Thursday, 3 July 2014

Estates linked to Prince Charles and the Queen often fail to meet affordable housing targets.

Housing schemes developed by the Crown Estate and Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall regularly fail to deliver the recommended number of affordable homes in a revelation described as ‘concerning’ by a senior MP.

Amid an escalating national housing crisis, planning documents unearthed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveal that both historic landowners repeatedly persuade councils that to meet their affordable housing targets would be too expensive resulting in the loss of dozens of low cost homes from royal housing schemes.
An investigation has identified Crown Estate and Duchy plans to build 4,299 homes in 31 housing schemes. Of these, 14 developments set to produce 2,470 units fail to meet local affordable homes targets, resulting in at least 213 fewer affordable homes being built.

The 19 largest developments generating 2,715 homes have not or will not meet local affordable housing targets.

‘I find that quite concerning,’ said Clive Betts, chairman of the powerful communities and local government select committee. ‘They have a special obligation beyond the ordinary developer and they ought to be doing what’s right by the community…They ought to be taking the lead, especially as it’s public land after all.’

The Crown Estate, the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster together with the Grosvenor Estate and the Church of England’s Church Commissioners together are behind thousands of homes across the country  They are five of the UK’s most powerful landowners. Their history is woven into the fabric of Britain. And today they are important housebuilders However, result have now revealed that 45% of the developments undertaken by these ancient landowners fail to meet local affordable housing targets. The data shows that just nine of the Crown Estate’s 19 housing schemes comply with recommended levels of affordable housing.

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