Developer to avoid paying £2m fees to build Sutton homes?

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A developer says almost £2 million demanded in contributions has prevented homes being built in Sutton – so new plans have been submitted to avoid paying the fees.

Gleeson Homes already has outline permission to build 102 houses on the land off Alfreton Road, granted in 2014.

Ashfield District Council rejected those plans, but they were eventually granted on appeal with stringent conditions attached, including a

£1.9 million financial contributions toward transport for the area and for “public realm” improvements.

But Gleeson says the financial demand means the 2014 application is no longer viable – and has now put forward a further application.

A statement prepared on behalf of the company reads: “The outline planning permission was granted with the heavy burden of financial contributions.

“Accompanying viability assessment confirms the development will not come forward as a result of being unviable should such contributions be required.”

However, the move has angered Councillor Tom Hollis, council member for Ashfields ward.

He said: “They can’t get permission then suddenly back out of paying the money – it’s not acceptable.

“I opposed the last application, but will make sure they stick to the contributions.”

Gleeson Homes focuses on low-cost affordable homes in low-income areas, which the company says 90 per cent of local couples in full-time employment can afford.

The 4.18-hectares site is just more than a mile from the town centre and comprises two fields currently used for agricultural purposes.

The site has been earmarked for the housing on the emerging preferred local plan drawn up by the council.

The plans submitted with the latest application include 35 two-bedroom homes, 77 three-bedroom properties and six four-bedroom homes.

There would be a mix of semi-detached and detached homes, with private driveways.

Access could be from Alfreton Road and would include the demolition of house number 251 on the street.

However, the company has said it would still make a £278,289 contribution toward local education provisions, about £38,000 more than was demanded with the 2014 application.