COTSWOLD District Council is exploring new ways to deliver more affordable homes to tackle what has been described as a 'housing emergency'.

The authority is considering options such as developing affordable homes on council-owned land, purchasing homes from the open market and reviewing empty homes across the district to provide the right homes for the right people.

It will also review strategic site allocations, brownfield site opportunities and alternative options such as rural exception sites.

CDC has identified 1,453 households in the district in need of affordable housing.

A spokesperson said: "By taking a more innovative approach, we aim to explore more innovative ways to address the affordable housing crisis outside of the normal planning process.

"We will also work with partners such as West Oxfordshire District Council, Bromford Homes, Cottsway Housing Association, and Homes England to find new ways to deliver more affordable homes.

"By adopting this proactive approach, we aim to set a precedent for local authorities committed to addressing the housing crisis and ensuring that every resident has access to suitable, affordable and sustainable housing."

CDC leader Joe Harris said: “The average house price in the Cotswold district is now half a million pounds, that’s 14 times higher than average earnings. Meanwhile, we have thousands of people on housing waiting lists.

"It’s clear that we have a housing emergency in the Cotswolds.

“Everyone deserves a home to meet their needs. That’s why we are committed to increasing the number of genuinely affordable homes across the district for local people and taking a more proactive and innovative approach to solving this problem.

“The national planning system is not delivering the affordable homes we need despite our efforts to push for more affordable homes in new developments.

"This approach is about doing all we can to build affordable homes for local people who need them most, not just leaving it to the market where making a profit is the priority rather than the needs of people.”