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City council affordable housing policy 'stifling' development
9:30am Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
HOMES are not being built because of “stifling” council policies on affordable housing, an inquiry heard yesterday.
Developers urged an independent inspector to cut Oxford City Council ’s demand for affordable housing in new developments.
Currently at least half the homes in schemes of 10 units or more must be affordable, though this can be cut if it makes the plan “unviable”.
And the council wants housebuilders to give cash for affordable homes elsewhere in the city for plans of four to nine units.
Developers hit out at the second day of a Government inspector’s two-week hearing into a council plan on where 8,000 homes should go in the city by 2026.
Steve Sensecall, a partner at property consultants Kemp and Kemp, said: “The policies the council are adopting are stifling development and stifling the bringing forward of much-needed affordable housing.”
He told the hearing at Oxford Town Hall: “There needs to be a change in policy.”
But council spatial and economic development manager Mark Jaggard said of talks with housebuilders “not one site was given to us as an example of a site that has been mothballed because of our policies”.