Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Moat struggles to bridge the housing gap

With the government now acknowledging that we need to build more new homes, it’ll probably come as a bit of a shock to Greg Clark, Secretary of State for DCLG, to hear Moat Homes has been given six months to tear down 35 properties.

Conservative-controlled Swale Borough Council voted to issue an enforcement notice after it refused retrospective planning permission for 27 houses and eight flats behind Seager Road, in Sheerness.

Housing association Moat Homes can appeal the notice, but if unsuccessful could be forced have to demolish 35 homes. 

The retrospective application was rejected after the properties were found to have deviated from their original designs, approved in 2010, with some being built up to 1.7m higher than permitted.

The developer has argued the site would provide 35 much-needed social housing properties.

Kent, including Swale, needs more social housing and the cost of demolition and rebuilding will put a huge dent into Moat’s budget. 

Equally there’s obviously been a major mistake during the construction process, which led Moat Homes to find themselves in this difficult position with the local community, planners and politicians.

While there’ll always two-sides to every story, we can only hope commonsense will prevail. 

And ironically, Swale Borough Council may have left the door wide open to Gladman Developments and its plans to bring forward 580 new homes in Sittingbourne after the company appealed on the grounds of non-determination combined with the council’s failure to meeting national planning policy due to the lack of a compliant Local Plan. The application will now be decided by a Planning Inspector.

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