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Areas in Kent where the most new homes were built last year

The number of homes created across the country in the 12 months to March 2019 was the highest for 30 years, according to figures released by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government this week.

They show a net addition of 241,130 homes across the UK - approximately equal to 1% of the nation's housing stock, which is estimated to be 24.2m homes.

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In the year 2018-2019, there were 213,660 new build homes, plus 29,260 homes gained as a result of a change of use between non-domestic and residential, 5,220 additional homes were created by converting houses to flats, and 940 from other means such as caravans and houseboats.

They were offset by the 7,940 homes that were demolished.

Of those resulting from a change of use, 12,032 arose from the conversion of office buildings to flats across the UK.

Kent has played its part in creating the new homes - but not equally. There has been a wide disparity between the number of net additional new homes created in each borough or district council, with Sevenoaks contributing the fewest at 225 homes, and Maidstone the most at 1,146.Maidstone even supplied more new homes than the unitary authority of Medway, which contributed only 649 homes.


The figure indicates that 3% of all the nation's extra housing was in Kent.

Although the struggle to find new building plots for housing development is possibly one of the most contentious issues that councils have to deal with, there is something in it for them.

The Government pays local authorities a New Homes Bonus to incentivise them to find as many building plots as possible. The bonus is calculated via a complicated formula that takes into account the addition to housing stock in recent years, its value in terms of council tax band, with extra payments for the creation of affordable homes and for bringing derelict property back into use.

The Government has also announced its New Homes Bonus payments to authorities for this year. Again there is a wide disparity between the receipts for different authorities.

Dartford turns out to be the authority reaping the biggest reward with a payment of £4.773m, while Thanet is to receive the least at £599,000.

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