CASTLE Point is suffering a major shortfall in housing as no new affordable homes have been built for almost a year.

Figures released in a Castle Point cabinet meeting show 69 new homes were built in the borough between April and December last year, compared to an annual target of 200 homes.

Of these, only 22 affordable homes were constructed between April and June, after which no further affordable homes were built.

However, senior Tory councillors said the borough could soon see a surge in new affordable homes following the approval of recent planning applications at Thundersley Plotlands, in Kiln Road Thundersley and on Bread and Cheese Hill along the A13 London Road.

Jeffrey Stanley, deputy leader of the council said: “This is usually the area where we are not meeting our targets. This continues to be a disappointing figure and unfortunately it is not something we can influence directly.

“We have said this before and we continue to say it, people keep thinking Castle Point is being covered in concrete and development but clearly this is not correct. Only 69 new homes were built in those nine months, which is a pitiful number.”

Developer David Wilson Homes is currently in the process of constructing 150 new homes on land off Kiln Road, a development which will see the provision of 53 affordable homes.

Eight more affordable homes will be created off Bread and Cheese Hill, and 12 further affordable homes are currently being completed in Long Road, Canvey.

More affordable homes could also be on the cards following the provisional approval of up to 600 dwellings on Thorney Bay Caravan Park, in Canvey and 99 homes off Point Road, Canvey.

Norman Smith, cabinet member for economic development and business liaison, said: “It is very disappointing that affordable homes are not being built in the borough for those wanting to find a home in the borough.

“But following the approval of recent planning applications, in terms of affordable housing, I do not think it will be long before we start seeing a change.”