Scarborough Council approves plans for affordable homes at Middle Deepdale despite 'disgraceful and substandard' size

Scarborough Council has approved plans to increase the number of homes built as affordable properties in Eastfield and Scalby.

By Anttoni James Numminen
Monday, 13th June 2022, 12:05 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 12:07 pm

The application from Doncaster-based developer Keepmoat Homes Ltd sought to increase the number of properties classified as affordable, rather than changing the number of properties being built under the Government's affordable housing scheme, First Homes.

It did not seek any physical alterations to the design or layout of the already approved residential development projects.

Approval of the plans means that the sites in Eastfield and Scalby will have an additional 10 and seven properties which are considered First Homes. These are dwellings where the price is capped at £250,000 and the minimum level of discount is 30 per cent of open market value.

Developer Keepmoat has been given permission to alter the designation of some of the homes it is building at Middle Deepdale, pictured.

However, at the planning meeting on Thursday June 9, committee members raised concerns about the report’s contents regarding the size of some of the proposed First Home dwellings.

Of the 17 homes, none fully comply with minimum space standards because open market dwellings do not have to comply with the same size standards as affordable housing.

There is considerable variation in the range of "space deficiencies" found in the dwellings, with some as low as 4 per cent while for others it was as high as 19 per cent, according to the council report.

A council officer told the planning committee that the housing is "substandard relative to the [nationally required standards], but Homes England has indicated that they don't see this as an impediment. The way we view this as officers is that they are over and above the number of affordable housing units that are already being provided."

However, Cllr John Nock described the disparity as "disgraceful", adding that though there was a need for affordable homes it was "no wonder that developers, in general, are regarded in such low esteem, often below contempt".

Cllr Clive Pearson echoed the previous comments, adding: "I think it's appalling that we're still not getting the standards correct in this area. We've been talking about this for years."

"This would not happen in the South of England. It only happens in the North of England. My concern is that these houses will be there for a hundred years, and in a hundred years, they will still be substandard. We should not be allowing that to happen in this area."

Cllr Michael Stonehouse said: "These mistakes are gonna live with us for a long time. The problem seems to be with the open market housing and they'll just do what they can get away with unless the central government imposes higher standards."

Offering his support, Cllr Bill Chatt said: "How can we say no to more affordable housing? A few more houses for first-time buyers, so I'm gonna propose we accept the proposal."

The plans were unanimously approved.

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