Recently Babergh’s full Council discussed and approved a proposal that a vacant piece of land in Lady Lane (just up from The Green) be transferred to a Registered Provider (of Social Housing) and that a four bedroom house be built possibly with a capital contribution from the Council.
At no time were we given an estimate of the land value. Nor were there figures to indicate the financial implications of the proposal.
I dislike giving approvals when I am not aware of the potential price tags. Similarly we were not told why the Council was ignoring its own policy which states that the greatest need in the housing market is for small (one and two bedroom) and medium sized (three bedroom) houses.
If we built two two bedroom houses we could then relocate two families who no longer need their four bedroom houses – their children having flown the nests.
Joined up thinking was not in evidence that day. On the one hand we were being asked to approve a scheme for a four bedroom house. On the other long term Hadleigh residents are being encouraged to move from their “empty nests” to smaller housing elsewhere.
It is not the first time that policies have been pursued without regard to local needs.
One department is busy implementing under occupancy penalties and another does nothing constructive to reduce its incidence.
The paper presented never mentioned why the Council thought there was a need for more four bed room social housing accommodation in Hadleigh. The Babergh Development Framework Core Strategy (2011- 2031) Submission Draft is quite clear as to perceived housing demand. What is the point of having policies and then ignoring them?
I have asked about the intended Registered Provider and why it was so important that they are the recipient of this particular property.
National Mushroom Day is not until October, but I have the feeling that I am being kept in the dark and covered with opprobrium.
This post first appeared in the Hadleigh Community News for April 2013