A PLANNING application to build 41 properties in Cofton Hackett has been given the go ahead by Bromsgrove District Council planners.
The original proposal – for land off East Works Drive – was deferred at the last meeting of the planning committee in December so discussions could take place with applicant St Modwen regarding the location and appearance of affordable housing.
Concerns had been raised about where the social housing was placed and what it looked like and images of redesigned homes, displayed at the meeting on Monday, showed the affordable properties looked similar to the open market buildings and were now ‘indistinguishable’.
The proposal, part of an overall scheme to build 750 homes on the former MG Rover plant’s East Works site, will see four five-bedroom homes, 15 four-bedroom properties and eight three-bedroom homes built to be sold on the open market.
There will also be four three-bedroom homes and six two-bedroom properties will be for affordable rent and two three-bedroom houses and two two-bedroom properties will be for shared ownership.
The affordable housing on the site equates to 35 per cent on the site, one per cent up on the 34 per cent offered previously.
St Modwen will provide £2,460 to pay for wheelie bins for the scheme and a £50,000 contribution will be provided by St Modwen to improve the toilets at Lickey Hills Visitor Centre.
The ‘trigger point’ for the next stage of development was 30 homes but it was decreased at Monday’s meeting to 20.
When 20 homes have been completed, a new open space to the west of the site will be created and an application will be submitted for a new community centre / village hall.
Discussions about the centre and its facilities are currently taking place between Cofton Hackett Parish Council and St Modwen.
Keith Duncan, the chairman of the planning committee on Cofton Hackett Parish Council, said: “The original Cofton Hackett Village Hall was only a temporary building which was supposed to last 20 years – that was 50 years ago.”
He added over the years the hall had undergone several rennovations and the area really could do with a new hall that was fit for purpose.
Members of the parish council travelled to Long Marsden and were shown a community centre built as part of a development over there similar to the one St Modwen had in mind.
The building, said Mr Duncan, could be used for a variety of activities, including a meeting place for groups, such as brownies, scouts, cubs and guides, holding village meetings, staging shows by amateur dramatics groups and even holding wedding receptions and other celebratory events.
“We have been dealing with St Modwen for several years and have always found them to be very community-minded,” added Mr Duncan.