Housing market “pressures” could result in fewer affordable homes at Drayton development

The masterplan for the development adjacent to Hall Lane. Picture: PJ Livesey

The masterplan for the development adjacent to Hall Lane. Picture: PJ Livesey - Credit: Archant

Landowners behind a 250 home development on the outskirts of Norwich are asking for flexibility in the number of affordable homes due to 'pressures on the housing market'.

Hall Lane in Drayton. Picture: Dominic Gilbert

Hall Lane in Drayton. Picture: Dominic Gilbert - Credit: Archant

PJ Livesey put plans out for consultation in June after outline permission was approved for the site, owned by Drayton Farms Ltd, on the eastern border of the village of Drayton.

Since permission was approved by Broadland District Council in September last year, negotiations have been ongoing into the sec 106 contribution.

Now, a proposal is coming to the planning committee asking for more flexibility in the statutory 33pc of affordable homes.

In a report to the council, planning officers state: 'It is evident that current pressures on the housing market require potential flexibility in the provision of affordable housing.

'The applicant is therefore asking for a clause in the agreement that allows for a lower percentage of affordable housing in the event that a future developer can demonstrate, via a viability assessment, that 33pc cannot be viably delivered.'

They are also recommending a 'clawback' clause. In the event the proportion of affordable homes is reduced a commuted sum would be paid towards off site affordable housing.

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While the final details are ironed out, Drayton Parish Council has reiterated their 'major concern' about the development, including drainage.

Jonathan Hall, clerk to Drayton Parish Council, said they have 'vigorously opposed' the development from day one.

'Despite raising concerns, we have seen the proposals increase from 185 dwellings, over two separate sites to the current agreed application of up to 250 dwellings,' he said.

'The parish council acknowledges the need for affordable housing and if the clawback provision is approved by BDC, and the clause required implementation due to excessive profit margins being generated, the parish council would need to decide whether to support any commuted sum arising to be used to provide affordable housing in the parish or neighbouring areas.

'The development has made provision to provide additional land for Drayton Medical Practice to expand but with current waiting lists for appointments around four weeks, any additional housing is likely to make this situation worse.'

PJ Livesey and Drayton Farms Ltd were approached for comment.

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