Plans to turn a Luton hotel into 62 flats has been agreed for a second time, after returning to committee over a legal technicality.
Talks between planning officers and applicant Franco Anacreonte, of Invest FM, uncovered a mistake about how Section 106 developer contributions would be assessed, as part of proposals to demolish The Linton Hotel.
The project consists of two four-storey buildings containing the 62 apartments, with parking, according to a report to the borough council’s development management committee.
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There would be eight three-bedroom, 38 two-bed and 16 one-bedroom flats on the site at the junction of London Road and Tennyson Road.
Principal planning officer Graham Dore said: “As members will recall this application was first presented to committee in February when it was deferred to review various matters.
“It was brought back in March when a resolution to grant permission was agreed.
“There was an error which has come to light during the negotiations over the Section 106 legal conditions, and so the scheme has returned to rectify the issue identified.
“That essentially amounts to all contributions being deferred to a viability review.”
Councillors deferred the full plans originally over parking concerns, which led to eight extra spaces being added to provide 28 altogether.
The premises was previously a care home operated by the local authority, becoming a hotel after a change of use was granted in 2013.
Of the 62 properties, 56 would be arranged as traditional flats and the remaining six would be provided as duplexes, councillors heard in March.
It was reported at the March meeting that the development could support financial contributions, explained the report.
“Only an amount of the commuted sum towards off-site affordable housing would be subject to a potential claw back within the corresponding legal agreement.
“In preparing the resultant Section 106 agreement, an error has been noted in reviewing the conclusions of the independent viability appraisal.
“This has been clarified subsequently between the relevant parties and it’s clear that the originally reported position from February that the development wouldn’t be able to support any developer contributions, was correct.
“On that basis, it’s necessary to return the application to the committee to reconsider this.”
There were 30 representations received raising highways, parking and safety concern, heritage issues including the loss of the current building, and fears over pollution, noise and loss of privacy and light.
Mr Dore told the committee previously: “The principle of development is acceptable because of the excellent mix of housing and the lack of identified need for the current use.
“It’s a high quality design, and the size and scale of the project would be appropriate,” he said. “The local highways authority has no objection.”
Councillors unanimously approved the development subject to conditions.