Village scheme for cheaper homes gets the go-ahead
PLANS for 34 affordable homes in St Stephen have been given the green light on appeal, giving hope to people who have been priced out of the village.
The two and three-bedroom homes will be built on a two-acre greenfield site off Trethosa Road.
Developer THF Ltd, specialists in affordable housing in Cornwall, appealed against a decision to refuse planning permission back in December 2008.
Planning inspector Gareth Symons said: "This is a project that would provide much-needed affordable homes without any public subsidy and is a model of private sector provision that has already been successful elsewhere."
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Five plots have been voluntarily allocated to a housing association for rental by THF Ltd. The remaining 29 properties will be offered to local buyers from £114,000.
Paul Stephens, director of THF, said: "There have been difficulties which have delayed us, but the planning inspector's result was very clear cut.
"The council doubted the need for affordable homes in St Stephen and weren't happy with the sale prices. They felt they should be cheaper.
"But we are a private company, with no government subsidies, so the best we can do is sell them at cost price.
"The council felt our build costs were half a million pounds higher than they should be, but eventually everybody accepted our build costs. The people living along Trethosa Road complained about noise, loss of privacy and being overlooked, but these concerns were pretty heavily rebutted by the inspector.
"There are a lot of people we already know who have genuine reasons for needing an affordable home. There were 187 people looking for them in the parish, although we can't help everybody.
"The houses will be sold to local people who can't afford to buy on the open market and we'll do it on a first come, first served basis. It's the fairest way."