Tuesday 23 April 2024
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183 Affordable homes approved despite funding fears

Affordable homes will be built in Mansfield, despite councillors questioning the level of funding the scheme will bring to benefit the local area.

The 183 properties will be priced to enable those on lower incomes to get onto the property ladder, and will be built on land at the junction of Brick Kiln Lane and Abbott Road.

Piper Homes Ltd had originally proposed the development for the open market, with a contribution of £1.8m to the local community.

Abbott Road

All housing developments are required to make these payments to improve an area’s infrastructure, including doctors, schools and transport.

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However, when the scheme was changed to being categorised as affordable housing, the agreed contribution was reduced to £650,000.

The developer said the properties would add a much-needed boost to cheaper homes in the area.

However, one member of the planning committee said Mansfield District Council was “having the wool pulled over its eyes”.

The properties will have two to four bedrooms, including some bungalows.

Residents at the meeting said the application didn’t meet policies on traffic and nature, which council officers disagreed with.

Andrew Miles said: “We are not objecting in principle – the council should be applauded for securing affordable housing on this scale.

“However, it comes at the expense of biodiversity. It sets a very dangerous precedent for future development.”

There were also concerns about the existing congestion on the nearby junction.

Councillor Barry Answer (Mansfield Ind) said: “We do want houses, but not at expense of education, bus services and doctors. We can see clearly these are being sacrificed to build these houses.

“We are having the wool pulled over our eyes.”

Councillor Richard Tempest-Mitchell (Lab) called for an independent review into how much the developer should contribute to the local community.

“A big complaint people have is not enough infrastructure. This project doesn’t provide what it originally would have,” he said.

However, Councillor Craig Whitby (Lab) said the proposals were justifiable.

“The loss of chunk of contributions is concern, but £650,000 in a deprived area is welcome, and will really benefit the people in Ladybrook,” he told the committee.

“We have thousands of people on our housing waiting list who need homes like this.”

Simon Betts, speaking for the applicant, said that affordable homes and this level of contribution was the only viable way to deliver the scheme, thanks to grants from Homes England.

The final vote was five in favour, with Councillor Answer and Tempest-Mitchell against.

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