Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Affordable housing shortage leaves North Somerset with ‘ageing population and big care bill’

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 November 2017

Newton Lodge will receive a response by December 16.

Newton Lodge will receive a response by December 16.


‘Fewer working-age people can afford to live in North Somerset’, a councillor has said after it was revealed the local authority is falling short of affordable housing targets.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) reports not enough affordable homes are being built in North Somerset, with the local economy suffering as a result.

Policy requires 30 per cent of homes built in the district, if part of developments of 10 homes or greater, to be allocated for affordable housing schemes like social rent or housing associations.

But experts believe a 35 per cent benchmark is required, and the IPPR found North Somerset Council fell 72 per cent short of that standard in 2016.

Only 130 of the required 457 affordable homes were built last year, and a councillor believes the shortfall is costing the district money and its ‘working-age population’.

In October, councillors voted to accept fewer affordable homes than required for a development of 21 houses in Congresbury due to the developer’s argument its plans would not be viable otherwise.

Congresbury councillor Tom Leimdorfer then told councillors ‘you are tearing up your policies on affordable housing on small sites’.

This week he said: “We need to move to a threshold of 35 per cent for all private development and be resolute in enforcing it. Failure to uphold even our current policy means developers are allowed to get away with dubious viability arguments.

“The result is that fewer working-age people can afford to live in the district, especially outside Weston, so we end up with an ageing population and spiralling care costs.”

A council spokesman told the Mercury it voted this month to increase the threshold to 35 per cent, and that the local authority has on average met its own affordable housing targets.

The spokesman added: “There is a substantial need for affordable housing across the West of England and the draft Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) sets out a target of 24,500 new affordable homes across the period 2016-2036.

“The plan includes a minimum of 35 per cent affordable housing on eligible sites. This differs from the current approach which has a 30 per cent affordable housing target.

“The JSP will come into force once it has been submitted and approved through independent examination.”

Other News Stories

56 minutes ago

North Somerset Council’s top bureaucrat will quit his lucrative job this summer, in favour of joining another authority.

Read more
26 minutes ago

Citizens Advice North Somerset has helped dozens of people at the Weston Jobs Fair.

Read more
26 minutes ago

Clevedon’s seafront will be awash with kayaks, sailing boats and paddleboards at the weekend.

Read more

A masterplan which will see 100,000 homes built across the West Country has received a cash injection from Westminster.

Read more

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse, near Weston-super-Mare, from January 24-26.

Read more

Local organisations could earn £500 to put towards their projects to change their community.

Read more

An East Huntspill animal charity has launched two educational programmes for children.

Read more

Runners tackled Weston-super-Mare’s half marathon route despite the event being cancelled by snow.

Read more

A ‘day of action’ which saw dozens of people arrested, included five from Weston.

Read more

An insect hotel and forest school zone have been built at a Milton school.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather



max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder