More than 1,100 new units enter the district’s housing supply in a year

The Observatory housing development at Hollow Lane, Wincheap is new this year

A total of 1,119 new homes entered the housing supply for the district in the last complete financial year, says Canterbury City Council.

They include new builds, conversions, changes of use to residential and varieties of student accommodation.

The figure is contained in the council’s monitoring report for the 2017/18 financial year which examines the progress of the Local Plan and comes as local authorities face mounting pressure to create homes.

It goes on to state that the council now has enough land available for housing in the district for the next six-and-a-half years.

The report adds that the contributions from developers, known as 106 Agreements, has netted the authority £2.275 million for infrastructure such as roads, medical facilities, school places, play areas and open space.

Cllr Simon Cook

Council Leader Cllr Simon Cook said: “The authority monitoring report makes for interesting reading, setting out the good progress made on providing homes, infrastructure, employment space and much more.

“One aspect of the report that is particularly important is the housing land supply, and by having well in excess of the five years we need, we are in a strong position to fend off speculative applications from developers for land we would not want to see developed.

“The report also puts to bed the myth that we grant planning permissions for houses but never secure the infrastructure that is needed to support them.

“A figure of well over £2 million pounds is a significant sum and we’ll be ensuring every penny of this gets spent to provide what the district needs.”

In 2017/18, the council processed 1,823 planning applications. Of those 56 went to appeal with the council successfully defending 80 per cent of them.

The full authority monitoring report and supporting documents can be found on the council’s website at


  1. But break down the figures (p25 of the report). 446 houses only against a target figure of 800 and 679 purpose built student accommodation places which are not part of our housing numbers. Not quite so much to crow about.

  2. It is very helpful to have all those housing figures from the City Council. We ought to remind ourselves that the City Council has a target of 30% of houses to be what is known, erroneously, as “affordable” . That number includes 70% of the 30 % for rent at below the so -called market level and the remaining 30% for shared ownership. This category is an often a very poor investment but all that is available for many people ,aspiring to even this very “pinched ” form of home ownership. Our national Government has produced very rotten rungs on the “property ladder” which provide an inadequate way into prosperity.

    The figures released by our city council state that 3067 units of housing have been built since 2013 but that only 253, 8% of them,have been in this falsely optimistic category of “affordable”

    I am advised that in Kent we have just about the worst percentage nationally , of “affordable housing” ….13%.

    Of course there are other government policies to assist home ownership. One of these is called “help to buy ” and as it gives cash for part of a deposit towards market price housing. It should be known as ” Help to raise housebuilders profits”. But if it helps people in need to buy a home then surely it is to be applauded? Your picture at the head of this article showed a view of the weird and rather nutty “Observatory Housing” in Hollow Lane, which in spite of what look like observation posts provides no view from those protrusions.

    There are luxury homes here priced at £599,000 which are eligible for Help to Buy. That is way over the £230,000 average house price in our city. Why are people well above average in prosperity “helped ” like that ? The developer can’t be making much money, as there are only 20% “affordable ” homes on this site. Of course they are built last, after the better off people have bought their larger houses some with government help from the taxpayer.

    Crums should always be kept back under the table.

    So Central government policy, as in a few other areas is not delivering. The huge uplift in land value from the approximate £10,000 per acre for farm land to well in excess or £1.4 million per acre for market housing land is not being effectively captured for the community. This was said to be one of the principles of ” Garden city ” ideas. sadly the Garden City idea is being put forward as a “con” to make it sound lovely. Who would not like to live in a garden?

    When Garden Cities were first built ,at the beginning of the 20th century the concept of “garden” meant it would be surrounded by ” a garden” to provide fresh produce for the fridge -lees households….who of course had no cars and lived five to a house rather than our current 2.3 persons per house…. and there was no Town &Country Planning Act to give to Local Authorities the control of housing land supply. How strange having that power, that they cannot ensure, as a part of those consents sufficient land to provide affordable housing unsubsidised.

    Instead we find our council has bought existing properties at way over market price off Sturry Road. That is NOT affordable housing for the taxpayer and is but a small uneconomic panic driven window dressing act.

    The whole NPPF policy of delivering housing is flawed and will not deliver an affordable result for those in need of housing or the taxpayer.

  3. Councillor Cook boasts that 106 Agreements earned the authority over £2 million for essential infrastructure but is determined to blow £9 million on an unnecessary and unwanted multi-storey carpark to improve his chances of not missing his train. Is the public interest well served? Or does one man’s private interest matter more??


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