Latest letter to the Bridport News……..

Hopefully this (my personal opinion) will be published in tomorrows edition……

“So the Vearse Farm housing development issue rumbles on.
I do however feel that an alternative scenario to build the proposed affordable tranche (35%) equating to 266 low-cost dwellings, could be achieved.
I have just viewed the TV discussion involving Andrew Marr with Sajid Javid MP, the Communities Secretary, who revealed plans to take a more holistic view to building low-cost housing. He cited a £10billion of extra funding to achieve this goal. Traditionally, roughly every two open-market houses sold, fund the build of an affordable house. So what if a revolutionary approach is taken and the private sector totally fund such schemes, as part of Mr. Javid’s proposed holistic concept?
I understand that there have been several successful schemes in Britain whereby companies have directly funded housing associations. Perhaps this approach could be applied to the direct funding of low-cost housing on several sites in Bridport as an alternative to Vearse Farm. This would preclude S106 agreements as government funding is not involved and the financier could insist that only, the much needed low-cost housing, is built without the extra traditional open-market tranche . Overall the number of units could be reduced, their design would insistently comply to environmentally friendly criteria, particularly that of solar panel implementation, and finally the smaller demand in dwelling numbers, could be built more expeditiously than the 760 units destined for Vearse Farm.
I would therefore openly ask WDDC councillors to consider this option and perhaps park their decision to grant outline planning permission to the Hallam Land Group, at the meeting destined for the 3rd November in Dorchester. Subsequently they, having evaluated this alternative option, make a decision generating a legacy to be wholeheartedly applauded by the eligible, needy residents of our Town.
Richard Freer
West Allington”

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