Housing needs target shortfall

Less than half of the affordable homes needed in the Derbyshire Dales are due to be built this year.

Derbyshire Dales District Council has failed to meet provisional targets for affordable homes for the year 2010/11.

The council’s housing needs survey from 2007 revealed that there is an annual need of 263 affordable homes in the Derbyshire Dales.

However, there are only 123 homes planned for 2010/11, a shortfall of 53 per cent.

The figures were revealed following a freedom of information request from the Countryside Alliance.

A spokesman for Derbyshire Dales District Council said: “Affordable homes remain the District Council’s top priority and since 2002 we’ve delivered around 800 new homes across the Derbyshire Dales - indeed we built over a third of all new homes in Derbyshire in 2009.

“We’re very disappointed and frustrated that the recession and the resulting squeeze on public finances means we simply don’t have the central Government funding to build as many affordable new homes as we would like.

“With our partners we’ve pitched for funding for almost 300 more affordable homes for local people up to the year 2015, but the feeling is that rural communities throughout the country are likely to be disappointed by a central approach that appears to be targeting areas where it is cheaper to develop.

“An additional problem is the resistance we sometimes face to planned development from local campaign groups, but we will continue to fight to do our utmost to provide affordable, decent housing for the people of the Derbyshire Dales.”

Alice Barnard, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said: “Even in the current difficult economic climate, meeting rural housing need must continue to be a priority for the Government, its agencies and local authorities.

“The Countryside Alliance’s research highlights that affordable housing provision is a huge challenge in both urban and rural areas.

“But if the rural need for affordable housing is not addressed, and urgently, many of those communities upon which our countryside depends will shrivel and die.”