Borough gets affordable homes masterplan

Mike Worden, assistant director for planning and transport at Wigan Council
Mike Worden, assistant director for planning and transport at Wigan Council

People are to be given greater opportunities to get a foothold on the property ladder in the borough.

A meeting of Cabinet heard about the achievements so far of the council’s affordable homes scheme and approved plans to ensure more folk are able to enjoy buying a home in the area.

Mike Worden, Assistant Director of Planning and Transport, said: “Wigan borough is a great place to live and we want to encourage residents to be able to buy their own homes here as well as welcoming more people into the area.

“We’ve been working hard to make sure properties are available at realistic prices so that people wanting to get their feet on the housing ladder get the support they need.

“This is really important for the borough’s growth, something we are committed to as part of our Deal for the Future.”

The council’s own affordable home ownership scheme, which secures new build properties from developers through planning contributions, has provided a total of 113 homes since its launch in 2007.

A new approach will see a “re-sale covenant” placed on some new-build homes, ensuring that any future sale of the house will be at a discount on the market value and sold only to buyers eligible for the affordable homes ownership scheme.

Barrowcroft Green in Standish will be the first site to adopt this. There are also plans to introduce schemes through independent companies such as Heylo Housing, an investment company that buys affordable homes from a developer then offers them as shared ownership properties.

In addition to providing homes on new developments, this year the local authority expects to spend up to £1m to help with the further provision of affordable housing in the borough, by assisting residents to buy in the second hand market.

In the longer term, there are more than 1,000 new affordable homes on the horizon through housing developments that have recently secured planning permission, including around 380 homes in Standish and 360 on sites along the East Lancashire corridor.

The council will also continue working closely with housing associations to ensure there are opportunities for residents to buy and rent properties at affordable prices.

Nationally concerns have been raised about a shortage of affordable homes.