A NEW report has revealed that Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has had the highest number of new homes built in the area since 2009.

But, opposition councillors say more needs to be done to provide affordable homes in the borough.

The figures published in the Authority Monitoring Report indicate that 828 new homes were completed in the borough between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, with a further 1,500 homes under construction on April 1 last year.

Presented to a Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council economic, planning and housing committee on January 10, the report shows the number of new homes built is the highest since the adoption of Basingstoke and Deane’s Local Plan, the blueprint that guides decisions on development across the borough.

Of these 828 homes, a total of 243 affordable homes were delivered via the council’s policy of house builders providing 40 per cent on their developments.

This is less than the target of 300 a year but the borough council said it is a significant increase on recent years.

Leader of the Basingstoke Labour Group, Councillor Paul Harvey, said these figures are a “pure hunch” because a lot of what is accounted for is windfall sites.

Cllr Harvey said: “The council has lots of land to invest in, but instead wants to invest in private hotels and leisure parks.

“The council needs to have a hands-on approach to make sure they are directly involved in the planning of developments to ensure the 40 per cent is being met.

“We campaign for that figure not to be a target, but something which is implemented.”

The Labour leader claims that sites where this percentage is being met is in Labour wards, where councillors have been involved in the development process.

Cabinet member for planning and infrastructure Cllr Mark Ruffell said: “These latest housing figures continue the significant upward trend in housing delivery.

“Good progress has been made on our priority of giving more people in our community the opportunity of a home of their own, including delivering on our 40 per cent target for affordable housing.

“The monitoring report shows that our Local Plan is performing well and having a wide range of positive impacts on the built and natural environment, contributing to the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area.

“Recent planning appeals have shown that our Local Plan is robust and this Authority Monitoring Report demonstrates that we are building the right homes in the right places for the people of Basingstoke and Deane.”

The developments highlighted in the report contributing to the record figure include Kennel Farm, Razors Farm, Overton Hill and various brownfield sites.