Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Strategic Housing Market Needs Assessment?

A Strategic Housing Market Needs Assessment (SHMNA) is a key piece of evidence that provides information about the Borough's future housing requirements including the scale, mix and tenure of houses that are likely to be required. It looks at what our current challenges are in the local housing market and what our future market and affordable housing requirements are.

What will we use the SHMNA for?

It is important that we get an understanding of the housing needs across the whole of the Plymouth Housing Market Area. Therefore, the SHMNA has been prepared jointly with Plymouth City Council and South Hams District Council. The work has been carried out by independent consultants, Peter Brett Associates LLP.

Why has the SHMNA been prepared?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local authorities to prepare an evidence base that objectively assesses the future housing needs of different groups in the community for both affordable and market housing. This includes the housing needs of families, the elderly, people with disabilities and those wishing to build their own home. The last Strategic Housing Market Needs Assessment (SHMNA) was completed in 2013.

What data and information has been used to inform the SHMNA?

The study has used secondary data from the 2011 Census alongside some primary research including interviews with six focus groups across the sub region. These focus groups have looked at the housing requirements of specific groups within the community, such as custom/self build groups, the private rented sector, younger persons, housing issues in both rural and urban areas and the needs of households containing persons with learning and/or physical disabilities. Telephone interviews have also been conducted with stakeholders such as Registered Providers, private developers and local estate agents. This combined research has enabled us to gain an in depth understanding of the local housing market.

Does the SHMNA make any decisions for the Council?

No. Whilst the evidence provides us with indications of likely levels of affordable and market housing requirements it does not make any decisions for us. It gives us the tools and information to begin planning for the future growth strategy of the Borough.

How many homes will we need to provide in the future?

A key conclusion of the SHMNA is that there will be a sustained need for new housing to meet the demands of a growing population. The report sets out a range of options for future housing growth based on different projections of economic growth over the plan period.

Under the Duty to Cooperate requirements we will need to work with our neighbouring authorities and elected Members to ensure that housing growth is distributed appropriately across the Plymouth Housing Market Area. This will help us to ensure that new homes are provided alongside opportunities for employment growth and that sensitive environments can be protected.