Plans for new homes in Blackpool are rejected as developer Rowland Homes claims council demands made it 'unviable'
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Blackpool Council’s Planning Committee rejected an application by Rowland Homes to build houses on a site on Moss House Road in Marton after having deferred the item at its meeting in September.
Jonathan Pickthall, representing Rowland Homes, said a decline in the housing market combined with the high cost of developing the land meant including affordable housing would make the development unviable.
The developer also did not want to make payments totalling around £83,000, demanded by the council as part of a section 106 agreement towards local health care provision and public open space.
Council policy says 30 per cent of houses built as part of larger developments in the town should be affordable, but Rowland Homes had only offered to build eight, or 15 per cent, at Moss House Road.
But developers said even that was not now possible to make the investment worthwhile.
Mr Pickthall said: “Rowland Homes share the council’s aspiration to provide maximum affordable housing and commutable sums.
“Unfortunately this is not always possible due to site constraints.”
He said the Moss House Road site was in multiple ownership, all houses would need piled foundations, while infrastructure to provide power, water and drainage was also needed.
This “contributed to excessive costs for such a small site.”
He added a decline in the housing market, reflected in poor sales at other developments, and inflation “mean the development cannot afford any affordable housing”.
Rowland Homes had wanted to develop the land with the construction of 27 detached homes, 18 semi-detached and seven terraced properties, with between two and four bedrooms.
A planning report said the council had taken part in “extensive discussions” with Rowland Homes about the provision of affordable homes, and it had also taken advice from its viability advisers.
But as no agreement had been reached over the planning obligations, councillors were recommended to refuse the application.
Coun Dave Flanagan said “there doesn’t appear to be any compromise”, while Coun Fred Jackson added he was “disappointed” Rowland Homes could not meet any of the council’s requirements.
The committee voted unanimously to refuse the application.