On October 20th 2016 the residents of Swanwick took to the polls to vote in the Neighbourhood Plan Referendum.
The Swanwick Neighbourhood Plan included policies against which all future development proposals would be assessed through the planning process conducted by the Local Planning Authority. The examiner who considered the strategy recommended major changes to the plan which the local planning authority, Amber Valley Borough Council accepted. Swanwick Parish Council took the view that the plan as originally submitted had been so drastically changed that the modified plan, on which the referendum was held,“no longer represented the aspirations of the Swanwick community”.
The people of Swanwick voted NO to the question
‘Do you want Amber Valley Borough Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Swanwick to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?’
This local referendum on planning led me to consider how our local area is developing and changing with new housing popping up all over Amber Valley.
In a government press release in October 2015, David Cameron promised to build a million new homes by 2020. The current building figures show that in the first three months of 2016 building statistics were down. Nationally there were 35,530 houses built in the first quarter of the year, a long way from the ambitious government target of 50,000 houses required each quarter.
Most academics believe that if the UK hits the high levels of building targets that the government is proposing, then the housing market would balance itself out. It is thought that the increased supply of property would give a chance for the younger generation to buy their own home instead of renting.
Which is better to buy? A new build property or an established property in Alfreton and Ripley?
The average house price for a new build property in Amber Valley in 2012 was £181,871 whereas the average house price for an established house in 2012 was £129,791. In 2016 the average house price for a new build property in Amber Valley has risen to £213,759 meaning the price of a new build property has risen by as much as 17.53%. Although average house prices for established homes have risen at the higher rate of 20.76% since 2012 the purchase price of an established property is still 36.39% lower than a new build.
The figures show therefore that it is cheaper for first time buyers to invest in an already established property. Older properties may not be as shiny and new but in the Alfreton and Ripley area they don’t carry the premium of a new build house.
Many communities across Amber Valley have attempted to block proposed new developments from going ahead in recent years. Swanwick residents have been involved in several such debates, the residents of Wingfield Road in Alfreton fought to stop the Damstead Park development and the village of Crich was unsuccessful in stopping the Devonshire Gardens development which started construction this month.
Of course no one knows what the future holds… but it is very likely that more local communities in the Amber Valley area will be under pressure to allow further building developments to take place over the coming years.
For more information please do not hesitate to contact me.