House-building is our priority
THE country is booming, in population terms, and that means we need new homes.
Building more houses should help keep prices down and put them within reach of younger people. In Mid Devon, we are trying to help builders to meet demand for both market and social housing.
Following the introduction of new housing benefit rules, limiting the amount paid to those in homes larger than they need, council housing officers are working hard with our tenants to help with downsizing. Not only will this save the tenant in rent but it will also provide vital social housing for larger families.
The council has just completed a small development of social housing for rent in Crediton. These homes have now been allocated to families on the waiting list. We aim to do more of this as we have other suitable sites in Willand, Cullompton and Tiverton.
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In addition, we are redeveloping the area around the Tiverton Town Hall to provide 45 homes with McCarthy and Stone and bring back into use 10 other empty properties in St Andrew St for social rent.
Working with the private sector, we have a target to achieve 35 per cent affordable homes in new developments. Our plans for the development of the eastern urban extension in Tiverton are moving ahead. This site will see around 1,400 homes built including a large number of affordable units. It is hoped to start building within the next 18 months.
Cullompton, too, is expanding fast and there are plans to provide more homes to the north west of the town. These will provide valuable contributions to the cost of a new relief road, so needed to help the town centre thrive. Under new rules, developers pay around £600 a house for town or parish councils to invest in local facilities.
Our economy needs growth, our young need jobs and homes, and building is often the industry that leads out of an economy. For all these reasons, we will continue to prioritise building homes.