House building target 'needs to be cut'

House building targets in north Norfolk need to be cut in the future because of a string of employment, environmental and transport constraints in the area.

House building targets in north Norfolk need to be cut in the future because of a string of employment, environmental and transport constraints in the area.

About 400 new homes are currently being built across the district in a bid to meet an existing goal of 8,000 homes by 2021.

Guidance from the government's national housing and planning advice unit suggests upping the figure to between 509 and 668 for the following decade.

A report to North Norfolk District Council's cabinet on Monday said officers recognised the urgent need for more affordable housing, but says other factors mean that the new target should be lowered to another 330 a year.


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The issues highlighted include: limited job opportunities; the danger that extra homes could result in extra commuting which was not environmentally friendly; concern that extra housing levels did not improve the social balance of communities because of demand from 'retired in-migrants'; countryside constraints because of the local Area of Outstanding Beauty, flood risk, and coastal erosion; and infrastructure problems with limited public transport, sewerage, schooling and health care.

The suggested 330 figure is being put to the regional assembly for its updated housing strategy, with the backing of the county council.

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The cabinet meeting also heard the council was struggling to meet its target on affordable homes because of the building slump in the housing market.

Members agreed to seek a meeting with housing associations to discuss the situation.

And Graham Jones said it was 'iniquitous' that there were second homes sitting empty for large parts of the year when there was a housing shortage, and called for them to be controlled under a licensing system.

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