Number of affordable properties across two developments in Sprowston could be slashed by more than 40pc
PUBLISHED: 15:03 27 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:03 27 October 2017
More than 130 affordable homes could be axed from two large-scale developments near Norwich.
Developer United Businesses and Leisure Limited is proposing to build 380 houses on land south of Salhouse Road in Sprowston.
Planning policy for the Greater Norwich area states 33pc of new homes should be made affordable, but the developer is seeking to reduce the figure to 17.5pc as part of the overall application.
It means that the number of affordable properties will fall from 125 to 67.
Meanwhile, developers behind a larger 803-home scheme, also on land south of Salhouse Road, are seeking to lower their affordable housing requirements to 15pc - a reduction of 81 homes.
The request comes after the development was granted outline permission in January this year, with its affordable housing obligation already reduced from 33pc to 25pc.
Both applications will go before Broadland District Council’s planning committee on November 1.
In a report for the 380-home scheme, a planning officer said the recommendation for members to accept the affordable home reduction was not taken “lightly”.
The report said the applicant had submitted an appraisal showing that the 33pc affordable housing target was not viable.
Its viability statements were also “rigorously” tested by an independent consultant, who confirmed 17.5pc was the highest level of affordable housing which could be achieved.
The officer added: “This figure of 17.5pc is significantly reduced from the policy position of the join core strategy and recommending to members that it is a figure that should be accepted is not one that is taken lightly by officers.”
The report said planning policy does allow for affordable housing numbers to be reduced if the applicant can demonstrate it would render the site unviable.
“Given the discussion above and the fact that this application will deliver a large part of housing and the school site for this allocation, it is considered that this development is appropriate,” the report said.
The overall outline housing application has been recommended for approval.
Meanwhile, a separate application seeks to “modify” the affordable housing obligation of a 803-home scheme to 15pc. The details are yet to be made public.