December 10 2013 Latest news:
Monday, August 19, 2013
Villagers have been left upset after all affordable housing was removed from a development because it was said to be unviable to build the homes.
Developers were granted permission for ten properties on the site of an old piggery between Tremelia Gardens and Mill Lane in Trimley St Martin.
Suffolk Coastal has a policy of one-in-three homes being social housing and councillors agreed three affordable homes should be provided.
However, the legal agreement was later altered to reduce this to one affordable property, and councillors have now agreed to amend it again to remove all social housing from the site.
Developer Red Box Partnerships said inclusion of the affordable homes made the project unviable.
Council officers agreed and calculated that with no affordable homes the site would generate a 14.52% profit on cost, the minimum to enable the scheme to be viable.
Trimley St Martin Parish Council, which objected to the loss of the first two affordable homes, said it believed the remaining one should not be lost because “nothing has changed in the housing market, or in the costs of house building since that time”.
The council said in a statement: “The provision of affordable housing was agreed by a legally binding formal deed.
“If Suffolk Coastal District Council changes this just because the developer requests a change, this could be perceived to be undemocratic, indicating that developers’ interests were being favoured over the needs of the community for access to affordable housing.”
Planning case officer Liz Beighton said the Government’s intention was to promote growth and remove onerous affordable housing provision in legal agreements where these were causing sites to become stagnant.
If the council did not modify the affordable housing when it had been shown to be economically unviable there is the opportunity to appeal to the Secretary of State.
She said: “Whilst it is acknowledged that there is a need for affordable provision in the district, there is also a need to deliver housing and re-visit viability to ensure development can take place.”