Target agreed to build 2,400 new homes in north Norfolk

Workman with yellow fluorescent vest reading 'Lovell' and measuring roof timbers on a UK building site

An 'ambitious' housing target has been set for north Norfolk. - Credit: Archant

Having almost 2,400 new homes built over the next five years is the key to a housing strategy that has just been approved by North Norfolk District Council. 

But some say the plan does not far enough to address the district's housing crisis, with booming property prices putting the dream of home ownership out of reach for many locals. 

NNDC's plans set a housing target of 479 new homes a year until 2025, slightly more than the average of 469 built in the district over the six years to March 2020. 

The plans also aim to improve heating and insulation in privately owned homes and support vulnerable residents stay in their homes or move somewhere more suited to their needs. 

The strategy also aims to make best use of existing homes by ensuring affordable homes are allocated fairly and encouraging landlords to let homes for market rent.

Wendy Fredericks (Lib Dem), the council's portfolio holder for housing and benefits, said: "This is an ambitious strategy to help deliver the council’s priorities for housing in North Norfolk.

Wendy Fredericks, Liberal Democrat candidate for Mundesley in the 2019 North Norfolk District Counci

Wendy Fredericks. - Credit: Supplied by Wendy Fredericks

"We know we have the support of stakeholders including local property developers, parish and town councils, local landlords, housing associations and community groups and I look forward to working with these stakeholders to deliver our new housing strategy so as to better meet the housing needs of our local communities."

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But Christopher Cushing, leader of NNDC's opposition Conservative group, called the plans "woolly" and said more should be done to tackle the prevalence of second homes.

Christopher Cushing, North Norfolk district councillor. Picture: Supplied by Christopher Cushing

Christopher Cushing. - Credit: Archant

He said: "It's got unambitious targets and no great sense of urgency. The targets are a long way in the future and there is no sense of how they are going to achieve those targets."

David Fennell, chairman of Homes for Wells, a volunteer group aiming to find homes for locals, said variations in housing need across the district should be addressed. 

David Fennell, chairman of Homes for Wells, which have launched a Crowdfunder to help buy two social

David Fennell - Credit: Archant

He said: "Property prices inland, while high, are not as astronomical as they are on the coast. I wonder how much they have taken that into account."

The strategy says it seeks to build on the council's recent achievements including delivering 14 homes for people at risk of rough sleeping, and the first new 'Extra Care' housing scheme in Fakenham.