CONCERNED town councillors have hit out at developers and Stratford District Council for pushing first time buyers out of the market.
The district council has been accused of failing to comply with planning legislation in the Core Strategy which stipulates how many of each type of home should make up a development.
The planning document – which shapes future development in the district until 2031 – says housing developments should consist of up to ten per cent one bedroom properties, 40 per cent two bedroom, 45 per cent three bedroom and 20 per cent with four bedrooms and higher.
But figures show the actual number built since the Core Strategy was implemented in 2016 vary dramatically, with just two per cent of developments made up of one bedroom homes and a huge 32 per cent with four or more bedrooms.
The town council is now calling on Stratford District Council to ensure all developers are building the correct mix of homes.
Town council clerk Sarah Summers said: “Stratford Town Council has identified anomalies in the compliance of Core Strategy legislation by the planning authority, which it considers to be undemocratic and totally unacceptable.
“This council calls upon the district council to adhere to the Core Strategy when determining all future applications.”
Lib-Dem district councillor Peter Moorse is also backing the town council’s call and has a separate motion on the subject going before the district’s Conservative-controlled cabinet at a meeting on Monday (April 9).
He told the Observer: “Time and again developers are bringing forward plans that claim that their site should be an exception to the housing mix in the district council’s planning Core Strategy. This housing mix was evidence based and agreed by an Independent Planning Inspector.
“The reason for the mix is to meet local housing needs – and that includes young people and families trying to get a foot on the housing ladder. We need to tighten up the rules and make sure that in future developers have to build houses that young people can afford to buy.”
Stratford District Council says it will discuss the concerns at Monday’s meeting and the issue is one which is echoed nationwide.
A spokesman said: “This issue is apparent in many places across the country and consequently the government has consulted on proposals to amend the flexibilities which are currently available to developers.”