Coastal parish councils back petition calling for more affordable homes for permanent residents

A petition calling for more social and affordable homes for permanent residents on the Northumberland coast has received a boost.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 8:54 am
Seahouses.

Parish councillors in North Sunderland and Beadnell have agreed to sign the petition launched last month by the BeadnellSeahouses Community group.

They will also write to Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson and Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

Rachel Douglas, Amy Dolan and Laura Keen of BeadnellSeahouses Community Group, who launched the petition, said: “We are delighted that both parish councils unanimously agreed to support the BeadnellSeahouses Community petition.”

The petition now has 642 signatures. The aim is to reach 1,000.

The petition states: ‘We the residents and supporters of the communities in Beadnell, Seahouses and North Sunderland urgently request the council, landowners and housing associations to take action to remedy the housing crisis in the area, provide social and affordable homes solely for permanent residents in-line with prices which reflect the wages in the area

‘Our community respects and embraces tourism, however due to out of area investments and the increase popularity and profits in staycations many families and residents are forced out of their homes or simply cannot afford to live in the area.

‘This is having a negative impact not only on the community but on local businesses who are unable to access employees due to the lack of residents in the area, despite offering wages in excess of the national minimum wage or living wage.

‘Without urgent investment in social and true affordable housing the area is not going to be able to sustain the tourism we rely on.

‘We therefore request urgent action to increase the housing stock in the area which is only available to people with true links to the area and restrict the exponential increase in holiday accommodation.’

The county council has currently identified a potential of 629 affordable houses in communities right across the county. This includes new affordable housing developments in Seahouses and Berwick - however negotiations are at an early stage so cannot yet be made public.

Last month, Cllr Sanderson said: “We are very aware of the shortage of affordable housing in parts of the county, and improving the quantity and quality of affordable housing to help create more homes for rent remains one of our top priorities.”

The petition can be viewed at https://chng.it/sqM7kNbb

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