A priority for cheap homes

OVER 80 new homes need to be built in Cheddar so young families can get on the housing ladder, a survey has revealed.

OVER 80 new homes need to be built in Cheddar so young families can get on the housing ladder, a survey has revealed.The survey, by the Community Council for Somerset found that 85 'affordable homes' need to be built in the village to satisfy the current need.Sedgemoor District Council housing development officer Duncan Harvey will meet Cheddar parish councillors to try and find a solution to the problem in early April. They are due to discuss possible sites for affordable housing schemes inside or outside the village development boundary.Mr Harvey said: "Cheddar is one of our top priority villages for trying to build affordable homes, partly because it's quite a large village and because now we've identified a substantial housing need. Assuming the parish council accepts there is a housing need, the next step will be identifying potential sites that could be used to deliver affordable housing."Paul Wilbourne, manager of Saxons Estate Agents in Cheddar, said: "There are not a lot of properties under £200,000 on the market in the village.""Going back two years there was certainly more choice. There is more affordable housing going towards Weston and Burnham. The cheapest two bed house we have is £180,000 and we haven't had any two-bed flats in Cheddar for two or three months."Finding affordable homes is also a problem in high-priced Wedmore.One estate agent said the cheapest two bed property on its books is a village centre cottage going for £315,000.The agent said: "People come in with £250,000 expecting to buy a four bed property, but they certainly can't in Wedmore."We would direct them politely to more affordable areas like Cheddar, Mark or Burnham."Housing officer Mr Harvey said: "I recently met with Wedmore Parish Council and it is in the process of committing itself to a housing needs survey to see what the issues are and how to tackle them."The Government has stumped up £310million for affordable housing projects in the South West between 2006 and 2008.


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