AS THE country moves into recession, the effect on developments which include affordable homes has been raised.
It has been suggested the City Council's current policy of requiring up to 40% of affordable could see sites waiting for years before they get off the ground.
The issue emerged at a meeting of Chester's planning board when councillors gave the go ahead for a redevelopment of Chester's grade two star listed leadworks in Boughton with just four affordable homes out of 33.
Councillors heard the reduction from a previously approved seven was needed if the scheme was to be viable for the developer.
Falling house prices were cited.
Boughton Heath City Cllr Jim Latham (Lib Dem) said he was concerned at the reduction in the number of affordable units and asked if the city council would have to change its policy if the economic situation was to be taken into account.
Development control manager Fiona Edwards suggested the credit crunch was likely to face the new Cheshire West and Chester Council, which takes over in April next year, for some time.
"Do we want sites to sit there for years and years to come?
"That is the realistic prospect," she suggested if the 40% requirement was not negotiable.
"We have to take account of the current financial situation," commented principal planning officer Steve Lewis.
Cllr Latham said he would be "very unhappy" at the prospect of a change to the council's approach.