Wednesday, September 29, 2021

News: Affordable housing makes Rotherham greenfield site "unviable"


Consultants working on behalf of a national housebuilder say that a proposed development of nearly 300 new homes on greenfield land in Rotherham would be "wholly unviable" if standard policies of affordable housing are applied.

Rothbiz reported in March that Barratt Homes is looking at building new homes on land at Far Field Lane, off Doncaster Road and close to Wath Victoria Primary School.

Around 24 acres in size, the current agricultural land near Whincover Farm was allocated for housing development in the Council’s 2019 adopted Local Plan, meaning the principle of residential development here is acceptable.

Barratt believes that the development of the site will provide much needed new housing for people in a convenient and sustainable location, whilst contributing to the current and future housing needs in the area.

The latest submitted documents discuss the potential for 294 homes on the land, whilst the consultation highlighted 285 new homes; 2-, 3- and 4-bedroom properties which would be predominantly 2-storeys in height.

In recent documents submitted to Rotherham Council, Bielby Associates, the property consultants working for Barratt, explain that an assessment of the land concludes how providing affordable housing on site makes the development less viable.

Rotherham Council policy is that for sites of 15 dwellings or more, or developments with a gross site area of 0.5 hectares or more, then 25% of homes on the site should be affordable homes. Housebuilders can also pay a commuted sum of £10,000 per dwelling to contribute towards the provision of affordable homes off site.

The consultants conclude: "As with an increasing level of Greenfield sites, there are some very high abnormal costs associated with developing out the subject site.

"Given the fact that the site proves to be wholly unviable, with the request of 25% on-site affordable dwellings and unviable at a lesser amount of on-site affordable dwellings (10%), it is apparent that any element of additional cost or reduced revenue will render the project unattractive to the proposed developer or any other party."

Applicants are asking for no more than 5% of the homes on the site to be affordable. Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments and the Section 106 Commuted sums would also be payable.

The document adds: "Within the assessment we have demonstrated that if an on-site affordable housing allocation above 5% was to be provided (or any other additional planning obligation or commuted sum was requested) that the return and profit level would fall below an acceptable level and render the development unviable because it: (1) does not provide the landowner the necessary level of return that would be required to enable the development to proceed, (2) incentivise or enable the release of land for development, and (3) provide the developer with the requisite level of return / profit."

Barratt Homes website

Images: Barratt


Anonymous,  September 29, 2021 at 2:00 PM  

Excellent news perhaps instead of taking a greenfield site and destroying more natural habitat and creating more congestion in an area which is already heavily used due to the call centres etc an alternative less environmentally damaging area can be found.

old git September 29, 2021 at 6:56 PM  

what does "affordable housing" mean?
regardless of final price, if someone buys them then they can afford them.
not trying to be political, just asking what the term means.

Tom,  September 29, 2021 at 8:55 PM  

Affordable housing relates to homes designed for those that struggle to secure housing on the open market. Examples include houses for social rent or shared ownership, often through housing associations or local councils.

Anonymous,  September 30, 2021 at 2:38 AM  

Good,councils should have a register of all available brown field sites,and these should be used first before any greenfield site are allowed.Also start building multi storey appartment blocks,we continue wasting land and destruction of environment ,just cos people want houses with space and gardens.Get quality appartments built.

Anonymous,  September 30, 2021 at 5:09 PM  

I feel like the developers are trying it on just to try and make more profit.

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