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New homes for Sutton St James but none of them 'affordable'

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A developer will be allowed to build 30 new properties in Sutton St James - despite failing to deliver any affordable homes in the site.

Scenic Homes has been given the go ahead to construct the properties on land next to Havencombe in Chapelgate.

The green light was given by South Holland District Council’s planning committee on Wednesday - with members agreeing with a viability assessment that demonstrated why it would not make enough profit with affordable homes and a full set of community contributions.

Planning Applications. (50279194)
Planning Applications. (50279194)

Agent Alan Finch said Scenic had experience with projects in Sutton St Edmund, Moulton and Moulton Seas End - and that he ‘struggled to comprehend’ opposition from the parish council - who disliked the lack of affordables.

A previous plan for 27 properties on the site did include four affordable homes - but Mr Finch argued the old plan contained more bungalows and that this one delivered homes suitable for first time buyers.

The 30 homes will include four two-bed and 14 three-bed houses, four four-bed and four five-bed ‘dwellings’ and four three-bed bungalows.

Coun Mick Seymour said: “It’s not an overdevelopment in a village. A village does not need multi-storey houses jammed close in together.”

Viability forms say Scenic Homes would have to accept a profit level below 17.5% to deliver the site with a full set of community contributions.

Coun Jack Tyrrell agreed this was too low, adding: “The taxman earns more than that and he doesn’t even turn up.”

However, Coun Chris Brewis said the viability argument showed that too much had been paid for the land.

Following an independent assessment, the developer will pay £32,00 for education - and nothing to the NHS.

Several members praised the design - and also called for parish councils to take a proactive approach to get funding for their areas.

Coun Bryan Alcock said: “It’s a nice development, more akin to a village. The parish councils need to get their acts together, if they have got a project then they can ask through the planning system for a contribution.”

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