Monday, June 25, 2012

Yarm School Plans update

The developer & agent, Bellway Homes & Nathaniel Lichfield, have set up a website with the proposal on it, along with the questionnaire in electronic form.  Sadly, they still haven't provided a printable version so that people can write their comments after seeing printouts of the webpages, but I've asked them for one.
I hope lots of people will look at it and register their views.
I've had a number of people ask about affordable housing and what it means.  "Affordable" refers to a percentage of the average house price in an area (currently about 80%).  As a result a house in Yarm or Eaglescliffe can be labelled as affordable even though it costs several thousand pounds more than a "top of the range" house in a cheaper area of the borough.  Developers will sometimes suggest that they will contribute an amount of money equivalent to making 15% of their housing affordable so that the affordable housing can be built elsewhere.  There are some advantages to that - the borough gains more affordable housing than it otherwise would and the developer makes more profit by selling full price housing on all of the development.  However there are disadvantages too - the development ends up being less diverse than it otherwise would be and the young people who want to buy their first house or older people wanting to move into something smaller and more easily maintained can only do so by moving away from their friends, family, church and other communities.  I'm not suggesting that either way is right - just pointing out that it's a dilemma every time an application comes in for our area.

There's also lots of speculation about the remaining farmland between the application site and the footpath to Dinsdale way beside the golf course.  At the moment there are no applications for that area and I've had no word of pre-application discussions though they could be going on in confidence - commercial considerations mean that most developers speak to planning officers first to see what they might be able to do with a site before going public on the ideas.  All I can say at the moment is that if I hear about such applications Alan Lewis or I would send out a ward e-news as soon as humanly possible.

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