IMPROVING HOUSING CHOICE
Stainforth is a modest sized town with around 2,600 houses (Census 2011 recorded 2,596 households). Housing in the area was largely developed to provide accommodation for workers at the former Hatfield Main Colliery and much of it dates from the 1930s to the 1950s. More recent developments include King’s Park by Gleesons Homes, which has brought in many new affordable homes into Stainforth.
The 2011 Census also provides information about house types and tenure in Stainforth. 12.1% of households lived in whole houses and bungalows in 2011 and the most common house type was semi-detached (44.8%). 32.3% of households lived in a terraced or end of end of terrace property. The average number of bedrooms per household was 2.7.
In terms of tenure, just under half of households (46.9%) were in owner occupied accommodation and 36.3% were in socially rented accommodation in 2011. 14.4% were privately renting their house.
These figures demonstrate a very different offer in Stainforth from housing tenure and types in Doncaster Borough as a whole. The Doncaster Housing Need Assessment sets out that "the majority of housing in Doncaster is privately owned (82%) with 16% of stock being Council-owned. 65% of households are owner occupiers, 15% are privately rented, and 18% are in social rent. Most dwellings have 3 bedrooms (55%) or 2 bedrooms (24%); and almost half (45%) of all housing is semi-detached houses or bungalows; with terraced and detached houses/bungalows accounting for 24% and 23% respectively".
The new emerging Local Plan for Doncaster identifies a larger area, Hatfield - Stainforth (including Dunscroft and Dunsville) as a Main Town in the settlement hierarchy with a relatively high local need requirement of 575 new houses up to 2032. Deliverable and developable planning permissions already account for 805 units over the first 15 years of the plan period.
Current planning permissions, proposed site allocations and constraints are show on Map 3 which was provided in the Doncaster new Local Plan Summary document for Main Town Hatfield - Stainforth. In addition to several smaller sites, there is a major allocation for a mixed use site (including housing) site (DN7 Initiative / Unity Project). This site includes that area of the former Hatfield Main Colliery which lies within the Stainforth NDP area. Overall the scheme forms a very large urban expansion site extending to 428.4 hectares. The Local Plan - Site Selection Methodology Consultation published Summary Document for Main Town Hatfield - Stainforth indicates that the site is capable of accommodating 3,100 dwellings and a number of employment units as part of a mixed use scheme. Unity is a priority for the Sheffield City Region (SCR) and the project forms part of the £320m SCR Infrastructure Fund and will also deliver a 2.9km link road from J5 of the M18. Masterplanning work has been carried out involving Doncaster Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and the principle developer.
Housing Site Allocation
The triangular area of spoil to the north east of the Unity site in Stainforth, between the rail line and Thorne Road is considered suitable for new residential development. Discussions have taken place between Stainforth Town Council and Hargreaves regarding developing high quality residential housing in that area and building a country park on the spoil heaps to the west.
The responses to the residents’ questionnaire indicated a high level of local support for such a scheme with 81.6% of respondents supporting a housing development on the far end of the old pit head slag heaps (between the railway line and Kirton Lane).
At the Issues and Options workshop, stakeholders suggested that the NDP should identify a site allocation for new housing in this area and require that housing schemes should focus on a quality mix of 3- and 4-bedroom houses across Stainforth.
The wide public consultation on the Issues and Options report showed that the public would like to see more quality housing in Stainforth for, encouraging local people to move up the housing ladder within the town and remain involved in the community, rather that moving out to more affluent areas where such housing options are already available. This would also help to balance the housing offer in the town and encourage inward movement of home owning working age adults.
Flood Risk Assessment
Following a Flood Risk consultation on 10/06/19, Stainforth has been confirmed to be in Flood Zone 3 and DMBC has committed to provide funding to help mitigate this in future planning applications.
House Types and Sizes
The 2011 Census information shows that Stainforth already has a relatively high proportion of terraced and semi-detached houses and a relatively low proportion of detached properties. The Town Council would like to see a wider range of housing choice provided in Stainforth in the future, including more expensive, larger, detached units suitable for higher earners and larger families, which are currently difficult to find in the area. There are concerns that some residents are leaving Stainforth when they are unable to find the type and size of house needed. In addition, the Town Council would like to attract new residents to the area to support local shops and services and to support a sustainable future for the town.
This approach contrasts to the approach set out in the new emerging Local Plan. The 2015 Housing Needs Assessment suggests that "The type of housing and size of housing required is changing in that more single person and smaller units will be required, more shared accommodation and more bungalows (or properties suitably adapted for older people) across the whole borough. The impact of welfare reform will mean more people need to downsize to be able to cover their rent with reduced housing benefits, and the ageing population will mean more people will want to downsize (more often, to bungalows) to help keep their homes stay manageable for longer; and thus allow them to live independently for longer."
The Town Council would like to argue that existing housing provision in Stainforth provides for smaller households' needs already. New housing proposals should therefore contribute to the future economic prosperity and social sustainability of the town, providing larger units for local families and also those wishing to move into the town to support shops and services.