By Helen Tilton, Associate
The WECA Committee and West of England Joint Committee have approved the draft West of England Housing Delivery Strategy – ‘A Strategy for Homes 2020-30’. The Strategy is intended to set out a route map for sites from land acquisition through to construction, as part of the ambition to increase the delivery of new homes.
In essence this is all about how to accelerate the delivery of housing by utilising the available tools, mechanisms and funding available to WECA and delivery partners. The strategy is supported by an initial funding package of £40m from WECA and a bid for £500,000 from the Government’s One Public Estate funding programme.
Importantly, the strategy is intended to support Local Plans and the draft Spatial Development Strategy, rather than add new layers of targets.
Scrutiny Members emphasised that the West of England local authorities need an agreed definition of affordable housing given that local objectives differ across the authorities. This would make sense, as there is an expectation through the strategy that proposals should demonstrate that they deliver at least one additional key benefit, where examples could include things like carbon reduction, affordable housing, or innovation through off-site manufacturing. This is just a first step, as the quality expectation will rise over time to maximise delivery of additional benefits.
Please contact Marlies Koutstaal if you would like further details of the strategy.