By Beth Sharp Tuesday 08 October 2013 Updated: 10/10 16:39
PERMISSION has been granted for 157 new homes to be built on the former Polymerlatex site on Weston Hall Road in Bromsgrove.
On Monday (October 7), Bromsgrove District Council planners gave outline permission for developer One Property Group UK Ltd to construct the properties, which will contain 15 affordable homes to be sold at 80 per cent of the market value.
During the discussions Coun Peter McDonald questioned the low ratio of affordable properties which equates to just 9.5 per cent.
He pointed out the authority's policy was to have up to 40 per cent and said applications like this were the reason why Bromsgrove was one of the worst in the country for affordable housing.
“There is a serious imbalance between the affordable housing and market housing.
"We have a good opportunity to stamp our policies on this site.
"I am not here today as a guarantor for applicants to make a profit, I am here to guarantee the people of Bromsgrove get affordable housing."
The developer said that due to the abnormal costs of providing a remedy to cure the contaminated land, the project could not accommodate more affordable housing units.
The site was the Salt Works during the 19th Century and later became the Polymerlatex factory, up until 2009.
Because of its industrial past, several dangerous chemicals have been found on the site, including arsenic, vanadium, lead, nickel, chromium, cadmium, zinc, hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
All that will have to be cured before homes can be built on the site.
When constructed, they will consist of eight one-bedroom flats, 35 two-bedroom apartments, 39 three bedroom houses and 75 four-bedroom houses.
For every two to three bedroom property, the developers will contribute £1,521 to education provision and £2,282 for every four-bedroom home. One Property Group UK must also provide £20,000 for a gold standard bus shelter on Shaw Lane.
As well as the properties, there will also be a 90-bed nursing home, a neighbourhood centre, a village hall and public open space.
The majority of the councillors spoke in favour of the application and Coun John Ruck said: "It's amazing that anyone wants to develop this site at all but we have in front of us a possiblilty to build 157 dwellings for Bromsgrove, which is what we need.
"It is a shame because we would love to see a 40 per cent slice of affordable housing but we want this developer to not walk away."
Outline planning permission was granted by six votes to three.
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