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Change and innovation in affordable housing in the SouthWest

  • by JW

“The threshold could be increased.”

“Developments could be replaced by a set percentage of affordable homes.”

“Modular housing as a potential way of providing more social housing.”


Torbay is pushing to become one of the proposed new Investment Zones, as part of the Government’s “levelling up” agenda for deprived areas which would have an effect on housing:

New “liberalised” planning rules will also release more land for housing and commercial development, and negotiations between councils and developers for each project over affordable housing will be scrapped, to be replaced by a set percentage of affordable homes.

Relaxing Torbay planning rules could attract badly-needed jobs and investment – Devon Live

There are further reports that there might be changes to the requirements for affordable housing:

The government’s housing secretary has refused to rule out changes to affordable housing policy which could impact the number built in Devon. Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw questioned Simon Clarke, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, about reports the government was considering raising the threshold at which affordable homes are required. Currently at least 10 per cent of major developments (10+ houses) should be made ‘affordable’ – classed as up to 80 per cent of local market rates. According to The Times, this threshold could be increased to schemes with at least 40 or 50 homes.

MP questions housing secretary about potential affordable policy changes |

As was reported last week by the property press: New affordable housing quotas set to be relaxed in bid to boost growth – Property Industry Eye

Although, not many have in fact been built by Exeter City Council: Only six affordable homes were built in Exeter last year – Devon Live

And yet elsewhere in the county, housing associations have been busy: Thousands of affordable homes being built in Devon – Devon Live

“A development of 70 new affordable homes are to be built in Tiverton.” Tiverton to get new affordable homes – Radio Exe

There are proposals that Devon County Council-owned land could be used to provide much-needed social housing: Cllr Wrigley proposing DCC owned land could be used for social housing |

And there are plans for modular housing in Mid Devon: 

Teignbridge is looking into modular housing as a potential way of providing more social housing in the area, the council’s housing chief has revealed. Unlike traditional properties, modular homes are factory-built before being transported to site where they are installed and connected to services. Newer versions are often eco-friendly with low running costs.

Teignbridge considers modular housing schemes |

With more from a leading modular housing developer: Zed Pod scheme up for Constructing Excellence Awards – Devon Live

In the meantime, more innovative projects are happening in Bristol:

The ‘proposed design is modern and innovative and would transform a backland site and contribute positively to the character and appearance of the area’. The homes, which will be delivered by Etopia, belong to BDP’s Gap House range – a concept for ‘factory-constructed, contemporary and cost-effective eco-homes designed to fit into small urban spaces’. The homes are manufactured from timber and feature roof-top solar panels as well a highly insulated envelope.

BDP gets go-ahead for one-bedroom eco-homes in Bristol