Affordable housing review ruled out on apartments

A planning obligation providing a review mechanism for affordable housing provision in a development of 38 retirement apartments in East Sussex has been judged unnecessary.

The council accepted that the scheme would be unviable if any affordable housing were provided immediately but argued that there should be a mechanism for reviewing this position should the development be delayed. The appellant submitted a planning obligation making provision for a review but also asserted that it was unnecessary.

The inspector noted that national Planning Practice Guidance suggests that such reviews are appropriate where a development is phased over the medium to longer term. However, he took into account the developer’s intention to build the apartments in a single phase over a maximum period of 18 months.

He noted that the appellant owned the site, which was vacant and immediately available for development. As the appeal sought full permission, he saw no reason why it would not be built out in the short term. National policy did not support the council’s position, he concluded. He also agreed that the development would not harm the area’s character.

Inspector: Gareth Jones; hearing

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