Preston homes up for approval despite viability concerns

Developer Imperial Fairway wants to build 37 homes on a three-acre site close to the headquarters of charity Deafways, despite concerns over a lack of affordable housing provision because of viability constraints. 

The scheme provide a mix of three- and four-bedroom homes on a site off Brockholes Brow, close to the offices of the charity, which supports deaf people.

Preston-based Imperial Fairway told the city council it was unable to provide any affordable housing as part of the project due to the predicted low sales values of the properties. It said it wanted to make a contribution to off-site provision of affordable homes instead. 

However, the developer later said it would no longer be able to commit to an off-site contribution after a viability assessment highlighted several “significant abnormal costs” related to site clearance and the need for improved access works. 

Preston City Council then appointed an independent consultant to review the developer’s viability assessment.  

The consultant suggested that, while the developer could not viably make a contribution based on the anticipated sales values of the homes, the situation should be put up for review after 10 houses had been sold. 

If the homes sell for higher prices than originally anticipated, the council could request a contribution towards affordable housing from Imperial at a later date. 

The consultant noted in its review that “any further financial contributions required would render the scheme unviable”. 

Preston City Council will make a decision on the project on Thursday. The planner for the development is CW Planning Solutions and the architect is LMP Architectural Consultants. 

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