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Affordable homes plan tipped for support

PUBLISHED: 14:47 04 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:23 12 July 2010

Proposals to build more than 100 affordable homes on land between Diss and Roydon have been tipped for approval by planners, despite concerns that the scheme will result in the loss of valuable greenbelt land.

Proposals to build more than 100 affordable homes on land between Diss and Roydon have been tipped for approval by planners, despite concerns that the scheme will result in the loss of valuable greenbelt land.

Hayes Afffordable Homes Ltd has submitted plans to build 114 homes on land straddling the boundary of Diss and Roydon, 102 of which will be affordable and made available for local people.

Of these, 15 homes will be for rent through a registered social landlord, while 87 will always be available for purchase or rent at below market price. The remaining 12 market homes are proposed to provide a cross-subsidy to the scheme.

The average price for a one bedroom flat will be £66,000 plus £40 a month ground rent, a two bedroom flat will be £76,000 plus £45 a month ground rent and a three bedroom house will be £99,000 plus £52 a month ground rent.

South Norfolk Council has received three letters of support for the project saying that affordable homes are desperately needed.

But it has also received 41 letters of objection from local residents whose concerns include inadequate infrastructure to cope with the development and inappropriate development of greenbelt land.

Local people also say the development will erode the gap between Roydon and Diss and that there is no capacity at existing schools, doctors and dentists.

Diss Town Council and Roydon Parish Council have recommended the scheme be refused, both citing the loss of greenbelt land as an issue.

Diss Town Council says the development is not suitable for the site due to its size, the small size of the dwellings proposed, and the overall design. The council also says the scheme would have traffic implications for Roydon and raises concerns over the affordability of the houses after considering mortgage, rent and service costs.

Roydon Parish Council says there is no clearly demonstrated need and there are existing affordable homes available for sale in Diss that are still unsold. It says that if affordable houses are needed they should be located on brownfield sites within Diss.

But a report to South Norfolk Council's planning committee states: “It is your officer's view that whilst there clearly will be a loss of greenfield land, the degree of detrimental impact to the character and appearance of the area will not be as severe as has been suggested by residents and the parish council.

“Your officers are satisfied that the housing proposed will be affordable, will meet a local need which can not be met in any other way in Diss and Roydon, and will remain affordable in perpetuity through legally binding conditions ensuring the future sales of the affordable housing are at a fixed percentage of the open market value.”

The scheme has been recommended for approval and is due to be discussed at a meeting of South Norfolk Council's planning committee on Wednesday.

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