A new development in Sneinton has been tipped for approval despite the developer saying it is unable to provide financial contributions to the local area.
Nottingham City Council sold a portion of land next to the Victoria Leisure Centre and Sneinton Market to developer Blueprint back in 2018.
Blueprint’s ‘Fruit Market’ development, the name of which pays homage to the area’s history as a once-thriving fruit market, is being delivered in several phases.
The first phase includes 13 homes between Bath Street and Brook Street and is expected to be completed early next year. Most have already been sold.
Blueprint’s second and third phases, for 22 townhouses and four duplex apartments, have now been tipped for approval at a Planning Committee meeting on November 22.
However, financial contributions of £432,765, including £282,497 for affordable housing and £66,072 for education, will have to be waived because the developer says the scheme would be “unviable” if it had to pay the amounts.
When most housing developments are approved, developers typically agree to provide what’s called a Section 106 contribution, as required under council policy.
This usually comes in the form of financial payment to help with affordable housing targets, as well as contributing towards more open space, biodiversity gain, and education, employment and training opportunities in the local area.
“Contributions totalling £432,765.14, secured through Section 106
obligations are required to comply with the council’s planning policies,” planning documents say.
“The applicant has submitted a viability assessment seeking to demonstrate that the development would be unviable if these contributions are made.
“The viability assessment has been the subject of an independent review process and the recommendation reflects this.”
Documents add: “The applicant has submitted a viability appraisal with the application, which has been independently assessed by the council’s consultants.
“The independent assessment agrees that the scheme is unable to provide a policy compliant S106.
“On the basis of the conclusions of the independent assessment of the applicant’s viability appraisal it is therefore accepted that no S106 contributions are justified in this instance, and it in these circumstances it is considered that the proposed development accords with [policy].”
The buildings are proposed to be three to four storeys in height and built between Bath Street and Brook Street, within the Sneinton Market Conservation Area.
If approved, the townhouses will be built around a central communal courtyard space, with short back yards.
An ancillary commercial building is also proposed to replace an existing garage and storage building to the rear of Park View Court flats.
The building would potentially be made available for community use, documents say, featuring “a ground floor multi-functional space and a first-floor mezzanine space.
Homes would be gas-free, with heating and hot water provided by air-source heat pumps.