Lack of affordable homes in borough

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Housing protesters fear an affordable homes shortfall could result in unpopular planning proposals getting the go ahead.

New figures released by the Countryside Alliance show the borough is lagging behind in meeting provision targets for affordable housing

The Alliance made a Freedom of Information request asking all local authorities across the country how many affordable homes were identified as needed in their areas in the latest Housing Needs Survey,

In 2008, Amber Valley Borough Council projected a yearly need for 567 affordable homes, but next year, only 50 are planned to be built.

A protester against a series of housing proposals recently announced in the Ripley area says the figures should not be used as an excuse to push through developments on green space just to meet targets.

Ripley-based Helen Allsopp, 38, who helps run the Support Our Struggle Facebook page against new development plans at Waingroves, Ripley and Marehay, said: “I don’t think just because we have a shortfall we should give up our green spaces.

“Homes should be affordable, yes, but they need to go into places that are appropriate.”

Also fighting the proposal for 98 houses by Pevrill Homes in Waingroves is chairman of the village’s community association John Stamp.

He said many people feel the roads in the village cannot handle a projected increase of 650 cars a day, if plans are approved.

“I feel as a resident that affordable housing should be an issue because there are parts of Amber Valley where first-time buyers don’t stand a chance,” he added. “But in this area, there are a huge number of housing developments that have started and have stopped again. We need to see those up and running again first before considering this.”

The council says it is still collating results from recent consultation events held around the borough which asked the public to suggest where houses should be built in coming years.

Cabinet member for decent and affordable places to live Cllr Norman Bull, said: “We’re continuing to make every effort to meet the housing needs of our communities whilst balancing the requirements of national planning policy and all the restrictions.”