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REFUSED AGAIN: St Albans council rejects affordable housing proposals after resident objections

 Published on: 16th November 2022   |   By: Darius Morgan   |   Category: Uncategorized

Plans to build hundreds of houses for key workers has been rejected by St Albans City and District Council (SACDC).

Owners of St Stephen’s Farm in Chiswell Green, which include ex-boxing star Steve Collins, proposed to convert their land into 330 new homes with the Addison Park project.

On the Addison Park website, a statement reads: “All the houses will be discounted by a third before being made available exclusively to Key Workers through Discounted Sales or via Shared Ownership.

“At Addison Park, nurses and midwives, police officers and firefighters, care workers and military personnel will have the chance to live in their own brand-new modern home whilst cutting their housing costs by thousands.”

The application received more than 450 objections from residential addresses, and received criticism from multiple groups, including the St Albans and District Footpaths Association, the St Albans Civic Society and Keep Chiswell Green.

Objections state that the proposed affordable housing is not truly affordable and key workers could not afford it. Also, that it would be unfair to single out key workers and military personnel for affordable housing, and that there is no evidence that the sales prices quoted would be achievable.

Another shared objection to the development was that it wouldn’t be in keeping with the village’s rustic aesthetic, and that Chiswell Green would consequently become a town.

A major consideration from the SADC was that the site is within the Metropolitan Green Belt, and the proposed development would have a “detrimental impact on the openness of the Green Belt, harm to landscape character and appearance, loss of high quality agricultural land, and impacts on social and physical infrastructure”. 

It was concluded that although the benefits of 330 affordable housing units would “contribute significantly towards meeting an identified housing need in the District”, “the potential harm to the Green Belt is not clearly outweighed by other considerations”.

In a Planning Committee on Monday, October 17, the plans were unanimously refused.

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