Demand for affordable housing doesn’t prove need, claims Dundee planning chief

Mike Galloway
Mike Galloway

Dundee’s director of city planning has rejected calls for an affordable housing requirement to be introduced into future developments because “there is demand but not need” for more affordable housing in the city.

Mike Galloway was speaking after Labour councillor Lesley Brennan called for Dundee City Council to make the provision for Section 75 Agreements – additions to building contracts for ancillary services or affordable homes – to become an automatic part of any development, The Courier has reported.

Ms Breannan said developers who had snapped up sites when the property market crashed and had waited until it picked up again before building should put something back into the city.

At a meeting of the development committee, she said: “We know the housing need is great in Dundee and a lot of sites have been released to developers.

“I think people who bought sites many years ago have waited until the market picked up have benefited but that doesn’t help us sort the housing need in Dundee.”

Ms Brennan said one solution would be to insist homes developers must include some affordable housing.

“Neighbouring local authorities have done similar things to increase the availability of affordable housing. Angus do it and Perth and Kinross has done it since 2005.”

Ms Brennan asked if council officers could investigate how such a scheme would work but her amendment was defeated by 18 votes to 11.

Development director Mike Galloway said the need for affordable housing was not part of the local development plan.

“While there is a demand in certain areas of the city for affordable housing, the planning system deals in need,” he said.

He added that if there is a genuine need for more affordable homes in Dundee it is an issue that should be raised during consultation on the proposed local development plan.

The council’s housing strategy for 2013 to 2018 found there was “insufficient evidence to justify the introduction of an affordable housing policy within Dundee”.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said there is a need for more affordable housing across the country.

He said: “Dundee, and the rest of Scotland, is facing a housing crisis.

“In the last year almost 1,400 households in Dundee made a homelessness application to the council. Today there are around 270 households in temporary accommodation across the city, including more than 100 children.”


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