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A RECORD number of affordable homes were built in Stratford-on-Avon district last year, the district council has confirmed.

The final figure was 377 homes for rent or shared ownership through housing associations, eclipsing the previous highest amount of 288 in 2015/16.

Schemes completed last year were in Alcester, Alderminster, Bidford-on-Avon, Broom, Gaydon, Harbury, Long Itchington, Lower Quinton, Meon Vale, Napton, Newbold-on-Stour, Salford Priors, Shipston-on-Stour, Southam, Stockton, Stratford-upon-Avon and Wellesbourne.

It comes amid changes to national planning policy that aims to close loopholes that are currently allowing developers to wriggle out of affordable homes requirements.

Council leader, Tony Jefferson, said: “Last year’s record achievement is a reflection of the district council’s long-standing commitment to providing more affordable homes for local people and our local communities.

“Our district is a great place in which to live and work, but, sadly, the reality for many people is that they’re priced out of the local housing market: to the detriment of our local economy and our local communities.

“To tackle this, the district council has been working hard with its partners over many years to get the homes we desperately need built and last year’s figure is also a reflection of the good working relationships we’ve built with our partners.

“Despite a substantial reduction in funding available at national level, as well as other changes, the fact that we were able not only increase the overall number of new homes built last year but also maintain their quality is of great importance to the district council.”

Cllr Daren Pemberton, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for affordable homes, added: “Building new affordable homes aren’t just about numbers, it’s also about ensuring the right type of homes are built in the right places and that they are of good quality and genuinely affordable to those that need them.

“Not only that, but also ensuring we get the support of our local communities that host those new homes. All this has been a challenge, but – as last year’s results clearly show – we can deliver.”

The Herald reported in March how the council had estimated that 340 will be built over the coming year, but warned that other changes to government funding policies could increase demand for low-cost properties, predicting the 2019/20 figure could be as low as 100.

Source: Stratford Herald

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