density associated with such forms of development. This is not to suggest that the individual developments need necessarily be a nuisance in themselves. Neither is it restricted to one particular type of accommodation. The problem invariably arises from their cumulative effect and this is exacerbated when they are concentrated within an area or street. Thus in certain streets the introduction of multi-occupation (this is taken in its widest sense to include hotels, hostels, RCHs, bedsits and non self contained flats) has reached a point where any further provision would be detrimental to the residential character of the area. 

POLICY H31 : CUMULATIVE EFFECT

IN THOSE STREETS LISTED IN APPENDIX 10, PLANNING PERMISSION WILL NOT NORMALLY BE GRANTED FOR ACCOMMODATION AS DEFINED IN CLASSES C1 AND C2 OF THE TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (USE CLASSES) ORDER 1987, THE CONVERSION OF DWELLINGS INTO NON SELF CONTAINED FLATS, THE USE OF A DWELLING BY MORE THAN SIX PEOPLE LIVING TOGETHER AS A SINGLE HOUSEHOLD OR ANY NUMBER OF PERSONS NOT LIVING TOGETHER AS A FAMILY.

POLICY H31 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS

AFFORDABLE HOUSING 

3.68. It is important that those on lower incomes are able to secure access to housing. Affordable housing is considered to be housing for those with insufficient income to buy or rent adequate accommodation on the open market. In Northampton the average cost of buying a starter home requires an income of at least £10,400. Typical rent levels for the smallest privately rented property require an income of at least £10,300. Therefore in the context of Northampton affordable housing means housing which is affordable to those on incomes below this threshold.

3.69. There has been no significant affordable element in private sector housing development prior to the mid to late 1980s. This has been particularly so in the southern expansion area where affordable housing has only recently been introduced, although much of this is undoubtedly due to a reduction in demand for relatively higher priced housing together with a levelling off in the price differential. It has shown that in a buoyant housing market, developers will generally seek to provide "high cost" as opposed to "low cost" housing so long as there is a demand. Whilst this may be a generalised statement, experience in Northampton has certainly shown that the private sector cannot be guaranteed to provide adequate levels of affordable housing, and realistically there is no reason to suggest why this should be otherwise.

3.70. As planning authority, the Council's powers are limited in making adequate provision of affordable housing and currently the Council is inevitably an enabler rather than a provider. It cannot insist on the inclusion of affordable housing as a requirement of granting planning permission although it can seek to secure its provision by Section 106 agreements, and will continue to do so. The Council is also mindful of the advice contained in Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (Revised) whereby the willingness of a developer to include an element of affordable housing on land allocated for residential use will be a material consideration in determining an application.

3.71. Northampton is an essentially urban area and although there are some areas within it which are of a rural character, there are no rural areas as such to which the rural exceptions policy, as contained in Annex  A of PPG3, could be applied. Additional policies aimed at securing the provision of affordable housing will only be applied therefore to those sites where planning permission would normally be granted under other existing policies.

3.72. In 1994, the Council commissioned a survey to determine the townwide need for affordable housing and to identify specific areas within the town to which policies on the provision of affordable housing could be applied. The results of this survey suggest that the total requirement for affordable housing  is 2,600 per year. The supply of affordable rented housing from the local authority is currently some 2,000 per year with housing association lettings at some 270 per year. The requirement for additional affordable housing is therefore estimated at some 330 dwellings per year up to 1998. Linking needs for affordable housing with projected population growth suggests that this requirement will fall to 190 per year by about 2005. The study recommends therefore that the overall target for affordable housing to be identified in the Local Plan is for 330 per year for the three years up to 1998, the preferred locations being the central area and Dallington/Kings Heath. 

3.73. The Council will seek to negotiate on proposed housing sites of over 40 dwellings in particular in the Central and North Western areas of the town for the provision of affordable  housing. It is expected that such housing will be mainly provided in the form of low cost rented accommodation or as part of a shared ownership scheme both involving a housing association in the management of the dwellings and secured  through planning obligations. The Council maintains housing association partners and will encourage developers to work with them. Where a housing association is not involved in the provision of affordable housing, the Council will use planning conditions or obligations to restrict occupation of the dwellings to residents of Northampton who in the judgement of the Councils Housing Directorate are in local housing need and cannot afford access to housing on the open market.

3.74. The provision of affordable housing will also be indirectly met to some extent by bringing vacant housing units back into use, for example those above shops (policy H26), through conversions into flats (policies H21 - H25) or conversions of former offices (policy H11).

3.75. As an owner of land, the Council has taken the opportunity of entering into partnership schemes with housing associations as a result of which it can influence the accommodation mix and secure nominated occupation rights together with any long term limitations on occupation. This has been done at Pleydell Road, Far Cotton and at Kings Heath. The Council also owns further land at Kings Heath forming part of the proposed Kings Heath development area (see paragraph 3.11) where it would also be prepared to enter into partnership agreements. It should be noted however that whilst every encouragement will be given to the provision of affordable housing, this will not be at the expense of the Council's standards for design and environmental quality.

POLICY H32 : AFFORDABLE HOUSING

IN GRANTING PLANNING PERMISSION FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS OF 40 OR MORE DWELLINGS, THE COUNCIL WILL NEGOTIATE AN ELEMENT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING. THE LEVEL OF PROVISION WILL DEPEND UPON THE IDENTIFIED NEED FOR SUCH HOUSING IN THE VICINITY AND SITE/MARKET CONDITIONS.

POLICY H32 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICY H2

WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014.

 

GYPSY CARAVAN SITES

3.78. There is an established site for gypsy caravans on the eastern side of the town at Ecton Lane which provides 35 pitches. However, the use of unauthorised sites has greatly increased. Local authorities no longer have a statutory duty to provide sites for gypsies and it is expected that this could lead to more applications for private gypsy sites. It is important therefore to set out policies for gypsy site provision to enable future applications to be considered against clear and reasonable criteria.

POLICY H34 : gYPSY CARAVAN SITES

PLANNING PERMISSION FOR THE PROVISION OF A GYPSY SITE WILL BE GRANTED IF THE SITE IS: 

A)   READILY ACCESSIBLE TO THE PRINCIPAL ROAD NETWORK 

B)   ACCEPTABLE IN RELATION TO THE DISTRIBUTION OF OTHER EXISTING AND PROPOSED SITES 

C)   ACCEPTABLE IN TERMS OF EFFECT UPON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT AND AMENITIES

D)  ACCESSIBLE TO SCHOOLS, SHOPS AND OTHER FACILITIES.

POLICY H34 REPLACED BY JOINT CORE STRATEGY POLICIES H7

WEST NORTHAMPTONSHIRE JOINT CORE STRATEGY LOCAL PLAN (PART 1) ADOPTED - DECEMBER 2014. 

 

CHILDCARE  FACILITIES

3.79. Increasingly working parents create a need for childminders, nurseries and out of school care. Most childminding situations are on a small scale and are ancillary to normal domestic use. Where this involves more than three children, planning permission may be required.

3.80. The Council wishes to encourage those arrangements which make convenient provision for parents and children whether these are in existing or new premises; but must at the same time safeguard  the amenities of adjoining occupiers and its decision on each application will have particular regard to any noise and traffic implications. A major problem in some housing areas is lack of off-street parking space and it is important that cars bringing and collecting children are able to park safely and do not obstruct other road users.

Policy H35 : CHILDCARE FACILITES

PLANNING PERMISSION  FOR CHILDMINDING,  PLAY SCHEMES,  NURSERY   OR CRECHE FACILITIES WILL BE GRANTED  UNLESS THEY GIVE RISE TO DISTURBANCE FOR ADJOINING OCCUPIERS,  WHERE THERE  ARE ADEQUATE   PARKING  FACILITIES  AND THERE  IS NO DETRIMENT TO HIGHWAY SAFETY.

Policy H35 : INTERACTIVE MAPPING JCS