What is the Annual Monitoring Report?
Monitoring is a critical component in ensuring that planning policies are effectively implemented and progress is being made towards desired outcomes. Monitoring is essential to establish what is happening now, what may happen in the future and then compare these trends against existing policies and targets to determine what needs to be done.
The Annual Monitoring Report aims to:
- Review the Council’s progress in implementing the Local Plan Programme;
- Provide realistic and useful indicators, targets and information to assess if policies are achieving their objectives as intended;
- Assess the level of implementation of adopted policies and indicate whether there is scope for any policies to be amended or replaced due to failure to achieve, obsolescence, impracticality or under use;
- Assist in determining if current policy is making an impact on the wider social, environmental and economic objectives of the Council and achieving outcomes which are consistent with sustainable development objectives;
- In particular, ensure that the Council has identified sufficient sites to provide 5 years of Housing Land to meet specified housing requirements including affordable housing needs.
Under new Government regulations, Councils are required to make monitoring information on their planning activity available to their communities as soon as it is ready and to do so on-line. Key information that has to be reported on includes: net additional dwellings and net additional affordable dwellings for the period being reported on and the total number since any policy was first adopted in a local plan covering the Epsom & Ewell Borough area; Details of the Local Plans and Supplementary Planning Documents timetable set out in the Council’s Local Plan Programme also has to be reported including the stage reached in preparation and any reasons for delays.
Previously, Councils were required to produce an Annual Monitoring Report to their Government Office setting out the extent to which all policies in the Local Plans were being achieved.
Whilst the Council can now choose which targets and indicators to include in its Monitoring Report, a similar format as the previous Annual Monitoring Reports has been adopted. It is felt that this effectively fulfils the primary purpose of sharing the performance and achievements of the planning service with the local community.
Explanation of housing issues arising from the 2014/15 AMR
The following information provides an explanation in plain English of the overall position of the Borough with regard to meeting its overall housing target and housing needs through provision of “affordable housing”. Full details are provided in the 2014/15 Annual Monitoring Report (AMR) document below.
Overall Housing Target
The Council’s overall housing target for the plan period up to 2026 is based on the annual average of 181 new dwellings set out in the Borough’s Core Strategy. This equates to a total number of 3620 new dwellings for the period 2006/07 to 2025/26.
The 2014/15 AMR Appendix C Housing Trajectory shows that up until the end of the 2014/15 financial year (31st March 2015), a total of 2397 new dwellings had been completed since the start of 2006/07 (1st April 2006).
The Housing Trajectory also shows that there is provision on sites identified in the Local Plan, sites with planning permission or under construction for an additional 1786 new dwellings between 2015/16 and 2025/26.
The Council has also identified 18 preferred housing sites (set out in 2014/15 AMR Appendix B), which are intended to be taken forward in the forthcoming Site Allocations Document and will assist in delivering the overall housing target. The Council is therefore in a strong position to meet its overall housing target.
The overall residual housing target figure is 1223, which equates to a future annual average of 111 new dwellings per annum between 2015/16 and 2025/26.
Affordable housing is housing designed to meet the needs of households whose incomes are not sufficient to allow them to access housing in their borough. Affordable housing comprises social rented and intermediate housing.
Social rented housing is rented housing owned and managed by local authorities and Registered Social Landlords, for which guideline target rents are determined through the national rent regime.
Intermediate Housing is housing at prices and rents above those of social rent but below market price or rents, and can include shared equity (e.g. HomeBuy) and intermediate rent.
The Council adopted an overall target of 35% of new dwellings to be affordable in February 2006. 35% of the overall annual average of 181 dwellings over the plan period 2006/07 to 2025/26 works out at an average annual affordable housing target of 63 dwellings.
The proportion of affordable housing delivered over the past 5 years (2010/11 to 2014/15) averages out at 93 units per annum; however, due to the high number of open market houses delivered over this period, this only averages out at 30% of overall completions. Over the next 3 years this is projected to increase to an overall average of 32%, at an average annual number of 79 affordable units. In other words the Council does not expect to meet its annual percentage target for affordable homes over the next 3 years but does expect to exceed its annual numerical target.
The most recent Annual Monitoring Report for 2014/15 that has been produced by the Council is available to view: