Housing shortage across Essex

The National Planning Policy Framework states that every local authority should significantly boost the supply of housing by meeting their objectively assessed housing needs.

In response to this requirement the Essex authorities published the ‘Greater Essex Demographic Forecast Study’ (January 2013) to understand the housing need for the County. The evidence within this document highlights that there is an objectively assessed need for 9,400 dwellings per annum across Essex for the period to 2033. This represents a 60% increase on the current planned provision and more worryingly, the average annual housing delivery rate over the last 5-years meets just 40% of this identified need.

Epping Forest, Braintree, Southend-on-Sea and Maldon all have a planned supply that constitute less than 40% of their identified need.  There is also particular shortage of housing sites across the Haven Gateway area with a need for an additional 860 dwellings per annum over and above the planned supply across the Colchester and Tendring local authority areas.

In terms of actual housing completions, it is notable that the South Essex local authorities of Rochford, Castle Point, and Southend-on-Sea are those that are delivering the least amount as a proportion of the actual need.

This housing shortage highlights that there is an urgent need for more housing sites across Essex. As such there is an excellent opportunity for a number of landowners and developers to promote their sites through the development plan process and/or submit successful speculative planning applications.

If you have a development site in Essex, please contact one of our advisors on 01245 201226 who would be happy to provide advice and guidance on securing a favourable planning decision. Alternatively please submit your site details to us using the web or email us at