Decision details

First Homes Interim Policy Guidance Note - Delegated Matter

Decision Maker: Assistant Director Planning and Development

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


First Homes were introduced in June 2021 following an update to the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) published by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Now the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government).


First Homes are a specific tenure of discounted market housing and should be considered within the definition of ‘affordable housing’. Detailed definitions of First Homes and eligibility criteria are set out within the PPG and summarised in the Guidance Note.


There is a requirement in the revised PPG for a minimum of 25% of all affordable housing to be delivered as First Homes. The remainder of any affordable housing provided should be in accordance with the percentages set out in the local plan.


The First Homes Interim Policy Guidance Note provides an overview of what First Homes are and how Officers see this being implemented within Cherwell. The note does not set policy per se, but simply provides clarity on how the PPG will be applied within Cherwell. The Guidance Note includes a number of worked examples to assist with the implementation of First Homes.    



(1)           That, following consultation with the Lead Member for Planning and the Lead Member for Housing, the publication of the First Home Interim Policy Guidance Note be approved.


Reasons for the decision:

The First Homes Interim Guidance Note provides clarity on how First Homes will affect development control decisions and seeks to assist the Council’s Development Management Team and Housing Officers and practitioners more widely.

Alternative options considered:

The following alternative options have been identified and rejected for the reasons as set out below.


Option 1: To not prepare or publish any guidance to assist practitioners understand how First Homes affects Cherwell.

The Interim Policy Guidance Note is prepared at the request of the Development Management Service to aid understanding and provide clarity on how National Planning Practice Guidance affects Cherwell. This approach is considered helpful. Officers are not aware of any reasons not to publish the guidance.


Corporate Priorities : Healthy, resilient and engaged communities; Housing that meets your needs;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Contact: Frances Evans, Housing Strategy and Development Team Leader Email: Tel: 01295 227033, Andrew Maxted, Planning Policy, Conservation and Design Manager Email: Tel: 01295 221642.

Publication date: 07/01/2022

Date of decision: 23/12/2021

Accompanying Documents: