Housing cash under review
A housing association says having to pay half a million pounds to Luton Borough Council will mean building affordable homes isn’t worth its while.
The council gave land in Kestrel Way, Lewsey Farm, to Aldwyck Housing Association to build affordable housing on.
As with all large developments, a contribution to local infrastructure such as schools and roads was required, and it was agreed Aldwyck would pay £547,000.
But the not-for-profit company – which in its most recent financial report listed capital and reserves of £14 milion – has asked for the payment to be waived.
At a recent council meeting, members decided that was out of the question.
Instead it was agreed that officers should go back to Aldwyck and offer them a 20 per cent reduction on the payment.
Kestrel Way resident Keith Mason, who campaigned for the land to be kept as a village green, said the development had never been financially viable.
“The council said it themselves,” he said. “Kestrel Way has been wrecked by the building works and needs resurfacing, and I’m sure local schools could do with the money.
A spokesman for Luton Borough Council said that while members had recommended a 20 per cent reduction, they were mindful “of the 100 per cent affordable housing benefits that had been generated by the scheme”.
But he added that a total waiver was seen to be “non-negotiable”.
An Aldwyck spokesperson said the Section 106 payment amounted to more than 10 per cent of the build cost.
“It was felt that the level of contributions requested affected the viability of a development providing 100 per cent affordable housing, which is in great need and demand in the area,” she said.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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