Council sets target for affordable homes

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Cheshire East Council has approved a new housing strategy – setting out the aims for housing for the next five years.

Driven by the council's Local Plan, the housing strategy highlights the provision for a housing requirement of 355 new affordable homes each year until 2023.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: "Our new housing strategy contains our ambitions for facilitating the delivery of affordable housing alongside a robust, well-managed rental and sales market.

"We have made the decisions with feedback and engagement from residents to ensure the best possible outcome for housing that meets the needs of Cheshire East."

In Cheshire East, the average house price is £214,000, which is currently 9.8% below the England and Wales average of £238,000, but exceeds the regional average of £157,000 by 36.2%.

Taking into consideration household income, together with Land Registry data on house prices, housing is least affordable in Wilmslow, Knutsford and Poynton. By contrast, housing is most affordable in the towns of Alsager, Congleton, Crewe, Macclesfield and Middlewich.

Among the borough's towns, Crewe has the lowest average house price of £125,000, followed by Middlewich (£153,000), Macclesfield (£166,000), Congleton (£173,000) and Alsager (£175,000). In contrast, average prices are far above the Cheshire East median in Wilmslow (£342,000), Knutsford (£330,000) and Poynton (£275,000) and in Handforth (£225,000).

Cheshire East Council formally adopted its Local Plan, which sets out the overall vision and planning strategy for development in Cheshire East, in July 2017 after "a long and sometimes difficult journey".

The Local Plan includes provision for a housing requirement of at least 36,000 new homes and 380 hectares of development land -, to reflect a stronger anticipated jobs growth rate of 0.7 per cent per annum.

The inspector endorsed all of the 60-plus strategic sites within the Local Plan, including larger-scale proposals, such as the North Cheshire Garden Village at Handforth where up to 1500 homes will be built.

Cheshire East's Local Plan allocates 900 new homes in Wilmslow and 2200 new homes in Handforth by 2030.

Cheshire East Council, Housing Strategy


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Marc Staples
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 1:10 pm
More affordable housing !!!! sorry but this was never a option for me as I had to start in a small terrace in a not such a nice area and work my way up. What will be the average price of an affordable house ? and how affordable is it really. Local builders are continuingly building on greenbelt and using the affordable housing to get through planning.
Lets wave goodbye the remaining green spaces we have left. Wilmslow will soon cease to become a move to location and will just be another massive housing estate with a struggling infrastructure and schools and local facilities unable to cope.
Fiona Doorbar
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 4:19 pm
Here here Marc! I am hatching an escape plan!
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 9:17 pm
Affordable homes are NOT social housing. I just means they are -20% of the market rate. Therefore £1 million houses, sold at £800k are classified as “affordable”.

It is a fraud to trick people into allowing more green field building.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 9:21 pm
What concerns me in this strategy is the assertion CEC will build affordable housing when and where it is necessary. This does not read the same as 30% of all developments above 15 houses or 0.85 hectares thus securing provision of quality mixed developments as written into the Local Plan.
Pete Taylor
Friday 13th April 2018 at 8:10 am
According to CEC figures 20441 houses have been given planning consent which have not been built, some dating back to 2010. As there is far less profit for the developers in “affordables” they are the which don’t get built, instead they are land-banked, while the developers are granted more and more speculative applications.

Philip Hammond announced recently that, if a granted permission was not started within two years, the application would fold. Whilst on the face of it this is good news, surely the developers then get to keep their land, without obligation to build an affordable home? In the meantime they are chucking up estates elsewhere.
David Rowntree
Friday 13th April 2018 at 9:28 am
‘Affordable’ doesn’t really mean affordable, because nobody can buy them.

Below is an extract from the CE housing strategy:
‘Affordable housing is for those whose housing needs cannot be met through market provision. Affordable housing is; social rented, affordable rented and intermediate housing, provided to eligible households whose needs are not met by the market.’

So here, if your housing needs include that you need to live in Wilmslow, and these needs are not met by the market supply - for example, because Wilmslow is an affluent are, where houses are generally expensive, then you can have an affordable option where the council pay for a portion of the rent for you.

So in other words, you don’t need to move to a less affluent, cheaper area - you can simply opt to live in an affluent area, and your rent will be subsidised.
Martin Kitchin
Friday 13th April 2018 at 8:06 pm
How about some new build one bedroom / studio flats similar to those on Brackenwood Mews/Pinewood Court built by Jones Homes in the 1980s ?

Small they might be but they would be perfect for local young people keen to get their own first home.

Find a moderate sized brown field site close to transport & there's no need for the expansive lawns the current homes have.