Council vows not to let developer boost profits by getting out of affordable homes in Holbeach
A developer has been told it cannot wriggle out of building affordable houses on the grounds of reduced profits.
Loosegate Developments wants to cut eight two-bed dwellings from its development off Wignal’s Gate in Holbeach.
The firm, which has permission for 77 properties, has already built 45 homes on the site and has started 18 more.
It argues ‘changing circumstances’ have put ‘financial pressure’ on the scheme - and it now wants to cut eight affordable properties.
It has presented a viability assessment to South Holland District Council to show that the scheme will not work with the current ‘section 106 agreement’.
However, the council has run the figures past an independent assessor and disagrees with the verdict.
It says the developer could still make 8.85% profit and that cutting these homes would just help ‘boost’ its returns.
A report for next week’s planning committee meeting states: “Put plainly, if a developer’s return turns out to be lower than they originally hoped, this does not mean a developer can use a viability argument as a means of trying to offset the poor performance of the development (to uplift their profit). It would be unreasonable to expect the council to reduce their planning policies simply to give a higher profit to the developer.”
Planning officers recommend that councillors reject Loosegate’s proposal.