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Affordable housing development

Affordable housing development

What we do

As the Housing Development Team, we ensure the affordable housing development that's required in our district, as detailed within our planning policies and housing strategy, is delivered and promote the provision of new affordable housing schemes throughout the district. This is done in partnership with Registered Social Landlords, private developers, parish councils, and other interested parties.

As a result of changes to the way council housing is financed, we have also begun to build council housing again. Our programme sets the target to provide 70 new council homes per year.

We also work to bring forward exception site schemes, working with parish councils and Registered Social Landlord partners, to provide much needed affordable housing in South Cambridgeshire villages.

For more information, contact the team:

Our overall aims are to:

  • provide affordable housing in the district
  • develop sustainable new communities in major developments
  • make best use of planning policies which require developers to provide affordable housing when they build market housing
  • develop a close partnership with Cambridge City Council for planning and delivering new housing around the edge of Cambridge, including shared nominations to affordable housing on all strategic sites
  • increase the housing choices available to people with disabilities, including an increased supply of wheelchair accessible housing and extra care housing.

On developments of 10 or more dwellings (or on sites of less than 10 units if the combined gross internal floor space of the proposed development exceeds 1,000 sqm), 40% of any private development will be sought for affordable housing purposes. 

As a general rule, we would look towards a split of 70% rented and 30% intermediate housing (such as shared ownership).

The highest demand for affordable rented homes is for one and two bedroom properties. We are working towards an affordable rents policy as part of the Greater Cambridge Housing Strategy.

Each scheme will be looked at on an individual basis and it is advantageous to make contact with our Housing Development Team at an early stage of negotiations.

Detailed guidance on the provision of affordable housing has been produced as part of the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs). 

A rural exception site is a site outside the village framework or development boundary which would never normally get planning consent, but may be considered where it provides affordable homes for local people.

For more information, visit our rural exception sites web page.

If you have a piece of land you'd like us to consider for development, complete our online potential rural exception site form.

Community-led housing is a way for local people to deliver good quality and affordable homes that meet their community’s needs.

We encourage community-led housing schemes to come forward. 

We have a range of support and funding available to communities to help them along their journey to provide an affordable housing scheme. 

For more information, please visit our community-led housing page.

We have embarked on a modest programme for building around 70 new council homes a year. 

Following the changes to the way housing is financed, we're able to fund this programme through reinvesting our 'right to buy' receipts.

For more information on our new build programme, please contact us


Registered providers (often known as social landlords) are the bodies that own and manage social housing. 

They tend to be non-commercial organisations such as local authorities or housing associations.

Housing associations are independent, not-for-profit organisations that can use any profit they make to maintain existing homes and help finance new ones.

Registered providers are financially regulated and funded by the government through Homes England, which is responsible for the construction of new social homes.

You can find all registered social landlords operating in South Cambridgeshire on our registered social landlords contacts list. 

Please note that the contact details given relate to staff working in development only. If you need a general telephone number, please look on their individual websites (which are linked on our contacts list).

We work in partnership with Cambridgeshire ACRE and a number of Housing Associations to deliver affordable housing for villages in South Cambridgeshire.

The Housing Needs Survey complements the Housing Register by adding to our understanding of housing need in rural communities.

The survey questionnaire is posted to every address in the village and has been carried out by Cambridgeshire Acre since 2009.

To request a copy of a Housing Needs Survey, please contact us

Although procurement of land for affordable housing is our main priority, there are certain smaller schemes where, for various reasons, the inclusion of affordable housing may not be appropriate. 

It has therefore been agreed that, in exceptional circumstances, a commuted sum may be an acceptable alternative to the provision of land/units of affordable housing on residential developments within village frameworks.

A decision whether a commuted sum is acceptable in any given circumstance will be considered as part of the determination of the planning application.

The Housing Development Officer will be able to provide advice to applicants as well as the Area Planning Officers, but will not be empowered to make decisions in this regard.

All monies received from commuted sums will be ring-fenced for affordable housing purposes in the District.

Contact Details