Your article: ‘More affordable homes need to be built urgently’

The old courthouse in Pocklington, where the discussion took place.
The old courthouse in Pocklington, where the discussion took place.

A discussion on housing across East Yorkshire has taken place in Pocklington, which concluded that there is an urgent need for affordable homes.

The discussion, organised by the West Wolds Branch of the Labour Party, was held in the old courthouse, on George Street. It was led by two invited speakers – John Craig the forward planning, housing, strategy and development manager of East Riding Council, and Peter Ward, managing director of Peter Ward Homes and was attended by more than 20 members of the Labour Party.

The speakers explained that there is a structured, planning led approach to the provision of housing across East Yorkshire with a number of consultation opportunities for the public to respond. They said that over recent years insufficient new houses have been built, particularly affordable homes. The Pocklington and Market Weighton area is one of a number in East Yorkshire with high levels of need for affordable homes. East Riding Council’s plans are aimed at building 23,800 new houses over the plan period to 2029, although some developers think that as many as 40,000 are required. Under Section 106 agreements, housebuilders and developers are expected to provide up to 25% new affordable homes in developments of 11 or more houses. This hits profitability and in addition some housing associations are reluctant to buy them as they do not receive any Government grant towards the cost. The planning process can be long and responding to the consultation process can delay things. Because of the land conditions in much of East Yorkshire there is a particular need to invest in drainage. The discussion concluded that there is a real housing problem in the area, particularly in relation to affordable homes, many more need to be built urgently. It was mentioned during the discussion that the council has largely run out of land on which to build themselves. It was also concluded that there needs to be a co-ordinated approach to ensure that adequate supporting services and infrastructure are provided, particularly schools, health services, transport, and car parking, when new housing is planned. For example there were question marks over car parking in Pocklington in the light of current house building. The East Riding Local Plan promotes the delivery of required infrastructure to support new housing development. The public should be encouraged to get involved in the various consultation processes to assist in delivering homes for all who need them efficiently in a way that ensures the planning authorities and developers take account of the effect on local services.