COUNCILLORS have turned down an offer of £30,000 from a developer of a mothballed site to go towards affordable housing, saying it is not enough.
Redrow Homes was given the go-ahead to build 42 apartments on the site of the former Swallowfield Hotel in Chorley New Road, Horwich, in 2007, on the proviso it would give four of the flats to a housing association.
At January’s meeting of the planning committee, Redrow’s attempts to get rid of the Section 106 agreement failed, so the firm offered to give £30,000 towards affordable housing in Bolton, instead of the units.
But councillors voted to defer making a decision, arguing the sum was not an equal swap.
Cllr Norman Critchley said: “I think we should leave it open for a better deal. It is not like for like.”
Redrow has argued because of the housing market crash in 2008, unless it was able to get rid of this condition it would not be worth its while to complete the development.
But Cllr Bob Allen questioned whether this decision should be taken by the planning committee.
He said: “I know ward councillors wanted to get in and stake their claim but I don’t think planning committee is the place to do it.”
Councillors instructed the officers to go back to the developers and either for an equivalent sum, or for four affordable houses on site.