Thursday, 18 September 2014

Call for sustainable housing in Northstowe

Cllr Aidan Van de Weyer will, at the September meeting of South Cambridgeshire District Council, call on the Council to resist developers attempts to reduce the amount of affordable housing that will be included in the district's new town of Northstowe.

"By allowing developers to brow-beat this Council into accepting a level of social housing far below this district's long-term needs we are letting down the future workers who will be required to make Northstowe a vibrant community", said Cllr Van de Weyer.

"Northstowe is the obvious choice to meet our social housing requirements - where else can we build so many new homes? The capacity within existing villages is very limited so it's vital that the Council not lose its nerve in current negotiations. We must push for 40 per cent."

The District Council will vote on the Liberal Democrat motion (text below) on Thursday 25th September. Liberal Democrat group leader Bridget Smith added;

"It's disappointing to see the continued cuts to the level of Social Housing being made in Northstowe, We call on the District Council to reverse this trend and stand up to developers for the long-term future of our district. It's no good boasting about the district being one of the top places to live in the country if no-one can afford to live here."

At the recent cabinet meeting it was revealed that there was a shortage of one bedroom homes and that, at current rates of development, it will take over 20 years to meet the existing demand.

The full wording of the motion reads;

While recognising that the new town of Northstowe requires a huge amount of infrastructure investment from developers and that affordable housing obligations must allow developments to be economically viable, this Council is concerned that affordable housing provision in Northstowe is being squeezed down to a level that threatens the sustainability of the new town and the contribution that it can make to the district-wide supply of social housing.

This Council reiterates its support for the planning policies concerning affordable housing.

This Council expects the Homes and Communities Agency to agree that all information about viability is made public so that the decisions on this matter can be fully scrutinised.