Scheme seeks to boost affordable homes supply in north Norfolk


- Credit: PA

In the first scheme of its kind in the UK a group of linked housing developments are set to boost the supply of affordable homes in north Norfolk.

A total of 55 affordable homes are being provided through the five planning applications by developer Broadland St Benedicts.

Profit generated from the sale of market rate homes will be used to cross subsidise affordable developments on other sites.

The schemes are: Binham with 28 homes (50pc affordable), Edgefield with 22 homes (55pc affordable), Erpingham with 24 homes, (50pc affordable), Great Ryburgh with five homes, (100pc affordable) and Trunch with 12 homes, (100pc affordable).

The five applications were considered together by North Norfolk District Council development committee members last week.

All were approved except from the proposal at Walsingham Road, Binham where councillors asked for amendments to the density and distribution of the affordable homes.

Apart from Great Ryburgh the schemes represent a departure from the housing plan which had previously allowed only a limited number of affordable homes on 'exception sites' outside the development boundary.

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Money generated from market sales at Binham, Erpingham and Edgefield will subsidise affordable dwellings and provide a surplus to invest in the 100 per cent affordable housing developments at Trunch and Great Ryburgh.

A report to the committee described it as an 'innovative approach' at a time when it was becoming 'increasingly difficult' to deliver affordable housing.

The application was submitted by developer Broadland St Benedicts, which is owned by Broadland Housing.

Speaking at the meeting Broadland Housing executive director Andrew Savage said: 'There is an acute need for affordable housing, and without sales schemes this would not be delivered in the future.

'This is quite innovative and the first time a housing association has done it in the UK.'

However committee member Philip High raised concerns about the scheme. 'Exception sites used to be all affordable,' he said. 'How long before there are more residential than affordable homes?'

The current Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) identifies a need for 2,200 affordable dwellings in the district in the period 2012-2036, an average of 92 per year.

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