Scores of new homes to be built in village - and work could start this year
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Work to build scores of new homes in a Norfolk village could begin before the end of the year, after plans were given the go ahead.
Lovell Partnerships Ltd has been given permission to build 69 new homes on the edge of Newton St Faith, despite the scheme promising considerably lower than Broadland's affordable housing requirements.
In April, members of Broadland's planning committee postponed its decision over the plans to call for further investigation into how financially viable the scheme was.
Going into the April meeting, the developers told the council it could only feasibly deliver the scheme with seven affordable houses included - 10pc of the overall development.
Broadland's requirements usually call for 33pc of any development to be made available for social housing, unless developers can reasonably show the scheme would otherwise be unachievable.
Further scrutiny was carried out into the finances of the proposals, including an independent study carried out on the council's behalf.
However, the application returned to the committee with affordable housing provisions unchanged.
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Stuart Beadle, Liberal Democrat councillor for Reepham, who originally called for the extra studies to be carried out, said he was still uncomfortable with the proposals.
He said: "I do not want to accept that 10pc is adequate."
John Ward, who was chairing the committee, however, said he felt refusing the application would run the risk of the council missing out on social housing altogether.
He said: "We would get the 10pc on offer if this is approved, but if it is not then we would get none."
Helen Mellors, assistant director of planning at the council said: "We have gone back and look at it and placed the developer's calculations under scrutiny, but this is what they have come back with."
Members of the committee voted seven to four in favour of approving the scheme.
The plans will see 69 homes built on land behind Manor Road in the village. As part of the proposals, a single bungalow on the street stands to be demolished to provide vehicle access to the site.
Simon Medler, regional director of Lovell, said that all being well work could begin before the end of the year with the first households moving in around this time next year.