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Reduction of affordable housing 'could boost economic recovery'
9:00am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
A reduction in the number of affordable homes developers have to build as part of new projects could help boost economic recovery, the leader of Craven District Council claimed.
Councillor Chris Knowles-Fitton (Cons) told a joint budget meeting that the council had “discretion” over its affordable housing quota for new developments.
He also revealed that it was likely that the council would increase its council tax precept.
“It is likely that Craven will look at increasing council tax up to a maximum two per cent. Our tax base with three years of no increase is increasingly suffering and there will be costs to pay in the end,” he said.
Coun Knowles-Fitton told Thursday’s meeting that new houses were currently not being built because developers could not get money from the banks and those who did were reluctant because potential buyers could not get mortgages.
The council, which is currently considering an outline application for 117 new homes off North Parade, Skipton, currently asks for 40 per cent affordable homes in developments of more than five units – as with the North Parade application.
Coun Knowles-Fittton told the meeting that the council faced having to make savings of £139,000 in 2013/2014 and £409,000 in the following year.
He said the council was also looking at multi-skilling for its managers and sharing services and staff with other authorities. He believed savings would be possible for this financial year but that “difficult decisions” would have to be made in future years.
A two per cent increase in the council’s precept would mean a 5p per week increase on a Band D property.
He said parking revenue had reduced slightly and the downward trend was “worrying”.