WIGAN Council says that it has met its demand for new housing for the first time in a decade; the trick now is to sustain the rate.
In the last financial year, 948 new homes were delivered in the borough, meaning that in 2018 it managed to exceed its target.
A revised local housing needs assessment carried out last year had determined that the borough needed 944 homes annually.
The new homes were provided through its direct delivery programme, by working with housing associations, and through private sector developments.
Meeting local need means the authority is now “in a much stronger position to resist developments in inappropriate locations in the future”.
Instead, the council says it can place even more focus of seeking funding opportunities to boost development on brownfield sites, and on exploring the residential potential in town centers.
“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,” said council leader, councilor David Molyneux.
“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, the council and its partners delivered one of the highest rates of affordable homes in Greater Manchester with more than 300 homes built – almost a third of the total number of new homes built borough-wide.
Molyneux added: “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.”