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Dacorum Local Plan and the "Affordable" Housing planned that - er - isn't!

December 21, 2020 12:02 AM
Originally published by West Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats

Three small but crucial parts of the Local Plan to highlight today.

Comments on the Dacorum Borough Council Local Plan - Site Selection - looking at the proposals for Affordable Housing.

Can we afford to NOT to provide Affordable Housing? With the waiting lists we have in Dacorum surely we have to do this?

So what is going to be done about this shortage of properly affordable homes?

There is a section on affordable housing in the main plan document.


The affordable housing supplementary planning document is not yet available (?!), so we do not have the full details of what is planned, however there is a 'Housing Policy' topic paper, which gives some background to the Plan, including section 14, which discusses the affordable housing need.


A 3rd document - The recently produced South West Herts local housing needs assessment - looks at the housing needs for Dacorum, and this document make a series of RECOMMENDATIONS as to housing split in terms of social rent, affordable home ownership and housing for older people.


The recommendation in this document is that 10% of all dwellings built on larger sites should be "affordable". Normally in Dacorum larger sites are required to provide 40% affordable homes - so this seems like a mighty step backwaurs.

~ 363 homes per year to be provided for "affordable" rent and that 87% of affordable rented homes should be provided for social rent (~315).

However, the Local Plan does not wholly adopt these recommendations, but states instead (in section 14.29):
'it suggest that 87% of the affordable rented housing should be social rented based purely on the proportion of households able to afford an affordable rent (set at 80% of current lower quartile rents) and those who can only afford housing which is cheaper than that. However, the Local Housing Needs Assessment adds that the split is INDICATIVE only and that we are free IF DESIRED to choose an alternative split to reflect our own viability or local priorities.'


Is this a PLAN or a SKETCH?!!

With all these different interacting documents, you would be forgiven for wanting to simply give up, but soldier on, look at the Local Plan in particular, and have a think about your views. Consultation ends at the beginning of February so there's no need to get your head entirely around it yet!

Atricle written by Dacorum Lib Dem Councillor Liz Uttley