COUNCILLORS have demanded a developer honour an agreement to pay towards affordable housing in Bolton — despite its claims it has already lost £1.7 million on a derelict site in Horwich.
Redrow Homes was given planning permission to build 42 apartments at the site of the old Swallowfield Hotel in Chorley New Road in 2007, on the agreement it would give four flats away to a social housing provider.
But building stalled in 2008 due to the economic downturn, and Redrow asked for permission to reduce its payment towards affordable housing by offering £30,000 for homes off the property.
It upped its offer to £50,000 ahead of yesterday’s meeting of the planning committee, but councillors unanimously agreed to reject the offer and keep the original agreement in place.
Cllr Bob Allen said he has seen figures which suggested Redrow had made £47 million profit in six months, and owned about 15,000 plots of land across the country.
He said: “This is no small company. It’s very much a commercial decision.
“With these plots, some of them they win, others they lose — not all of them can be the goose that lays the golden egg.
“We should hold them to account and demand the original section 106 agreement.”
Redrow is appealing against the rejected section 106 modification application in January to central government.
Section 106 refers to a section of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, in which developers are bound to pay for something to benefit the community to offset their application.
No representative from Redrow spoke at the meeting.