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49 Pages


ABERDEEN CITY AND ABERDEENSHIRE COUNCILS’Housing Land Audit2005HOUSING LAND AUDIT 2005 Page 1. Introduction 1 2. Preparation of the Housing Land Audit 1 3. Background to Housing Land Audit 2005 Issues Arising from Housing Land Audit 2004 PAN 38 Definitions and Small Sites Methodology 2 Local Plan Allocations 2 2005 Draft Housing Land Audit Consultation and Issues Arising Consultation 3 Aberdeenshire Area Meeting 3 Interim Housing Guidance Sites Methodology Changes for 2005 Completions Dat 4 Sa S 4 Programming of Constrained Sites 6 Website 7 4. Housing Land Audit 2005 Housing Market Areas 8 Land Supply Definitions 8 Established Land Supply 10 - Greenfield/ Brownfield Land 10 Constrained 11 - Analysis of Constraints 12 Effective Land Supply - Five Year Effective Supply 13 Programming 14 - Cairngorms National Park 15 - Trends in the Effective Supply 16 5. Housing Requirement and Effective Land Supply 17 6. Agreement on Effective Supply 18 Glossary Appendix 1 - Definitions Used in Housing Land Audit Tables - Detailed Statement of Established, Constrained and Effective Land Supply 2005 for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Tables: Aberdeen City - Established, Constrained and Effective Housing Land Supply Aberdeenshire Part of ...



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Housing Land Audit
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HOUSING LAND AUDIT 2005                      1. Introduction        2. Preparation of the Housing Land Audit     3. Background to Housing Land Audit 2005   Issues Arising from Housing Land Audit 2004  PAN 38 Definitions and Small Sites Methodology 2  Local Plan Allocations 2   2005 Draft Housing Land Audit Consultation and Issues Arising  Consultation 3  Aberdeenshire Area Meeting 3  Interim Housing Guidance Sites 3   Methodology Changes for 2005  Completions Data  Small Sites  Programming of Constrained Sites  Website  4. Housing Land Audit 2005      Housing Market Areas  Land Supply Definitions  Established Land Supply  Greenfield/ Brownfield Land - Constrained Land Supply  - Analysis of Constraints  Effective Land Supply  - Five Year Effective Supply  - Programming  Cairngorms National Park - - Trends in the Effective Supply  5. Housing Requirement and Effective Land Supply  6. Agreement on Effective Supply      Glossary          
4 4 6 7 8 8 10 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18  
Appendix 1  - Definitions Used in Housing Land Audit Tables - Detailed Statement of Established, Constrained and Effective Land  Supply 2005 for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire
Tables: Aberdeen City  Established, Constrained and Effective Housing Land Supply- Aberdeenshire Part of Aberdeen Housing Market Area  - Established, Constrained and Effective Housing Land Supply Aberdeenshire Rural Housing Market Area  - Established, Constrained and Effective Housing Land Supply  
   Appendix 2 Actual and Anticipated Housing Completions in Aberdeen and Rural Housing Market Areas   Published September 2005
1. INTRODUCTION  This report illustrates the scale and characteristics of the current housing land supply in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. It briefly explains the background to the identification of the land supply and the way in which it is determined. It then reviews the main characteristics of the current supply and gives details of each site. The base date of the Housing Land Audit is 1st January 2005. It has been produced using current Scottish Executive guidance, primarily PAN 38 (revised 2003) which sets out the criteria for the inclusion of sites in the audit, and gives guidance on determining the status of these sites. North East Scotland Together (NEST), the approved Structure Plan for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire identifies the Housing Land Audit as a key part of the monitoring framework used to ensure that sufficient land is available for housebuilding. Policy 7 of NEST sets out the aim of maintaining a five year supply of effective housing land at all times. The audit contributes to this by detailing the extent of the land supply.   2. PREPARATION OF THE HOUSING LAND AUDIT  The statement of land supply in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire is the result of systematic preparation and consultation, the main elements of which are:  a Regular Monitoring The existing land supply is kept up to date during the year by regular monitoring. The information kept under review includes house completions, permissions granted and new allocations. The base date for the audit is taken to be 1st January every year to allow direct comparisons between individual years.  b Survey of Private House Builders In December each year, a range of private house builders currently active in the area are contacted. They are requested to confirm the details held relating to their own development sites, discuss their anticipated development rates and identify any relevant development constraints. Communities Scotland are also asked at this stage for information about their development funding programme. In addition, in Aberdeenshire, a meeting is held each year with small housebuilders and others in one of the six administrative areas in order to seek views on local housing land supply and demand issues.  c Preparation of Draft Land Supply In the Spring, the information is consolidated to produce a draft statement of land supply. This draft is sent out for consultation to Homes for Scotland (HfS), Communities Scotland, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), Scottish Water, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA), and a number of large and small developers. Once all responses to the draft have been received and analysed by the two Councils, a meeting is held with consultees with a view to producing an agreed statement of the land supply situation.
3. BACKGROUND TO HOUSING LAND AUDIT 2005  Issues Arising from 2004 Housing Land Audit  PAN 38 Definitions and Small Sites Methodology The 2004 Housing Land Audit process highlighted two significant areas of disagreement between the Councils and the housebuilding industry which required to be addressed before embarking on the 2005 audit. These were, firstly, the interpretation of some of the PAN 38 definitions, and secondly, the methodology used for counting small sites of less than five units.  In order to address these issues and following recommendations made by the North East Scotland Strategic Planning Committee, the Councils asked the Scottish Executive for further clarification on PAN 38 and then invited housebuilders representatives to a meeting in December 2004 to decide on a way forward.  With regard to PAN 38, agreement was reached as to how to approach the marketability/ programming issue. Certainly, the capacity of the local market is one of the key factors which will determine the build rate (programming) on a site, therefore there will be some overlap between the two definitions. However, it was agreed that units on effective sites programmed beyond the five year period are most appropriately counted as falling into the Effective (Programming) category rather than necessarily being classed as constrained by marketability.  On small sites, it was agreed that the Councils should look into implementing an alternative methodology using a similar approach to Scottish Borders Council, among others, which uses planning consents rather than completions to decide on the contribution of small sites to the land supply. This change to the methodology is covered in more detail on page 4.  Local Plan Allocations In Aberdeenshire, the 2004 Housing Land Audit listed a number of sites as being constrained by ‘Land Use’ which were sites where consent could not be issued until the outcome of the Local Plan Inquiry into the Aberdeenshire Local Plan was known. The Inquiry was held in late 2004/ early 2005 with the Reporter’s Recommendations received in July 2005. As a result, many of these sites are likely to be released for development in the short term. However, for the purposes of the 2005 Housing Land Audit, they have to remain constrained because this did not happen until after the January 1st base date. They are likely to contribute towards the effective supply in the 2006 audit, assuming they are free of any other constraints.       
 2005 Draft Housing Land Audit Consultation and Issues Arising  Consultation Responses to the draft audit were received from Homes for Scotland, Communities Scotland, Association of Builders and Developers, Bruce & Partners (For Scotia Homes), Bancon Developments Ltd, Barratt Construction Ltd and Ian Downie. SEPA did not provide comments on the Audit but submitted their earlier response to the Aberdeenshire Local Plan consultation which covered a number of the sites. Scottish Water did not respond within the consultation period despite a commitment given previously to do so. A short response on some specific sites was provided just prior to the meeting in June.  A meeting was held on 22nd June 2005 to discuss outstanding issues and move towards an agreed position on audit sites. All those who responded to the draft audit consultation were invited to the meeting. It was well attended by housebuilders and their representative bodies, Scottish Water, the two Councils and an independent Chair.  Some general issues relating to the audit were covered at the meeting, particularly the methodology for counting small sites and the programming of constrained units and these issues are covered in more detail on pages 4 to 6. In addition, there was detailed discussion on individual sites in a range of locations.  Aberdeenshire Area Meeting The meeting this year was held in March 2005 in Alford which is located in the Marr Area of Aberdeenshire. It was attended by a number of small housebuilders, the Cairngorms National Park Authority and representatives of the Council’s Planning and Housing Services.  The meeting highlighted a number of important issues, particularly the lack of drainage capacity in much of the area which is hindering development progress. It also helped to clarify where the areas of high and low demand for housing are and how this relates to existing and planned land supply. This information was used in the production of the draft audit to determine appropriate build rates for settlements within the area and to identify sites affected by the constraints identified.  Interim Housing Guidance Sites A report outlining the issues with supply of greenfield land for housebuilding in Aberdeen was considered by Aberdeen City Council’s Policy and Strategy Committee on 17th June 2003. The agreed response was to meet the immediate structure plan allocation to ensure that there was at least five years worth of housing land. The three sites included in the audit were designed to fill the gap between the abandoning of the Aberdeen City Modified Finalised Local Plan and the recent publication of Green Spaces - New Places. This was intended to provide an adequate supply of housing land to fill this vacuum. The housebuilding industry once again suggested that these sites should not remain effective in the land audit. Their argument was based around a site in Aberdeenshire, which had
a similar background. After investigation, it was agreed by Aberdeen City Council that for consistency the Pinewood (150 units) site would become constrained. Hopecroft (40 units) remains an effective site in the Housing Land Audit.   Methodology Changes for 2005  Completions Data In previous years, the Councils have mainly used Building Control Completions Certificates to determine the number of house units completed on each site at the base date of 1st January. However, this method was proving to be unsatisfactory mainly due to delays between when houses are complete and when the certificates are issued. Therefore it was agreed that for 2005, the two Councils would go out and survey the majority of sites with planning consent or under construction to record progress.  This method has proved to be much more accurate than using completion certificates in terms of establishing what is on the ground at the base date of the audit. However, it has meant that completions in 2004 appear to be higher than anticipated (see Appendix 2 would be expected in the first year of using the). This new methodology because it is likely to include some completions from 2003 which were not counted last time as no completion certificates were issued within that year plusallof the 2004 completions, not just those with certificates issued by the end of the year.  While using site surveys has significantly improved the accuracy of the audit base, this method was very demanding in terms of staff time and resources, particularly in Aberdeenshire which covers an extremely wide geographical area. As an alternative that would still be accurate, the two Councils are currently working with Grampian Assessors staff to investigate the possibility of accessing the regularly updated information they hold on new house completions for Council Tax valuation purposes. A successful pilot has been undertaken and if consultees agree that the data appears to be robust enough, we hope to be able to use this information to feed into the 2006 Housing Land Audit.  Small Sites In the 2003 and 2004 Housing Land Audits, the contribution to the land supply from small sites (< 5 units) was calculated using data on past completions to estimate the number of units likely to come forward within five years. Continued monitoring of completions on small sites indicates that these estimates are robust. However, following discussions with the housebuilding industry in late 2004 and in June 2005, it has been agreed to use an alternative methodology this year, which counts planning approvals on small sites rather than past completions.  A list of all approvals for sites of less than five units issued during 2004 was drawn up for Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire by Housing Market Area. This list was then checked thoroughly to ensure that only valid consents were counted. The following were removed:
€Sites which received consent and were completed within 2004 €sites already in the Housing Land AuditConsents for single units on larger €Duplicate applications on the same site. €Consents for Outline permission where Reserved Matters or Detailed consent for same site subsequently issued within 2004. €where the application did not create a new residential unit includingSites applications for changes to house types on existing consents. €Consents for holiday accommodation  The remaining approvals were then totalled and are shown inFigure 1below.  Figure 1 - Approvals on Small Sites in 2004  Area Approvals 2004 Aberdeen City 74 Aberdeenshire part of Aberdeen HMA 141 Aberdeen Housing Market Area 215 Rural Housing Market Area 325  It is not practical to examine each site individually to determine whether it is effective or constrained, given the time and resources this would take for what is a relatively small number of units within the audit as a whole. This is recognised in PAN 38 which states:  “There may be practical difficulties in identifying the contribution of each individual small site separately, and authorities may conclude that an aggregated estimate is sufficient for audit purposes”(P7, Para 28)  With this in mind, the count of 2004 approvals is really an estimate of the total contribution of small sites towards the effective supply. It is reasonable to assume that all approvals should count towards the effective supply if we look at recent completions (Figure 2 the last five years, there were 676 completions on). In small sites in the AHMA so the total of 215 units which were approved in 2004 is likely to be a low estimate of what will come forward in the next five years. Similarly, in the RHMA, there were 728 completions in the RHMA, again more than twice the number of approvals in 2004. Therefore, while we would not expect every site granted consent in 2004 to prove to be effective, other sites will come forward and overall, the estimated contribution to the effective supply remains valid.  
Figure 2 - Small Sites Completions  Year AHMA RHMA 2000 127 150 2001 162 147 2002 158 142 2003 90 143 2004 139 146 5 year Total 676 728 5 year Average 135 146  In January 2006, the small sites total will comprise all consents granted in 2005 plus any remaining 2004 approvals which have not yet been built. This is consistent with the method used to monitor larger sites.  As a result of this, for the first few years there is likely to be an increase each year in the number of units on small sites contributing towards the land supply. This reflects the fact that because of practical difficulties of tracking earlier approvals, the small sites total for this year is much lower than would be expected because it does not include valid consents prior to 2004 which have not yet been built. A more realistic picture would emerge after a few years of monitoring new consents, completions and expiry of consents. The contribution of small sites to the land supply is then likely to reach a level which is closer to previous estimates based on completions. At this point, it may be appropriate to assume only a percentage of approvals (rather than all) contribute towards the effective supply.  Programming of Constrained Sites  At the June 2005 meeting to discuss the Housing Land Audit, there was some debate about how units in the constrained supply should be programmed. In previous years, an estimated build rate for these sites has appeared in the Housing Schedules anytime from year six onwards. There was agreement at the meeting that only those sites which were genuinely expected to come forward (i.e. where there was an expectation of constraints being lifted) should be programmed in to years 6, 7, 8 and 9. For the majority of constrained sites therefore, anticipated build rates are not shown and these units now appear in the ‘Post-2012’ column of the summary tables (see Appendix 2).  This has resulted in a significant reduction in the numbers of units programmed for years 6-8. In reality, we do not expect that completions will necessarily tail off after five years as this suggests. New land allocations coming through the local plan process (specifically NEST Phase 2 allocations for 2006-2011) and consents on windfall sites will continue to provide opportunities for housing development. These sites will be programmed in for future years once they meet the criteria for inclusion in the established land supply. In addition, constraints on some sites will be lifted allowing them to come forward. 6
Website The Draft 2005 Housing Land Audit was made available for consultation on the Internet for the first time in 2005 and was published on both Council’s websites. This greatly reduced the number of hard copies of the document that had to be printed and allowed a wider range of people to access the information. The two Councils jointly received over 2000 hits to the Housing Land Audit web pages which was very positive.  It is hoped to expand on this experience with the intention that the Draft 2006 Housing Land Audit will as far as possible, aim to be paperless, with all necessary documents being made available online.    
4. HOUSING LAND AUDIT 2005  Housing Market Areas  The land supply statement is divided up by Housing Market Area (HMA). The Aberdeen HMA includes Aberdeen City and the part of Aberdeenshire which forms roughly a 30km radius of the City boundary while the Rural HMA takes in the rest of Aberdeenshire These areas are shown onFigure 3.  Figure 3 - Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Structure Plan Area with Housing Market Areas                          Information for land within the Cairngorms National Park can be found in the Rural Housing Market Area tables under the Marr Administrative Area. A summary table is also provided on page 15.   Land Supply Definitions  Three categories of land are identified in the audit. TheISBLDHETAESland supply includes the remaining capacity of sites under construction, sites with planning consent, local plan allocations and other sites with agreed potential for development. Within the established supply, sites may be classed as effective or constrained. TheCNOEDINRASTsupply consists of those sites or parts of sites 8
Aberdeen Housing Market Area Aberdeenshire Rural Housing Market Area