Tenterden Community Land Trust (TCLT), the organisation fighting for genuinely affordable homes in the town, has expressed its concern that the 40% of homes designated as ‘affordable’ on the proposed Limes Land development are “not achievable by significant numbers of local people, who are forced to remain living with parents, in inappropriately-sized or unaffordable housing, or to move away from the town.”
In a letter to the planning department of Ashford Borough Council (ABC), which was noted at last night’s (11 May) meeting of Tenterden Town Council, Trust board member Martin Vink added “We want to break this cycle and allow those who have been brought up in the town, or who have a strong connection to it, to remain in Tenterden”.
The letter emphasises that the Trust neither objects to nor supports the 250-home Limes Land development, which was strongly rejected by the Town Council last month
However, the Trust says it is keen to be involved in the provision of affordable housing if ABC grants the Limes Land planning application.
The letter states that the Affordable Housing Commission defines housing as unaffordable when rents or purchase costs exceed 33% of household income – for instance, that to rent a three-bed house at £1,200 per calendar month would require a £43,200 net income.
Housing provided by the Trusts would be affordable, but would differ in three main aspects form the affordable housing marketed, for example, on the Tent1 development.
These differences would reflect local people’s ability to pay; the houses would remain in the ownership of the Trust in perpetuity; and access to the houses could be limited to the local community.