Friday, 15 February 2013

5000 homes on farm land

I was on Radio Kent on Wednesday morning discussing the proposal to put 5000 homes between Leeds, Langley and Otham. This would be a new town on the outskirts of Maidstone and has been proposed by Golding Homes.

I think this should not happen...

Firstly: The need for housing for tenants on lower incomes, first time buyers and young families is very real. New homes need to focus on meeting the needs of these groups. The proposal is for 40% of the new homes to be affordable and affordable is usually defined as being at 80% of market but may be considered as

Of course these two definitions are contradictory for many, especially here in Maidstone. A full time worker gets £543 per week here, so £28k p.a. or £2350 per month before tax and perhaps £1800 net. A one bed flat in Maidstone will set you back £650, i.e. 33% of a single income. This means that 50% of single earners won't be in affordable homes.

If they want to buy... 3.5 x £28k = £98k plus 10% deposit may just get a one bed flat.

So affordable homes will need to be around 50% of market cost to be affordable.

And with 40% of the scheme being affordable, 60% won't be - it will be 16 dph mansions compared to the 60 dph homes that are supposedly affordable.

The maths behind this goes:
  • 2000 'affordable' homes at 30 dwellings per hectare = 67 hectares (have used 30 dph rather than 60)
  • 3000 mansions at 10 dph = 283 hectares
  • 80% of the land goes over to the mansions
So make it smaller, with far more affordable homes. There really is no need to waste the land on these mansions. Better still focus on in-town development - that is where the jobs and transport links are.

If you want to read more, Golding Homes have published their vision here.

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