Affordable housingcondition scrapped

Date: Friday 22nd June 2018

A DEVELOPER will not have to provide affordable housing as part of a scheme at Kirkby Stephen, because renovating a historic farmhouse was proving costly, Eden Council planners agreed.

As part of the planning permission for the housing scheme at Whitehouse Farm, Mr M. Cairns was required to build two affordable units but applied to the council to have the condition removed.

Its planning officers had recommended the application be approved, but Kirkby Stephen Town Council objected to the amendment because it had been agreed to provide some element of affordable housing on the site when permission was originally granted.

A spokesman for the applicant told a meeting of Eden’s planning committee the cost of renovating the farmhouse was the reason for making the request and, under current planning guidelines, because the development was less than 10 units, there would be no need to provide affordable housing.

Allan Armstrong (Con, Long Marton) said his main concern was that it would open the door for other developers to make similar requests.

Ian Irwin, a council planning officer, said: “In fairness to the applicant they have started renovation of an important heritage asset in Kirkby Stephen and they have incurred costs.”

Henry Sawrey-Cookson (Ind, Kirkby Thore) described the building as an “attractive historic farmhouse” which needed to be used once more. “It’s time to get the thing sorted out,” he said