Less affordable homes to be built

29th April 2011'Wakefield Council agreed to build 79 houses on land off Northfield Lane, South Kirkby' 'LOCATION: The land off Northfield Lane, South Kirkby''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
29th April 2011'Wakefield Council agreed to build 79 houses on land off Northfield Lane, South Kirkby' 'LOCATION: The land off Northfield Lane, South Kirkby''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
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LESS affordable homes will be built as part of a new housing estate in South Kirkby so developers can meet planning costs.

In March Wakefield Council approved plans to develop 79 new homes on land off Northfield Lane.

It recommended that 23 properties should be made “affordable” for low-income families and the project should contribute more than £260,000 as part of a section 106 legal agreement.

But applicant Andrew Spiers argued the project would not be viable.

Last Thursday the council’s planning and highway committee approved to reduce the number of affordable properties to six, although some members had reservations.

At the meeting Coun Dick Taylor said: “Seventeen less affordable houses equates to a reasonable amount of money. The difference seems really over the top.”

Coun David Hopkins added: “It seems like a big drop and a significant sum. I don’t think it is unreasonable for us to know how much the difference is.”

Planning officers told the committee it was difficult to calculate the difference and the decrease in affordable housing was agreed with the council’s surveyor so that conditions in the 106 agreement could be met.

It includes a contribution of £57,749 towards Public Open Space, £83,744 for education and £120,000 for off-site flood mitigation.

The homes include a three-bed disabled-friendly bungalow, two-bed and three-bed houses for rent as well as two three-bed and one two-bed houses for shared ownership.

A further £31,995 will also be given to the council towards affordable housing in the area.

Mr Spiers was to use the money to pay for Metro travel cards for the new residents, but this was deemed as unnecessary by the council’s highways section.

The development previously caused controversy with local residents who were worried about traffic and possible flooding when the houses are built.