Issue - meetings

Housing Strategy

Meeting: 14/11/2023 - Cabinet Committee: Housing (Item 7)

7 Housing Strategy 2023-2028 pdf icon PDF 186 KB

Additional documents:


1.    That the Housing Strategy 2023-2028 be approved and adopted.


2.    That authority be delegated to the Strategic Director with responsibility for housing, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing to correct any typographical errors, update metrics and statistics and to add to the Housing Strategy Delivery Plan (as set out in Appendix 2 of report CAB2310(H)) reference to the Nature Emergency declaration and action being taken.





The Corporate Head of Housing introduced the report and confirmed that the Strategy would be updated prior to final publication to include the most up to date statistical information. 


Ian Tait spoke during public participation as summarised briefly below.

He generally welcomed the report but questioned whether it addressed the core issue of the shortage of affordable housing.  He believed that the best way to achieve this would be for the council to find sufficient land to enable a new council housing estate to be built.  He also emphasised that more housing could be supplied on existing sites if schemes were built to a higher density. He highlighted that a 2021 report (CAB3290) had allocated a £10m investment for new homes.


Councillor Westwood and the Head of New Homes Delivery responded to the comments made including highlighting the importance of the emerging Local Plan in prioritising affordable housing and the practical difficulties in terms of cost of land and rising building costs.


At the invitation of the Chairperson, Councillor Wallace addressed the meeting as summarised briefly below.

He welcomed the reference to the climate emergency and the commitment to greener homes but believed little progress had been made in recent years.  He requested that more specific and measurable targets be set regarding the environmental measures to enable effective monitoring against progress and the process for monitoring the specific metrics be clarified. This should include the promoting measures to improve energy efficiency in private housing.  He also requested that the recent declaration by the Council of a nature emergency be referenced


Councillors Westwood and Learney responded to the comments made, including confirming the intention to amend the Strategy to incorporate the declaration of a nature emergency.  The Service Lead – Strategic Housing agreed to provide an update to committee members regarding the numbers of private households that had taken up the offer for energy efficiency upgrades as part of the HUG2 programme.


The Strategic Director, Corporate Head of Housing and the Service Lead – Strategic Housing responded to questions and comments from members on the following:

a)    Whether the proposed objectives sufficiently addressed issues facing tenants in the commercial rented sector market.

b)    Clarification that stipulating the percentage of affordable homes within new developments was for discussion within the formulation of the council’s Local Plan and not within the remit of this committee.

c)     Proposals for the provision of retirement and older persons housing needs.  It was noted that an update on this matter would be submitted to the Business and Housing Policy Committee in January 2024.

d)    Confirmation that the Strategy would be submitted for annual review by this committee.


The Committee agreed that an additional recommendation be approved (as set out in resolution 2 below) to ensure the Strategy was updated to reflect updated metrics and toe reference to the Nature Emergency declaration.


The Cabinet Committee agreed the following for the reasons set out above and outlined in the report.




1.       That the Housing Strategy 2023-2028 be approved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7

Meeting: 19/09/2023 - Economy and Housing Policy Committee (Item 6)

6 Housing Strategy 2023 – 2028 pdf icon PDF 457 KB



Councillor Westwood, Cabinet Member for Housing introduced the agenda item regarding proposals for the Housing Strategy 2023 - 2028, (available here). The introduction included the following points.

  1. Despite the challenges faced in recent years, the housing market in the district functioned effectively.
  2. There were high levels of housing completions, and property values remained resilient despite economic fluctuations.
  3. There were challenges to address in providing affordable housing options for residents.
  4. Winchester's reputation for high cost of living reflected in housing costs necessitated the creation of more affordable housing for rental, ownership, or shared ownership.
  5. A key objective was to offer opportunities for younger individuals to either stay or relocate to the area.
  6. There was a need to improve the quality and management of rented accommodation, including those in the private housing sector.
  7. Meeting the climate emergency and managing higher energy costs required the development of highly energy-efficient homes contributing to a carbon-neutral district.
  8. Specific segments of the community, including the elderly and those with disabilities or special needs, needed housing tailored to their unique requirements. This need was exacerbated by an ageing population.
  9. Some neighbourhoods encountered challenges related to anti-social behaviour, prompting initiatives to collaborate with residents and create sustainable, enjoyable living environments.
  10. The housing needs in the district were diverse and intricate, demanding ongoing reviews and updates to the housing strategy.
  11. There was a commendable track record of achievements during the 2018-2023 period.
  12. The presentation marked the inception of the review process, and he welcomed feedback from the committee.

Gilly Knight, Corporate Head of Housing provided the committee with a presentation (available here) and following an introduction, provided members with details on the following elements of the strategy.

1.    The National Policy and Context.

2.    The Local Policy and Context.

3.    The objectives of the Strategic Housing Marketing Assessment (SHMA).

4.    The Achievements of the Housing Strategy 2018-2023.

5.    The Evidence Base.

6.    The Challenges.

7.    The Strategy Vision, Mission, and Objectives.

8.    The Monitoring and Review Strategy.

9.    The Delivery Plan.

Councillor Lee addressed the committee, and made several points that could be summarised as follows:

  1. There had been an increase in demand for housing services in the past four years, with a 36% rise in service approaches in 2020-23, and he asked if staffing levels were sufficient for the current and future demand.
  2. That there was an absence of self-build or custom-build options in the housing strategy, missing opportunities to diversify the housing market and meet consumer choices. Self-build was notably absent from the housing strategy's evidence base and achievements for 2018-2023.
  3. He suggested that support for self-help or custom build housing through funds like the UK Social Prosperity Fund or the Rural Prosperity Fund to foster diversification.
  4. There had been reports of a significant influx of individuals moving from London into the area in recent years, raising questions about the council's data collection regarding residents' origins and residency duration in the district.
  5. That a substantial number of younger residents were priced out of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6

Meeting: 29/11/2022 - Economy and Housing Policy Committee (Item 6)

6 Emerging Housing Strategy- Scoping Report pdf icon PDF 192 KB


(Report Ref: BHP39)


1.            That the Policy Committee members note general comments in the body of the report, but to provide particular comment on the proposed and emerging priorities for the Housing Strategy 2023-2028;

·         Access to decent homes for all, across all of the tenures

·         Responding to the housing need of an ageing and growing population

·         Access to a mixed tenure affordable family accommodation

·         Access to affordable energy efficient accommodation

·         Responding to the Social Housing White paper

·         Commitment to supporting persons seeking sanctuary in the district of Winchester


Councillor Ferguson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community and Housing introduced the report, ref BHP39 (available here) which set out proposals for preparation of the Emerging Housing Strategy, Councillor Ferguson advised that the proposals were being brought to the committee at an early stage so that the committee’s comments could be fully considered as the strategy was prepared.


The committee was recommended to:


Provide comment on the proposed and emerging priorities for the Housing Strategy 2023-2028.


1.    Access to decent homes for all, across all of the tenures.

2.    Responding to the housing need of an ageing and growing population.

3.    Access to mixed tenure affordable family accommodation.

4.    Access to affordable energy-efficient accommodation.

5.    Responding to the Social Housing White paper.

6.    Commitment to supporting persons seeking sanctuary in the Winchester District.

The committee proceeded to ask questions and debate the report. In summary, the following matters were raised.


  1. That the strategy should address the problem that rural communities were heavily reliant on private sector rented properties for their affordable homes and that these were increasingly being sold.
  2. That the “Rent Setting Policy” be added to the list of policy documents on page 23 of the report, under the heading of “Scoping the Strategy”.
  3. The references in the report to "Winchester" be reviewed to clarify whether this relates to the Town or the district.
  4. That it was important to include a reference to the council's work in accommodating Syrian refugees as well as Ukrainian and Afghanistan refugees.
  5. That reference is made to City Lets so that the role and effectiveness of the scheme could be understood.
  6. Whether there were any learnings from the development at Queens Gate that would support the homes for life priority.
  7. Regarding sheltered, extra care provision, that data regarding the different provision and the location of that provision was important.
  8. Regarding the decent homes' standard, it was important to aspire to an "Excellent" standard throughout the district.
  9. That it was important to understand the aspirations of all the local higher education institutions, i.e., the Colleges and Universities and how they may impact the local housing market.
  10. Regarding consultation on Emerging Strategy itself, that the role of the Cabinet Committee: Housing needs to be clarified.
  11. Whether the strategy could address the loss of family accommodation to Houses of Multiple Occupation.
  12. Regarding priority 4, that access to affordable and energy-efficient homes should be given a very high priority.
  13. Regarding consultation on the strategy, how do we ensure we gather views and comments from the wider resident base in the district?
  14. How did having 40% of the district within the South Downs National Park affect this strategy and would the consultation include the National Park Authority?
  15. Some rural communities want additional housing, but it can be much harder to deliver, how do we overcome this in these situations?
  16. How were we determining the ranking of the priorities of the strategy?
  17. Housing tenures do not appear to be referenced in the strategy, should they be?
  18. Were the activities  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6


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