Park authority moves to boost affordable housing

A national park authority in Wales has approved draft supplementary planning guidance (SPG) aimed at increasing the supply of affordable homes within its boundary.

Pembrokeshire Coast: affordable housing shortfall
Pembrokeshire Coast: affordable housing shortfall

Members of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority yesterday approved proposals for a more streamlined and targeted approach to delivering affordable homes. The guidance will now go out to consultation, but it will be effective for development management purposes from the beginning of next month.

According to the guidance, between 60 and 100 additional affordable homes a year are needed in the park authority area. It says just 289 new homes were built in the park between 2007 and 2013, just 21 of which were classifiable as affordable.

The document, drawn up by consultants Nathanial Lichfield & Partners and Andrew Golland Associates, proposes that contributions toward the provision of affordable housing should be sought from all development sites within the authority area, and that an affordable housing contribution will be "expected on site" for developments of two or more homes.

Proposals for single dwellings would attract an affordable housing contribution of £250 per square metre.

The authority’s head of park direction, Martina Dunne, said the draft proposals would help to meet local housing need at the same time as allowing "room for negotiations" with developers and landowners.

"We are also proposing improvements to the planning application process to make it more accessible and to encourage developers to get pre-application advice from planners on specific sites, before an application fee is paid," she said.

"This service is important as at an early stage in the planning process our officers can discuss and potentially negotiate with applicants the most appropriate levels of affordable housing provision in a new development, based on a more flexible SPG."

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