About 80 new homes are set to be built as part of major development despite concerns over a lack of affordable housing.
Only seven of the 78 houses which will be created in the latest phase of the Croes Atti development in Oakenholt will be allocated to help people on lower incomes.
The proportion was criticised by some members of Flintshire Council’s planning committee, who said it compared poorly to the authority’s current requirement for 30 per cent affordable housing.
However, council officers told them Anwyl Homes was entitled to build the ten per cent allocation agreed when the scheme was originally approved.
Speaking at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon Cllr Owen Thomas (Cons) said there was a need for more affordable homes in the county.
He said: “Here’s another application which doesn’t follow our policies.
“Here we have 78 houses and seven are affordable, that’s less than ten per cent. Now our policies are stating 30 per cent.
“Only recently there was a comment made that we weren’t building enough first time buyer houses in Wales.
“If we look at all the planning in this area and we put it all together we would be nowhere near 30 per cent because we’ve had applications coming through here with less than 15 per cent.”
In response, chief officer for planning Andrew Farrow said councillors were unable to ‘turn back the clock’ and impose the current requirements on the developers.
He said the amount of affordable housing on the overall site was above the ten per cent mark.
In a report to commitee members, Mr Farrow said the development would create a neighbourhood with a “strong local identity”.
He said: “The application site forms part of an overall development of 27 hectares which was granted outline planning permission for a mixed use development scheme comprising residential development, public open space, infrastructure works, landscaping, education and community facilities.
“This outline approval was subject to a unilateral undertaking which committed the developer to a number of requirements through this and future applications.
“The previously granted outline scheme and reserved matters applications were subject to extensive negotiations between the applicant and the council and this was influenced by a revised development brief to secure a comprehensive approach to the development.
“The design concept for the site is that of providing modern residential neighbourhoods which have a strong local identity and encourage a sense of community.
“The proposed development in broad terms would allow for the replacement of existing permitted dwellings that have already been approved with amended house styles which are in keeping with development already undertaken on the wider site and is therefore considered acceptable in principle and design.”
The application was approved with the majority of councillors in favour and only one vote against.
Further plans for 52 detached and semi-detached properties on the site will be considered at a later date.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).