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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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Allerdale needs 200 affordable homes a year to help first time buyers

Nearly 200 affordable homes are needed across Allerdale every year to help young buyers get onto the property ladder.

Alan Smith photo
Alan Smith

The Allerdale Local Plan, published this month, says the average price of homes in the area is £157,000 – below the national average – but above average salary levels.

Building affordable homes is one of the “key priorities”, it says.

Kevin Kerrigan, head of development services at Allerdale Council, admitted the average house price was “not high” but said it priced many young people out of the market when related to average income.

“We know we need to address the need for affordable housing which is why we are proposing specific percentages of lower-cost homes,” he said.

“We know this is an important issue for communities. The plan is going to determine our planning strategy for the next 15 years and has to meet the needs of communities, while also protecting the natural and built environment where the people of Allerdale live and work.”

In Workington, Maryport, Wigton, Silloth and Aspatria, the policy proposes that developments of 10 or more houses should provide 20 per cent affordable housing. In Cockermouth, due to higher demand, 40 per cent of new houses will be affordable.

Mr Kerrigan said the plan estimated that 181 affordable houses will need to be built every year to cope with the current backlog.

Cockermouth councillor Alan Smith, who represents the All Saints ward, said he didn’t think that affordable housing was a good enough concept to tackle the problem.

“I think we need more explanation about what affordable housing is,” he said. “There are that many young people that want to own a home, but I have seen some housing association rent being £107 per week, which is not affordable at all.

“With this combined with things like the bedroom tax it is upside down what they are doing to young people.

“There are currently 363 houses ready to be built and over 100 for sale and they want to swamp us with more. We are saying enough is enough.”

Have your say

No Ashley council houses were sold. Blame the Tories all you like but it still isn't right for people to buy houses if they can't afford them. The tories make working worthwhile and still do. It is the fault of labour reckless spending that put us in this mess - like those who advocate people having mortgages they can't afford. There is definitely a link in this mad thought process!

Posted by Kay on 21 June 2013 at 15:32

If all land that has planning permission were forced to be built upon, there would be no need for new applications. Why not FORCE developpers to build within 12 months of an application or lose all planning permission?

Posted by Orange peel on 21 June 2013 at 09:35

View all 15 comments on this article

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