Developers warn over lack of land to tackle affordable homes crisis

LEADING developers in Yorkshire have called for more to be done to address a critical shortage of land for new homes to address an affordable housing crisis in one of the North of England’s most desirable places to live.

Directors at Barratt & David Wilson Homes as well as Linden Homes have claimed not enough effort is being made to provide land for housing schemes in York, despite the city council launching a concerted drive to promote construction programmes.

Ian Hessay, the managing director of Linden Homes for Yorkshire and North East Lincolnshire, claimed York has the “strongest housing market” in the region, but warned there is a danger that the market could slow unless more homes are built.

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He said: “In order to address the increasing population of York in 20 to 30 years’ time whilst addressing the increasing demand for more housing, we need more sites to come forward for potential development.”

York Council approved a major new initiative, dubbed Get York Building, in February after senior politicians acknowledged that the city is facing up to intense demand for affordable properties.

House-building in the city has fallen dramatically from a high in 2005, despite the city being one of the fastest growing locations in the country.

The average property price in York was £201,331 in 2011 compared to the regional average of £155,303, according to the National Housing Federation.

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The managing director of York-based housebuilder Barratt & David Wilson Homes Yorkshire East, Paul Newman, claimed the council’s previous 50 per cent affordable homes target had been a barrier for many developers. The figure has been scaled back amid the economic crisis and just 25 per cent of homes now need to be classed as affordable homes in developments on brownfield sites.

Mr Newman said: “We now need to concentrate on delivering more homes in York to allow us to move forward and help meet challenging new homes targets sooner rather than later.”