Mis-use of the HCR – again!


Last week the Strategic Planning Committee gave permission for 130 houses at Pelynt. Half are designated as ‘affordable’ – that’s 65 dwellings.

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According to the report presented to the Committee:

The parish of Pelynt has an identified housing need of 67 households who have registered with Cornwall Homechoice and have a local connection to the parish.   The Affordable Housing Team (AHT) acknowledge the community consultation  the applicant has carried out and the local support for more affordable housing.

The AHT is aware of other potential schemes to deliver affordable housing in  the parish including the pending application (PA12/12070) at Summerlane Park  that includes 30 Affordable Homes comprising 9 Rented and 21 Intermediate  Sale. There is another pending application for 40 dwellings north of  Summerlane Park (PA12/12121) including 23 Affordable Homes comprising 12  Rented and 11 Intermediate Sale. Notwithstanding the potential for delivery on  alternative sites in the village this application at Jolly Park is proposed to be a phased development over 15 years with 60 units in years 1-5, 45 units in years
6-10 and 25 units in years 11-15. It is reasonable to expect further housing need to arise over such a long period.

Comment  So there are pending applications for another 53 affordable dwellings, in total we are talking about 118 affordable dwellings for 67 households.

We know that half of those on the Home Choice Register are in the lowest level of need category.

We also know that most households on the HCR are already living in a dwelling and hence it is not necessary for a new dwelling to be built.  As one household moves out of a property then that property is released for another household.  As the SHMA notes [ If those already living within social housing are removed – on the basis that there needs being met by another social house will free up their own property and therefore result in a zero gain supply / demand position].  Though why this is only applies to the social housing sector is baffling!.

If we use the average of 20% of households at most needing a new dwelling, there is a need for 14 new dwellings.  14 not 65 or 118!

Lets face it, the HCR is being mis- used to bump up the housing target. It’s not really about housing need, it’s about unsustainable, unnecessary  development!

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