Housing row decision due

Denley Barrow manging director of Kensington developments
Denley Barrow manging director of Kensington developments
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A decision is expected to be made in the next month over whether a developer will have to pay millions of pounds towards affordable housing in Blackpool.

A two-day public inquiry into a bid by Kensington Developments to rescind the payments was completed this week at Blackpool Town Hall.

Planning inspector Paul Clark, who oversaw the hearing, is expected to make his decision some time in the next 28 days.

Kensington is seeking to vary agreements that it must make a £9m contribution in total, due in phases, to affordable housing as a condition of its planning approval for 584 homes on Marton Moss, and a payment of £1.6m due as part of planning permission for 83 houses on land at Runnell Farm, off Midgeland Road.

A planning inquiry was reheld this week following a hearing in January, after the original inspector was taken ill.

Kensington says changing market conditions mean the payments should be renegotiated.

But Blackpool Council says economic conditions were taken into account at the time the agreement was put in place.

Following the hearing, Denley Barrow, managing director of Kensington Developments, said: “The final decision now rests with the inspector.

“If the appeals are successful then we look forward to bringing these sites forward at the earliest opportunity, providing much needed homes and employment for local people.”

Both payments are part of 106 Agreements which previously could not be altered until five years had passed, but new planning legislation introduced in April last year means developers can now apply to vary or remove the agreements in order to promote house-building.