Council sets target for affordable homes

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Cheshire East Council has approved a new housing strategy – setting out the aims for housing for the next five years.

Driven by the council's Local Plan, the housing strategy highlights the provision for a housing requirement of 355 new affordable homes each year until 2023.

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, cabinet member for housing, planning and regeneration, said: "Our new housing strategy contains our ambitions for facilitating the delivery of affordable housing alongside a robust, well-managed rental and sales market.

"We have made the decisions with feedback and engagement from residents to ensure the best possible outcome for housing that meets the needs of Cheshire East."

In Cheshire East, the average house price is £214,000, which is currently 9.8% below the England and Wales average of £238,000, but exceeds the regional average of £157,000 by 36.2%.

Taking into consideration household income, together with Land Registry data on house prices, housing is least affordable in Wilmslow, Knutsford and Poynton. By contrast, housing is most affordable in the towns of Alsager, Congleton, Crewe, Macclesfield and Middlewich.

Among the borough's towns, Crewe has the lowest average house price of £125,000, followed by Middlewich (£153,000), Macclesfield (£166,000), Congleton (£173,000) and Alsager (£175,000). In contrast, average prices are far above the Cheshire East median in Wilmslow (£342,000), Knutsford (£330,000) and Poynton (£275,000) and in Handforth (£225,000).

Cheshire East Council formally adopted its Local Plan, which sets out the overall vision and planning strategy for development in Cheshire East, in July 2017 after "a long and sometimes difficult journey".

The Local Plan includes provision for a housing requirement of at least 36,000 new homes and 380 hectares of development land -, to reflect a stronger anticipated jobs growth rate of 0.7 per cent per annum.

The inspector endorsed all of the 60-plus strategic sites within the Local Plan, including larger-scale proposals, such as the North Cheshire Garden Village at Handforth where up to 1500 homes will be built.

Cheshire East's Local Plan allocates 900 new homes in Wilmslow and 2200 new homes in Handforth by 2030.

Cheshire East Council, Housing Strategy


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Duncan Herald
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 8:57 am
Lots of figures; and in Alderley Edge?

Can we please have clearly set out C.E's formula for relating average house price/s to price of affordable houses?
Charlie Gaughan
Friday 13th April 2018 at 2:16 am
What is an affordable home why can’t we return to council houses instead of this nonsense
Joshua Pendragon
Tuesday 17th April 2018 at 3:46 pm
I agree with Charlie Gaughan above. Some schemes are about providing an opportunity and service for residents rather than opportunities for developers. While I am delighted that there are developers to bring housing ideas to fruition, it is the nature of the business to optimise profits and so they should have hard constraints regarding social housing. Despite the penalty if a couple on benefits lives in a 2 bedroom flat, it is telling that no new 1 bedroom flats are forthcoming as they are less profitable. Remember, that is what is needed, social housing, not the profoundly vague 'affordable housing'. The formula of calling a 2 bedroom flat/bungalow/house affordable at £305,000 because it reflects a 30% discount from being market valued at £450,000 illustrates the issue. The only reason that justifies the higher price rather than that in less expensive areas should be isolated to the location value of the dirt, not the cost of producing the home. Yet market value is calculated to include both in the form of what would a 2 bedroom home of a set standard fetch on the market in the area. Perhaps building a place valued at £300,000 and selling it for £210,000 would start to address the problem, but really, I can't help but think that CG above is correct.
Joshua Pendragon
Tuesday 17th April 2018 at 4:11 pm
I neglected to mention the relevance to Duncan Herald's excellent comment to my own.
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 17th April 2018 at 9:18 pm
@Duncan, it really isn’t fair that you continually ask questions on this site which Lisa cannot possibly know the answer to.
Why don’t you take the time to ask your questions in the correct place and then post your received (if you get any) answers here?
You clearly have some (many?) unresolved issues with Cheshire East Council, why not contact them directly and let us know how you got on?
Duncan Herald
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 8:44 am
Hi Pete,
I ask questions for three reasons.
1. I choose not to quote names (unless to praise or thank) 'cos some C.E. people are not able to answer.
2. By posing a question, I hope to cause other people to join in, either for or against.
3. we have councillors, elected by us, who are in a much stronger position than me, to question C.E.
p.s. I don't think anyone would expect Lisa to answer any of my questions; that's not her 'job' surely?
Joshua Pendragon
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 4:33 pm
@Pete, while your first sentence may be misplaced as it is clear that Duncan isn't addressing his observations and queries to the host of the site (although Duncan gamely addressed it anyhow), your second sentence seems a good idea in addition to Duncan's post, not as a replacement. @Duncan, I don't know how these things work but you do. Your questions seem sensible to me (what are the parallel figures for Alderley Edge (and the implied question as to why the omission), and how does the C.E. square market value with affordable house pricing, my paraphrase), to which I would add the related question of why is the 'affordable' housing price of new builds based upon the market value rather than production costs, considering they come with ownership caveats in any case? Does it make sense to note here as you did what you find questionable to engage the rest of us (your very valid point 2), and then ask the councillors mentioned in your point 3 to question the C.E. in the public interest and share your result as Pete suggests? Any reply or lack thereof would then greater inform those with whom you wish to engage.
Charlie Gaughan
Wednesday 18th April 2018 at 5:11 pm
Why can’t we go back to building council properties and the money raised by rent and tax could help the council funds
Joshua Pendragon
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 1:30 pm
I agree, Charlie. The current paradigm of public asset stripping and the franchising of governance and of public responsibilities have been disastrous for many and the minority government is only picking up speed.
Glenn Hudson
Thursday 19th April 2018 at 8:37 pm
The difficulty with all council housing is that it inevitably requires properties to be built and let out below market value. It therefore in turn requires either a truly benevolent builder or central funding. Follow the money therefore and answer the question, where should the initial money come from? Higher taxes is one answer (amongst many others) but if you had one more pound to spend would you spend it on the NHS, on education, defence, or council housing? Charlie, building and letting out a council house to those who truly need housing support does not fund the provision of the house either through tax or rent. Joshua, your suggestion that one option might be to build a house worth £300k and then sell it for £210k is a lovely idea. Do you know any builders who would be prepared to work on this I’m thinking of having an extension built.
Jon Williams
Friday 20th April 2018 at 9:13 am
Cheshire East does not have any council housing of its own and does not operate its own council housing waiting list. However, it is partnered with Wulvern, Plus Dane and Cheshire Peaks and Plains Housing Trusts, who advertise affordable rented properties (referred to as 'social housing') via a website called Cheshire Homechoice. Housing applications can therefore be made through the Homechoice website.
Charlie Gaughan
Friday 20th April 2018 at 10:18 am
That’s true jon but there is still a shortage as they have what’s left of a limited stock of x council properties as a community what are we working towards
Duncan Herald
Friday 20th April 2018 at 12:35 pm
If C.E. were to 'donate' the land, say on a 99 year peppercorn lease, how much could a 2-bed house cost to build?
Duncan Herald
Saturday 21st April 2018 at 11:40 am
Hi Joshua,
by the way, welcome back as we haven't heard from you for a while; not a health problem I hope?
As to my asking questions of Councilors; I used to be a Parish Councillor and do not wish to cross-question the present Parish Councillors, as I think I might be accused of 'interfering', so let this sleeping dog lie on that matter.
As to C.E. Councillors; the 'correct' approach is to go first to the C.E. Councillor for A.E., and as he clearly reads entries in this place, may I not claim that I have asked him?
I appreciate your point that where there are no answers, the public is able to draw whatever conclusions they wish.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 21st April 2018 at 7:28 pm
Duncan; do you have a view on the 800-1000 “homes”/investment opportunities reportedly coming down the track between the by-pass and the old A34; not to mention the mysteriously-purchased plot by CEC opposite the former A-Z site (the failed speculative Dobies site)?
You seem to like asking questions, try asking, directly at CEC, rather than “can we be told” on this website.

Somehow, I think we may be on the same “side”.
Charlie Gaughan
Tuesday 24th April 2018 at 4:32 pm
Council houses is affordable housing . Council houses is affordable housing . Council houses is affordable housing . For your home work tonight write this out a hundred times you may start to get it