Housing Market Appraisal, Build to Rent and Affordable Housing Strategies, Woking Borough Council

Client: Woking Borough Council
Location: Woking

The Economic Planning team at GL Hearn worked with Woking Borough Council to carry out an assessment of the market for homes in Woking Town Centre to assess development strategy feasibility and provide strategies for Private Rented Sector (PRS) and Affordable Homes within a number of key development sites.


The Council was looking to bring forward 4,500 homes by the end of the Local Plan period to 2027 to strengthening the Town Centre as a economic hub in the sub-region. To do this, a major Homes England investment was sought to improve transport infrastructure serving the town to unlock a number of sites.

Homes England required evidence to show the market for homes in the town centre was strong enough to absorb this quantum of delivery over the proposed time-line.

GL Hearn delivered a housing market appraisal identifying the supply and demand balance in respect of both rented and for sale homes, drawing on relevant statistical and qualitative data.

The principal findings were

  • The trajectory envisaged by the Council needed to be extended by two years to reflect an achievable build out rate.
  • To meet this ambitious building programme the tenure mix on sites would need to be diversified among affordable and market tenures.

The PRS and Affordable Homes strategies set out a detailed road-map by which the Council could achieve this aim reviewing development models and providing appraisals in respect of each site.

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This study helped meet a condition for the award of £95M by Homes England to improve transport and rail infrastructure in Woking, which will unlock the delivery of 3,300 net additional homes.

Planning Policy team
Woking Borough Council