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Fleet to get 55 affordable homes after scheme is given the green light

A developer has been given the green light to build 55 affordable homes in Fleet.

Kaplan Property Group’s scheme, which includes a mix of rented and shared ownership properties and one, two, three and four bed homes, was approved by South Holland District Council’s planning committee last Wednesday night.

The plans, which were opposed by nearby residents, will involve knocking down 50 Fleet Road to provide access to the new development.

50 Fleet Road, where a new development has been approved. (52137980)
50 Fleet Road, where a new development has been approved. (52137980)

The meeting was told the design was changed after feedback from the council - with the layout re-jigged and bungalows added - and South Holland Internal Drainage Board was said to be happy with a new ‘filter drain’.

Kaplan’s Michael Gisborne spoke in favour of the plans and said it embraced the ‘fundamental principles of good design’ and provided £200,000 for local NHS and education.

He said the plan was to begin work before the end of 2021, with the first occupants in the homes by March 2023.

David Temple, whose mum lives in one of the nearby properties, spoke against the scheme on behalf of residents.

He raised concerns about who will keep up the maintenance of the drain and asked councillors not to pass the plans until the developer had provided full details to assure them that residents of 42-46 Fleet Road would not be flooded.

Coun Peter Coupland said it worries him that the drainage system would be left in the hands of a management company. He highlighted that a neigbouring piece of land had outline permission for 25 more affordable homes and he felt 80 properties of this kind would ‘bring all sorts of challenges’. He added: “I think this looks totally alien to this part of the district.”

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones hit back at critcism of the affordable element of the development, stating: “I am extremely disappointed to hear councillors still differentiating and talking as if those people who are going to live in affordable homes are somehow different.”

He said many young people struggled to afford a first home, adding: “Those young people might be members of your family so why on earth wouldn’t we encourage them to live in a nice village like Fleet?”

He did, however, raise concerns over the difficulties in communicating with Platform, the likely social landlord, and said it was important that residents had a contact with them in case of difficulties.

Committee chairman James Avery said “what’s not to like about this application?” - highlighting the fact it help meet the shortage of affordable homes, contains a large open space, has no private drives or rubbish collection points and has ‘more than satisfactory’ parking.

All members voted in favour, barring Coun Coupland who abstained.

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