Mid Devon District Councillor Stuart Penny (Yeo Ward) welcomed Central Devon MP Mel Stride to Copplestone today to discuss social housing in the district. Cllr Penny was recently appointed to the cabinet at Mid Devon with responsibility for Housing and Property Services and spoke with Mr Stride about national planning and housing policies and outlined some of his priorities for his new role. These include a preference for building on brownfield sites or adding homes to plots the council already owns over building on green spaces. They also discussed Mid Devon’s aim of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and spoke about new homes being built to high environmental standards to reduce emissions.
Speaking after their meeting, Cllr Penny said:
“I appreciated Mel taking time out of his busy schedule to come to Copplestone and discuss one of the biggest challenges facing our society – ensuring that every person, no matter what their income, has a safe and secure home. New homes have to be built somewhere and we will inevitably lose the odd field in this pursuit, but I am determined to minimise this wherever possible. We also need homes that are eco-friendly to help families with their bills and to lower emissions.”
Mr Stride, who as a treasury minister in 2017 helped to increase funding for the government’s Affordable Homes Programme from £7 billion to £9 billion, added:
“With house prices rising faster than wages every year that passes makes it slightly more difficult for the next generation to get on the housing ladder. Social housing and affordable housing are key to supporting those who cannot afford market rents or need help getting on the ladder. Stuart has taken on a tough brief and it was good to hear about some of the very positive ideas he has.”