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Not enough new homes are being built in the area

Created on 13/08/2018 @ 15:23
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Not enough homes are being built in Newtown, north Powys or the county as a whole to cater for future needs, according to research compiled by the BBC Local News Partnership.

Research has found that in Powys around 17,600 new homes will be needed by 2026, meaning 880 would have to be built annually between then and now.

But the research has found only 21 per cent of the annual figure needed was built in 2016/2017.

It comes just months after a new Local Development Plan was introduced by Powys County Council which has identified land for a range of uses, including housing, commercial and industrial development.

Newtown has been identified as a key area within the LDP for housing, with a number of sites in and around the town identified for new builds.

But the Local News Partnership research, which is part of the MyNewtown Local Democracy Reporting Service, has found the number of new homes likely to be built based on current figures is well under what is needed.

The Welsh Government has said it is investing in housing.

"We know there is a huge demand for housing. This is why we are investing a record £1.7bn in the housing sector to build homes, improving existing housing stock and preventing people from becoming homeless. This includes significant investment in social housing, Help to Buy, and funding to support small and medium-size companies to build new homes," said a Welsh Government spokesperson.
“We have also passed legislation which abolished the right to buy social housing to protect the stock, and we are supporting local authorities to start building again."

Mike Hedges, chairman of the Welsh Assembly all-party group on housing, said: "Compared to London, Wales doesn't have a housing crisis, but does it have housing need which is not being met? Yes. 

"Are people being inadequately housed? Yes. There are people living in non-ideal conditions and staying with their parents when they would like to have their own house.

 “I think that firstly, it's the big builders who limit what they are putting out. They are themselves limiting supply so that they can increase demand. 

"The second problem is making small sites available for small builders and self-build. We're not very good at that and we need to get better at that. These are sites outside the local development plan which would have four houses or six houses. I live in an area where two or three large sites are being built within a mile and a half, one of 800 homes, one of 3 or 400, another of 200.

“The third thing is we don't build council houses anywhere near the numbers that we need.  When we were building lots of houses in the 1950 and 60s, the major driver of large-scale housing was council housing.”

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