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Starter Homes Planned For Scarborough

Starter Homes Planned For Scarborough

Published by the Yorkshire Coast Radio News Team at 6:04am 15th February 2018.

Scarborough Borough Council is set to introduce 'starter homes' in the borough.

It comes as he government has signalled its aim of widening the definition of affordable housing to include starter homes, which has meant the council has had to change its affordable housing policy.

According to the report that was presented to cabinet on Tuesday (13 February) a starter home is defined as:

The definition of affordable housing was widened by the Housing and Planning Act 2016 which under Part 6 Para 159 (1)(4)(b) now confirms that starter homes which meet the definition under the same Act will be classified as affordable homes. However, to date the relevant section of the 2016 Act has not been commenced and the existing definition of affordable housing continues to apply. It is anticipated that the new definition will come into force in April 2018.

In general terms a starter home is a home that is offered for sale at a minimum of 20% below the open market value of the property. They are only available to persons under the age of 40 who have never been a home buyer.

A 15 year restricted period will apply to starter homes, so that if the home owner sells the property during this period, some or all of the discount is repaid. There will also be restrictions on renting out the property during this period. The purchaser will be required to have a minimum 25% mortgage and the price of starter homes is restricted to £250,000 outside of London.

Since the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was updated and adopted in November 2015, the Local Plan has been introduced by the council in July 2017, further affordable housing viability work has been completed and the Government has been successful in challenging the quashing of the Ministerial Statement of 28th November 2014.

Following the latter, the relevant parts of the online Planning Practice Guidance were immediately updated by Government, with the thresholds for the provision of affordable housing and the ‘vacant building credit’ rule both being re-instated.

As a consequence the Borough Council’s previously adopted Affordable Housing SPD is not in accordance with current national and local planning policy.

Councillor Joe Plant is Cabinet Member for Transformation at Scarborough Borough Council, he said:

"It's the government guidance that's changed so we have to go back amend the policy which was adopted in 2014. 

There was a challenge to the government, which the government lost, so the guidance had to change. 

I hope the starter homes are successful and has already been successful I believe. I think we have to adopt it for people coming onto the market as well.

They've got to have homes, we've got to recognise that and there's a massive amount of work to be done on that."

 

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