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BATH HOUSING: Grant will make homes in Radstock project affordable

BATH HOUSING: Grant will make homes in Radstock project affordable

Image: LDRS

A derelict yard in Radstock is set to be transformed to provide 26 homes to meet the needs of local residents.

When Bidwell Metals secured planning permission for its old site in Bath Old Road in 2018, only 30 per cent were due to be affordable.

Now housing association Sovereign has submitted detailed plans for the site and said it will apply for grant funding to make the rest of the properties affordable.

The application says: “Sovereign are committed to helping those in housing need in the communities where they work, with longstanding relationships with several local authorities.

“Sovereign has secured a grant allocation of £72 million as part of the Homes England Strategic Partnership Programme to deliver 1,540 new affordable homes within their operating area. Accordingly, this grant funding could be used in any of the 59 local authority areas in which they operate.

“In this case, the grant funding will be used to increase the provision of affordable housing on the site from the 30 per cent as agreed in the Section 106 legal agreement to an overall 100 per cent provision. However, the grant will also be used alongside Sovereign’s own capital funding and therefore, the delivery mechanism needs to continue to be viable. Accordingly, it remains imperative to make most efficient use of the land.”

The plans say there is a substantial shortfall in affordable housing in Bath and North East Somerset and the council has not hit its 30 per cent target in five years.

Sovereign proposes that 19 of the homes will be available for social rent and seven for shared ownership.

It said: “The delivery of 26 affordable homes at a level which far exceeds the targets set out in local planning policy and the legal obligation in respect of the site, in an area of worsening affordability with a shortfall in affordable housing supply, on a site at which the principle of development is established, should be afforded substantial weight in the overall planning balance.”

Bath and North East Somerset Council will decide the fate of the application.

Words: Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter


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