We at Dakota always want to keep up to date with the local news and what is happening in our surrounding area. Woking has beaten their affordable housing targets for 2016/17 by building 183 affordable homes, surpassing its aim to construct 102 homes last year. Council leader Councillor John Kingsbury told a full council meeting at Woking’s civic offices on Thursday (February 9th) about the council’s performance when it comes to providing new properties in the area.

In his speech, delivered to members of the council chamber, he said: “Through our significant investment in housing, the total number of 183 affordable homes delivered so far this year – every one of them in the borough – has again exceeded our target of 102, with more to come”.

“Through our Thameswey housing subsidiary we will continue to directly invest in developments that will provide new affordable homes for local people to rent or buy and, subject to council approval, we will regenerate Sheerwater and provide better and more suitable affordable housing for existing council tenants as well as additional open market homes for local people to buy”

As well as beating its housing target, the work of the local authority has been praised in the government’s latest Housing White Paper. The national publication, Fixing our broken housing market, recognises the borough council for its participation in a successful pilot licensing scheme with Natural England, designed to streamline the approach to great crested newt conservation for developers while delivering maximum conservation benefits.

The project is used as an example of how a more strategic approach could be taken to the habitat management of protected species to allow new homes to be built quickly, while at the same time ensuring that development works to adhere to conservation laws. The government proposes to roll out this approach to help other local authorities speed up the delivery of housing and other development.

Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, the council’s portfolio holder for environment and sustainability, said: “Woking Borough Council is pleased to be recognised for its vital work with Natural England on the great crested newt habitat improvement plan in the Housing White Paper”.

Dakota Weybridge applauds the fact that Woking council has not only exceeded its previous aim for affordable housing, but has also been recognised for their habitat conservation efforts is a tremendous step. These positive steps forward for the community are what we would strive to match.