Ministerial affordable housing statement trumps development plan and acknowledged need

An inspector placed greater weight on the government's statement which did not support the delivery of affordable housing on schemes of 10 houses or less even in Cambridgeshire where house prices were well above the regional and national averages.

The council’s local plan required, on schemes of between five and nine dwellings, that 20 per cent of the units should be affordable. As a consequence, the appeal involving six dwellings should deliver one unit on site with 20 per cent of the cost of a second unit being funded off-site. In acknowledging the ministerial statement issued in 2014, the council claimed there were over 2,000 applications for affordable housing on its register.

However, the affordability ratio in the district was not unreasonably high, the inspector decided, and as a result significantly more people could afford open market housing. While there was undoubtedly a need for more affordable units, the ministerial statement was clear and this outweighed the conflict with the development plan. Since the council was unable to demonstrate a five-year supply of housing land the appeal was allowed.

Inspector: Ian Radcliffe; Hearing

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