Lack of ‘affordable’ guarantees could scupper homes for young

Framlingham

Framlingham - Credit: Mike Page

Proposals for 14 properties for the “younger generation” in a market town look set to be rejected.

The Mills Charity has put forward the project for the almshouses – four flats and ten houses – in Framlingham.

However, planners say while the scheme is “highly commendable”, the site – a triangle of grassland in agricultural use between Vyces Road and Brook Lane – is outside the town boundary and are concerned as to whether the homes can be designated as affordable for ever.

Framlingham Town Council supports the venture, but there have been six objections and seven letters from residents raising concerns.

In documents submitted with the plans, the Framlingham-based Mills Charity, which already runs almshouses in the town for people who demonstrate a need to live there, said the aim was to provide affordable homes for the “younger generation” under flexible letting criteria.

But planning case officer Kathryn Oelman is recommending Suffolk Coastal’s planning committee refuse the application on Thursday.

She said: “The benefits of the proposed scheme would be significant and its aspirations towards 100% provision of affordable housing are highly commendable.

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“However, some of these benefits cannot be secured in perpetuity and the design of the scheme gives considerable cause for concern. The proposed dwellings are orientated in order that they turn their back upon the street and present a large parking area to its most open aspect.

“On balance, the application has been recommended for refusal as the adverse environmental impacts are not considered to outweigh those benefits which can be secured in perpetuity and the proposal is contrary to the development plan.”

As it is not an exception site, the council cannot insist in legal agreements that all homes are affordable.

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