Maldon district: developers lose bid to have condition on affordable housing removed

  Posted: 11.06.21 at 07:30 by The Editor

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A developer's bid to have a condition on affordable housing removed from a planning permission for 90 new homes has been rejected.

Maldon District Council's (MDC) District Planning Committee voted on Wednesday (9 June) to refuse the developer's request to remove a 'Section 106' condition attached to the permission granted in December for 90 new homes on land North of Marsh Road in Burnham-on-Crouch.

The application asks for "removal of condition 36 (affordable housing to NDSS (Nationally Described Space Standards)". These space standards, set out by the Government, specify the maximum number of occupants a home is suitable for based on its size and floor space.

The application of space standards in the conditions mean that the developer is obliged to provide affordable homes which - in the case of this site - would meet the standards to allow the following:

-6 x 1 bedroom 2 person flats
-5 x 1 bedroom 2 person bungalows
-18 x 2 bedroom 4 person houses
-7 x 3 bedroom 5 person houses.

Removing this condition would not have changed the number or type of homes built, but could have meant that, for example, a two-bedroomed home might in reality only prove suitable for housing three people, rather than four.

An MDC housing officer explained to the meeting that this could mean the affordable homes provided might not meet the strongest need for housing identified by the district.

However, the developer's agent told the meeting that the condition in question had been added to the agreement "at the eleventh hour" - and that a decision at another development by the Planning Inspector made them believe the imposition of the space standards condition could not be justified.

The agent also argued that the homes would not be small and would be "fantastic quality homes for future residents".

But Councillor Wendy Stamp said: "I don't believe we should be allowing developers to go below minimum standards."

The councillors voted to reject the developer's application to have the condition removed.


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