HOUSING developers are increasingly trying to get around building affordable housing within their schemes.

Winchester city councillors heard that there had been a 64 per cent increase in the number of projects with under 10 homes.

This follows the Government change of policy in May 2016 capping financial contributions to development of ten or more homes.

Cllr Jane Rutter, Liberal Democrat, asked how much this had hit the council budget and how many fewer homes had been built.

She suggested a figure for financial loss of £4 million.

Cllr Caroline Horrill, council leader and portfolio holder for housing, said there had been 203 application for ten or fewer homes since May 2016 compared to124 in May 2105-April 2016.

She said it was impossible to say how many houses would have been built because that depends on the viability of each scheme.

Since May 2016 180 new affordable homes had been built by the council and other providers with £1m in contributions from developers.

The meeting heard that an agreement with developers had yet to be signed over the plans for 3,500 homes at North Whiteley.

Some 40 per cent should be affordable but developers had persuaded the council that they could only afford 25 per cent affordable.