Posted: Sat 20th Apr 2024

Pembrokeshire Residential Development Expected to Proceed Despite Calls for Increased Affordable Housing /

A Pembrokeshire residential development of 52 homes, with just four affordable houses, is expected to get the go-ahead from county planners despite calls for this figure to be 20 per cent.
Wakefield Developments Ltd is seeking permission for the development, which includes four one-bed affordable housing units, on land near Pilgrims Way, Roch, just 100 metres from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.
Members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee, meeting on April 23, are recommended to approve the council’s head of planning be delegated to approve the application, subject to the completion of a Section 106 planning obligation.
That includes the four affordable units being secured in perpetuity, with a local lettings policy, and financial contributions totalling £360,336.
This made up of an education contribution of £207,360 to mitigate the impact of nine unfunded pupil places at secondary level that will be generated by the development, a public open space provision contribution of £92,976, and contributions towards parking provision, public transport access and footpaths, totalling £60,000.
Nolton & Roch Community Council has previously objected to the scheme, based on the number of affordable houses, but, at its most recent meeting of April 15, reconsidered its position “in light of new information available pertaining to the affordable housing provision and Section 106 contribution,” a report for lanners said.
It added: “Nolton and Roch Community Council are supportive to the proposed development in principle. Community councillors feel the development will bring an overall benefit to the wider community, much-needed families to the school and custom to local businesses.”
18 objections to the scheme were also received, raising concerns including an “inadequate” affordable housing level, it being a high density development for a rural area, a loss of green space, the size of some of the homes, and pressures on existing services and facilities, and fears it may lead to an increase in second homes.
Nolton & Roch Community Land Trust (N&RCLT) has raised its concerns about the development, believing it would still include 12 affordable units, as indicated previously.
“The N&RCLT objects very strongly to the developer’s proposal to significantly reduce the affordable housing. Our two Housing Needs Surveys (2020 & 2023), have established a major need for affordable housing in our local area. Furthermore, the primary demand is for two and three-bed properties. Importantly, the surveys demonstrate a high level of community support for the CLT’s aim to help meet that need.
“Therefore, we are confident in speaking for nearly 200 residents who responded to our surveys. We are confident that almost all of them would also want the 20 per cent affordable housing to be built in the proposed development.”
It calls for permission to be granted, subject to a 20 per cent affordable homes element.
An officer report for members, recommending conditional approval, concludes: “It is apparent that the proposed development is not fully policy compliant, insofar as it cannot deliver the indicative 20 per cent affordable housing sought [by policy].
“However, a substantial positive social impact will arise through the provision of housing, including four one-bed affordable housing units, in meeting identified needs for both market and affordable housing.
“Financial obligations identified to mitigate adverse impacts arising from the proposed development cannot be met in full. However, Policy GN.3 acknowledges that in such circumstances contributions may be prioritised on the basis of the individual circumstances of each case.
“Financial obligations have been agreed towards the mitigation of adverse impacts in relation to education and highways which officers consider to be essential to ensuring that the development is acceptable in planning terms.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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