The Development Standards we aim to achieve
The Code of Sustainable Homes was an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes. It was a national standard for use in the design and construction of new homes with a view to encouraging continuous improvement in sustainable home building. The Association aims to achieve Code Level 4 in our new homes which is above the HCA minimum requirements.
The Code has now been deleted and the various standards it contained integrated into Building Regulations. However, the Association will always seek to achieve above minimum standards on all its new developments.
The Secured By Design Scheme and award have been developed by the Association of Chief Police Officers to establish a minimum standard of physical security, together with an approved development layout, designed to reduce the opportunity for crime and anti social behaviour.
The concept of Lifetime Homes was established in the early 1990's. Lifetime Homes are ordinary homes incorporating 16 design criteria that can be universally applied to new houses at minimal cost. Each design feature adds to the comfort and convenience of the home and supports the changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life.
Building for Life is the national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods. Rural homes need to achieve a score of at least 10 out of 20 to achieve the standard. We aim to achieve a score of 14.
The Development Process
Where do we start?
We believe that affordable rural housing should be tailored to its community and environment. It must reflect the needs and aspirations of the people living in that community and the environmental context in which it is to be provided.
The whole process is evidence based. It is essential to determine how many people are in need of affordable housing, what type of housing they require and what they are able to afford.
Working with the relevant local authority, and the local Parish Council, we will assist in commissioning a Housing Needs Survey to establish evidence of housing need. This will be used to determine the type of development to be provided and to inform the design and planning process.
Planning any new development now needs to reflect changes made to the planning system through the Localism Act 2011 and the National Planning Policy Framework. All our partner local authorities have now formally adopted their own Core Strategy, which sets the strategic planning policy for their areas up to 2026.
Some Parish Councils are preparing statutory Neighbourhood Plans, others less formal Parish Plans or Village Design Statements. These documents help establish policy for the types of development they want to see in their communities.
WHHA has always worked closely with Parish Councils and local communities to both establish need and then plan for the delivery of new affordable homes.
In the future it will be even more important to work with communities to identify the issues facing them, of which housing may only be one. Where housing is identified as an issue WHHA is well placed to work in partnership with the community to provide the solution.