Councillors have rejected proposals to change the make-up of a housing development in Alrewas.
An application had been submitted to Lichfield District Council to amend the types of homes being built on the remainder of the Crest Nicholson scheme at Dark Lane.
The developers had hoped to amend the mix of the 52 homes still to be built in order to allow for more four and five bedroom properties to be constructed.
They told a meeting of the local authority’s planning committee that the development of new house types had facilitated the need to amend the scheme.
But the committee unanimously rejected the proposal over concerns it would go against the council’s own policies on housing.
Cllr Paul Ray, Liberal Democrat member for Chadsmead, said:
“This would see 11 three bed properties become nine four bedroom and two additional five bedroom homes.
“The council has a policy to promote two and three bed properties – they are something that is much needed in our community for younger families and younger people.
“The affordable housing is set at 30% but these are very different markets. The people who access the affordable housing market are different to those who can access the private market.
“That private market must continue to be diverse with a good mix of housing.
“It seems there is a clear policy and as a planning authority we need to be standing firm on that because there is a good need for that.”Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council
“I find that really disappointing – it speaks volumes”
The plans had also proposed amendments to drainage systems across the development, with Alrewas Parish Council among the individuals and organisations to object.
But Cllr Di Evans, Labour representative for the Boney Hay and Central ward, said she was disappointed that the parish council had not raised concerns over the change to the size of houses being built.
“I can’t understand the justification for reducing the number of three bed in favour of increasing four and five beds.
“I’m disappointed with the parish council response that it regrets the decrease but considers the change will enhance the appearance of the development. I find that really disappointing – it speaks volumes.
“It is regrettable when we are constantly being told that many people cannot remain in their areas because they are priced out of the market.
“On this site, there’s also been a reduction of two beds – from 19 to 11 – from the original application.
“It is now too late on this one but we have to try and keep on retaining affordable properties that are considered necessary.
“People have a right to remain where they were brought up, but they can’t do so – I find that totally unacceptable.”Cllr Di Evans, Lichfield District Council
Full details of the proposal and the decision notice can be seen on Lichfield District Council’s planning website.