Scilly Could Be Excluded From New Right To Buy Scheme
Scilly could be excluded from the government’s new ‘right-to-buy’ scheme, which will extend the sale of social homes to housing association tenants.
It was one of the first policy decisions announced by the new Conservative administration after the May elections.
Under the scheme, the money raised by the sell off would be used to build more new properties.
But Scilly’s MP Derek Thomas says the Prime Minister and Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, have “agreed in principle” that the islands won’t be included in the new legislation.
Derek says we “can’t just replace housing if it’s sold” and he says David Cameron recognised it was an issue here when he spoke to him during the signing of the Cornwall devolution agreement two weeks ago.
He says he’s keen to make sure that “something that works brilliantly in London doesn’t cause irreversible problems in Scilly.”
Derek says providing affordable housing on the islands is “a particularly challenging issue” because of the cost of building here. He feels that help to reduce the cost of freight could help.
And he says Local Authorities are being asked to look closely at the buildings they own that could be freed up for housing.
Derek believes this is “pertinent and timely” here in Scilly, especially with brownfield sites like the old secondary school that are ripe for development.