Unfinished homes causing a shortage

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SHOCK figures have revealed Amber Valley has more than 2,500 planning applications for new homes which have not been completed or in many cases not even started.

It comes as controversial proposals to find land for thousands of new houses to meet Government targets have sparked outrage among residents, with many open fields and Greenbelt sites being earmarked.

A Derbyshire County Council report shows the borough is littered with unfinished building sites and numerous ones yet to be started.

If all 2,500 outstanding homes plans were completed, the borough would have a five-year supply of new houses. Campaigners say this would mean many of the controversial earmarked sites in the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) could be dropped.

Chief planning officer at Amber Valley Borough Council Derek Stafford said the economic downturn had slowed building by around 200 homes a year, when it should be around 510.

Mr Stafford said: “From our point of view there’s not the resources financially to support developers. We can’t force developers to build quicker than they can, or want to.”

Amber Valley councillor and member of the council’s planning board Alan Cox said: “It’s frustrating to me. We have given these companies permission and they are not building anything.

“Simply the builders can’t get credit and the people that want to buy homes cannot get credit.

“What’s more frustrating is we have got all these houses waiting to be built and then we have developers come in and tell us we don’t have a five-year supply of new homes.

“It worries me that developers are trying to push us into a situation where we give planning permission to houses that are not needed.”

A final version of the SHLAA is set to be published in the summer.