NOT a single affordable home was granted planning permission in the Lake District in the first six months of the new financial year, new figures have shown.

The Lake District National Park Authority has said it is behind track on its plans for 2018-19, according to a report to go to a Murley Moss committee next week.

The authority had hoped that 12 affordable homes would have been granted planning permission by the authority between April and September.

But none were - putting the target into “amber”  status which means it might not be reached.

Park officials have pointed out, however, that there is still time with several months of the 2018-19 financial year still to go. Its annual target for affordable homes is 30.

The issue remains one of the authority’s biggest challenges - not least because of the high land prices in the Lakes which deters developers.

Park planners have, however, already passed its 2018-19 target for granting permission for “local needs homes” - several months ahead of schedule.

Nearly 50 have been given the go-ahead and that number could soar to 90 by March next year, if current performance continues, the park said.

In a report to go before the authority’s resources committee on Friday, Dave McGowan, the national park’s head of development management, wrote: “Delivery of affordable housing relies on a small number of larger schemes, making delivery again this target extremely volatile.

“Furthermore, there can be a large period of time between a resolution to grant permission and the developer completing the necessary planning obligation that allows permission to be granted.”

Figures show that the national park has granted planning permission for more than 200 affordable homes since 2013. And more than 90 per cent of  all planning applications get the go-ahead.

The authority has said 72 per cent of its work is on course to meet or pass its year-end target.

During the last five years, the average number of affordable homes granted planning permission has been 40 - which is 10 more than the annual target.

The authority does not build houses but has to try to ensure new buildings or conversions are of a type needed by people who live and work locally.

Figures from 2012 show that the average house price in the national park in  was £254,000 with average salaries less than £27,000.

Coniston has been one of the problem spots for affordable housing with 51 per cent of the housing stock there being either a second or holiday home.