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Affordable homes 'reduced from 30 to 12 per cent'

The proposed site layout from documents submitted to Sedgemoor Council

Revised plans for 260 new homes in Bridgwater are expected have been approved at a meeting today.

The proposed percentage of affordable homes is being lowered from 30 per cent to 12.

The original plans for Bower Lane received 14 objections and the revised plan has been met with two objections - one suggesting 'rents are too high in the town, good quality affordable low cost housing for local people is needed'.

The revised plans, which planning officers recomended, also include a new roundabout on the Westonzoyland Road.

A report before planners at Sedgemoor Council said: "In essence the applicant’s case is that as an existing horticultural enterprise, with extensive glass houses and buildings, the site has a relatively high benchmark value of £3,870,000. 

"When combined with higher than normal construction costs (associated with clearing the site and dealing with the ground conditions) and a reasonable profit level of 16.74% the scheme is only viable with 12% affordable housing. 

"Even with these figures the scheme would result in a ‘residualised’ site value of £3,503,636  - i.e. £366,363 below the benchmark, a deficit that the applicant has accepted."

The report adds: "The proposal does form part of our five year housing land supply and therefore the first criteria is met. 

"Additionally the proposal does provide the roundabout access and part of the spine road for the wider allocation it can be interpreted as also delivering other objectives."

The planning application number is  09/17/00031

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