A proposed Rooksdown project that has been chosen by the Government for a national home-building pilot should provide more affordable housing for residents.
That is the view of ward councillor Simon Bound, ahead of a final decision being made on whether to allow the build of 122 houses next to the site of the former Park Prewett Hospital.
Next Wednesday night’s ruling will be the third time that the plans to provide housing at The Spinney, in Aldermaston Road, have gone before the borough council’s development control committee in the last five years.
Unlike the two previous successful attempts to get outline planning permission though, the latest project would be entirely comprised of custom-built homes, including houses designed and self-built by owners.
A total of 44 plots have been allocated for affordable housing in the development, although Cllr Bound believes this 36 per cent figure should be increased to 40 per cent.
He said: “The one thing we need is good, quality affordable housing.
“This is an exciting site, but 40 per cent should be part of that, and we should be doing everything in our power to persuade the developer to push the number up.
“I hope there won’t be any problems, because I do see this as a real opportunity for Rooksdown and the rest of the borough to show that things can be done differently, and be done better.”
The development was chosen by the department for communities and local government (DCLG) to be a custom build pilot site last December, with then housing minister Brandon Lewis labelling it a “fantastic example” to get more people on the housing ladder.
Planning permission was first granted by the council in 2011, before then being approved once again in 2014, following a change in ownership of the land.
The second application saw the affordable housing provision offered increase from 25 per cent to 36 per cent, with this figure then remaining the same when the DCLG became involved, and chose ZeroC as its development partner.
Managing director Kim Slowe said: “Park Prewett is an outstanding opportunity for us to pioneer the delivery of custom build in the United Kingdom.
“We plan to take the lessons learned, and roll out custom build in all our projects across the country.”