Affordable homes boost as plans for Preston development get the nod

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Preston's largest social landlord has been granted permission to build 35 affordable homes on land off Tom Benson Way.

But the Community Gateway Association (CGA) has told council planners it can only guarantee all the units will be offered on social rents if it gets grant funding from Homes England.

The new development will sit on a strip of land between the Lancaster Canal and Tom Benson Way, opposite the UCLan Sports Arena. CGA is planning 17-two bed homes and 18 three-bed on the site. It says it would like all 35 to be affordable rents, but it would still include 30 per cent at the very least if no government cash is forthcoming..

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The site is off Tom Benson Way opposite the UCLan Sport Arena.The site is off Tom Benson Way opposite the UCLan Sport Arena.
The site is off Tom Benson Way opposite the UCLan Sport Arena.

A report to the council from the the housing provider says: "Without grant funding, it would be impossible to deliver affordable homes at the highest levels and 100 per cent affordable homes schemes would certainly be unviable.

"Grant funding is made available on a site-by-site basis, it is not guaranteed and, in many, only confirmed after planning permission has been secured. Accordingly, whilst the aspiration of CGA will always be to deliver the maximum possible number of affordable homes, this remains conditional on securing grant at appropriate levels, this aspect lies outside of its direct control.

"In bringing forward sites for development of new homes, either on its own, or with development partners, CGA maximises the number of affordable homes that can be provided. This will often involve 100 per cent of a scheme as affordable homes. On every site, a minimum of 50 per cent of the affordable homes will be provided for rent. Maximising affordable homes provision meets its own rationale and that of the spirit of a charitable not-for profit registered provider."

The developer says the scheme will "deliver much-needed affordable housing in the area. This will allow for down-sizing and satisfies the community need for family homes."

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One objector raised concerns about a lack of footpaths.One objector raised concerns about a lack of footpaths.
One objector raised concerns about a lack of footpaths.

Three letters of objection to the scheme were submitted to the planning department, citing the lack of footpaths linking the development with shops and other services "in order to provide safe routes for pedestrians." One pointed out there were no bus routes or footpath access. The Canal and River Trust also urged CGA to retain the existing established hedgerows alongside the Lancaster Canal.

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