Affordable housing push drives council planning agenda

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 1 Sep 2015

Christchurch urban extension siteCouncil planners in an area with one of country's highest house-price-to-income ratios are increasing their focus on providing affordable housing.

Christchurch and East Dorset Councils said it is carrying out talks with developers, landowners and registered providers in order to bring forward suitable sites for housing including affordable homes.

Planning policy manager Simon Trueick told Planning: “Christchurch and East Dorset has some of the highest house-price-to-income ratios in the country – up to 11-to-one; as high as London. 

“So affordable housing is a key priority for the councils. It is an exciting time: the government has tinkered with changes needed to secure more affordable housing.

“Meanwhile, through our core strategy we have 14 green-belt sites we have allocated. These are coming forward as major applications with developers, which could provide up to 2,000 affordable homes.”

The councils are seeking to appoint a planner as housing development officer to join its planning policy team.

“The new job is a critical post and will involve negotiation of planning applications with developers and working with registered housing providers,” said Trueick.

“The new postholder will optimise opportunities for development, capital receipts and external funding for the delivery of affordable housing, and champion need for housing as a tool in economic growth.”

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