Economic Consultants Will Outline Plans For 120 New Homes

telegraph from above

Telegraph and McFarland’s Down already earmarked for new houses.

The Council’s economic consultants will later today unveil plans to build up to 120 new homes in what could be one of St Mary’s biggest building programmes.

But it comes only days after councillors criticised the Authority for further delays in releasing its own Housing Strategy.

The economic blueprint, commissioned by the Council from Ash Futures and paid for by the Local Enterprise Partnership, recommends building the new homes over the next ten years.

They say it’s to satisfy the needs of people on the housing waiting list, incoming entrepreneurs and key workers.

Land for around 50 homes has already being identified, including at Telegraph, McFarland’s Down and the old secondary school site at Carn Thomas.

But a further 70 building plots would still be needed, says the report.

Ash Futures say 81 homes were built between 2004 and 2012 across all five islands, and the proposed number of new homes would be inline with the current rate of growth.

But at last week’s Community Services Committee, members were told by Housing Officer Ian Hamilton that the Council’s own Housing Strategy has been “put on the back burner” again until the full implications of Ash Future’s report were understood.

A draft strategy was ready last year, but wasn’t released because another statutory document, the Local Plan, which helps guide planning policy, wasn’t ready.

Cllr Colin Daly said the Housing Strategy needed “to be sorted out as soon as possible.” He’s frustrated that they keep being told it’s delayed.

Senior Manager for Infrastructure, Craig Dryden, said the strategy would be in place within six months, after being pressed for a timescale by Cllr Marian Bennett.

But Cllr Gordon Bilsborough gave a thumbs up to the housing proposal.

“The bottom line is we need a lot more houses on the islands,” said Gordon, adding that there’ll be a lot of ‘Luddites’ opposing the plans. He called on the Duchy to provide building land at a reasonable price.

But Cllr Richard McCarthy pointed out that getting money out of the government to build housing could be tricky at the moment.

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