Concerns over changes to new homes plan

The building in Broomhill formerly occupied by Shark Sports.
The building in Broomhill formerly occupied by Shark Sports.

Affordable housing has been removed from a plan to build 18 new properties – sparking concern among councillors.

The application has been lodged with Northumberland County Council to replace an existing permission at the former Shark Sports site, in North Broomhill.

However, because of viability issues, the affordable element which had previously been agreed has been taken out of the new scheme.

But at Monday night’s East Chevington Parish Council, chairman Scott Dickinson said: “It is crucial that there is some affordable housing.”

In 2010, outline approval was given for 18 properties to be constructed at the site, with 40 per cent of these affordable.

Since then, applicant Jane Nolan has tried to secure developer interest in the site – including reducing the purchase price – but to no avail.

Viability assessment has also shown that provision of affordable housing on the site is not viable in any way.

In a supporting statement, prepared by ADPractitioners, it says: “Our client now wishes to extend the time limit for implementation of this permission and remove the requirement to provide affordable housing.”

A new marketing scheme will involve a further reduction in the asking price of the site to £300,000 – a 40 per cent reduction in the original valuation.