Honiton lagging behind in provision of affordable homes

HONITON is lagging behind other towns in East Devon when it comes to the provision of new affordable homes.

HONITON is lagging behind other towns in East Devon when it comes to the provision of new affordable homes.

Developments are under way in Axminster and Colyton, and a major scheme is planned for Sidmouth.

But, in Honiton, "nothing is happening".

District councillor Marion Olive pointed out the inequality during Honiton Town Council's annual meeting.

Councillors heard lack of affordable land for such developments was the stumbling block.

In addition, it was felt by town and district councillor Peter Halse that some landowners could be holding back, riding out the recession to get a higher price for their assets.

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"It is a question of affordability at the moment," said Councillor Olive, who pointed out East Devon District Council is keen to hear from anyone who can identify suitable land for affording housing developments.

She stressed: "There is quite a high number of people with housing needs in Honiton."

Councillor Halse said: "East Devon District Council is making big progress.

"On Stowford Rise, in Sidmouth, there is going to be an enormous development. This is a very big step forward.

"However, we have a problem in Honiton."

Councillor Halse said developers are required to ensure 40 per cent of all new housing schemes in East Devon are affordable. He felt the high level could be putting developers off and having a negative, not positive, effect on housing provision.

"And with the economy flat on its back, landowners are waiting," he added.

Councillor Ron Farnham said: "I would like to congratulate East Devon District Council on what it is doing, but it is no good for the people of Honiton."

He said many affordable homes in the town had been allocated to people from outside of the area, meaning a real focus was now needed to provide homes for the town's youngsters.

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