Contentious plans to drastically cut the number of affordable homes on a new build on land west of Kempston were formally opposed on Tuesday night.
Developer David Wilson Homes proposes lowering the percentage of affordable homes from 30 per cent to 22.5% in overall terms, falling to 15% for their Phase Two development yet to be built.
Kemspton Town Council, where the majority of the new development will occur, said: “There should be no decrease from Bedford Borough’s locally agreed policy of 30 per cent of new build properties to be affordable homes.
“We are concerned and disappointed David Wilson Homes are seeking section 106 agreements (allowing a developer to apply to the local planning authority for the modification of an exisitng agreement). Reducing the allocation of affordable housing will result in around 200 fewer dwellings available to the borough to meet local housing need.”
Martin Wright, land director at David Wilson Homes South Midlands, said, “We are in ongoing discussions with Bedford Borough Council and other local partners, and await the results of a detailed public consultation on a number of items, including the provision of affordable housing .
“We remain committed to developing the community in the west of Bedford.
“In addition to generating significant numbers of local jobs through the building of quality new homes, we have worked with partners to provide new facilities for the benefit of local people, including two new schools, a new bypass, nursery, hotel, pub/restaurant, country park and children’s play areas, as well as considerable financial contributions.”
Kay Burley, leader of Kempston Town Council ,said: ”To lose 200 houses earmarked for affordable housing in this day and age is appalling.”
Sue Oliver, Calwell Ward borough councillor asked: “How are people supposed to get their foot on the housing ladder if the figure for affordable housing is cut by this government? It’s simply unfair.”
Will Hunt, Borough Councillor for Kempston West added: ”This will reduce the availability of affordable homes for young people. The coalition prefers to look after the interests of developers rather than young families’ needs.”
Mr Hunt and Mohammed Masud abstained from the vote on Tuesday (September 9) as they are on the Borough’s planning committee. The application will be considered at the next Bedford Borough Council meeting on September 22.