Wakefield Council on track to exceed housing target
Wakefield Council is getting closer to its aspirational target of ensuring 1,600 new homes are built in the district each year. If the new homes currently in the pipeline are built by the end of the 2015/6 financial year, the target may be achieved for the first time since before the global recession in 2008/9.
The Council is one of the most successful local authorities in the region for working in partnership with private companies and housing associations to build new houses.
Cllr Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Skills, said: “Developing new housing is a key element to encourage economic investment in the district.
“The Council works hard to bring new businesses into the district and to encourage existing businesses to expand, and it is essential that we have the right infrastructure in place, including enough housing, to not only meet the housing needs of residents in our communities, but also to support growth and prosperity.”
Research shows that Wakefield district, which has a population of approximately 330,000 people, is growing, with around 1,300 new households in the area each year.
The housing growth target is part of Wakefield’s Local Development Framework, which provides the blueprint for planning in the district.
The Council provides expert support to both private companies and housing associations to help develop new homes for ownership and for affordable rent.
During 2014/15 work started on building and selling new homes on sites at Fitzwilliam, South Elmsall and Featherstone supported by Regional Growth Fund grant that the Council secured for the district.
At City Fields, close to Wakefield city centre, the first phase of new homes being built by Miller Homes is due to start on site shortly. The scheme is part of a partnership with the Council to create attractive new homes and neighbourhoods for over 2,500 households over the next 10-15 years.
At Castleford the Council is working with land owners and housing developers to help develop new homes, and has recently secured Housing Zone status from the Government for two sites off Wheldon Road, one of only two such zones in the Leeds City Region. This status gives the landowner access to Government loans for cleaning up the site, which should mean that new homes are delivered more quickly.