Methods for increasing the amount of affordable homes in Windsor and Maidenhead are being considered given its reputation as one of the more expensive places to live in England.

According to the Office of National Statistics, the average house price was £551,000, which is more than the average price of £283,000 across the UK.

Meanwhile, the average monthly private rent in the area was £1,552 in March, compared to the average rent of £1,246 in the country.

Therefore, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is considering how more affordable housing can be delivered.

The council is holding a six-week public consultation on its draft Affordable Housing Delivery Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), a technical document which will help guide developers and those deciding planning applications.

The Borough Local Plan requires developers to deliver 30 or 40 per cent affordable homes on schemes of normally 10 or more properties, depending on specific size, nature and location.

The required tenure mix is 45 per cent social rented, 35 per cent affordable rented and 20 per cent intermediate housing such as shared ownership.

READ MORE: Construction begins for 100 per cent affordable homes in Maidenhead 

The Local Plan makes clear that affordable housing should be delivered on-site.

For exceptional circumstances when on-site is not possible, the SPD sets out how financial contributions from developers can be used to provide affordable housing elsewhere in the borough.

While SPDs cannot create new planning policy, or change those that exist already, it sets out detailed guidance to help the council and developers in negotiations to achieve as much affordable housing as possible from proposed developments, placing the priority on social rented and affordable rented homes which best meet the borough’s needs.

The consultation will run until June 20, and can be filled in online or by post here.

The Royal Borough is also hosting sessions where changes to the SPD will be discussed:

  • Tuesday, June 4 – 2pm to 6.30pm – Windsor Library drop-in session
  • Wednesday, June 5 – 7pm to 8.30pm – Online webinar via Microsoft Teams – The link for joining will be added to the council website earlier that week
  • Thursday, June 6 – 2pm to 6.30pm – Maidenhead Library drop-in session

Once the consultation is completed, the council will consider the responses, make changes if desired, and adopt the SPD.

Councillor Adam Bermange (Liberal Democrats, Boyn Hill), cabinet member for planning, legal and asset management, said: “We all know there’s an urgent need for more genuinely affordable housing in our borough and many residents find it very difficult to find a home, either to buy or rent, especially young people and those on low incomes.

“This document seeks to optimise the amount and type of affordable housing that we can deliver through the planning system, placing the priority on social rented as this is the most affordable to residents.”

Councillor Catherine del Campo (Liberal Democrats, Furze Platt), cabinet member for housing service added that the the council will place an emphasis on making rent cheaper to help meet the needs of residents.