Planning for Affordable Housing
With house prices continuing to rise and average properties in Winchester costing in excess of £307,000, the need for affordable housing is now greater than ever.
Winchester City Council has seen the total number of applications on the housing register rise from 1731 to 2690 over the past 2 years, with more people than ever before requiring affordable housing.
To meet this high demand for affordable housing, the Council is currently assessing the viability of some small pieces of land in the areas of Stanmore and Highcliffe.
The potential of a disused and overgrown allotment site in Cromwell Road is being investigated, while in Highcliffe, a block of garages in Fivefields Road is being considered for affordable housing development. Both sites were previously identified in an urban capacity study conducted by John Thompson and Partners on behalf of the Council in 2002. Two well respected Housing Associations, Hyde and A2 Winchester, are working closely with the Council to assess whether affordable housing development on these sites might be possible.
These sites have a number of possible constraints to overcome and the full development potential will not be known until survey work has been completed over the next few months. The Council has informed local community groups that investigations are underway and intends to consult with residents and community leaders as details emerge. If these projects are successful, the resulting affordable housing will be reserved for applicants on the Council’s housing register and will not be earmarked for any other purpose.
Cllr Tony Coates, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Communities, said: “The provision of affordable housing is one of the Council’s top priorities. The high property prices in Winchester make it extremely difficult for local people to get onto the property ladder. We will continue to work closely with Housing Associations and communities to identify suitable sites in Winchester on which to build more affordable housing.”