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Council 'astonished' as Government turns down housing scheme

A Government decision to reject a planning application for 94 affordable homes at Ravenswood has been greeted with “astonishment” by Ipswich Borough Council. 

The Council was informed today that the Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, Greg Clark, has turned down the application despite the recommendation of an independent Planning Inspector that the homes should go ahead.

The planning application to build 68 houses for affordable rent, 24 homes for shared ownership and two specialist homes for social rent was approved by the Council’s Planning & Development Committee in November 2014 but was called in by the Government the following January. 

Council Leader David Ellesmere said: "After a public inquiry in September 2015, the Planning Inspector recommended approval but, after sitting on the report for more than six months, the Secretary of State has now blocked the application on the grounds that the development should contain more homes for sale. 

“This is an astonishing decision. I cannot think of another case in the country where a planning application has been turned down because the housing wasn’t expensive enough. The length of time it has taken the Government to take this decision is likely to cost the Council millions of pounds in lost rent, grants and increased construction costs. All the while, Ipswich families have been left languishing on the housing waiting list and jobs in the construction industry have gone unfilled.” 

The Council will now consider the Government’s decision before it considers its next steps.    

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commented 2016-06-15 17:46:44 +0100
All the cuts which the Government has recently announced will increase homelessness between now & 2020 regardless of the social & economic cost. This is just after the Government has recently pledged to make over 100 Million available to tackle the growing problem of homelessness in the UK which has more than doubled since 2010 (due to the changes which this inhumane Tory Government have made since then). It seems to me that none of the so called good, honest, honourable people who have made these decisions are in fact actually prepared to accept any responsibility which is proven by the fact that responsibility has been devolved down on to local authorities (while their funding is being cut). It is not economically viable in the long term for local authorities to sell off their public assets in-order to fill funding gaps which they have created. It seems central Government expect all the local authority councillors in the UK to commit economic, social & political suicide by applying their policies between now & 2020. I fear homelessness will continue to increase despite all the local authority service providers forming multi agency initiatives to deal with this issue if they work alone trying to deal with the effects & ignore the root cause.

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