Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) Taunton & South Somerset Housing Market Areas

The Taunton and South Somerset Housing Market Partnership have completed the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for the Taunton and South Somerset housing market areas.

Policies for future planning of an area must be based on robust evidence. A SHMA forms an important part of that evidence; it is a study of the way the housing market works in a particular area and includes an assessment of what interventions may be needed to more effectively plan for future housing provision.

A SHMA has been prepared for the Taunton and South Somerset housing market areas. Housing market areas are geographical areas defined by where people want to live, where they move to and from and the links between where people live and work. Previous work by the South West Regional Assembly identified housing market areas in the South West. One of these, the Taunton housing market area, is centred on Taunton and includes the districts of Sedgemoor, Taunton Deane and West Somerset. Another, the South Somerset housing market area, is centred on Yeovil and includes the district of South Somerset.

The Taunton and South Somerset SHMA covers these two housing market areas.

How the work was done and who did it

The SHMA was commissioned by the Somerset Strategic Housing Officers Group in December 2007. The work has been taken forward and managed by a Project Team of housing and planning officers from the four districts, who appointed Fordham Research to undertake the study.

The work done and the reports that have been produced

Information on housing need was obtained from a housing needs survey (HNS) in all four districts. The analysis of the survey is contained in a separate report for each district - the 'Analysis of Household Survey Data'.

  South Somerset District Council HNS Report (February 2009)

  Sedgemoor District Council HNS Report (February 2009)

  Taunton Deane Borough Council HNS Report (February 2009)

  West Somerset Council HNS Report (February 2009)

These four reports include information on the extent of housing need in each district and the type and tenure of housing needed in the future.

A parallel study, the Taunton and South Somerset Strategic Housing Land Viability Assessment (February 2009) considers the constraints on delivering the amount and type of housing that is needed and will assist the local planning authorities and private sector partners in future negotiations about building programmes.

The Affordable Housing Threshold Viability Study (May 2010) provides the results of a supplementary study of affordable housing viability for small sites in South Somerset. The study was commissioned by South Somerset District Council to provide guidance on the scope for setting a size threshold below the national guidance figure of 15 dwellings.

The Full SHMA Report (February 2009) includes the main findings of these reports together with more extensive assessment of housing need and future supply requirements.

A SHMA Executive Summary (February 2009) has also been produced.