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North East Lincolnshire’s housing needs under the spotlight

1:01 pm, Thursday, 28th September 2023 - 5 months ago

General

THE future of housing in North East Lincolnshire and the challenges that must be overcome to ensure every person in the borough has access to good and affordable homes are highlighted in a new draft report.

The North East Lincolnshire Housing Strategy is released today in draft form and people are being encouraged to make their views known on its content before it is finalised and confirmed.

Taking an in-depth look at accommodation across the area, it provides detailed analysis of the make-up of local people, where the specific housing gaps are and the way in which those in need should and could be best supported to live independent lives.

Setting the scene, the draft document details how North East Lincolnshire, like the rest of the country, has been affected by world events such as Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic and the situation in Ukraine – all of which have seen an impact upon interest rates, construction costs and problems with supply chains.

However, it says, the borough has still benefited from private and public sector investment. The renewables industries have brought significant developments to the local area, the new Humber Freeport brings opportunity and North East Lincolnshire and its partners have been successful in winning significant Government funding. These are kick-starting major and well reported regeneration schemes in Grimsby, Cleethorpes and the South Humber Bank.

To ensure the borough has the right people with the right skills to meet the needs of these new opportunities, it is vital that good quality homes are available for rent and purchase, adds the report.

It identifies recent population changes, which show how the numbers of young people and those of working age living in North East Lincolnshire have decreased, but the number of actual households has increased.

As well as a continued demand for new housing, which the report says will be needed if the borough it to grasp the opportunities that will exist, there remains a shortage of one and two-bed properties and the rental market for social housing needs to be addressed. It also details factors associated with housing need including physical and mental health and wellbeing, homelessness, and the requirements of people as they grow older.

People are now being asked to give their views on the strategy before it is finalised later this year. The final strategy will then feed into the borough’s Local Plan review, which is currently underway. It is stressed how, when reading and commenting, people understand how this draft strategy and the update of the Local Plan complement each other.

A draft of the updated version of the borough’s Local Plan will be going out for public comment early next year as part of the process towards its approval by Government and then adoption. Following analysis and public involvement, every Local Authority must have a Local Plan which they update every five years. It shapes where future development is most likely and suitable areas – not only for housing, but industry and public buildings such as schools, and infrastructure.

The draft strategy that is launched this week does not look at the suitability of areas for development, nor does it determine the amount of homes that are needed. Instead, it uses the most up-to-date data on people who need homes between now and 2028 and where priorities should lie to grow a stronger economy and stronger communities across the whole borough.

North East Lincolnshire Council Leader Cllr Philip Jackson, whose regeneration portfolio includes housing, said: “It is important that we all understand and make a positive contribution to the journey we need to undertake to ensure we have sufficient, good quality homes for our residents in the years ahead. This is vital if we are to continue to improve the communities in which we live and work.

“Development, be it brown or greenfield, sparks much debate and rightly so but in having that debate there must be a recognition that a balance can be met between meeting our future needs and enhancing and protecting our borough for us all to enjoy. I firmly believe that with the right discussions and work we can achieve that,” he added.

To take part in the survey go to Have your say | NELC (nelincs.gov.uk

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