When is affordable housing required?

One of the ways that the Council provides affordable housing is through the planning system, requiring developers of new residential developments to provide either on-site affordable housing or off-site financial contributions to be spent on affordable housing in the area, where appropriate.  

The Cornwall Local Plan sets out the Council's requirements for affordable housing in Cornwall.  Detailed guidance from the Affordable Housing Team can be obtained by submitting a pre-application enquiry to the Local Planning Authority.  A brief summary is given below.

All new housing schemes in main towns and settlements which:

  • have more than 10 dwellings
  • have a combined gross floorspace more than 1,000 square metres (not including replacement dwellings)

must contribute towards meeting affordable housing need.

In Designated Protected Areas and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the threshold will be more than 5 dwellings. For developments of between 6 and 10 dwellings in such areas a financial contribution will be sought per unit of affordable housing that would have been provided.

For full details of the proportion of affordable housing sought by area and tenures, please refer to Policy 8 of the Cornwall Local Plan.

All new housing schemes which are outside of but adjacent to the development boundary must:

  • be affordable housing led and provide affordable housing to meet local needs. 
  • remain as affordable housing with the Council securing the first and future occupation of the affordable homes to those with a housing need and local connection to the settlement or parish in line with the Council’s adopted local connection policies.
  • market housing will only be supported where the Council is satisfied it is essential for the successful delivery of the development and must not represent more than 50% of the homes or 50% of the land take, excluding infrastructure and services.

For full information on Rural Exception Sites, please refer to Policy 9 of the Cornwall Local Plan.