More homes needed near Felixstowe

NEARLY 2,000 affordable or rented homes are needed in Felixstowe and Trimley to meet the area's current housing crisis, it was revealed today.Details of a survey into the shortfall of social housing come at a time when Trinity College, Cambridge, is seeking to treble the size of the historic twin Trimley villages by building up to 3,000 new properties.

NEARLY 2,000 affordable or rented homes are needed in Felixstowe and Trimley to meet the area's current housing crisis, it was revealed today.

Details of a survey into the shortfall of social housing come at a time when Trinity College, Cambridge, is seeking to treble the size of the historic twin Trimley villages by building up to 3,000 new properties.

But while Trinity's scheme will be profit-driven, it would still help ease the housing crisis as it would be obliged to contain around 900 affordable homes – half the number needed.

As planners search for land on which to build the properties, they may be forced to consider allocating some of the Trimley vision land.


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Opponents though are determined to stop that happening – and say that any large-scale building, even if not all the land identified by Trinity College is used, will destroy the character of the villages.

A report to be considered by Suffolk Coastal's policy development and review committee on Thursday says that 4,085 affordable homes are needed in the district.

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Of these, 1,872 are needed in Felixstowe and Trimley – 930 two-bed properties, 437 one-bed ones, 400 three-bed and 105 four-bed.

In a report to councillors, officers say that the figures have been gathered from assessing those on housing association waiting lists and looking ahead to calculate how many new families will be formed in the next five years.

While there is a desperate need for homes, few of the people are on the streets – most are "hidden homeless", living with friends or families.

But there is little chance of many of these families getting on the housing ladder. Average pay in Suffolk Coastal has dropped in the past two years, while the average price of housing has rocketed. The average price of a semi-detached property has gone up from £110,000 to £150,000 since 2000.

Planners say there are three ways the housing needed can be provided – homes built for rent, houses built for sale which are subsidised by the developer and sold at affordable prices, or shared equity schemes, where residents pay part-rent, part-mortgage.

To try to increase the amount of social housing, the council is set to increase the proportion that developers must build in any project from ten per cent to 30pc.

Councillors will be asked to agree this new policy on Thursday, a decision which must then be ratified by cabinet.

N What do you think – should developers be made to build 30pc social housing into every development? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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