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MP warning over affordable homes

MP Dr Sarah Wollaston has warned of the ‘unintended consequences’ of Government plans which will see the South Hams lose hundreds of thousands of pounds for affordable housing and community projects.
At the same time, Liberal Demo­crat prospective parliamentary candidate Cllr Julian Brazil has lashed out at the Government for bringing in the new planning rules.
Dr Wollaston voiced her concerns as Dartmouth is fighting for more affordable homes as part of the long-awaited West Dart development still to be decided by South Hams Council.
Under the new rules – intended to boost the building trade – developers will no longer have to pay money under the Section 106 agreements on builds of 10 or fewer homes.
However, most S106 money – that the council will now no longer receive – was a contribution to the local community earmarked for affordable housing projects.
While welcoming some of the legislation, Dr Wollaston has called for local councils to have the flexibility to set their own development thresholds or to be able to continue with all Section 106 contributions for luxury builds.
Her comments come a week after Cllr Brazil, who is the Devon county councillor for Kingsbridge and Stokenham, said he was ‘embarrassed’ to be part of the coalition behind the new planning rules.
‘The latest changes to planning rules by the Government are a disaster for the South Hams,’ he said.
‘They’ll do nothing to solve our need of housing for young, working, local families.’

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