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Housing plan saga continues

Plans for 80 homes off Langham Road, Standish, will be discussed by councillors on Tuesday
Plans for 80 homes off Langham Road, Standish, will be discussed by councillors on Tuesday

The latest chapter in a long-running saga over a house-building project in Standish will be heard by the council’s planning committee.

Wainhomes’ outline application for 80 homes on land off Langham Road will be considered by elected representatives tomorrow afternoon.

The house-builder has been planning to carry out construction work on the site for more than two years and is returning to the council chamber after lengthy work on contributions to the surrounding infrastructure.

The area is a prize target for construction companies with Wainhomes already having begun construction on a much larger development of 298 homes right next to the site being considered.

The amount of new homes going up in Standish has been a controversial topic and this application has also attracted opposition, but officers have recommended that progress can be made if sufficient work and agreements are carried out by Wainhomes.

The report prepared for the councillors concludes: "A thorough assessment of the proposal has confirmed that, subject to a range of new and improved infrastructure being provided, the proposal is acceptable in terms of its impact.

"The proposal would provide a high-quality residential development within a sustainable location and make a valuable contribution to short-term housing need in the borough."

Wainhomes’ original application for the site was deferred in July 2016 so Government housing projections could be taken into account, with approval subject to conditions being granted last January.

However, the section 106 agreements were not completed within the six-month period due to concerns about the mix of houses not being viable.

As a result Wainhomes has now brought a revised proposal forward.

The plan is only an outline to approve the principal of development, with all other matters except access reserved for later on in the process.

However, 25 per cent of the development is expected to be affordable housing and 40 per cent to consist of smaller homes with two or three bedrooms.

A 1.1-hectare area next to The Line pathway will also be left free to provide a green buffer for newts and other wildlife.

The council has received 16 letters of objection, with complaints ranging from there being no need for further house-building in Standish to increased pollution to loss of countryside and open spaces.

Neighbourhood forum Standish Voice is also against the development, saying it does not provide the right mix of houses the area needs, there are problems with the estate design, a 1,000-home limit on safeguarded land has already been reached and the infrastructure cannot cope.

Officers have recommended councillors approve the plan but make Wainhomes subject to a raft of conditions in a Section 106 agreement.

The planning department also wants the final decision on whether the work done by July 16 is satisfactory delegated to the director of economy and environment. The planning committee meets on Tuesday (January 16).