Council concern at changes to affordable homes in Budleigh development

PUBLISHED: 12:36 21 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:43 21 June 2017

Archant

Concerns have been raised that young families in Budleigh Salterton could be priced out of new affordable homes being built in the town.

The number of affordable homes in a 59-dwelling development being built south of the B3178 is set to be slashed by nearly half under altered plans.

At a meeting of the town council’s planning committee, it was also revealed that the amount of one- and two-bedroom ‘starter’ houses could be reduced from 39 to 12.

Town councillors raised concerns over the change while discussing plans to move plots due to the costs of relocating a foul drain on the site, which will be known as Evans Field when it is built.

The council backed plans to move the plots in phase one of the project, but expressed ‘disquiet’ about the changes lined up for phase two.

Planning committee chairman Councillor Courtney Richards said that changes, which could see the amount of people living on the new site increase, did not ‘sit easy’ with him.

He added: “It’s exactly the same number of dwellings; however, there’s one extra five-bedroom house, 11 extra four-bedroom houses, 15 extra three-bedroom houses, 22 fewer two-bedroom houses and five fewer one-bedroom houses.

“I find that a very significant change in the plan to what has been previously agreed. The two sets of plans are very, very different.”

Previously, an application to reduce the amount of affordable homes on the site from 50 per cent to 40 was rejected.

Thirty affordable homes were originally planned for the site, but under the variation proposal, this could be reduced to 16. The requirement for 50 per cent affordable homes would still be met as shared-ownership homes would make up the other 14 needed.

Deputy mayor and district councillor Tom Wright added: “We’re keen to have starter homes for people. The need in Budleigh is for young families to move into smaller homes to get onto the housing ladder.”

East Devon District Council will have the final say on the application.

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