Doubt has been cast on the ability of Eastleigh council’s ‘Draft Local Plan’ to deliver affordable housing following a report in The Guardian that the current rules which compel house builders to include affordable homes in new developments will be scrapped.
While Eastleigh has 6100 people on the housing register – a statistic Councillors use to justify plans to build 4700 homes on greenfield sites – last week Cllr Chris Thomas told Aviary residents that as few as 20% of the new homes will be affordable.
However even this may prove unachievable as The Guardian claims that the forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework will eliminate ‘section 106 agreements’ which require that developments of 15 properties must contain an element of affordable housing.
The NPPF will also scrap targets for councils building affordable properties and even the need to establish the proportion of private and affordable housing required.
According to Shelter, in 2010, even with targets in place EBC only delivered 230 affordable homes – just 34% of what the housing charity estimates should be built annually in the Borough.
The Guardian says there are concerns that scrapping affordable housing requirements:
“Plays too much into the hands of property developers who favour building expensive properties on greenfield sites.”
“A reduction in mixed housing developments will see poorer people ‘ghettoised’ in less attractive areas”
David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation warned that the changes:
“Could let private developers off the hook in terms of delivering thousands of affordable homes on their developments,”
“With no targets for local authorities to meet in terms of building affordable housing in their area, the new framework could see these section 106 deals ripped up in future and many developments built without any social homes at all. This would be a disaster for the millions of people stuck on housing waiting lists.”