DEVELOPERS are being urged to provide more affordable homes as part of plans for a major greenfield housing scheme in east Leeds.
Persimmon Homes and Taylor Wimpey are proposing to build 364 homes on the Grimes Dyke just north of the A64 at Whinmoor.
The council originally refused a planning application to build 500 homes on the former farmland, with 30 per cent of the properties to be “affordable” – either social rented or offered for sale at sub-market prices.
The decision was overturned on appeal by a planning inspector who ruled in May last year the site could be developed.
And now the developers have submitted a new application for 364 homes with just 15 per cent to be affordable, which is in line with an interim policy introduced by the council in June last year to try to kick-start house building during the down turn by making potential sites more viable.
With Leeds desperately in need of more social homes to rent and lower cost properties to buy, Coun Peter Gruen (Lab, Whinmoor) urged the developers to increase the proportion of affordable homes they were proposing to build.
He said: “Eighteen months ago the two developers agreed 30 per cent affordable housing was perfectly viable and the inspector granted permission.
“Now they have come back with a new scheme of just 15 per cent. If they went to 20 per cent it would increase the number of affordable houses by 18 and you can’t tell me that 18 affordable houses would be that difficult to achieve.”
Coun David Blackburn (Green, Farnley and Wortley) said: “If 30 per cent was good enough when the appeal went in then it’s good enough now.”
He argued that as the development was likely to be built in phases over five or more years, the economy could well improve during the construction period.
Planning officers will continue to negotiate with the developers before the panel makes a decision on the application.