Frequently asked questions
Our Housing for all programme is helping people of all backgrounds living or working in our borough to secure an affordable home that is right for them.
We want to make it easier for people to move into different types of housing as their needs change.
Here are responses to questions we have received from residents regarding the programme.
- How will the Council consult neighbouring residents and how can I make my views on a proposed new development known?
- How is the Council going to deal with existing car parking deficiency and the additional parking pressure that will be created through development of new homes?
- How will the proposals deal with the increase in housing density, overlooking, loss of light and amenity?
- What will the impact be on future maintenance charges on the estate?
- Residents anticipate that development works will be extremely noisy, polluting and disruptive. How does the Council propose the deal with these issues?
- Will there be any new community facilities or other amenities provided as part of the development?
- Development proposals appear to be negatively impacting a number of existing mature trees. How is the Council proposing to deal with this and what measures are being taken to protect the ecology of the area?
- Will the Party Wall Act apply to my property?
- I am interested in buying/renting an apartment in the new development. How can I do this?
How will the Council consult neighbouring residents and how can I make my views on a proposed new development known?
We want the proposals to take into account as many of the estate and neighbouring residents’ views as possible. Therefore, as part of our approach to the design and development of new homes under the “Housing for All” programme, we are committed to undertaking early and continued consultation and engagement with local residents and key stakeholders adjacent to and within the vicinity of proposed development sites.
Consultation and engagement with residents and stakeholders forms part of the pre-planning processes routinely undertaken by us and our appointed consultancy services and is a means of obtaining vital feedback and input into the early design and feasibility stages of our development proposals.
Our approach to consultation and engagement on development proposals is predominantly in the form of drop-in sessions, which would be held as locally as possible to the proposed development site. We are also happy to receive feedback and comments from residents and stakeholders who may be unable to attend or have missed an event, and this can be provided by email to email@example.com.
The Council and/or our appointed consultancy services will always aim to clearly communicate timescales for consultation and engagement feedback to be received and reviewed accordingly at each stage of the design and development process.
Additionally, as development schemes progress, there will be statutory planning consultation phases undertaken by the Council in our capacity as Planning Authority and a continued process of informing and updating residents and stakeholders as to the progress of schemes. This may include ‘meet the contractor’ events, pre-commencement notifications to residents and regular newsletter updates from contractors working on our development sites.
How is the Council going to deal with existing car parking deficiency and the additional parking pressure that will be created through development of new homes?
We are very mindful of parking pressures which exist in some areas identified for development of new homes. If developing fully wheelchair accessible homes, we are required to provide enough parking to facilitate those homes. We will also routinely consider whether additional parking will be required to support development. Transport and parking surveys are usually undertaken in order that we can ascertain any existing parking capacity and understand existing parking stress. We will also consider potential improvements to parking availability through reconfiguration of existing parking areas close to the site. Our approach more generally is to ensure that as a minimum, there will be no net loss of existing parking through any proposed development.
Parking is also a matter that will be considered by the Planning Service if/when a formal planning application is submitted. The Planning Service would either require a new development to have a certain level of parking available or may identify that a particular development should be delivered on the basis of that development being 'car free', i.e. whereby residents of the newly developed homes are precluded from securing parking permits, with the exception of the commitment above to provide disabled bays.
How will the proposals deal with the increase in housing density, overlooking, loss of light and amenity?
Any development scheme will be required to meet a number of planning requirements, including consideration of density, overlooking, loss of light and amenity and how these matters have been considered and addressed within the proposals.
Prior to any planning application being submitted, we will undertake impact assessments and surveys, such as daylight/sunlight studies which will be submitted and available for public access. These will be duly considered as part of the planning application process with neighbouring residents having the opportunity to make representations on plans and reports.
What will the impact be on future maintenance charges on the estate?
The intention is that any new homes built will be owned and managed by the Council. This will ensure continuity of management of these properties and the surrounding blocks, estates and amenity spaces.
It is not possible to state what the impact of any particular development would be on service charges. However, where development is taking place on existing Council estates, it is our expectation that existing estate residents would not see any increase to their estate service charges due to the development of new homes.
Residents anticipate that development works will be extremely noisy, polluting and disruptive. How does the Council propose the deal with these issues?
We will, in liaison with our consultants and contractors seek to minimise disruption and disturbance to existing residents as far as possible.
Any development works will be undertaken in accordance with construction (design and management) regulations, which will include and may not be limited to provision of a construction management plan, logistics, measures being taken to mitigate dust, pollution and disturbance and it is anticipated that this would be a condition of any planning consent that might be obtained by the Council.
It is also expected that working hours will be limited to certain periods, e.g. 8am to 6pm on Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays with no work taking place on Sundays or Bank Holidays. This would also form part of any construction management plan submitted for approval in accordance with planning conditions.
We expect any appointed contractors to submit regular updates to its residents via regular newsletters and/or communications in respect of key activities on site once they have taken possession of a site. Appointed contractors are also expected to have a site manager and/or liaison officer who would be available to respond to queries form local residents and help mitigate any concerns residents may have in respect of the development works
Will there be any new community facilities or other amenities provided as part of the development?
This is a matter that we welcome residents’ views on. Where an identified development site potentially impacts on existing amenities, such as clubrooms, playgrounds or games pitches we would commit to replace those facilities within any new development. Clearly any new Council resident space requires management and upkeep which must be taken into consideration by both the Council and those who bring forward ideas.
If you would like to share your views on this or any other issue, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Development proposals appear to be negatively impacting a number of existing mature trees. How is the Council proposing to deal with this and what measures are being taken to protect the ecology of the area?
We recognise that this is a difficult issue in respect of some of our proposed development sites and discussions with our appointed planning consultants would usually involve developing plans which would minimise tree loss.
However, whilst a proposed development may require removal of mature trees, we are fully committed to re-providing the lost trees and seeking to undertake landscaping improvements which would serve to enhance and improve any existing green spaces adjacent to our development sites.
Prior to any planning application being submitted, we will undertake impact assessments and surveys, such as arboricultural impact assessments and ecology surveys, which will be submitted and available for public access as part of the planning process. These will be duly considered as part of the planning application process with neighbouring residents having the opportunity to make representations on plans and reports.
Will the Party Wall Act apply to my property?
The Party Wall Act offers protection to adjoining property owners. Not all of our developments would require notices under the Act. However, if it does apply to your property, you will be notified accordingly at the relevant time and we will follow due processes in accordance with the Act. Any residents impacted by the Act would then have an opportunity to appoint their own Party Wall surveyor to act on their behalf and the Council would usually be liable to cover the reasonable cost for this.
I am interested in buying/renting an apartment in the new development. How can I do this?
Any new rented affordable homes being developed will be allocated in line with our Housing Allocations Scheme. A local lettings plan will be put in place which will take into account our wider policies on housing as well as local demands and pressures, including from those existing Council tenants who may wish to downsize, or those who are overcrowded. Any local lettings plan will not become operational until development has moved considerably forward in its construction.
If you would like to make an application to go onto our housing register for social housing, you will need to apply online. Applications for housing are assessed under the Council’s Housing Allocation Scheme. We can give no guarantee as to the allocation of any of the proposed new homes as this would be dependent on the terms of the Local Lettings Plan, the applicant’s circumstances and housing priority.
If you have any further queries regarding the application process or available housing options, contact email@example.com.