Why is no progress being made on tackling empty homes in Shropshire?

Every day we hear about the housing crisis. Politicians tell us we must build more housing urgently. Yet they say next to nothing about empty homes. There are more than 600,000 empty homes in England, enough to cut the housing waiting list by half.

Here in Shropshire, there are 4,375 empty homes. That’s more than 3% of the county’s housing stock. If they were brought back into use, they could provide homes for four in five of the households on the waiting list.

More than a third of the empty homes in Shropshire have been vacant for six months or more. It’s shocking that nearly 200 council and social homes are empty.

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Shropshire Council wants to know your housing needs – please take part in the survey

The waiting list for affordable housing in Shropshire stood at 5,370 households last year. The council says that the housing waiting list does not include all those that need housing. It acknowledges there are households that haven’t identified their need because they are reluctant to give the information.

To address this, the council has launched the Right Home, Right Place website – https://www.righthomerightplace.co.uk/. The aim is to make it easier for people to give the council information on what housing they need and where they need it. The survey covers all types of housing, social, market and private rental.

I would urge everyone who needs housing or might soon need it to complete the online housing needs survey. This is particularly important for people in rural in the south of the county. If we don’t make our voice heard we won’t get the housing we need.

It’s back – housing association submits new bungalow proposals for Sidney Road

The housing association conglomerate Connexus has submitted a new application for five bungalows on the green space between Sidney Road and Charlton Rise. A previous application for five bungalows on this site was rejected by a majority at a South Planning Committee meeting a couple of months ago. The plans are different in detail but not in principle. The temporary tree protection orders on the trees on the green have expired. That means the remaining Norway Maple and other trees can be felled at will.

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Vital campaign to save Ludlow Foyer launches on #StartsAtHome Day

Today is a national day of action. #StartsAtHome aims to highlight the importance of supported social housing, including projects like the Ludlow Foyer. Young people have been out in the Market Square today, explaining how the Foyer is helping them get from a crisis into work, education and training. They are telling people that funding for the Foyer is under threat from national and local budget cuts. There is every danger that, despite its groundbreaking work, the Foyer will close in 2018.

Closing Ludlow Foyer would be crazy. It would mean that young people would end up on the streets and would not get the help they need to get a good start in adult life.

Please sign the petition urging Shropshire Council to protect funding for the Foyer.

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Plans submitted for 74 houses on Fishmore Road, Ludlow – but there is no provision for affordable housing

Willsgrove Developments have submitted an outline application to build 74 houses on the former quarry site on Fishmore Road (16/03096/OUT). The plan is for a mix of homes and apartments. It is on the right lines for what we need on this site.

This site should be developed. It is suitable for a high density of housing, even though that will increase traffic along Fishmore Road. It is a sustainable location within walking distance of the town centre, though it lacks a nearby bus route.

If these plans are approved, there will be no affordable housing provided. The site plans also lack sufficient sustainable drainage and I am not happy with play area provision.

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