At a time when the need for affordable housing is desperate, it is saddening to see developers trying to get out of planning permission requirements that make at least some homes “affordable.”
The Oughtibridge development on the old paper mill site has permission to build 320 new homes but with the condition that 10% must be “affordable” to help low-income families onto the housing ladder. Even then, “affordable” only means a little less than full market prices. The Green Party’s definition is that homes are only affordable without having to borrow unfeasibly large sums of money.
The problem is that developers get much bigger profits from endless “executive homes.”
The developer’s application to lift this condition at Oughtibridge is not unique. With the Government’s weakening of planning controls, developers are now making regular applications to lift conditions. These conditions were made to create affordable housing, protect the environment and to protect neighbouring properties from nuisance and noise.
I would encourage residents to check out planning applications affecting them and send in their comments. The Oughtibridge one is at http://planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk, under reference 16/04679/OUT. Planning meetings are also open to the public.
Cllr Douglas Johnson
Sheffield Green Party