Agenda item

Delivery of affordable housing on Council owned land at Snetterton North End (Agenda item 15)

Report of Elizabeth Gould, Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services


The Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services presented the report.  The report asked Members to consider a proposal to dispose of land at Snetterton North End for the provision of 10 units of affordable housing to meet housing needs.


The Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services considered this to be a great step forward being able to provide further affordable housing in the district.


The site itself was outside the Settlement Boundary but was adjacent to a number of former council owned units that had been transferred to Flagship Housing Group some time ago.  The 10 affordable units would be allocated for local need.  An open space would also be provided for community use.


The new Planning Policy Framework did allow market housing to be considered on this site but the risk would be too great for the developer.


The viability study was explained.


Wellington Construction Ltd would be purchasing part of the land for the sum of £90,000.  The District Valuer had valued the whole of the site for £155,000 which was below the District Valuer’s valuation.  Once built, the affordable housing would be sold to a Housing Association.


Mr Askew, the Ward Member for Snetterton, whole heartedly supported the recommendation but had concerns about the land that the children currently played on being lost and he hoped that there would be proper provision made for a play area elsewhere.  The Chairman stated that it was the hope of the Council that the area of allocated open space would be gifted across to the community.


The Ward Member stated that Snetterton Parish Council would struggle to pay for the maintenance of such a play area.  The Principal Housing Officer (Strategy & Enabling) advised that even if the developer installed the play equipment the maintenance responsibilities would still be the responsibility of the Parish Council.


The Executive Member for Internal Services mentioned risk and asked what would happen if the developer did not transfer the housing to a Housing Association.  Members were informed that there was already a Housing Association in place.


Option 1 - Dispose of the whole site at the District Valuers assessment of £155,000.


Option 2 - Offer the site for tender to try and obtain maximum value for the site.


Option 3 - Retain ownership of the site and until such time the land was either included within the development boundary or land values improved.


Option 4 - Approve the disposal of the whole site at a value less than the District Valuers assessment to bring forward the units of affordable housing and open space as per the proposal.


Option 5 - Approve the disposal of the area of land, Wellington Construction Ltd to require the units of housing at a sum of £90,000 and Breckland Council retain the area of land not required for open space.



  • Approving the disposal of the site at a value less than the District Valuers report would in effect be equivalent to the Council providing a subsidy to the delivery of affordable housing. It would be usual for the Council or the Homes and Communities agency to subsidise a development outside the development boundary through the capital programme or other grant funding.


  • Further exploration with Wellington Construction Ltd has led to agreement from them to share any costs not used which can be accounted back to the land value. They would test the market again to see if any Housing Association would pay more for the units of housing but highlighted the risk that Saffron Housing Association may decide to fill their programme with other schemes if there are further delays to commitment to the project. 


  • The land which was not sold if retained by the Council could be developed at a later date which in turn could realise a further capital receipt.



  • 10 units of housing would be delivered to meet local housing need.


RESOLVED that the disposal of land at a cost of £90,000.00 to Wellington Construction Ltd for the delivery of 10 units of affordable housing be approved.

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