I’m sure that Rebecca Burnett’s letter in the Advertiser last week will have stirred up a storm of replies. I will be brief, unlike the local plan which, due to its size and techinicality, is incomprehensible to the majority of us and therefore, most would call into question whether, in its present form, it is fit for purpose. What is particularly galling in Rebecca’s letter is her late dash for the highest moral ground re affordable housing. We should see this for what it is, a politician’s platitude, promising something she can’t define, quantify or dewliver.
As the recent report commissioned by Shelter and CPRE higlighted (found at: https://www.todaysconveyancer.co.uk/ main-news/affordable-housing-construction-compromised -legal-loophole/), developers have consistently ignored their affordable housing obligations, with authorities rendered helpless and hapless. Most developments in the plan are outside Harrogate.
In Hampsthwaite, the current development (one of many planned) @ Grange Park has starting prices +£500k. The current average salary for someone in their 20’s is c£24k. Based on Jack Fullerton’s predicament (trying to get on the property ladder in Harrogate) he would need a mortgage based on x20 salary. This is an extreme example, but even with two wages coming in, these prices are simply miles out of reach of the average wage earners. It’s a pity that so much energy has been consumed with this process, with the likely outcome that our housing crisis will continue, along with the platitudes.