Developer hopes to scale back section 106 arrangements on Doncaster homes plan

Barton Lane in Armthorpe
Barton Lane in Armthorpe
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A housing developer is requesting to scale back commitments to provide affordable properties, school places and cash for a community project in Doncaster.

The unnamed developer was granted permission to build 22 homes on derelict land on Barton Lane, Armthorpe back in 2017 provided the plan consisted of six 'affordable homes', £48,000 for a public open space and five school places worth £60,000 at Armthorpe Southfield Primary School under a section 106 agreement.

The variation to the s106 agreement, as recommended by planning officers, will instead reduce the number of affordable homes to two, provide one school place and £15,000 contribution for public open space along Church Street.

A report seen by councillors on Doncaster Council's planning committee said the applicants sought to finance the scheme and discovered the lenders were 'unwilling to lend them the money due to the limited gross development value' and the 'associated risks' of the commencing the plan.

The document added this was primarily due to the 'amount of contributions contained within the original S106 agreement' and the fact that 'no viability assessment had been done by the original land owner' to establish the ability to deliver these requirements.

The applicant commissioned a financial viability analysis in June 2017 valuing the site at the price paid of £450,000. The conclusions of the report showed the scheme would return a 10.5 per cent level of profitability.

Doncaster Council carried out their own assessment through an independent valuer and found the site was worth '£10,000 given all the S106 requirements and other development costs'.

In a published report, principal planning officer Gareth Stent said: "This is a derelict brown field site in need of being developed to improve the appearance of this part of Armthorpe and to deliver new homes.

"To not enter into a deed of variation would have a negative effect on the viability of the scheme and/or result non-delivery of the approved scheme and lead to this site remaining derelict for the foreseeable future."

Councillors will decide whether to agree to recommendations set out by officers at a planning meeting next Tuesday.