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Bid to cut amount of affordable housing in Terry’s scheme
THE owners of the former Terry’s chocolate factory site in York have made a bid to cut the amount of affordable housing to be included in its redevelopment.
The Bishopthorpe Road landmark was earmarked for a £185 million transformation including hundreds of homes, hotels, shops, bars and restaurants, but the firm behind the project put the site up for sale earlier this year after the proposals stalled.
GHT Developments LLP has now applied to City of York Council for permission to reduce the affordable housing levels within the scheme from 30.3 per cent – the amount required under an agreement known as a “Section 106” when planning approval was granted in 2010 – to 25 per cent.
This would mean 68 of its 271 properties being low-cost, rather than the initial 82. York-based Grantside, which is part of GHT Developments, bought the former factory for £26 million in 2006, but 27 of the site’s 33 acres were put on the market in March.
Although property firm Savills, which is handling the sale, has said there has been interest from potential buyers from throughout the UK, no deal has yet been struck.
The Terry’s redevelopment is expected to create more than 2,700 jobs, with Grantside’s original planning application being controversially turned down by the council in 2008 before a revised scheme was approved 18 months later.
GHT’s request for less affordable housing will go before the authority’s planning committee next Thursday.
“We are being flexible with the Section 106 requirements on this and other sites, recognising the changed economic position and site value since the original planning permission,” said Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport, planning and sustainability.
“It’s important for York’s economy, the construction industry, local building workers and suppliers and for those in housing need, to bring sites forward for development as soon as possible.
‘‘However, the decision itself is that of the planning committee, which will take the whole of the application into account in reaching its decision.”
A report by officials on GHT’s application said it was “reasonable” and has recommended lowering the affordable housing levels for the site, saying 25 per cent was in line with the council’s targets for developments on brownfield land.