Beer’s young families need affordable housing

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 October 2013

Housing in Beer. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shb 0864-41-13SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders.

Housing in Beer. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref shb 0864-41-13SH. To order your copy of this photograph go to www.sidmouthherald.co.uk and click on Photo Orders.

Archant

Beer’s young families are frustrated at second homes forcing up property prices and would welcome more affordable housing, a report reveals.

A housing needs survey, sent out to around 800 households and returned by around a quarter of those, identified 27 respondents in need of affordable homes in the next five years, writes Stephen Sumner.

And 95 per cent of those who replied said they would welcome a development that benefited local people.

John Scott, from the Community Council of Devon, which compiled the survey, presented the report at this month’s Beer Parish Council meeting.

“Getting into the property market is virtually impossible for young people on a low wage,” he said.

He revealed a current need for 14 affordable homes, and a further 13 in the next five years, and said: “Building affordable houses is almost always a catch-up operation.”

Mr Scott added that Beer’s average house price is £249,000 and a quarter of the properties are second homes – a proportion second only to Salcombe in the county.

Respondents had the option to leave comments, which ranged from ‘A great pity that one has to move away due to high housing costs,’ to ‘Leave Beer alone’.

One said the price of private rental meant that he, his fiancée and two children had been stuck living with his mother for the last six years.

Another said: “The powers that be seem determined to destroy every village in England by saturating the country with gross blots on the landscape laughingly called ‘housing’.”

Recommendations from those who replied included restricting the use of new properties as holiday homes, the compulsory purchase of unused homes and covenants to keep houses in the ownership of Beer residents.

Mr Scott congratulated Beer Parish Council’s proactivity in supporting the establishment of a community land trust (CLT), so that control of the housing supply remains in the hands of residents.

The CLT was last month granted a £1million loan via East Devon District Council, which will be used to build seven houses in the village.


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