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Property replacement plan 'madness'

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 06, 2013

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Housing chiefs have warned against George Osborne's plan to sell the most valuable social houses if it strips rural and coastal Devon and Cornwall of homes for the poorest.

In his autumn financial statement that pointed to Britain on the road to economic recovery, the Chancellor said local authorities should sell their most valuable property when they become vacant and use the receipts to build cheaper homes.

Salcombe in South Devon and Rock in North Cornwall, for example, boast million-pound plus properties – meaning neighbouring council houses would command a high asking price on the open market.

Cornwall Housing, which manages housing stock on behalf of Cornwall Council, warned it was "very unlikely" housing in remote coastal areas would be replaced in the same area if sold.

Ben Bradshaw, Labour MP for Exeter, said forcing councils to sell council houses is "madness".

The autumn statement, a mini-Budget, revealed the British economy is growing at twice the rate expected just nine months ago, and faster than any other major country.

But the Chancellor was accused of "creating real generational injustice" after telling under-50s they have to work into their 70s.

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