Effort to find land to build cheap homes

PUBLISHED: 05:13 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 24 May 2010

CHEDDAR Parish council is forming a group to search for spare land to help hundreds of people who cannot get onto the housing ladder. The working group will look for land where affordable housing can be built for 410 people on Sedgemoor District Council's

CHEDDAR Parish council is forming a group to search for spare land to help hundreds of people who cannot get onto the housing ladder.The working group will look for land where affordable housing can be built for 410 people on Sedgemoor District Council's housing waiting list who want to live in the village.Housing experts say Cheddar's average house prices are significantly higher than the district average of £175,000 and young people cannot afford to live there.The parish council's planning committee will look for spare land within the village's boundaries and homes with large gardens.Sedgemoor District Council has said it will consider breaking planning rules and building outside the village boundaries for affordable housing.Members of the community may be asked to join the group in helping to find places to build.Parish council chairman Peter Lythgoe says he fears Cheddar will become an ageing village if young people cannot afford to live there.He said: "We need to keep young families in the village but can't at the moment as houses are expensive in Cheddar."The planning committee will take the work forward with the help of Sedgemoor and identify potential sites where affordable housing could be built."Cheddar currently has 222 affordable properties that are a mixture of rented and discounted homes.Accommodation officers at Sedgemoor say people are unlikely to be offered a home in Cheddar with only 18 vacancies during the last year.Strategic housing officer Duncan Harvey said: "There's a need for affordable housing within Cheddar and we're happy to help the working group in assessing potential sites."The Government has stumped up £310m for affordable housing projects in the South West between 2006/08. It provided £188m in the 2004/06 period.

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