North Somerset defends house building record despite fewer homes built
PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 April 2019
North Somerset Council claims it has done ‘a vast amount to bring forward land for housing’, despite fewer new homes being built in the area than other parts of the country,
Government data shows only 610 homes were completed in North Somerset in 2018 – 110 less than the previous year, and below other parts of the country.
In North Somerset, private developers funded 95 per cent of all new homes, with only five per cent paid for by housing associations.
Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said the Government needed to strengthen its efforts to meet its target of 300,000 new homes a year.
She added: “To achieve this, it simply cannot rely on private developers alone – building social homes must be top of the agenda.”
Alongside completed homes, building started on a further 230 sites in North Somerset in 2018, down from 310 in 2017.
Nationally house building has decreased since the 1960s, with this decade seeing building at its lowest level since the 1920s.
A council spokesman said: “We have done a vast amount to identify and bring forward land for housing in response to a hugely challenging Government imposed target to deliver 20,985 houses by 2026.
“In particular, last April we finalised our ‘site allocations plan’ to identify the sites for these houses including locations for an additional 820 dwellings in response to issues raised by a Government inspector.
“The speed sites are developed at is in the hands of the industry.
“We work hard with developers to help bring them forward but inevitably it can take time to ensure the development meets all the necessary requirements.
“We are also committed to resisting poor developments in inappropriate locations and in the past two years have fought more than a dozen planning appeals against major housing sites.”
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, put the national increase was down to the Government improving conditions for developers.
He said: “Successive governments have helped the industry to invest in what is needed to build more homes.
“All indicators suggest we will see further increases in output and planning permission for new homes.