Affordable homes in Rutland to be built at Langham
Affordable homes for first-time buyers are to be built as part of a village development.
The development of up to 18 homes in Langham would include five that are designated as affordable housing under the ‘first homes scheme’.
These would be offered at a 30 per cent reduction in price to first-time buyers with a local connection or who are keyworkers.
Speaking at Rutland County Council's planning committee on Tuesday, November 7, planning officer Andrew Waskett-Burt explained that the site north of Cold Overton Road, in Langham has had outline planning permission since 2020, and since then the developer – Langton Homes – has been seeking a registered provider for the affordable homes, but without success.
He added: “So they have modified the application on the advice of our housing strategy officer bringing it forward as a ‘first homes scheme’.
"The effect of this is that while the five units still fall within the definition of ‘affordable housing’, they can be sold at a 30 per cent discount to first-time buyers only who have a local connection, either working in Rutland or being a keyworker.
“The reason the developer can’t find a registered provider is because all of the ones they have approached say they want much larger schemes, with a minimum of 15 affordable homes, or it is simply not economically viable for them to look at."
Coun Raymond Payne (Liberal Democrat) said: “I just wanted to say for the record how very disappointing it is that the people who we hope would be building affordable homes have set themselves a bar at 15 homes-plus, before they will even be bothered to look at this site.
"That is going to have a lot of negative connotations for some of the smaller sites in our villages.”
Chairman, Coun Nick Begy (Ind), replied: “I think we all agree with that sentiment but, unfortunately, as a planning authority there is very little we can do about it.”
Coun Abigail West (Liberal Democrat) said she supported the amendment to the scheme, making five homes for local first-time buyers.
"When I was buying my first house, if I’d have been able to buy an affordable house which allowed me to purchase it without having to live off baked beans and soup noodles, it would’ve been absolutely wonderful.
“So many affordable homes are built for rent, or offered only through social housing – there are very few opportunities for local people to actually buy their first home and get onto the housing ladder themselves, so I think this application is wonderful.”
Members approved the amended application unanimously.