Building for the future: the role of county councils in meeting housing need

As part of the CCN’s Building for the Future project, which aims to showcase innovative county councils and unitary authorities delivering high-quality homes and communities, this report demonstrates that there is an appetite among counties to help meet national housing need but that they are not supported by national policy.

The report finds that there is an often-severe need for affordable housing among county and unitary authorities, with house prices in these areas among the highest in the country and at least nine times average earnings.

The report charts the progress of five counties trying to address local housing needs either through partnerships or direct delivery, ultimately calling on government to recognise the potential of this as a movement and make policy reforms to unlock further delivery.

Author: Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), County Councils Network (CCN)

Publication date: June 2018



SCATTER (Setting City Area Targets and Trajectories for Emissions Reduction)

SCATTER (Setting City Area Targets and Trajectories for Emissions Reduction) is a local authority focussed emissions tool, built to help create low carbon local authorities. SCATTER provides local authorities and city regions with the opportunity to standardise their greenhouse gas reporting and align to international frameworks, including the setting of targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement.

  • SCATTER generates a compliant emissions inventory

  • SCATTER can be used to develop a credible decarbonisation pathway for a local authority to implement in line with their emissions targets.

  • Outputs can then be used for engagement to create a collaborative carbon reduction approach

Author: Anthesis Group

Launch date: March 2018



Planning positively through partnership

A positive, proactive and responsive planning system focused on shaping places is vital for the future growth of our society. Where it works well, it is one of the best tools that we have to deliver the homes and jobs where they are needed, in our villages, towns and cities.

It also ensures that the emphasis on new development is set within wider local strategies for improving health, creating jobs and boosting educational attainment, and enabling social cohesion.

But the planning system cannot achieve this all by itself. It also needs developers, councils and local communities to work together to create effective partnerships. The earlier in the planning process these relationships are built and nurtured, the more likely that greater positive outcomes will be achieved for local communities when new development comes forward.

The LGA hope the case studies included in this publication provide inspiration to all those with a shared interest in ensuring that the aspirations and needs of people and communities are at the centre of our collective efforts to deliver new, high quality development.

Author: Local Government Association

Publication date: February 2018



Delivering the renaissance in council-built homes: the rise of local housing companies

Local housing companies (LHCs) are independent arms-length commercial organisations wholly or partly owned by councils. They can develop, buy and manage properties within and outside of a local authority area. The homes LHCs provide sit outside of the local government housing financing system (Housing Revenue Account) and are not subject to the Housing Act and most of the social/affordable housing regulations.

Over the past few years the number of companies has increased among councils across the whole of England. This study of LHCs shows that the vast majority are engaged in the provision of affordable housing, as well as market housing for rent and sale.

Although the number of LHCs has risen dramatically, there have been few studies on their evolution or impact on meeting local housing needs. There is no official register or database of LHCs and few case studies. This report is an attempt to fill that information gap and better understand the extent to which LHCs are developing as alternative providers of affordable homes.

The research, including an on-line poll of councils, roundtable meetings and interviews with practitioners and experts, has attempted to document the emergence of LHCs, in all their shapes and forms.

Author: Paul Hackett, The Smith Institute

Publication date: October 2017



The Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide

Cambridge City Council plan to build at least 500 new environmentally friendly council homes by 2022. The Good Homes Alliance contributed towards the development of ‘The Cambridge Sustainable Housing Design Guide’ for the Greater Cambridge Housing Development Agency (HDA) which sets out the key design principles that will be followed when developing the new homes.

Author: Greater Cambridge Housing Development Agency (HDA).

Publication date: February 2017