A technical study into the future of housing in Berkshire over the next 20 years has found nearly 4,900 households a year will need to be accommodated in the area.
All local authorities are required to produce a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) in order to assess the future need for housing in their local area. SHMA’s are a purely technical look at how many homes may be needed, and are the starting point for a wider discussion.
The Berkshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), which reports today (October 20), has identified a need for 2,855 homes per year up to the year 2036 across the Western Berkshire Housing Market Area (Wokingham, West Berkshire, Reading and Bracknell Forest), and 2,015 homes per year in the Eastern Housing Market Area (Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead and also the neighbouring South Bucks). The study suggests the following split of homes per year:
- Windsor and Maidenhead: 712
The six Berkshire councils will now work with each other and their neighbours such as South Bucks to identify whether the 4,900 homes per year should be distributed in a different way. This will feed into each council’s Local Plan process and significant consultation and engagement with residents.
Other areas examined by the SHMA include the need for affordable housing, and how much specialist housing is needed for specific groups, such as older people and students.
The SHMA has been produced with the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the six Berkshire local authorities, and is a technical assessment of the number of homes the area will need to ensure it continues to be economically successful, whilst providing a decent home to those who need one.
The local authorities take this need as their starting point for working out how many houses should be provided in the next 20 years, also taking account of whether there are any major limitations in accommodating the need. This will be a task for each authority’s Local Plan, involving significant consultation and engagement with local communities.
Information on the Strategic Housing Market Assessment can be found on the planning policy page.