Conservatives deliver on new Affordable Houses

February 6, 2011 · Posted in Housing & Planning 

As a result of the high cost of housing, the average age of the first time buyer is now 37! There is a requirement on Council to deliver new housing to meet identified needs. HDC has a target of 40% affordable houses being provided whenever 15 or more houses are built. In most developments the council has achieved this.

At the Planning meeting on 18 January, outline planning permission was given for houses and community facilities to be built on land south of Broadbridge Heath. Your Conservative District Council negotiated the provision of 20% affordable houses on site and a commuted lump sum of £7,730,000 to provide for another 96 affordable homes elsewhere in the District. This effectively amounts to 30% affordable housing provision with a review process which can deliver 40% if the current if the housing market follows current projections.

Despite some people thinking that the whole of the south east is going to be concreted over it is worth noting that 88% of West Sussex remains green fields, woods, open spaces and water. We have listened to local people and reduced the headline development numbers in Southwater and Billingshurst from about 2000 to a potential 500 and engaged in a further consultation which gives local residents more choices. However, simply saying “no” to development is neither permissible under current planning rules nor responsible when there remains a need for more houses for local people and in particular a need for more affordable housing. If the Council cannot demonstrate that it is delivering houses to meet the targets then it will not be able to prevent developers building houses or to require them contribute to improved community facilities and infrastructure.

The coalition government is planning to give district councils more freedom to determine housing land supply locally, meaning that the council will be able to better meet the public’s expectations.

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