No more affordable homes as part of stalled flats scheme?

The Maltings development in Alnwick which stalled in 2008 before being revitalised earlier this year.
The Maltings development in Alnwick which stalled in 2008 before being revitalised earlier this year.

A stalled flats development in Alnwick that is set to be completed after years of inaction may not provide any further affordable housing.

As we reported earlier this year, work has restarted on The Maltings, on the western outskirts of the town centre on Dispensary Street, which had been left empty and half–built after the scheme stalled during the credit crunch in 2008.

Ascent Homes, the house-building arm of Arch – the development company fully owned by Northumberland County Council, will complete this development of luxury apartments, aligning with the approved scheme in what were originally Alnwick Brewery and the Maltings, also known as Bolam’s Yard.

Now, an application has been submitted to modify the original section 106 legal agreement which required the provision of affordable homes as part of the scheme.

The application form explains that when the agreement was signed, there were due to be 12 affordable homes out of a total of 33 under the then Alnwick District Council’s 35 per cent requirement.

In support of that, nine affordable homes were built on the adjacent St James’ site.

The statement continues: ‘In the intervening period, the delivery of affordable housing in Northumberland has increased significantly to the extent that the council’s emerging core strategy now requires that the current affordable-housing requirement has been adjusted to 15 per cent of any development – which, in this case, would be 36 x 15% = 5.4 dwellings based upon our current proposals.

‘On the basis that, nine affordable units have already been delivered as a result of this development. We would suggest that the affordable-housing requirement for this development has been met and this section 106 obligation has been discharged.’