Henblas Street Development
May 7, 2019 at 8:43 am #167642
Any thoughts on this subject?May 7, 2019 at 9:06 am #167643
Nope.May 7, 2019 at 10:09 am #167644
As much as it does seem to be greed by the developer, unfortunately they’re still right – there’s no evidence that the figures that they provided were wrong, so it’ll likely be overturned.May 7, 2019 at 10:20 am #167645
As much as the Planning Committee can feel aggrieved at the lower figures offered, I believe the full time officers in the Council Planning Department have to take the blame for this fiasco.May 7, 2019 at 2:27 pm #167669
I believe that the Mandale Group have every right to feel aggrieved at the decision of the Planning Committee which went 100% against the recommendations of the Planning Officer. I wish them well in their appeal.
I see no justification whatsoever as to why a building contractor should provide £300k towards the cost of affordable housing elsewhere in the Borough. It is on the face of it, tantamount to blackmail….. you give us £300k and we will grant you permission.
Unfortunately, this is yet another example that illustrates clearly that the Planning Committee is not fit for purpose, making decisions on the hoof with little or no regard to due equitable process.
Almost weekly, we read that an appeal has been successful against WCBC Planning decisions and the time has now surely come for an immediate in depth review to be carried out into the iniquitous behaviour and processes of planning in WCBC.May 7, 2019 at 3:17 pm #167670
Hows about a cinema, an indoor market and a café,with maybe a Post office and greengrocers.May 7, 2019 at 5:14 pm #167680
It’s a total developer scam to get out of building or contributing to any affordable housing whatsoever – has been well known for years.
Courtesy of article above New Statesmen
Today we rely on private housebuilders to build most of our homes. But as profit-driven organisations they are, perhaps understandably, not very good at building affordable homes.
A favoured, and perfectly legitimate way of building fewer affordable homes is through something called a “viability assessment”.
When a housing developer gets planning permission they are normally required by the council to make a number of the homes they build officially “affordable”. This number varies across the country but is usually between 30 to 50 per cent and developers will be aware of the requirement before they begin drawing up plans.
But the less affordable housing a developer builds, the more profit they could make, so the developer deploys the viability assessment. This allows them to go back to the council and say that the amount of affordable housing they originally agreed is no longer possible.
They’ll often blame changes in their costs or lower than anticipated house prices (as we’ve seen recently with the Battersea Power Station development), meaning they won’t make sufficient profits to build the number of affordable homes originally planned. Their case is strengthened by the fact the law was changed in 2012 to state that the developer must make “competitive returns” (in practice, 20 per cent profit) on the development.
The massive problem here is that we can’t scrutinise these really important decisions because, guess what, the viability assessment is private. So affordable homes are being denied to people who really need them right across the country in this way, but local communities, journalists, campaigners and charities like Shelter are not being allowed to question it. And of course, it’s those people desperate for an affordable place to live who lose out.
It can be argued that developers are simply following the instinct of most private companies in being competitive and taking the opportunity to make more money. The real issue is that they are allowed to do it so easily in the first place, and keep it a secret.
The viability assessment should only be used when circumstances have made the council’s requirements literally impossible. And in such a case, it should be published so the public can scrutinise it. After all, in such an eventuality – what does anyone have to hide, right?May 7, 2019 at 5:29 pm #167681
Hows about a cinema, an indoor market and a café,with maybe a Post office and greengrocers.
It would never happen, council would say lack of car parking spaces.May 7, 2019 at 5:45 pm #167682
Cinema – got one at Eagles Meadow, Indoor Market – we got 2.5, a Cafe – take your pick, Post Office – down the road in Smiths – Greengrocers – again several.
Was this even a serious suggestion?May 7, 2019 at 6:53 pm #167696
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