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Blackburn affordable homes change for 383 house estate

COUNCILLORS have agreed to change the legal wording for the provision of affordable homes on a massive new estate so a social housing provider does not lose its government grant.

When it approved the first 383 property phase of a multi-million pound development in January, Blackburn with Darwen Planning Committee included a condition that one fifth of them must be ‘affordable’.

But now the Together Housing Group, which is building the new homes either side of Fishmoor Drive in south-east Blackburn with Countryside Properties (UK) Ltd, has asked for the condition to be removed.

It said this would prevent it receiving grants from Homes England for the estate.

On Thursday night the committee agreed to change this and replace it with a Section 106 developers’ contribution towards affordable homes backed by a legal covenant to build them on two plots of land.

This payment of £395,000 would allow the social homes element of the scheme to go ahead without preventing Together Housing’s eligibility for government grants.

The project on three sites is the first stage of developing more than 600 family homes over 48 acres opened up by the £6.8million scheme to widen Haslingden Road and build a new highway linking Blackamoor Road with Roman Road across fields near Fishmoor Reservoir.

It will see 383 houses built on land to the north and south of Fishmoor Drive and East of Roman Road in south-east Blackburn.

Cllr Phil Riley said: “This change means we get the same 75 affordable homes but in a different way.”