THE TARGET of affordable homes built was missed in a borough council's quarter one performance, leading to anger from councillors.

Copeland Borough Council's overview and scrutiny committee heard a report on the authority's quarter one performance this week from officer Steve Brown.

The report revealed that Copeland Council met 79 per cent of key performance indicators in the first quarter.

Targets met included the number of major planning applications resolved within 13 weeks and percentage of council tax collected. The domestic abuse support service is also on-target for Copeland, 87 per cent of KPIs performed equal to or better than the same quarter last year.

However the council is not on target in the number of affordable homes built.

Independent councillor Sam Meteer said: "The council can influence the number of affordable homes that's necessary in any development. I'm concerned that we seem to be going down the road now, I'm sure there's been a couple in the last couple of years, where we've actually given conditions to developments for affordable homes and they start a development, they come back and say 'it's not viable.'

"The members of the planning panel have rolled over and said 'well you don't need to do any affordable homes now' which really is a waste of time for us putting down a condition in the planning that we need X number of homes."

Steven said: "I think those points have been made at the executive as well and I think your comments are understood."

Conservative councillor Charles Maudling, who sits on the planning panel said: "There's definitely a need for it. We can ask but I don't think it's a stipulation. The planning officer Nick Hayhurst and the team they do a very good job.

"Anything that we're entitled to ask for they've asked for."

Councillor Maudling added that provision of affordable homes has to be "right for the developer" also.

He said that low take-up for affordable homes could be due to the mortgage criteria in the area.

The performance report said that the council's missed target on affordable homes could be due to schemes being approved a long time ago and did not require affordable homes provision at the time.

The report said: "Also there may be viability issues on sites or the scale of the development (as we are not able to require affordable homes on smaller sites (usually less than 10 units)."