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Villages with 20pc second homes to lose out on funding, claim

PUBLISHED: 14:50 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:50 14 March 2017

Sarah Butikofer

Sarah Butikofer

Villages with the most second homes in north Norfolk could lose out on Government cash for new community affordable housing schemes, the Lib Dems claim.

NNDC leader Tom FitzpatrickNNDC leader Tom Fitzpatrick

Conservative-run North Norfolk District Council has decided not to give priority to funding affordable homes in villages with the highest numbers of second homes, more than 20pc, such as Salthouse, Cley and Blakeney.

The council is, instead, also looking at prioritising villages with just 10pc of second homes, in order to deliver the housing faster.

NNDC recently received a Community Housing Fund Grant from the government of £2.4m, to support delivery of community-led housing developments in areas where the impact of second homes is highest.

The Liberal Democrats want priority given to villages with over 20pc of second homes when deciding where to invest this money. But the council said many sites in these locations were not available, which the Lib Dems claim is wrong.

Liberal Democrat group leader on the council, Sarah Butikofer said: “We must ensure this money is spent as it is meant to be, in the villages with the highest percentages of second homes; helping local families grow and stay in the villages where they have been for generations.”

North Norfolk has the fourth highest number of second-owned homes in the country, according to a study by the National Housing Federation, with almost 10pc of all properties - 5,006 homes - second homes.

Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of NNDC, said no villages with high levels of second homes would lose out, with funds allocated after a district-wide basis assessment, not just by looking at individual villages.

He said: “This will mean that we can make funds available to all parishes where more than 10pc of housing stock is in use as second or holiday homes. “The key issue here is about actual delivery of housing and the faster we are able to deliver, the faster local communities will benefit.

“In addition, early delivery of these housing schemes will help us to ensure that future Government funding is made available in North Norfolk.”

Richard Price, cabinet member for housing, said: “We are assessing all our communities affected by high levels of holiday and second homes; this has to be looked at as a bigger picture.”

3 comments

  • Too little time given by Central Gov't for preparation of properly thought out plans. NNDC not prepared to properly consider or prioritise the most effective solutions in the worst affected villages and do not have the right peopleleaders to to make the proper assessments. Funds should be prioritised to the worst affected areas where there is an established need for housing local working people. The housing should be social housing at affordable rents. Maybe a simple solution would be for NNDC to provide funds to small neighbourhood housing schemes to build such homes where suitable land is readily available or for the buy back of ex Council Homes in the small villages where land and new development is an issue. To break the cycle of affordable houses to buypart own being simply sold on and becoming more 2nd homes there should be tight restrictions re on-sales to ensure only sold to local working people and a cap share on financial gains. There is a very real danger that more and more development will spoil the character of this special area and that it will not provide the type of housing which is needed. Housing Associations and Councils will simply become property speculators and develop inappropriately in the high value areas, rolling them over for profit.

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    Norfolkbill

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

  • Too much second homing and not enough affordable housing. Credit where credit due. Good decision.

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    weaversway

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

  • A complex situation, both parties here have a point. Affordable housing should be built in the villages with higher proportions of second homes. The Tories are right to acknowledge, however, that there is an immediate housing problem which needs addressing. A compromise between the two will likely be the best way forward. I do often find it a bit rich of the Lib Dems to come along and profess to have some moral superiority over housing. They voted in coalition to reduce funding for affordable housing, and when in charge of NNDC they had significant discounts on second home council tax. They also cannot be forgiven for signing over the council housing stock, which has seen Victory Housing sell off older stock when they have become empty, often in villages with a high proportion of second homes (greater sale price?), with no assurance that it is in those villages that they will be replaced.

    Report this comment

    Callum Ringer

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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