New housing target for York
6:47am 21st June 2011
The controlling Labour Group on City of York Council will up the city's annual housing target for new homes when it meets later this month.
The previous Lib Dem adminsitration set a target figure of 575 new homes each year as part of the city's 'Local Development Framework', a strategy that sets out the city's planning ambitions for the next 20 years. At that time Labour argued strongly that this very low annual target would result in the strategy being judged legally unsound, potentially costing the local taxpayer huge sums of money.
New Cabinet Member for City Strategy Coun. Dave Merrett explained the proposed increase, saying:
"Labour is honouring its manifesto commitment to York's residents and businesses to ensure that there is an adequate minimum housing supply for the next twenty years. We wish to ensure that there are sufficient land allocations to ensure the future Green Belt can be properly defined and protected, based on an average 800 units a year that was shown as the necessary bottom end figure in the Council's Local Development Framework evidence base.
"This will ensure the city can demonstrate a sound case under public examination and minimise the chances of the plan being rejected, with the consequent delay, cost and planning uncertainty that would result from such an outcome.
"We will work to provide more family housing, and continue to focus on redeveloping brownfield sites first. We will also look to delivering additional purpose-built student housing with the universities so as to reduce the pressures on the existing housing stock that has been causing concern in areas like Badger Hill and beyond. We owe existing and future York families the opportunity to access decent, affordable housing, which would not have happened under the policies of the Lib Dems, Conservatives or Greens".
The business community has already indicated its support for higher housing targets that go further towards matching planned business and employment growth in the city.
The council's Cabinet will make recommendations on 21st June on delivering the new housing numbers and a formal decision will be taken at a Full Council meeting on 30th June.
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