Developers launch appeal over affordable housing row in Horwich

The Swallowfield Hotel site in Chorley New Road, Horwich

The Swallowfield Hotel site in Chorley New Road, Horwich

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , politics reporter

DEVELOPERS of an abandoned building site in Horwich have launched an appeal against a planning committee decision in a row over affordable housing.

Redrow Homes has appealed to the government to judge whether it should be allowed to give £50,000 to Bolton Council towards affordable housing — instead of handing over four of 42 planned flats at its development at the former Swallowfield Hotel site.

Without changing the condition, the firm argued, it was not financially viable to complete its work on the site off Chorley New Road.

Councillors on the planning committee had rejected the proposal, saying that the company should honour the agreement made in 2007, ignoring Redrow’s claims that it had already lost £1.7 million on the site.

In an application submitted to the Planning Inspectorate, Redrow said, if backed by the government, it could complete the development by the end of 2015.

The firm abandoned work on the site in 2008 after the collapse of the housing market and it has remained empty ever since.

Officers warned councillors at the June committee meeting that Redrow will probably succeed in its application, and the decision would have a knock-on impact on other aspects of the Section 106 agreement — a protocol in which developers have to pay certain levies to benefit the local community.

Planning officer Helen Williams wrote: “Should this appeal be allowed, which is considered likely given the financial evidence provided by Redrow, there would be no off-site contribution towards affordable housing.

“Furthermore, the council would not have control over how the £10,000 originally proposed for highways works and public art would be spent.

“Ward councillors and town councillors had requested for this latest application that the £10,000 be spent solely on local highways works, which the applicant had agreed to.”

A hearing by the Planning Inspectorate will be held on September 3 to decide whether to back Redrow or the council.

Comments (5)

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1:53pm Wed 6 Aug 14

marco999 says...

Can anyone tell me exactly what the paltry sum of £10,000 will buy in this case?
Can anyone tell me exactly what the paltry sum of £10,000 will buy in this case? marco999
  • Score: 1

2:07pm Wed 6 Aug 14

LMAO@U says...

Surely if they signed an agreement then Redrow should have to stick to it ? Hardly the Planning Officers fault that they ( Redrow ) made a poor business decision and now the whole Development isn't financially viable . I think we should try that with our bank managers " sorry sir , that mortgage is no longer viable due to negative equity so can i have a new interest rate and alter the loan amount please ' lol Think it would work ?
Surely if they signed an agreement then Redrow should have to stick to it ? Hardly the Planning Officers fault that they ( Redrow ) made a poor business decision and now the whole Development isn't financially viable . I think we should try that with our bank managers " sorry sir , that mortgage is no longer viable due to negative equity so can i have a new interest rate and alter the loan amount please ' lol Think it would work ? LMAO@U
  • Score: 9

3:00pm Wed 6 Aug 14

PDY says...

There may be a lot of indignation on this issue but can anyone seriously tell me that developers of a luxury block of flats will have any success in selling them if 10% are occupied by "social tenants" who could be Roma gypsies or similar. Redrow were blackmailed by Bolton Council into accepting the 4 social housing units as a condition of passing the plans for the development and now they have spotted a loophole. I wonder if Councillor Morris had to offer 10% social housing at the Smithills development?? Good luck to Redrow and screw Bolton Council.
There may be a lot of indignation on this issue but can anyone seriously tell me that developers of a luxury block of flats will have any success in selling them if 10% are occupied by "social tenants" who could be Roma gypsies or similar. Redrow were blackmailed by Bolton Council into accepting the 4 social housing units as a condition of passing the plans for the development and now they have spotted a loophole. I wonder if Councillor Morris had to offer 10% social housing at the Smithills development?? Good luck to Redrow and screw Bolton Council. PDY
  • Score: -1

10:38pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Brumas says...

This is the downside of the Governments Build policy, why does it not insist in building social houses? Not enough profit for their cronies?
This is the downside of the Governments Build policy, why does it not insist in building social houses? Not enough profit for their cronies? Brumas
  • Score: 1

8:27am Fri 8 Aug 14

Gore Seer says...

There Are Thousands Of Empty New Build, And They Seem To Be Empty For A Long While, So Goverment And Builders Come Up With The Idea Give Mortgages To Students With Little Or No Imminent Work Am I Realy Gone Nuts Don't Answer That.
There Are Thousands Of Empty New Build, And They Seem To Be Empty For A Long While, So Goverment And Builders Come Up With The Idea Give Mortgages To Students With Little Or No Imminent Work Am I Realy Gone Nuts Don't Answer That. Gore Seer
  • Score: 1

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