‘The chance to do the right thing’ on housing

The Lace Hill housing development near Tesco,Buckingham.'120515M-E862
The Lace Hill housing development near Tesco,Buckingham.'120515M-E862

The prospect of local housing for local people is set to move a step closer, pending the results of a committee meeting at Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) next Wednesday.

AVDC’s environment and living scrutiny committee will discuss a recommendation to amend the Bucks Home Choice housing allocations policy by sub-dividing the Vale into four areas for housing allocations.

At present, properties are offered on a district-wide basis, so an Aylesbury resident bidding for a home in Buckingham would be given the same weight based on ‘local’ connection as a resident of Buckingham or Winslow.

Following representations from Buckingham district councillors Robin Stuchbury, who sits on the scrutiny committee, and Tim Mills, the previous meeting of the committee voted unanimously to ask cabinet to do a report on the basis of a more local allocation policy.

A report has now been drawn up, which recommends dividing the district into four sub-groups – Greater Aylesbury; a North sub-group including Buckingham and Winslow; a West sub-group including Quainton, Waddesdon, Long Crendon and Haddenham; and an East sub-group including Wing and Wendover.

It is proposed that half of all new build properties would be advertised giving preference to applicants in priority Bands A, B or C who have a local connection with the sub-group.

For re-let homes, it is suggested that a quarter of re-lets would be advertised giving preference to local applicants.

Mr Stuchbury said: “I proposed the changes in the previous committee meeting, in light of remarks made locally to both myself and district councillor for Winslow, Llew Monger, in respect of housing in the north of the Vale.

“At the previous meeting, we unanimously asked the cabinet member to add sub-divisions of areas into the Bucks Home Choice allocations policy.

“She’s chosen to have the report drafted and sent back to the committee for approval.”

If the recommendation is approved by the committee next week, it will then go forward to cabinet and full council for approval.

Mr Stuchbury said: “This has only come about because of local people raising their concerns to local members.

“There is now an opportunity for the council to do the right thing. We have the opportunity to actually get the right thing for our people.”