Monday, 6 April 2015

Luton's 0% affordable homes

At a CBC hearing for two sites off Bedford Rd, the chap speaking for Luton Borough Council made some noises about wanting 50% affordable homes on the HRN1 site. Not that there is any basis for such an excessive request.

Yet, it is said*, Luton Borough Council permit 10% - nay, 0% affordable homes - on their own land sites. Crazy times, as HRN1 scheme could now be bogged down in legal activity for a couple of years as LBC fight CBC on 'duty to co-operate' under the Localism Act, imparticular over sites like HRN1.

Don't get me wrong, to make more than 10% homes under the 'affordable' label might be desirable on the one hand, but I rather fear that would impact on the amount of open space that might be left behind when all the building is completed. 

* between the M1 & Newlands Rd opposite Stockwood Park in Luton, the first application on this site had zero affordable housing allocated [according to source].

Update 8 Apr 2015
http://www.lutontoday.co.uk/news/politics/revealed-luton-borough-council-blew-100k-on-houghton-regis-development-battle-1-6677411
"For the first time we can reveal that to date the case, which a judge branded as “lacking in legal merit”, has cost the taxpayer £109,922.
In response to a Freedom of Information request LBC has admitted that its solicitor’s fees ran up to £64,571, while counsel’s fees cost a further £33,375."
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