Sep 17 2013 by Mark Johnson, Formby Times
PLANS to build houses on the site of the Formby Power House are due to be decided by Sefton Council.
The application by Bellway Homes to build 75 homes at the Hoggs Hill Lane location is expected to be approved at a planning committee tomorrow night (Wednesday).
Sefton planning officer Jane Gowing is urging councillors to approve the scheme because “it is considered to comply with the overall thrust of the National Planning Policy Framework”.
But pressure group FRAGOFF (Opposition group Formby Residents Action Group Opposition From Formby) said the plan should have a focus on affordable housing.
FRAGOFF spokesman Maria Bennett said: “We are aware that the Power House application is to be put before the planning committee and we intend to make verbal representation at this committee hearing.
“We would like to stress that we are not opposed to development in principle, but feel that it should be carried out in the right places, for the people of Sefton and that if the driving force is affordable housing then this should be the number one consideration when approving applications. We agree that we need affordable housing and that the word ‘affordable’ should be explained to the public.
“’Affordable’ does not mean council housing, it means social housing which will be allocated to those most in need – ie, the top of the housing list and affordable market value which, depending on where you actually build, would mean shared ownership or shared equity.
“We have also now been invited to attend Sefton Council for a meeting with the officers regarding the local plan and just arranging a date with them. This is the first time they have had a meeting with us to discuss the plan and our concerns over it, but we would like to thank them for agreeing to this meeting now.”
The approval is subject to completion of a Section 106 agreement to ensure that “15% of development (as defined by bed spaces) comprise affordable housing based on a 75-25% split of social rented and intermediate housing”.
Approval is subject to a contribution to off-site highway works and the provision of public open space adjacent to the development.
The plans will also constitute “sustainable development”, contributing much-needed affordable housing and additional housing land to address the Council's current shortfall.
Proposals also have access roads, car parking, landscaping and public open space.