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Affordable Housing

Summary
  • Affordable housing does not mean "social housing" or any cheaper housing will be built.
  • An "affordable housing" allocation means that any developer can pay the council not to provide smaller housing - "Affordable housing" is a fundraising measure.
  • Large developments by big development companies usually charge house buyers a premium, over what self-builders can have their own home built for.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council uses the following definition of 'affordable housing' in relation to the planning system:

Social rented housing owned by local authorities and registered social landlords and intermediate housing where prices or rents are above those of social rent but below market housing prices or rents. All other types of housing are referred to as ‘market housing’,  that  is  private  housing  for  sale  or  rent  where  the  price  is  set  in  the  open market  and  occupation  is  not  subject  to  control  by  the  local  planning  authority.”

What study of the Affordable Housing Background Paper shows is that the targets set for "affordable housing" are not about actually building "affordable housing", but at getting money from developers.

Census results support the belief that the more houses there are, the higher house prices are.  The census' of 2001 and 2011 show a population growth of 7% and a growth in the number of dwellings of 7.5%.  Banks use mortgages to create new money, hence the credit crunch in 2008.

The councils plans leave no land for self builders.  BBC figures clearly show that major developers, of the type that would build a large estate to the east of St Nicholas charge a price premium to customers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14125196


According to LDP documentation, the targets and thresholds for affordable housing are set out in LDPs are "based on a robust assessment of site viability:"

“The  target  should  take  account  of  the  anticipated  level  of  finance  available  for affordable housing,  including  public  subsidy,  and  the  level  of  developer  contribution that can realistically be sought”.

 

A 5 year requirement of 915 affordable units per year to reduce the affordable housing need in the Vale to zero - however, at present, there is an over supply of "affordable housing" the in East Vale - Wenvoe (including St Nicholas and Bonvilston) and Peterston council wards.


From the LDP documents:

4.3 (page 7)  In  Barry  the  affordable  housing need  is  greatest  but  land  and  housing  market  values are  lower.  In  contrast,  in  the submarkets  of  Penarth,  Rural  and  East  Vale  areas,  site  viability provides  greater opportunities for the delivery of affordable housing.  

4.4   Additionally, the study highlights that there exists considerable scope for the Council to lower its affordable housing site threshold requirements below that set within its current planning policy framework. With the exception of Barry East, the assessment indicates potential for affordable housing contributions to be sought on single dwelling sites. 

4.8 Therefore the plan adopts a 5 dwelling threshold and at least 30% affordable housing requirement in the Barry and Rural South Coast. Elsewhere  the LDP shall require a minimum 35% affordable housing contribution on sites of 1 or more dwellings, which should be delivered in the form of either a commuted sum or on site provision. Further detail on the Council’s procedures for securing affordable housing, including commuted sums shall be set out in future Supplementary Planning Guidance.

 4.9 THE  PROVISION  OF  AT  LEAST  35%  AFFORDABLE  HOUSING  WILL  BE  REQUIRED  ON ALL SITES IN: WENVOE; THE MINOR RURAL SETTLEMENTS AND THE RURAL VALE OF GLAMORGAN


St Nicholas consists of many unique homes, built individually, often by their eventual occupier. This practice, evidence suggests, makes homes more affordable, whilst providing the homes that people actually enjoy living in and adding to the character of the present village.  Self-building encourages slow and organic growth, as opposed to large, characterless estates.


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