Local development plan the answer?

An overflowing housing waiting list means East Ren’s Local Development Plan is vital for the community — that’s the opinion of councillor Alan Lafferty.

He told The Extra: “People come to my surgeries with many issues, but the need for housing to rent at a reasonable level is the most common.”

Currently, ERC has 3,011 properties. There are 2,585 households on the waiting list.

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Councillor Lafferty added: “When council houses go on the market it is often beyond the means of young families. Housing stock is unable to meet demand.

“Many former council houses are now in the hands of private landlords charging four or five times the level of council rents.

“The answer is to increase the supply of affordable housing for sale as well as rent.”

A total of 430 properties have been sold by the council in the past 10 years.

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Conservative councillor Jim Swift blamed short term thinking for the lack of stock.

He told The Extra: “The council chose to take the proceeds of house sales to subsidise rents, not build houses.

“They sold the family silver to run the car, rather than buy a new one. They are to blame for the lack of houses, because they used the money unwisely.

“They will blame everyone else for their short-run time horizon and poverty of sense.”

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A Scottish government spokesman confirmed they expect to receive the LDP this month.

She added: “The reporters examine issues raised in unresolved representations to the plan. Scottish ministers expect the process to take around six months, and rarely to exceed nine months.”

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