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Ed Miliband backs new-housing plans during visit to Pudsey
Opposition leader Ed Miliband has pledged that a future Labour government would build at least 200,000 homes a year to tackle a growing UK housing shortage.
The Labour leader was speaking while visiting a West Yorkshire housing development, 25 per cent of which is made up of affordable homes.
His visit to the Pudsey site of David Wilson Homes coincided with the release of figures from the National House Building Council showing a 28 per cent rise in new home registrations in 2013 – the highest since 2007.
Mr Miliband said: “Britain has an acute housing shortage so we simply have to start building far more homes.
"That’s why the next Labour government will ensure that by 2020 over 200,000 homes are being built every year, and we’ll need companies like David Wilson Homes to help deliver that.
“I’m pleased that the company chief executive, Mark Clare, is a member of the independent Housing Commission I asked Michael Lyons to establish, to map out a path to achieving the radical increase in house building we need.
“I welcome figures of an increase in housing starts, but it’s a lamentable fact that building rates under this government remain the lowest since the 1920s.
"One Nation Labour will take the action necessary to tackle the housing crisis, give today’s young people the same opportunities their parents had, and build a sustainable economic recovery which benefits everyone.”
Ian Ruthven, managing director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes in West Yorkshire, added: “It was fantastic to welcome Ed Miliband to West Yorkshire and give him a tour of one of our popular developments and talk about our plans for house-building in Yorkshire over the next 12 months.
“We work closely with local councils to ensure that we are providing a high level of quality affordable homes and have more than 380 affordable homes planned for 2014 alone across our operating area.
“Our plans will also support thousands of jobs across Yorkshire and significantly impact the local economy.”
David Wilson Homes parent company Barratt Developments has announced plans to launch 11 new sites over the next 12 months, including in Bradford.
Meanwhile, estate agent Dacre, Son & Hartley, which has 20 offices in West and North Yorkshire, has reported record levels of website traffic with nearly 700,000 visitors opening nearly three million pages in 2013 – 11 per cent up on the previous year.
Patrick McCutcheon, head of residential sales, said: “The fact that our website is being accessed by so many people and for an increased amount of time shows it’s definitely doing its job and also reflecting growing consumer confidence in the residential property market.
“A huge part of our business involves our very successful commercial agency division which markets all types of commercial property and provides public sector services, rent reviews, healthcare, agriculture and commercial property management, so it made sense to profile that on our residential homepage.”
Dacre, Son & Hartley has also seen a 50 per cent surge in sales listings at its Otley office since relocating in the town where it has operated for nearly 200 years.
The new Bondgate which opened in November has also seen lettings business rise by attracting new landlords as demand from tenants continued to outstrip the number of rental properties available locally.
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