Villages with 20pc second homes to lose out on funding, claim
Villages with the most second homes in north Norfolk could lose out on Government cash for new community affordable housing schemes, the Lib Dems claim.
Conservative-run North Norfolk District Council has decided not to give priority to funding affordable homes in villages with the highest numbers of second homes, more than 20pc, such as Salthouse, Cley and Blakeney.
The council is, instead, also looking at prioritising villages with just 10pc of second homes, in order to deliver the housing faster.
NNDC recently received a Community Housing Fund Grant from the government of £2.4m, to support delivery of community-led housing developments in areas where the impact of second homes is highest.
The Liberal Democrats want priority given to villages with over 20pc of second homes when deciding where to invest this money. But the council said many sites in these locations were not available, which the Lib Dems claim is wrong.
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Liberal Democrat group leader on the council, Sarah Butikofer said: 'We must ensure this money is spent as it is meant to be, in the villages with the highest percentages of second homes; helping local families grow and stay in the villages where they have been for generations.'
North Norfolk has the fourth highest number of second-owned homes in the country, according to a study by the National Housing Federation, with almost 10pc of all properties - 5,006 homes - second homes.
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Tom FitzPatrick, Leader of NNDC, said no villages with high levels of second homes would lose out, with funds allocated after a district-wide basis assessment, not just by looking at individual villages.
He said: 'This will mean that we can make funds available to all parishes where more than 10pc of housing stock is in use as second or holiday homes. 'The key issue here is about actual delivery of housing and the faster we are able to deliver, the faster local communities will benefit.
'In addition, early delivery of these housing schemes will help us to ensure that future Government funding is made available in North Norfolk.'
Richard Price, cabinet member for housing, said: 'We are assessing all our communities affected by high levels of holiday and second homes; this has to be looked at as a bigger picture.'