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Friday, 22 May 2015

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Stocksfield: Developer hit with £15,000 bill to move flats just nine inches

MOVING the location of four new affordable homes by just nine inches could end up costing £15,000.

Stocksfield Parish Council heard how the four two-bedroom apartments planned for land at Guessburn, needed to be moved further away from a watercourse, following the alteration of potential flood risk boundaries.

The development, together with two two-bedroom bungalows, proposed for the former Stocksfield Snooker Club site, is being led by SCATA, the newly-created trading arm of Stocksfield Community Association.

One of its directors Coun. Pete Duncan told his fellow parish councillors: “The planning application has not gone in yet because we did not foresee the Environment Agency coming out to do an accurate plotting of the 1 in 100 years flood risk area.

“A tiny corner of the flats is now determined as being in the secondary flood risk area, so the scheme is being re-designed.”

Coun. Duncan added that the cost of the alterations would be covered by a contingency fund factored in to the budget, and the meeting heard that the planning application is expected to be ready for submission within a matter of weeks.

It will be accompanied by a proposal for the construction of a two-bedroom bungalow on the site of the former Branch End toilet block on New Ridley Road.

Together, the seven properties make up an £850,000 plan for the first affordable homes to be built in Stocksfield for a generation – one of the first schemes in the country to attract grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Coun. Duncan and five other directors of SCATA, Coun. Keith Woods, the Rev. Bill Rigby, headteacher of Broomley First School Jacqui Lorimer, community association chairman Norman Hooks, and board member Ineke Gijsbers, approached charitable housing association Isos to help deliver the scheme.

They have also agreed a lettings policy to ensure prospective tenants have a strong local connection and clear housing need.

Subject to approval, it is hoped work can start on both sites in September.