Need for ‘high end’ coastal homes

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An enduring image of traditional Victorian terraces lining Yorkshire’s coastal towns could soon make way for a wave of smart new homes to suit the well-heeled.

There is a shortage of high-end homes across the Scarborough borough, the council’s cabinet member for housing has said as the authority looks to approve its final housing plan today. And with a boom in professional industries making its way to the coast from Potash mining to windmills, so with it will come a need for upmarket housing.

“That is just as important as social housing,” said Coun William Chatt. “We need to balance our housing stock for the community that we represent.

“With Yorkshire’s coast being on the up, we need to provide a variety of housing. There isn’t enough supply of ‘high end’ accommodation. That’s a problem. We need to have a range for people who are going to be moving in.”

Scarborough Borough Council’s (SBC) draft local plan, along with its housing strategy, is set to be approved for the final time today having been passed by Government inspectors.

Setting out the area’s framework for the next four years, it gives details on how the authority aims to meet demand in its housing supply. More than 9,000 new homes must be built in the borough by 2032, the majority of which will be within Scarborough’s urban areas.

A number of major housing developments have already been earmarked on sites at South Cayton, Middle Deepdale and Scalby, but without its own options to build, SBC is looking to work with developers for the remainder of the new builds.

“We could always do with more houses - that’s a fact,” said Coun Chatt. “We are looking to see where we can identify new opportunities. We can’t build, but we can support development. We’ve got to ensure that if there’s an affordable element in there it’s used to the best advantage.”

Affordability is a major issue, with average house prices at £158,000, nearly seven times the average income. Opportunities for families in smaller villages is another challenge, Coun Chatt says, alongside accelerating growth, quality of rental properties, and homelessness.

With an increasingly ageing population, Coun Chatt adds, there comes a change in demand for the kind of houses needed.

“We’ve got people who want to retire to the coast, and we can’t blame them,” he said. “But we haven’t necessarily got the kind of housing they need. I don’t think there’s enough smaller homes at the moment.

“We’ve got industries moving in. We’ve got to encourage the higher end accommodation as well for people who want to come here and invest in their careers.

“Scarborough has a lot happening here, the job creation is fantastic. That’s one of the challenges the plan is going to face.”