£250,000 backing for controversial Doncaster housing scheme

Residents from Ivor Grove and Evanston Gardens protested against plans to build  new homes on their doorsteps.
Residents from Ivor Grove and Evanston Gardens protested against plans to build new homes on their doorsteps.
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A total of 50 new affordable houses are set to be built as part of a controversial Doncaster housing development.

Doncaster Council's cabinet has agreed to put £250,000 worth of cash, which it has received from developers as a condition of planning permission agreements, into providing housing association properties at Ivor Grove, Balby.

The development of the site met opposition from local residents when it was first proposed because of concerns over the loss of green space which is used by residents. The scheme was altered to keep two rights of way, but that affected the financial viability of the proposals for affordable housing.

But cabinet has now agreed to pay the £250,000 to Ongo Housing Association to provide the housing. The money comes from section 106 cash - money which is paid by developers for projects to benefit the area, as a condition of planning permission.

Deputy Mayor Glyn Jones said approval of the money being released would allow the council to move towards one of its priorities of more affordable housing to all sections of the community, but acknowledged the scheme had been controversial.

He said: "There are are local concerns over this housing scheme, and as ward councillor I spoke of local opposition to this development. But these decisions are balanced, and taking other factors into account, planning permission was given."

The affordable housing scheme will see 10 two bedroom bungalows, 29 two bedroom houses and 11 three bedroom houses.

Doncaster Council planning committee approved the plan earlier this year, despite nearby residents opposing the development. There were 22 letters against the proposal, and a petition with 196 signatures.

Nearby resident Sue Broughton said land used by dog walkers and local children would be lost.

Cabinet members spoke of the need for social housing in the borough.

Coun Chris McGuinness said: "From a pragmatic point of view, we still get 50 units of affordable housing.

Coun Bill Mordue said: "It is 50 much needed affordable houses and I see no problem with this."

Coun Nuala Fennelly said: "We need social housing and we need it as quickly as we can."

Coun Rachel Blake added: "I will see OAP bungalows built that are much needed."