Council Chiefs need to wise up on local housing plan
31 July 2012
Warwick District Council's plans for more affordable homes in Warwick District are short on ambition according to the Green Party.
In their response to the Council's consultation on the local plan that closed on 27 July, the Green Party says that the Council’s own figures show that of the 10,800 proposed new homes , over three quarters of them need to be affordable. Yet the official plan says that this ‘would not be possible’, setting a target of 40%, before admitting they would settle for considerably less.
Green Party spokesperson Jonathan Chilvers said:
“There is a massive shortage of housing at decent prices in Leamington and Warwick . The Council’s plan recognises the problem, but doesn’t have the political will to tackle it. Instead, 1000s of properties will be built on our green belt land that local people can’t afford.”
Part of the problem is that the Council’s figures for development costs are supplied by consultants DTZ who also work to get maximum profits for the construction industry. Jonathan Chilvers added:
“Elected Council Chiefs need to wise up and take a tough stance with developers to get the best deal for the town. They can start by forcing consultants DTZ to justify the high 20% profit margins they suggest for property developers. Every percent that doesn't disappear into developer's pockets means more affordable housing can be built for people living in our area."
Warwick District Council’s local plan can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/localplanwdcBox PO5 (p27) states the 40% target, but 7.47 below shows the lower 30% figure.
The Affordable Housing Viability Assessment (AHVA) referenced in 7.48 of the Local Plan was produced by DTZ in late 2011 and includes the 20% profit margin figure on which all the figures for the possible number of affordable homes are based. The figure in 1.12 (p12) for developer profit is not justified at all and in difficult times for the construction industry a figure of 15% profit may be more appropriate. The AHVA can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/ahvawdc
Warwick and Leamington Green Party submitted a range of objections to the local plan as part of the consultation process including objections on affordable housing outlined above.