The Planning Services Manager referred to the following three detailed Topic Papers previously circulated which had been incorporated into a powerpoint presentation on Developing a Strategy:-
Topic Paper 1 - Population Projections, the Number of Households and Proposed Housing Requirement
Topic Paper 2 - Types of Housing Needed in Middlesbrough
Topic Paper 3 - Delivering Regeneration Sites in the Current Economic Climate.
The presentation covered the current profile, future profile, scenarios and identification of a strategy.
The population of the Borough had been in long term decline since the 1960's falling from 164,000 in 1961 to 138,400 by the time of the 2011 Census. Given the findings of the Census the population projections as shown in Figure 1 in Topic Paper 1 were expected to be revised downwards. The combination of increase in population through natural change and loss through out migration was projected to result in an increase in the overall population of Middlesbrough of 200 to 300 people per annum between 2011 and 2030.
Reference was made to the Index of Multiple Deprivation which ranked 354 local authorities by levels of deprivation. It was acknowledged that Middlesbrough had the lowest rank in Tees Valley and that between 2004 and 2010 Middlesbrough's rank worsened from tenth nationally to eighth. By contrast Stockton's rank had improved from 75th to 107th.
Middlesbrough had the lowest level of working age population who were economically active in Tees Valley. It was pointed out that 66.8% of Middlesbrough's working age population was economically active in 2012 compared to 76.6% in Stockton. Median weekly wages for full time employees by place of residence was also lowest in Middlesbrough at £415.90 and highest in Stockton at £495.70.
In terms of travel, Middlesbrough had the highest level of net in-flows for work in the Tees Valley. Approximately 8,200 more people commuted daily into Middlesbrough for work than those outbound. The inflow figure suggested that if high quality housing in an attractive environment were to be provided in Middlesbrough there was potential to encourage some of those commuters to live within the Borough.
Members' attention was drawn to the 2011 Census figures which indicated significant divergences in the patterns of population change between the local authorities in Tees Valley over the last decade. By way of comparison between 2001 and 2011 Stockton's population increased by 7,800 in contrast with Middlesbrough where the population fell by 2,800.
It was suggested that there appeared to be a link between house building rates and population rates and population change. The 2011 Census figures appeared to confirm the findings of the Regional Housing Aspirations Study (2005) which identified that 'those authorities that have provided housing of choice in sufficient numbers close to areas where there are undersupply of this stock have benefitted from in-migration of the higher socio-economic groups'. The study specifically identified that higher house building rates of larger semi-detached and detached dwellings in Stockton, particularly at Ingleby Barwick had drawn residents from surrounding areas, such as Middlesbrough, where there is less of such stock available.
Reference was made to the Tees Valley SHMA which identified a shortfall of detached properties across the Borough and in all of the sub-areas. In terms of property size there were shortfalls of larger properties (four or more bedrooms) and three bedroom dwellings across most areas of the Town.
It was acknowledged that the supply of two bedroom properties in the East, Great Hemlington and South sub-areas was considerably greater than demand. It was also pointed out that there also appeared to be a lack of demand for semi-detached and terraced properties within the North sub-area and of flats in the West sub-area.
The main aspects of the Towns current profile related to out migration/declining population, high levels of deprivation, low paid workforce, low levels of economic activity, low value housing, primarily terraced housing stock and percentage of 2/3 bedroomed properties.
In terms of the future profile the LDF spatial vision identified Middlesbrough as a place by 2023 that had a growing population with an increasing number of families choosing to live in the town, attracted by the wide range of housing opportunities.
The Groups attention was drawn to the following:-
Spatial Objective 3: stabilise and then reverse population decline
Spatial Objective 5: creating a balanced housing stock
Spatial Objective 6: deliver major regeneration schemes.
Reference was made to statements within the Mayors Vision as follows:-
'To create a place to live, work and visit.
Housing better meets local demand and the need for growth.
We will redevelop older housing areas and improve the housing options available within Middlesbrough to create a vibrant housing market that will support the town to growth.'
A summary was provided of the potential options all of which required a step change in net housing delivery compared to recent delivery rates.
Members were advised of different scenarios for population projections and households relating to Out migration (current trends), zero migration (stable population) and In migration (growth) and for each scenario detailed the benefits and possible disadvantages in terms of the socio-economic profile, house building rates, regeneration, allocation, infrastructure, service delivery and achieving the strategy.
The Group focussed on a number of issues to be considered including demolitions/clearance and diversification of socio - economic mix in determining the options for going forward and how to progress the preferred option.
Since 1981 approximately 4,230 dwellings had been demolished within the Borough and a further 780 were planned in Gresham, Grove Hill and St. Hildas. Subject to funding, such demolitions would be carried out in the next five years following which the scale of proposed demolitions was expected to reduce to a low level. The high level of demolitions proposed between 2012 and 2017 combined with the weakness of the economy and likely slow recovery meant that housing completions were likely to be lower in the initial years and increase later on in the plan period.
Middlesbrough had had a record of persistent under delivery of housing compared to the development plan targets. When allocating sites within the first five years the Group was advised that a 20% buffer of housing would be required. Given the record of under delivery it was considered important that the revised LDF housing target was set at a level which was realistic and deliverable.
The existing housing strategy focussed on development of housing on brownfield sites. The impact of the economic downturn meant that house builders were now very reluctant to develop brownfield sites as many of the sites were economically unviable in the current market. The availability of greenfield sites in adjoining local authorities would result in brownfield sites being even less attractive to housebuilders. As such, it was considered highly likely that the continuation of a housing strategy based primarily on brownfield development would be unable to deliver the housing needs of the Borough.
In terms of the types of housing required the challenge to Middlesbrough was to provide a greater number of larger houses in areas that mid and upper income households wished to live in, in order to retain existing residents and attract in-migrants. Such housing played an important role in attracting and retaining highly skilled and entrepreneurial people.
Meeting the housing needs of older people was considered to be a significant challenge in future years given the ageing population and the majority of older people wanting to stay in their own homes.
AGREED that Option 1 be pursued and plans be presented at the next meeting identifying potential sites.