The London Borough of Bexley Council commissioned arc4 to undertake the London Borough of Bexley Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) in 2018 to provide an up-to-date evidence base to inform the development of the Council’s Local Plan and the Housing Strategy in particular along with supporting the work of the Council and its partners.
The SHMA report is tailored to the unique characteristics and needs of the Borough and the role it has within the wider London Housing Market Area.
Specifically, the SHMA:
- determines the objectively assessed housing needs of Bexley to the year 2041, consistent with national planning policy, guidance and good practice, whilst considering the specific challenges Bexley faces as a London Borough;
- assesses housing need in the specific context of the Borough by exploring local issues, as well as making comparisons with national, regional and sub-regional data;
- provides robust evidence to inform future Local Plan and Housing Strategy policies that aim to ensure the appropriate mix of housing, including type, tenure and size, to achieve sustainable communities;
- identifies the need for affordable housing of all types and tenure, having regard to the definitions found in the Mayor of London’s ‘Homes for Londoners: Affordable homes programme 2016-2021’ SPG (2016);
- identifies the housing needs of specific groups;
- identifies the needs across the Borough for specific types of housing;
- gives consideration to the joint 2014 South East London SHMA, SHMAs from other nearby London Boroughs, and the SHMAs of neighbouring local authorities outside of London, consistent with the duty to cooperate; and
- gives full regard to the 2013 London SHMA, upcoming 2017 London SHLAA, and the monitoring targets found within the London Plan.
What we did
To deliver the Borough of Bexley SHMA 2018, a multi-method approach has been adopted, which comprises:
- A sample survey of households across the Borough of Bexley area, with 31,000 households in the Borough contacted during March and April 2018 and invited to complete a questionnaire. 3,408 questionnaires were returned and used in data analysis. This represents a 11% response rate overall and a sample error of +/-1.65 at Borough level;
- An online survey of stakeholders including 19 representatives from strategic and local organisations;
- Interviews with supported housing, adult social care and older person professionals;
- A review of secondary data provided by the Council including housing register and information on groups with additional needs;
- Interviews with estate and letting agents operating within the Borough; and
- A review of relevant secondary data including the 2011 Census, house price trends, CORE lettings data and CLG Statistics.
The SHMA 2018 equips the Council and their partners with robust, defensible and transparent information to help inform strategic decision-making and the formulation of appropriate housing and planning policies.
The Borough of Bexley SHMA 2018 will help the Council plan for a mix of housing based on current and future demographic trends, market trends and the needs of different groups in the community. Specifically, the SHMA 2018 identifies the size, type and tenure of housing required by considering current market demand relative to supply; and also identifies a continued affordable housing imbalance across the Borough.
The evidence presented in this SHMA suggests that there are three main policy areas that require particular attention from both a planning policy and social policy perspective:
- the challenge of enabling the quantity and mix of housing that needs to be delivered;
- the challenge of ensuring that the housing and support needs of older people are met going forward; and
- ensuring that new development takes account of the particular needs across housing market areas within Bexley.