D-day on land for ‘affordable’ homes

COUNCILLORS will today decide whether to sell a plot of council-owned land in Newby.

The decision is due to be taken by members of Scarborough Council’s Cabinet during their monthly meeting this morning.

And if the sale is approved, 40 per cent of the houses built there will be affordable homes.

According to a report written by Nicholas Edwards, the council’s head of finance and asset management, the sale of the land would provide a capital receipt and help meet the borough’s “identified need for housing provision”.

The 2.7 acre site was advertised without planning permission, but identified potential for a new housing development last September.

Mr Edwards added in the report: “After inviting bids from interested parties by advertising the site in both local and regional press and directly by sending particulars of the opportunity to local and regional housing developers, two bids were received.

“Disposal of this land will raise a capital receipt which can be used to fund the capital programme and in turn provide funds which meet the council’s corporate objectives.

“The development will also contribute to the borough’s affordable housing shortfall with the provision of 40 per cent affordable homes.”

The land was identified in the council’s Local Development Framework as a preferred site for housing development.

However the report added that the area was prone to localised flooding – after periods of heavy rainfall – and was steeply sloping to the south. The area earmarked for sale was a relatively flat area to the north of the site.

Mr Edwards said: “Therefore, prior to marketing the site, a guidance note was produced by the council’s planning officers to highlight the physical constraints of the site, the drainage and highways requirements and to conform to the affordable housing provision.”

A number of objections to the planned sale were received by the council and most related to the loss of public amenity space for local residents.

Mr Edwards said: As a result of public consultation nine local residents have personally written to the council and objected to the proposed sale. Written responses were made directly to each of the nine households that formalised an objection.”

He added that when notices were placed at the site they were either removed or burnt off requiring council staff to make regular site visits to make sure that they remained in place.