Party positions on why house building targets missed


A report has flagged Cherwell District Council as being behind where it should be delivering new homes

The number of new homes built in the Cherwell District has fallen behind target with the national economic climate blamed.

In a monitoring report, presented to Cherwell District Councils’ Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday, Councillors were made aware that only 587 new homes had been built this financial year, against a target of 857.    During the period from October to December less that half of the 286 new homes expected were actually delivered (140).

Narrative alongside the figures noted that the weather played a part with what was achieved during the latest period: “As expected, completions will slow during the winter period due to adverse weather conditions.   Our monitoring has indicated that many sites have started and are under construction, therefore there is an expectation that completions will pick up in the next quarter.”

But it added that the national picture was also taking its toll: “Completions have been affected by the national economic climate, such as inflation and high mortgage interest rates. As these economic indicators ease there are signs that build rates are likely to increase.”

The leader of the Labour Group at Cherwell District Council, Councillor Sean Woodcock, told the meeting: “Clearly officers are doing their best and I’m grateful for all the hard work that they’re doing, but it’s there in black and white, isn’t it?   The country is struggling.   

“The government has presided over inflation, high mortgage rates, not building enough housing and that’s affecting us here in Cherwell locally.    Thanks to the officers for their hard work, but they’re being let down by people a bit higher up.”

But Banbury’s MP has defended the government’s record.   She told Banbury FM: “I note the Monitoring Officer’s comment that completions during the winter period had been expected to slow as a result of adverse weather, and that it is anticipated that they will now pick up again. I am grateful to officers for all their work in securing the delivery of our strategic sites, alongside identifying new, sustainable sites through the Local Plan Review.

“Countries across the world have had to grapple with high inflation in the aftermath of the pandemic and Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The Prime Minister has made tackling this his top priority. Through sound economic management and fiscal discipline, the Prime Minister’s plan has succeeded in more than halving inflation over the last year, while average mortgage rates also fell in December.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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