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Housing developers say Broughton luxury housing scheme ‘not viable’ unless community contribution waived

Posted on - 21st February, 2021 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Broughton, Central Lancashire Development Plan, Housing, Preston Council, Preston News, Redevelopment
Pillars - The Residences. Pic: Google maps
Location for the proposed Pillars – The Residences scheme Pic: Google maps

Pillars Construction Ltd has submitted a letter to Preston City Council to remove the section 106 conditions from their Broughton development.

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Pillars, who have submitted the application regarding their development The Residences off Garstang Road, have applied to no longer have to provide affordable housing or contribute to school places.

They have claimed in the application that this is due to Covid affects on the progress of the development.

In a letter to the city council they also claimed that they will not be able to make the 17.5 per cent of profit that they were aiming for.

Read more: See the latest Preston redevelopment news

They have also submitted an application to change their plans for an eight apartment building into two semi-detached houses.

Pat Hastings, chair of Broughton Parish Council, said: “We are aware of this application and have expressed our concern about this letter, sought clarification from the city council and have discussed it with city councillors.

“Our key concern was whether the letter about the section 106 would be discussed by the planning committee or replied to by the council separately as if agreed it would create a precedent for builders for other developments.

“As a Parish council we are conscious of the pressure on the local schools, highways and other services and the need for this contribution to local infrastructure. The proposed 32 three-six bedroom houses will have children within the households so at least a contribution to education is needed.”

Read more: Affordable homes plans lodged for former Perry’s showroom

The letter sent from Pillars states that originally a £274,500 contribution was agreed for affordable housing as well as £94,520 towards Primary education.

It also says that the current agreement has the potential to send the developer into bankruptcy and will put further investments and local jobs at risk.

The letter says: “Due to unforeseen circumstances namely the COVID-19 pandemic and current economic climate, the scheme has become unviable and the applicant now seeks to amend the plans to remove the affordable element of the scheme and convert the current buildings on site to two semi-detached dwellings.

“The situation for the applicants is extreme and not one that they ever hoped to be in.

“The completed viability assessment demonstrates that as a small to medium sized builder, they have been hit incredibly hard financially as a result of delays caused due to lockdown and problems associated with COVID19. These impacts were unforeseen and resulted in the closure of the site for a temporary period and the adoption of new working practises that will further delay the anticipated time that it will take to complete the scheme.”

Plans for the site were first approved in 2008 – and the latest scheme, brought back to life by Pillars – was submitted in 2018.

Pillars are also behind the PR1 development in Avenham which received planning permission in November last year.

Read more: Plans proposed to convert former Rock FM church building into offices 

Preston City Council said they could not comment as it was an active planning application.

Blog Preston has contacted Pillars for further comment.

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