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Residents back joint council housing strategy

Wednesday, 10th September 2014.

A housing strategy which will help underpin West Suffolk’s plans to promote growth and create jobs has gained strong public backing.

The West Suffolk Housing Strategy, a joint strategy between Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, went out to public consultation in the summer.

It outlines plans for how the two councils will work together to deliver a mix of housing, both in terms of the size of properties, as well as the tenure whether it be affordable housing, private rented, or homes to buy on the open market.

The results of the consultation will be discussed by a joint cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

Cllr Rona Burt, Forest Heath’s portfolio holder for planning, housing and transport, said: “We have strong aspirations for the future of West Suffolk.

“Together, the two councils are taking a more commercial approach to how we help meet future housing need.

“Some of that may see us invest in delivering new homes whether they be affordable homes, private rented, or homes for sale on the open market.

"Housing, alongside economic growth, is one of our main priorities and we need to be flexible both in responding to the changing housing market, and in ensuring that we deliver the right balance of houses, in the right places for those that need them.”

Cllr Anne Gower, St Edmundsbury’s Cabinet member for housing, said: “The need for the range of housing types and sizes was certainly something that came through the consultation process.

"Having the right mix will make us more attractive to businesses, will enable us to attract more highly skilled workers to the area, and an improved choice of housing, affordability and availability, will give us the competitive advantage to attract inward investment into West Suffolk.”

The strategy also seeks to meet a shortfall in affordable housing by working with a range of partners to reduce the numbers on the housing register and to seek to improve the quality of the existing housing offer.

Members of the joint cabinet will be asked to recommend the strategy to full council for approval.

Haverhill Online News

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