Concern that lack of affordable housing is forcing young people out of Church Stretton
Young people are being forced to move out of their community due to a lack of affordable housing in Church Stretton, councillors fear.
Church Stretton Town Council is asking residents to complete a housing needs survey so it can get an idea of the scale of the problem, which it says is causing the population of the town to become unbalanced.
The council said in a statement that it was, "concerned that truly affordable housing in the area is becoming more difficult to acquire and that the cost of housing is increasing beyond the reach of local people"
It added: "This applies especially to younger people and those on lower incomes, with the result that these residents usually have to move away. This undermines the natural balance of the community.
"The same applies to residents who, by reason of age and/or disability, want to move to more suitable accommodation within the community but are unable to do so."
A second survey is being circulated to local businesses, aimed at workers who commute into Church Stretton but would prefer to live in the town.
The statement added: "The town council is also aware that many who work in Church Stretton but who are not currently resident in the town may wish to live in the town if housing options were available to them within their means.
"This results in many having to commute long distances into work with the resultant costs in time and money as well as carbon emissions."
Information garnered from the survey will help to inform future planning and housing policy for the area.
Church Stretton Mayor Bob Welch said: "The start of a new decade offers the opportunity for a new beginning and one in which it is important for everyone to be involved. The community-led planning process offers such an opportunity.
"We already know that one of our biggest challenges is to provide genuinely affordable housing, especially for our younger residents.
"We are fortunate to live in a community which is both inclusive and supportive.
"We will need to draw on these strengths as we, together, face up to the challenges and opportunities of the future. I wish every member of the community a happy and healthy New Year."