Housing demand met for the first time

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Almost 950 new homes were built in the borough in the last financial year, meaning that Wigan Council surpassed its housing delivery requirements for 2018 for the first time in a decade.

The housing delivery requirement for Wigan Borough was determined at 944 houses annually following a revised local housing need assessment last year.

However, Wigan Council delivered 948 homes through its direct delivery programme, working with housing associations and developments brought forward by the private sector, meaning that they are in a much stronger position to resist developments in inappropriate locations in the future. 

National planning policy requires local authorities to demonstrate a five year supply of housing to meet local demand.

Now, as a result of the target being met, the town hall can place even more focus on seeking funding opportunities to boost development on brownfield sites and exploring the residential offer in town centres.

Speaking of the good news, leader of the council, Councillor David Molyneux said: “We’re committed to providing quality, affordable housing for local people to help them get onto the property ladder while also supporting the local economy to thrive.

“We’re also proud of our strong links with the private sector as this partnership not only supports the delivery of housing but engages apprentices and contributes to the local community through securing Section 106 monies. 

“We will continue to work with owners to bring brownfield sites forward otherwise these sites will remain undeveloped, ultimately putting pressure on green field land supply.

Last year, Wigan Council and its partners delivered one of the highest rates of affordable homes in Greater Manchester with more than 300 homes built – almost one third of the total number of new homes built borough-wide.

The builds were achieved through the council’s own direct delivery programme, working with registered providers and support from Homes England and private developers through Section 106 affordable housing.

The authority has continued to identify potential sites in Wigan and Leigh town centres for development in line with its ambition to increase the borough’s residential offer and the Mayor of Greater Manchester’s town centre challenge.

Councillor Molyneux continued: “We are now meeting the borough’s need for housing in numerical terms and we’re in a stronger position to have more of a say regarding where development opportunities should take place.

“Although we’re delivering house building at a pace that meets our housing requirement, this pace needs to be maintained to ensure our borough continues to thrive.

“Our focus for 2019 will be bringing forward brownfield sites, stalled sites and key town centre sites while encouraging people to live and work here and esuring the best interests of local people are met.”

For more information on the council’s housing and regeneration projects, please visit www.wigan.gov.uk/housing.