Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment, West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit

Client: West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit
Location: Northamptonshire

The Economic Planning team at GL Hearn produced a Housing and Economic Development Needs Assessment (HENA) for West Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit (WNJPU). The NWJPU includes Daventry, South Northamptonshire and the City of Northampton councils and represent their own housing market area (HMA).

The HENA assessed the future development needs for housing (both market and affordable) and employment land across this geography over the period 2019-2050


The HENA comprised a comprehensive evidence base including

  • analysis of the housing stock to identify likely market imbalances and distinguishing features between the HMA’s rural and urban areas;
  • trends in population change illustrating the internal dynamic of the HMA, with younger people living in Northampton before migrating out as they grow older;
  • review of the economy to identify those sectors driving both jobs and economic growth over the plan period;
  • suitable housing need figures (HNF) for each authority, including consideration of “employment-led” figures;
  • employment forecasts commissioned from both Oxford Economics and Experian from which a custom growth scenarios were advanced to capture local economic conditions;
  • need for affordable housing, which identified a preference for Social Rented housing and little need for ownership products;
  • need for specialist housing for older and disabled people, allowing for an older age structure than the East Midlands average;
  • a detailed commercial market assessment of both office and industry/warehousing, taking into account key developments, such as Prologis DIRFT; and
  • employment land requirements reflected trend towards de-coupling of links between employment and floorspace for industrial units.