York & North Yorkshire

Councils in North Yorkshire failing to meet homes targets

Local authorities in North Yorkshire have failed to meet their own targets on new homes.

The county's seven local councils should have seen almost 13,000 new homes since 2008/9 but only 7,440 have been built.

The councils said they had done all they could to speed up the planning process to try to meet their targets.

They claim the economic downturn has discouraged developers from moving forward with new schemes.

'High demand'

Harrogate Borough Council has a target of 390 new homes a year but in 2011/12 only 152 were built.

Alan Jenks, head of housing at the Conservative-controlled authority, said: "Without land and particularly without funding to support development it is very difficult for local authorities to do very much to impact on those targets."

He admitted the council was falling behind and said future targets might have to be set higher to catch up.

"We have very high house prices in the area and high demand.

"We need these homes and we are doing as much as we can to make sure they are delivered," he added.

Councillor Mark Robson, from Conservative-run Hambleton District Council, said the authority had failed to deliver its target of 290 new homes every year since 2008.

He said: "I've spoken to various developers who say the economy and poor weather has been holding schemes back."

Mr Robson added several new schemes, such as a 1,000-home project at Sowerby near Thirsk due to start this year, should help the council address the shortfall.

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