PLANNING NEWS

A retrospective planning application for 14 homes on Bridgwater Road, Bedminster Down may have hit the jackpot for STUPID DEVELOPMENT in the city. Originally granted permission in 2014, with no affordable housing, developers UKS Group Ltd, a heating firm, have set about about breaking the original planning conditions with considerable panache.

Chief among these is their RANDOM CHANGES in the design of the development; a FAILURE to properly decontaminate the land creating a potential health hazard and an INCREASE in parking spaces above legal levels.

Meanwhile a closer look by planning officers at the viability assessment for the development than they managed the first time around suggests it’s riddled with MISLEADING errors, which mean the company could still turn a generous profit and provide affordable housing.

Errors discovered in the viability assessment included: the use of LOWER property values than those provided by independent valuars with no explanation; a CLAIM the scheme contained 1,649 square metres of floor space when it was actually 1,761 square metres, meaning that the build costs were overly inflated, and a CLAIM of costs of £110,000 for parking spaces when the tender document put the costs at £21,700.38.

A council planning committee has now REJECTED the retrospective application citing the lack of affordable housing. Will the developer appeal?

Watch this space.

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