Trinity College seeks cut in affordable homes to be built at Felixstowe site
PUBLISHED: 16:12 10 August 2017
Community leaders are being asked to agree a nine percent reduction in the affordable homes on a development because one of the country's wealthiest universities says it cannot afford to build them.
Trinity College, Cambridge, is required to include one-third of the homes on its new Walton Green North project in Felixstowe as affordable – 127 houses.
The college though said the 385-home scheme would only be viable if the affordable homes could be cut to 17%. Suffolk Coastal is now set to agree a compromise of 24% – 92 homes.
Sam Metson, partner in the college’s agents, Bidwells, defended Trinity College’s position.
He said: “It is important to highlight that the college does not routinely challenge affordable housing and has committed to one-third provision on the three other sites it has brought forward for development in Felixstowe and the Trimleys.
“These include Walton South, which is now under construction by Barratt Homes, and the Hand in Hand and Thurman’s Lane sites, which will be marketed to developers as soon as the S106 (planning legal) agreements are finalised.
“Together with Walton North, these schemes will deliver approximately 200 new affordable dwellings in Felixstowe and the Trimleys over the coming years, alongside around 500 new market dwellings which will help meet the needs of first-time buyers, families and elderly residents in the area.
“The college wants to release these sites as quickly as possible and it is not seeking to achieve any more in land value than the council accepts is the minimum reasonable return for any landowner.
“Nevertheless, it must receive this return to justify its longstanding investment in the area and support the world-class education and research activities that it exists to provide.”
In a report to the planning committee, which on August 17 decides the affordable homes, case officer Liz Beighton said “it is now agreed between both parties that the optimum viable level of affordable housing to be provided on the site sits at 24%.”
Trinity College will also have to fund moving Felixstowe Rifle Club to new purpose-built premises and early construction of a link road through the scheme from Walton High Street to Candlet Road.
It will also have to contribute a sum towards a new primary school and pre-school for the area.