SOS issued over housing in Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and beyond...

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DEMANDS for more affordable housing in East Dunbartonshire could lead to chaos, it is feared.

Council chiefs have issued an SOS to Scottish ministers over the supply of land for new homes.

They fear ploughing ahead to meet tough targets would mean offering precious greenbelt areas to developers . . . who may not want to build houses on them anyway.

East Dunbartonshire Council has halted its Local Development Plan process to allow talks with the Scottish Government on affordable housing land supply.

Due to a lack of Government funding for such homes, the council would have to compel private developers to earmark 25 per cent of new sites for affordable houses.

However, due to a lack of available urban land that would mean laying waste to a “significant” amount of greenbelt.

To add further anxiety to the situation, there is a general lack of demand for market housing due to the ongoing economic downturn.

It all means that the council has serious concerns over potential “conflicts” between plans and targets for the future.

A recent meeting of the council was informed there is an “exceptionally high” shortfall in affordable housing in East Dunbartonshire.

In its Local Housing Strategy the council set a “very challenging” target of delivering 5,380 new homes by 2020 to meet the shortfall.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said the authority did not wish to make “rash decisions”, stressing: “Providing affordable housing needs to be linked to a percentage of market housing and the exceptionally high affordable housing need in the area is at odds with the clear lack of demand for market housing.

“Councillors agreed that it is essential we raise this with the Scottish Government and agree a workable way forward that does not compromise our greenbelt and the overall housing requirements of the area.”

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