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Starter homes key to green light for Wolverhampton development

Published: Thursday, 17th November 2016

City Council grants approval for the first phase of development at the former Royal Hospital in Wolverhampton with 146 new dwellings planned on the 12.5 acres of land…

The first phase of the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) development of new homes at the former Royal Hospital site in Wolverhampton is set to become a reality following planning approval granted by the city council for the first phase of 146 dwellings on the former bus depot part of the site.

Significantly the plans, which involve the demolition of the buildings at the site and its remediation to make way for housing, submitted by the Agency’s planning consultants Cushman and Wakefield did not allow for 25 per cent affordable housing as normally required by the council.

The HCA said the development wold be unviable with any affordable provision. In its place the agency proposed a 10 per cent on-site provision of starter homes. Officials told members this was “acceptable”.

Their report said: “Whilst the HCA’s proposals represent a shift in the council’s standard policy approach, it would deliver a quantum of housing at a discounted rate, on a site that may be unable to provide any affordable housing. On balance therefore the approach of starter homes instead of affordable housing is acceptable, and mirrors the direction of travel in national policy.”

The HCA acquired the former Royal Hospital site earlier this year to create new homes and a high profile gateway development into the city centre.

The five hectares of land, which comprises of the former bus depot and further development land as well as the former Royal Hospital itself, will be predominately used for residential development.

Roger Milne