Wantange and Grove Campaign Group (WAGCG)
Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)


The Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment Summary – Key Findings on Housing Need, March 2014 is now available.We have summarised the key points as they affect us: [show detail]


Housing needs numbers

According to the SHMA Oxfordshire requires over 5,000 new homes each year. For the Vale of the White Horse it states that this figure should be exactly 1028 new homes each year. These figures rely heavily on the fact that Science Vale is expected to grow dramatically and generate thousands of new jobs (the plan assumes that 23,000 jobs will be created by 2030). This is in spite of the fact that employment growth in Harwell has been almost nil since 2011.

In 2010 the government announced that "Alongside the UK Space Agency, a £40 million "International Space Innovation Centre" (ISIC) has been created at Harwell, Oxfordshire, alongside the research facility for ESA. Some of its tasks will be to investigate climate change, and the security of space systems. £24 million of the cost of the centre will be funded by the government, with the remainder from industry, and it will lead to the creation of 700 jobs over five years."

The government claimed the space and satellite industry supports 68,000 jobs in the UK directly and indirectly, as well as contributing £6bn to the economy. By 2030 it wants this to grow to £40bn a year and create 100,000 jobs, but the Space Innovation and Growth Strategy 2014-2030 admits that "the Satellite Applications Catapult and ESA centre based at Harwell Oxford will provide a central hub of Space activity in the UK but it is essential that this is used to support growth of space revenues and capabilities across the UK. Some 95% of all new jobs and activities are likely to be located away from Harwell."

So this will generate a maximum of 5,000 jobs in the Vale - where are the other 17,000 jobs going to come from?


What is a SHMA?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires local planning authorities to use a valid evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area. The NPPF states that housing need should be established by conducting a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA). The SHMA will also identify the extent of the housing market area. The previous SHMA conducted in 2007 identified Oxfordshire as a cohesive housing market area and this is unlikely to have changed.
The NPPF also requires that Local Plans seek to meet objectively assessed development requirements including unmet requirements from neighbouring authorities.

The government has published somestrategic housing market assessment practice guidance detailing how to produce a strategic housing market assessment.

The Planning Advisory Service has also published a (reasonably) short Guide to Assessing Housing Need


Why do they"assume that an increase in housing is required, in some or all authorities"?

We don't know. According to new Government figures, growth in the Vale suggests a 7.8% growth in households from 2011 to 2021 so to 2029 this should be an increase of 6,975. See our evidence pagefor more information.

A government planning inspector has recently recommended that councils use a new projection tool called "What Homes Where" This suggests that we need 6,639 homes by 2029 - see our housing needs pagefor more detail and a link to the tool.

These are figures for the entire Vale not just Wantage and Grove. We are approximately 15% of the Vale so the figures for Wantage and Grove should really be no more than 1050. Anything more than this must be explained.

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Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA)

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