Policy HOU6 Housing Mix (Unit Types and Sizes)
Planning permission will be granted for new residential development of 25 or more units, or on sites of one hectare or more, where a mix of house types and sizes are provided. Provision should particularly be made for smaller homes to meet future household requirements in Mid and East Antrim. In smaller schemes the need to provide greater variety in type and size will be considered on its individual merits.
The required mix of house types and sizes will be negotiated with developers, taking account of the specific characteristics of the development, the site and its context and the nature of the local housing need. In locations where apartment development of 25 or more units is considered acceptable, variety in the size of units will be required.
All proposals for residential development will also be required to meet the General Policy and accord with other provisions of the LDP.
Justification and Amplification
The mixture of different types and sizes of houses and apartments required through this policy will help to provide choice within residential developments, particularly on larger sites, to assist with the creation of high quality, sustainable places and balanced communities. Whilst it is also desirable to promote diversification of tenure within residential developments, this aspect will be addressed primarily through Policy HOU5 Affordable Housing in Settlements.
The general information on the broad housing mix considered appropriate across the Borough is provided through the up to date Housing Market Analysis (HMA), updated periodically by NIHE and published on their website (www.nihe.gov.uk). Currently, analysis of the local housing market in Mid and East Antrim shows an ageing population, reducing household size and a decline in the number of households with children. This emphasises the need for ‘smaller size, new build houses’ within the Borough (Mid and East Antrim Housing Market Analysis Update, NIHE, June 2018). However, it is accepted that the appropriate mix of house types and sizes in each case will be influenced by the location, site characteristics and local housing need patterns. The preferred housing mix will also vary by tenure. Accordingly, the proposed housing mix will need to be determined on a case by case basis in response to up to date evidence of housing need. The policy therefore facilities the flexibility needed to deliver appropriate house types and sizes in response to local circumstances.