THE chair of Malpas Parish Council has accused a developer of ‘ghettoising’ the affordable housing element in a new development.
Cllr Cathy Reynolds criticised the 12-home scheme in Tilston Road which is part of a larger plan by Ashbury Homes to convert the former St Joseph’s Catholic retreat opposite into apartments and cottages.
The affordable scheme, with two and three-bed properties for rent, is under construction with work on the main site delayed due to the credit crunch, but with a revised planning application imminent.
Cllr Reynolds, speaking at the monthly meeting, said: “They have put all the affordable on the right hand side and the left-hand side will be a private estate.”
Arguing in favour of balanced communities, she added: “What they have done at the moment is ghettoise the affordable.”
Property consultant Chris Clayton, for the developers, said the only way of delivering affordable housing was in a single phase on which purchasers Arena Housing could qualify for a 50% government subsidy.
If affordable housing had been included on the other side of the road, the scheme would not have been profitable.
The new application will include 10 apartments in the former manor house and 12 apartments in place of the 1960s wing. The chapel and stable block will be converted into four mews cottages. There will be six detached houses north of the site and a large six-bed detached house beyond the Victorian walled garden.
Mr Clayton said the proposed highways scheme would see most households using the ‘bottom’ entrance and the rest using the more hazardous ‘middle’ entrance which will involve lowering the perimeter wall and cutting back the undergrowth to improve visibility at the brow of the hill.