Nick Harvey slams threat to affordable housing
Nick Harvey MP has called on the Government to drop a plan to limit the number of new affordable homes being built in small North Devon communities.
In a letter to Communities Minister Penny Mordaunt, Nick asked for a serious re-think on a proposal to remove Section 106 planning obligations from developments of 10 dwellings or fewer. It aims to encourage house building by removing obstacles for small developers. A decision by ministers on the proposal is said to be imminent.
Figures from DCLG have shown that in 2012/13, 66 per cent of homes in settlements under 3,000, i.e. rural villages, were delivered through the Section 106 agreement.
Nick said: “Small rural communities across North Devon will really suffer if this proposal gets the go-ahead. The average cost of a house in the area currently outstrips average annual wage 11 times over. Without the affordable housing that we so desperately need, families will either have to leave the area or risk falling into rural poverty.
“It is all very well trying to give developers more flexibility and stimulate the housing market, but this proposal has been concocted in a Whitehall office without a thought to the impact on rural communities. I am not against a minimum threshold, but the figure of 10 dwellings – which seems to have been plucked from thin air – is far too high.
“Removing the obligation for developers to build affordable housing will devastate an area like North Devon where it is in such short supply. We need action from the Government to increase the pool of affordable housing, not proposals to dry it up.”
(from a press release)
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