Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Bury St Edmunds: Hitting housing target would boost local economy by £3.7bn

12:00 01 February 2014

St Edmundsbury

St Edmundsbury's cabinet member for housing, Anne Gower, addresses the conference

Archant

Prices in the region’s private rental housing market are growing faster than anywhere else in the country – and the local economy risks losing out on £3.7billion if it fails to reach its housebuilding target.

National Housing Federation chief executive David Orr and Mark Jeffries, vice-chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), made the startling revelations at a conference in Bury St Edmunds yesterday.

Mr Orr also revealed that house prices in St Edmundsbury were more than 11 times the borough’s average income and that the amount of housing benefit paid to those in work in the east of England had almost doubled since 2009, while the bill for those out of work had remained roughly the same.

He used these facts as a call to councils, LEPs and housebuilders to do more to develop housing in the area and ensure that concerns from residents over planning applications were balanced with the voices of those in need of a decent place to live.

Mr Orr said: “People who say ‘we don’t want more homes to be built’, often people who are, because of the fortunate circumstances of their life, absolutely entitled to make their case, but they are well placed, comfortably positioned in solid secure homes, and articulate.

“We need to ensure that the people who are badly housed, who want to get these jobs but can’t afford to do so, who are not so articulate, have their voices heard too.”

Mr Orr also suggested a new planning system where councillors worked with officers on long-term strategic planning, but decisions on all applications were then taken by council staff.

Janet Elliot is part of the No Adastral New Town campaign, which this year took its battle with Suffolk Coastal over the controversial 2,000-home development in Martlesham Heath to the High Court.

She said: “It’s absolutely about taking each application on its own merit. It’s responding to an identified need rather than political pressure.

“We’ve never campaigned against the provision of new homes. We think if there’s a proven need for new homes in a particular district, that need should be met.

“The thrust of our campaign is that it’s absolutely vital to select the right area for that development.”

Around 100 people from councils, housing associations and LEPs across East Anglia attended yesterday’s housing and economic growth summit at The Apex.

Mr Jeffries said the core strategies of all local authorities across New Anglia LEP’s area, which covers Suffolk and Norfolk, allowed for 100,000 homes before 2026 - a rate of more than 7,000 homes a year.

He added: “Without 100,000 new homes being added to the housing stock, the New Anglia economy, in our view, would under-perform by approximately £3.7billion in terms of gross value.

“To put that another way, that means the average economic value of every new home in New Anglia is around £36,700.

“One of our main concerns is that we need to increase the pace of development. It’s only that way we can stimulate economic growth and create both short and long-term employment.”

3 comments

  • We;re not supposed to be building new homes for fat,greedy landlords to just buy them, then rent them at sky high fees. They are for people who want a home. We should block all attempts at buy to let for new homes NOW!!

    Report this comment

    Gary Phillips

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • To just keep building new houses for people that cannot afford them is not the answer !, all your doing is 'fueling' the second and third homes of people who can afford them ! the Investors !, and your using taxpayers money to do so ! Stop the 'Right to Buy' of social homes which was brought in for the wrong reasons !, just to buy thatcher votes !, not only has it caused the biggest shortage of social homes for people who cannot afford to buy, it has also distorted the housing market !

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • where does anne gower come into the story apart from the photo. ?

    Report this comment

    TERENCE MANNING

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A couple have taken some unusual selfies with the Pigs Gone Wild, posing up snaps with Lego figures

Newlyweds Sarah and Mike Richards have taken some unusual selfies with the Pigs Gone Wild – using a pair of Lego minifigures that topped their wedding cake.

David Cocks, executive chairman of Anglian Radio.

Suffolk local radio pioneer David Cocks has died suddenly.

An aerial photograph of Parham Airfield, taken in 2012. Photo: Mike Page.

An investigation has been launched into the death of a man who was found electrocuted after an industrial accident at Parham Airfield.

67-year-old Danny Drive will be taking part in Suffolk Historic Church Bike Ride on his 1949 Raleigh cycle.

When he takes to the roads in a charity bike ride next month, cyclist Danny Driver is expecting to stand out amongst the sea of high tech bicycles and Lycra.

Police at the scene near the River Stour in Sudbury.

The body of an older man has been recovered from the River Stour in Sudbury.

Tom Lawrence

With the end of the emergency loan windows it looks as though football clubs up and down Britain will be in for a busier-than-usual transfer deadline day.

Jaki Vallance is recovering at home after being knocked off her bike in Ipswich.

An Ipswich cyclist who was left with a broken back after being involved in an accident with a car is calling for improvements to be made to the town’s cycling network after the incident left her with a ‘lack of confidence in cycling again’.

Ipswich Crown Court where Troy Williams was today cleared of robbery

A Colchester teenager who claimed he was a victim of mistaken identity has been cleared of being part of a gang which robbed a man of his mobile phone at knifepoint.

New National Heritage Centre in Newmarket

To mark 350 years since the historic return of King Charles II to Newmarket, the town will open its new National Heritage Centre for Horeseracing and Sporting Art on September 19.

Ed Sheeran during a previous visit to Camp Bastion

Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran surprised guests at wedding when he took to the stage to perform a 30-minute set.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24