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Future of Hungate housing scheme unclear
THE future of a £130 million housing scheme in York remains uncertain despite developers winning more time to restart work.
Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd, the firm behind the 720-home Hungate project, secured a fresh agreement from City of York Council last month which allows construction to resume in 2015, after its previous planning approval ran out.
However the developer has yet to seal a deal with the authority over affordable housing levels and the payments they must make towards community facilities having said the conditions agreed when permission for the development was originally granted in 2006 must be relaxed to make it viable.
Agents for Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd said the developer could no longer afford to pay £6.6 million in “section 106 contributions” towards archaeology, open space, education, cycling, CCTV and a car club – as agreed six years ago – and the council should also reconsider a requirement for 20 per cent of the homes to be affordable.
The authority said talks were still being held over this, but any potential changes to the planning consent would have to be agreed by councillors at a meeting of its planning committee. Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd has said that, without section 106 contributions, it would make a £15 million profit on the scheme - still less than it would usually seek - but its current obligations would mean a loss of £215,000.
Mike Slater, the council’s assistant director of city development and sustainability, said: “Hungate is an important city-centre development and we remain committed to working with the developers in order to continue to deliver a high-quality scheme.”
A spokeswoman for Hungate (York) Regeneration Ltd said: “We welcome the additional time we have been given for delivery of the next phases of our scheme.
"These are extremely challenging times for the housing market, and the property market in general, but we remain confident in the longer-term future of York as a city where people wish to live. We are not in a position to say anything further at present.”
Work on Hungate’s first 162 homes finished in 2009 but the scheme has since stalled. Five phases remain, with the developers saying they could be completed by 2024 if all planning issues are resolved.
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