Warning over future of West Norfolk housing supply

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Supplies of affordable housing in West Norfolk could fall even further because of government reforms, it has been claimed.

Ministers have unveiled plans to end the requirement for small-scale developers, building 10 or fewer homes on a single site, to complete legal agreements for financial contributions towards the provision of affordable housing.

But the Norfolk Rural Community Council fears the change may make it even harder for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.

Chief executive Jon Clemo said: “Whilst there may be an increase in house-building in rural areas as a result of the changes, developers may be more motivated to build only the kind of housing that obtains the greatest profits.

“The result could be a downturn in the proportion of low-cost housing available for local young people and lower income families to buy.”

But housing minister Brandon Lewis insisted the move, together with a reform to give authorities the power to impose lower contribution rates in areas of outstanding natural beauty, would reduce developers’ costs by up to £15,000 per property and help to increase housing supply.

He said: “They will encourage development on smaller brownfield sites and help to diversify the house building sector by providing a much needed boost to small and medium-sized developers.”