Strategic Housing Market Assessment

2015 update of the assessment of housing need in Eastern Dorset

In 2014 the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Strategic Housing Group appointed consultants GL Hearn. They undertook an update and review of the 2012 Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) for the Eastern Dorset housing market area.

This comprises the local authority areas of Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset and Purbeck.

 A separate SHMA for the Weymouth and West Dorset area has been undertaken by Peter Brett Associates.

The review involved detailed analysis of secondary data, including the latest population and household forecasts and household formation rates. The consultants also undertook new research including interviews with Estate and Lettings Agents and other housing stakeholders across the County. They built up a picture of the current housing market.

This latest SHMA also takes account of economic growth forecasts using the Cambridge Econometrics Model. This is supported by specific input on growth sectors from the local authorities concerned.

Final reports

The final report for the Eastern Dorset Housing Market Area has now been produced. There is an executive summary and a County-wide summary. There are also individual reports for the six local authorities participating.

Eastern Dorset HMA, 2015 Strategic Housing Market Assessment - 

Eastern Dorset HMA, 2015 Strategic Housing Market Assessment Summary –

Eastern Dorset HMA 2015 Strategic Housing Market Assessment. Dorset-wide Summary Report (incorporating key outputs from West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland SHMA July 2014)

Summary reports by district / borough

The Government's Approach to SHMAs

The Government expects local authorities to undertake an SHMA for their area or housing market area. They should aim to meet this objectively assessed need through their local plans.

However, in December 2014, the Government issued ministerial guidance which made it clear that SHMAs are just the first stage in developing a local plan. Councils can take account of constraints which indicate that development should be restricted. The letter also stated that SHMAs are not a proxy for a final housing requirement in local plans. Nor should a revised SHMA invalidate housing numbers in existing local plans.

The final part of the letter advises that Councils need to consider SHMA evidence carefully. They should take time to consider whether there are environmental and policy constraints. These include Green Belt, which will impact on their overall final housing requirement. Councils are urged to consider opportunities to co-operate with neighbouring planning authorities to meet needs across housing market areas.

A link to this guidance is attached below:

Local authorities across Dorset will be considering the 2015 Strategic Housing Market Assessment as part of any reviews of their Local Plans. The timetable for these reviews varies in each area. Please contact the respective Planning Policy Team if you wish to obtain more information.