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Developers claim affordable home makes Chessington housing scheme 'not viable'
Councillors will “strongly resist” attempts by a developer to drop an affordable two-bedroom bungalow from its six-house development.
Keith Williams Vernon and William Cronin have applied to remove a section 106 agreement which requires one affordable home to be included in their plans to develop an empty plot of land in Moor Lane.
After years of refusals, the pair finally succeeded in getting the south of the borough neighbourhood committee to approve an application in January for a six-home scheme with parking off Pear Tree Close.
The application was approved on the condition one of the homes – a two-bed bungalow – was affordable.
But now the applicants have applied to Kingston Council to remove the agreement, saying the project cannot begin with an affordable housing contribution attached.
They have submitted a viability report outlining why the project is currently unsustainable, citing Government legislation introduced in 2012 that states projects should be deliverable and not weighed down by “policy burdens” such as affordable housing quotas.
Councillor Patricia Bamford, lead member for Better Homes, said she would “strongly resist” the loss of a new affordable home.
She said: “We strongly support the need for new affordable housing in this borough.
“It’s awful for people even in Chessington, which is about the cheapest part of Kingston.
“You just have to walk past an estate agent to see there is such a shortage of stock.
“There’s a dearth of property, and even less of it is affordable.”
Affordable housing is one of Kingston Council’s key priorities, and has set a target of building 2,000 affordable homes in the borough by 2027.
Coun Rachel Reid, chair of the south of the borough committee, said: “Changes to Government legislation has led them to believe they are no longer required to provide an affordable housing unit.
“We need to look at it from our point of view, and see what comes back. It could potentially come back to the committee.”
Residents have until October 11 to comment on the application.
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