Tories tabled an amendment to our motion for Botley’s affordable housing, to make the motion read:
Council notes that the planning permission for West Way development in Botley, which includes 140+ new houses, will not include any provision of affordable housing. Council also notes that the developers have contributed £2,000,000 to off-site affordable housing.
Council will ring fence the contribution in lieu of affordable housing in the Affordable Housing earmarked reserve fund as has been the case with similar contributions. Priority will be given to funding schemes in North Hinksey area and Cumnor area and council asks officers to work with North Hinksey Parish Council, Cumnor Parish Council and local Members to identify suitable schemes.
As Council debated this motion, I said:
- Vale policy is that for developments of more than 10 homes, 40% of them must be affordable. The applicants at West Way claimed their project was so risky and expensive that they couldn’t provide any affordable housing at all, but they offered £2,000,000 as a contribution to affordable housing elsewhere.
- The people of Botley would like council to make it a priority to provide some affordable housing in Botley.
- Our whole central area is to be demolished. We’re losing all our office space, and after the rebuild there will be fewer shops than we have now.
- We need houses that are affordable to the working professionals who want to live here: teachers, nurses, university staff, etc.
- Its not clear what sort of opportunities exist in Botley; we’re feeling rather full at the moment. But there are organisations that have creative models, such as Community Land Trusts, who build houses that will be permanently affordable for local people. Council can explore some of those options.
The motion passed, I’m happy to report. We now have £2,000,000 to support affordable housing schemes for Botley. If it isn’t spent in 10 years, it will go back to Mace. So let’s get busy.
——– Original post…
The Lib Dem councillors of the Vale have tabled a motion concerning affordable housing in Botley. Full council meeting 20 July is open to the public.
“Council notes that the planning permission for West Way development in Botley, which includes 140+ new houses, will not include any provision of affordable housing. Council also notes that the developers have contributed £2,000,000 to affordable housing elsewhere. This council believes in fair play, and that communities who accept new housing developments should benefit from developer contributions; therefore the council asks officers to take the necessary steps to ring fence this donation, and any future overage, for affordable housing in Botley, and to explore options for providing such affordable housing in Botley.”
We’ll try to get some Tory support for this. I can’t see how it’s party political.