A DEVELOPMENT featuring more than 200 properties on the former Polymer Latex site in Stoke Prior was given the go ahead by Bromsgrove District Council’s planning department, despite only having 15 per cent affordable housing.
That figure, which equates to just 30 out of the 202 homes, was an increase on the original ten per cent the developer offered but still falls well short of the 40 per cent benchmark the council is supposed to be striving for.
Coun Chris Bloore said he was not against the application but had concerns about ‘affordable housing provision.’
He said: “There are many young people working very hard to try and save for a deposit.
“I would like the number of affordable housing to be higher, at least 20 per cent.
“The people of Stoke Prior and their children deserve the opportunity to stay in the area and save a reasonable deposit.”
Coun Bloore said the application did also not mention solutions to dealing with traffic at Hanbury Road and the Redditch Road junction, adding traffic there was ‘already a nightmare’ and proposed investigating solutions.
There were also some general concerns surrounding the secluded location of the development, inconvenient public transport and distance from schools.
A ‘travel plan’ with a ‘welcome pack’ promoting sustainable forms of access to the site was one of the conditions put on the plan by the council.
Responding to Coun Bloore’s proposal to increase the number of affordable homes, a planning officer at the council meeting said: “It’s a difficult balance between the viability of delivering the scheme against the delivery of affordable housing.”
He added: “We have had the viability independently assessed by an external partner and the considered affordable housing is what the site can sustain.”
Coun May highlighted West Mercia Police’s (WMC) concerns about the lack of surveillance over cars parked at the back of specific points marked on the building plans. Among them were that there were areas which ‘could serve as a useful escape route for any potential thieves’.
The council planning officer said: “A general balance needs to be struck between crime prevention and permeability.
“The crime risk advisor is generally satisfied with the layout of the scheme.”
Building work for the four-year project will begin in March 2016.