St Goran is currently preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan, which will provide the evidence to set out local planning policies for the parish. In preparing this plan it is very important to understand what housing is required to meet the local needs of the communities over the plan period. Local housing need at parish level is generally determined through statistics generated by the Cornwall HomeChoice register. This is a comprehensive database, operated by the Council, of all those households that are seeking an affordable rented home in Cornwall. Similarly, Help to Buy South keep a register of all those looking to buy an affordable home in Cornwall. In some circumstances (particularly in rural areas), it can be useful for the Cornwall Council Affordable Housing Team to supplement its existing HomeChoice data with additional information from a localised Housing Need Survey.
Housing Need Surveys provide a wealth of additional information from households within a specific area, on important issues such as the level of support for a proposed development. They can also provide further detail on the types of homes required by local people (both market and affordable) and are particularly useful in highlighting additional ‘hidden’ housing need that hasn’t been identified through the HomeChoice database. Housing Need Surveys are therefore a useful ‘snapshot’ of the local need situation at a given point in time and can complement the existing housing need information held by the Council. They are generally undertaken by the Affordable Housing Team, for the benefit of the Local Planning Authority, parish councils and Neighbourhood Plan groups. They should not replace information from HomeChoice, and parish councils should always request up to date housing need information from the Affordable Housing Team, rather than rely on an historic Housing Need Survey.