Decision day looms over plans for 148 new homes off Oxenholme Road at Kendal

A DEVELOPER claims affordable housing and infrastructure demands by South Lakeland District Council are jeopardising new homes.

Oakmere Homes warned the authority ‘enhanced requests’ made by officials were having an ‘impact on the viability’ of developments in the district.

The company spoke out as its plans for a new housing estate in Kendal faced opposition from planners because it failed to offer sufficient affordable housing.

The application for 148 homes on land to the west of Oxenholme Road will be considered by SLDC’s planning committee on Tuesday, but officials are recommending refusal as the ‘anticipated provision’ of affordable housing would fall well below the 35 per cent of low-cost homes required by district policy.

It was also feared the scheme would ‘adversely impact’ on local schools. The plan is also being challenged by the Triangle Opposition Group (TOG), which represents 200 local residents, and has attracted 82 individual letters of objection.

TOG said the application would ‘terminally damage the Green Gap between Kendal and Oxenholme’ and could also ‘seriously prejudice’ a public inquiry into housing developments in South Lakeland.

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“The application seeks to pre-empt the inspector’s evaluation of (South Lakeland’s) Land Allocation Development Plan Document and takes no account of the significant opposition to the allocation of the site,” said TOG.

But Oakmere said its application had been formulated prior to the start of the inquiry.

A spokesman said: “Oakmere Homes has been involved in extensive discussions with SLDC over the Oxenholme Road planning application and has gone a long way in designing a development that would have significant benefits to the area.

“An outstanding issue relates to infrastructure contributions. Developers or landowners have contributed significant sums towards improvements for the benefit of local people.

“Recent changes in national legislation and enhanced requests from the local authority have increased the contribution demand, which impacts on the viability of developments – not only this scheme, but all developments within the Development Plan documents.

“We believe the Oxenholme Road development can be viable and will create new homes and new jobs for local people, and Oakmere remains committed to working with SLDC to create a solution that will deliver significant benefits to the economy.”

Meanwhile, SLDC bosses say they are hoping the inquiry into land allocations will resume in May. Proceedings were suspended in November 2012 after concerns were raised over infrastructure issues, including the need for more primary school places in the district.

Last week, the authority asked a planning inspector to reconvene the inquiry.

Comments (12)

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4:11pm Thu 21 Feb 13

hogheaven says...

Looks like the planners are going to mess this scheme up as well ,with their dictatorial policies.Any chance of affordable housing in the area should be welcomed, not ruined by legislation on the planners part .The company involved in this development should be applauded for providing work, in the area, but they need to make a profit, otherwise whats the point?Get rid of the stupid planners we have and lets start with a clean sheet
Looks like the planners are going to mess this scheme up as well ,with their dictatorial policies.Any chance of affordable housing in the area should be welcomed, not ruined by legislation on the planners part .The company involved in this development should be applauded for providing work, in the area, but they need to make a profit, otherwise whats the point?Get rid of the stupid planners we have and lets start with a clean sheet hogheaven
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Thu 21 Feb 13

searcher21c says...

If the developer has ignored the district policy re affordable homes is that not just daft? Plus, what EXACTLY are the new jobs for local people? It is tiresome having developers of all kinds promising new jobs for local people, as if there was some permanence about them, only for them to be revealed later as temporary low paid jobs only.
If the developer has ignored the district policy re affordable homes is that not just daft? Plus, what EXACTLY are the new jobs for local people? It is tiresome having developers of all kinds promising new jobs for local people, as if there was some permanence about them, only for them to be revealed later as temporary low paid jobs only. searcher21c
  • Score: 0

5:11pm Thu 21 Feb 13

hogheaven says...

He did not ignore the district policy he was trying to comply with it, but they (planners)keep moving the goal posts!Any job for matter how long is welcome in this economy,The developer is taking a risk at this time by building these houses ,thats if he gets the chance ,good luck to him ,without private enterprise this country would have died long ago.
He did not ignore the district policy he was trying to comply with it, but they (planners)keep moving the goal posts!Any job for matter how long is welcome in this economy,The developer is taking a risk at this time by building these houses ,thats if he gets the chance ,good luck to him ,without private enterprise this country would have died long ago. hogheaven
  • Score: 0

6:13am Fri 22 Feb 13

searcher21c says...

Well the requirement for 35% to be "affordable" homes has been in the framework since at least 2010. The developer's provision "falls well below" that according to the article. So that's either daft or they are a bunch of chancers. Re the jobs, sure; but these applications always make it sound as if they are bringing something permanent to the party. More times than not they are only taking people back on who they made redundant a couple of years ago. Probably with minimum payoffs. No argument re private enterprise - but they still have to do things right.
Well the requirement for 35% to be "affordable" homes has been in the framework since at least 2010. The developer's provision "falls well below" that according to the article. So that's either daft or they are a bunch of chancers. Re the jobs, sure; but these applications always make it sound as if they are bringing something permanent to the party. More times than not they are only taking people back on who they made redundant a couple of years ago. Probably with minimum payoffs. No argument re private enterprise - but they still have to do things right. searcher21c
  • Score: 0

6:13am Fri 22 Feb 13

searcher21c says...

Well the requirement for 35% to be "affordable" homes has been in the framework since at least 2010. The developer's provision "falls well below" that according to the article. So that's either daft or they are a bunch of chancers. Re the jobs, sure; but these applications always make it sound as if they are bringing something permanent to the party. More times than not they are only taking people back on who they made redundant a couple of years ago. Probably with minimum payoffs. No argument re private enterprise - but they still have to do things right.
Well the requirement for 35% to be "affordable" homes has been in the framework since at least 2010. The developer's provision "falls well below" that according to the article. So that's either daft or they are a bunch of chancers. Re the jobs, sure; but these applications always make it sound as if they are bringing something permanent to the party. More times than not they are only taking people back on who they made redundant a couple of years ago. Probably with minimum payoffs. No argument re private enterprise - but they still have to do things right. searcher21c
  • Score: 0

11:02am Fri 22 Feb 13

onelocal says...

The only way the developer can make this project viable is to build far less affordable homes than the SLDC rules require, and to put around 40 more houses on the site than the planners believe it is capable of sustaining. In addition, environmental requirements and existing sewers across the site restrict available building land even more. The local primary schools can't currently sustain projected requirements, and changes to road infrastructure are required. The developer has been asked to contribute to school expansion, road changes, and improvements to Oxenholme station, all adding to the financial viability issues. Chancers sounds like a good description.
The only way the developer can make this project viable is to build far less affordable homes than the SLDC rules require, and to put around 40 more houses on the site than the planners believe it is capable of sustaining. In addition, environmental requirements and existing sewers across the site restrict available building land even more. The local primary schools can't currently sustain projected requirements, and changes to road infrastructure are required. The developer has been asked to contribute to school expansion, road changes, and improvements to Oxenholme station, all adding to the financial viability issues. Chancers sounds like a good description. onelocal
  • Score: 0

5:08pm Fri 22 Feb 13

hogheaven says...

onelocal wrote:
The only way the developer can make this project viable is to build far less affordable homes than the SLDC rules require, and to put around 40 more houses on the site than the planners believe it is capable of sustaining. In addition, environmental requirements and existing sewers across the site restrict available building land even more. The local primary schools can't currently sustain projected requirements, and changes to road infrastructure are required. The developer has been asked to contribute to school expansion, road changes, and improvements to Oxenholme station, all adding to the financial viability issues. Chancers sounds like a good description.
Its not up to the developer to contribute to the above items its the SLDC who are the "chancers" they should have forseen future growth and made provision for it but as usual...........
[quote][p][bold]onelocal[/bold] wrote: The only way the developer can make this project viable is to build far less affordable homes than the SLDC rules require, and to put around 40 more houses on the site than the planners believe it is capable of sustaining. In addition, environmental requirements and existing sewers across the site restrict available building land even more. The local primary schools can't currently sustain projected requirements, and changes to road infrastructure are required. The developer has been asked to contribute to school expansion, road changes, and improvements to Oxenholme station, all adding to the financial viability issues. Chancers sounds like a good description.[/p][/quote]Its not up to the developer to contribute to the above items its the SLDC who are the "chancers" they should have forseen future growth and made provision for it but as usual........... hogheaven
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Fri 22 Feb 13

A view From Cumbria says...

This is a flaw in the old Planning Policy Statements drafted by John Prescott and from there enshrined in all Local Development Frameworks. The 35% is NOT absolute, if that would render a project unviable. Of course everyone is going to claim non-viability yet there is no mechanism for determining what viability means.

When I was a district councillor I, and the Tory group advised Peter Thornton not to progress the LDF but to leave it on the table in 2011.

Needless to say Peter thought he knew better - as with so many things - he did not understand what he did not understand.

Provided there is about 10 to 15% affordable Peter's Land Allocation policy will make it impossible to refuse this application.
This is a flaw in the old Planning Policy Statements drafted by John Prescott and from there enshrined in all Local Development Frameworks. The 35% is NOT absolute, if that would render a project unviable. Of course everyone is going to claim non-viability yet there is no mechanism for determining what viability means. When I was a district councillor I, and the Tory group advised Peter Thornton not to progress the LDF but to leave it on the table in 2011. Needless to say Peter thought he knew better - as with so many things - he did not understand what he did not understand. Provided there is about 10 to 15% affordable Peter's Land Allocation policy will make it impossible to refuse this application. A view From Cumbria
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Sat 23 Feb 13

onelocal says...

hogheaven wrote:
onelocal wrote:
The only way the developer can make this project viable is to build far less affordable homes than the SLDC rules require, and to put around 40 more houses on the site than the planners believe it is capable of sustaining. In addition, environmental requirements and existing sewers across the site restrict available building land even more. The local primary schools can't currently sustain projected requirements, and changes to road infrastructure are required. The developer has been asked to contribute to school expansion, road changes, and improvements to Oxenholme station, all adding to the financial viability issues. Chancers sounds like a good description.
Its not up to the developer to contribute to the above items its the SLDC who are the "chancers" they should have forseen future growth and made provision for it but as usual...........
As part of the planning application the developer has been told he will have to contribute to the above items. The road changes and schools are not the responsibility of SLDC, but Cumbria County Council. You can read the full details of the application and SLDC Planning officers recommendation to reject the application on the SLDC Planning meeting agenda.
[quote][p][bold]hogheaven[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]onelocal[/bold] wrote: The only way the developer can make this project viable is to build far less affordable homes than the SLDC rules require, and to put around 40 more houses on the site than the planners believe it is capable of sustaining. In addition, environmental requirements and existing sewers across the site restrict available building land even more. The local primary schools can't currently sustain projected requirements, and changes to road infrastructure are required. The developer has been asked to contribute to school expansion, road changes, and improvements to Oxenholme station, all adding to the financial viability issues. Chancers sounds like a good description.[/p][/quote]Its not up to the developer to contribute to the above items its the SLDC who are the "chancers" they should have forseen future growth and made provision for it but as usual...........[/p][/quote]As part of the planning application the developer has been told he will have to contribute to the above items. The road changes and schools are not the responsibility of SLDC, but Cumbria County Council. You can read the full details of the application and SLDC Planning officers recommendation to reject the application on the SLDC Planning meeting agenda. onelocal
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Sat 23 Feb 13

A view From Cumbria says...

And this is where the bargaining begins.

Presumably the SLDC Officers have learnt from the McCarthy And Stone proposal in Kirkby Lonsdale. Then they set Norfolk Property Services ( spun off from SLDC long ago ) the task of determining what would be viable. Sadly they put it in the public domain - instead of councillors going into part 2 to consider it. Result, they had to grant permission or have it granted on appeal.

Thus SLDC Trolls who read this, for God's sake consider the viability of this project IN PRIVATE, do not put the viability analysis on the web.

Assuming the developers want to progress this scheme expect an amended Officer Rec by Thursday. And if the Viability Assessment appears here on the web rest assured that that little bit of transparency has cost us £250k.
And this is where the bargaining begins. Presumably the SLDC Officers have learnt from the McCarthy And Stone proposal in Kirkby Lonsdale. Then they set Norfolk Property Services ( spun off from SLDC long ago ) the task of determining what would be viable. Sadly they put it in the public domain - instead of councillors going into part 2 to consider it. Result, they had to grant permission or have it granted on appeal. Thus SLDC Trolls who read this, for God's sake consider the viability of this project IN PRIVATE, do not put the viability analysis on the web. Assuming the developers want to progress this scheme expect an amended Officer Rec by Thursday. And if the Viability Assessment appears here on the web rest assured that that little bit of transparency has cost us £250k. A view From Cumbria
  • Score: 0

7:42pm Tue 26 Feb 13

mr_sensible says...

By strict definition; if some are affordable homes then the rest must be unaffordable. Who buys those homes?
By strict definition; if some are affordable homes then the rest must be unaffordable. Who buys those homes? mr_sensible
  • Score: 0

11:22am Wed 27 Feb 13

boris plasticmac says...

So what was the decision? Haven't been able to find it on this site or the SLDC site.
Can anybody enlighten me please.
So what was the decision? Haven't been able to find it on this site or the SLDC site. Can anybody enlighten me please. boris plasticmac
  • Score: 0

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