Six affordable homes will be provided at a housing development in Greystoke, it has been agreed.
Story Homes had applied to Eden Council in order to vary a legal agreement relating to the development of 40 homes on land east of the Thorpe, Greystoke.
Originally it had been agreed that 30 per cent of the houses on the site would be affordable homes, but, last month, Eden Council’s planning committee was told that Story Homes was seeking to lower that number to four affordable houses due to “significant site specific abnormal build costs”.
These four homes were to be offered at a discounted sale price at 60 per cent open market value, said Paul Fenton, development planner at Story Homes.
However, Roy Fisher, chairman of Greystoke Parish Council, said the 30 per cent level of affordable dwellings was presented by the developer as being a “huge positive” for the parish as it would allow people with the correct links to the area to purchase housing at an affordable price.
Mr Fisher said the application to reduce the number of affordable houses from the 30 per cent agreed “makes a mockery of the whole scheme”.
He said: “Local affordable housing is in dire need and the bid to reduce the number to be provided by the scheme was detrimental to the area.
“We must provide for our younger generation to get a foot on the property ladder – they cannot afford the prices of market-led dwellings, especially in a country area like Greystoke.
“We have 280 dwellings in Greystoke parish and 150 of those are occupied by senior citizens, of the remainder only 33 are occupied by people who have children.
“We need to replenish our community – we have a school, swimming pool, village hall, church and a pub.”
Nick Atkinson, Eden’s planning services development manager, said the application was deferred for a month to enable planning officers to negotiate and liaise with the applicant to see if there could be a further contribution in terms of the affordable units to be provided at the site.
Mr Atkinson told today’s planning meeting: “Discussions have taken place with the applicant who has confirmed that a revised number of six affordable dwellings can be offered at the site.”
He added that it was disappointing that the previously agreed 30 per cent of affordable provision cannot be offered at the site, however the reasons for this do relate to the viability of developing the site with that 30 per cent affordable provision – which had been independently assessed by the council – and the application was recommended for approval.
Ian Chambers (Con, Eamont), who proposed the application for approval, said: “I fully agree with what the parish council says – villages need low cost homes for young people and young families.
“I’m surprised Story Homes didn’t look at the land before they bought it as it appears they bought it and then found all these problems.”
He said unfortunately they don’t have any real reason to refuse this. The number of affordable homes has been increased from four to six, but it is not the number that was originally agreed.
The proposal, which was seconded by John Lynch (Con, Penrith), was agreed by five votes for and two against.