Developers hoping to build 93 new houses on land near Common Lane now want to spend less on affordable housing and build bigger homes at the site.
Bloor Homes need to increase the proportion of houses which have four or five bedrooms on the ‘Crackley Triangle’ site, and contribute less money towards affordable housing for the project to be viable.
If the changes are approved by Warwick District Council’s planning committee, the private part of the site will have six two-bedroom houses, 17 three-bedroom houses, and 33 four or five-bedroom houses alongside 37 affordable houses.
The developers also want to spend around £623,000 less on affordable housing.
Although the number of homes will not change, fewer will be used under ‘shared ownership’ and more will be part of the ‘low cost market’, which are sold to buyers at a lower price than the open market.
Originally, it was agreed for the site to have 20 two-bed, 25 three-bed and 11 four-bed houses alongside 37 affordable houses. Bloor Homes were originally going to spend £1.78 million on affordable homes.
The land will be accessible from a new bridge right next to the Greenway, between the two existing bridges in Common Lane.
The changes did not please Kenilworth Town Council members, who felt the earlier plan accepted in 2014 did not need altering.
Chairman of the town council’s planning committee Cllr George Illingworth (Con, Abbey) said: “What they’ve discovered, and we could’ve told them this, is that the bridge will cost them a lot of money.
“We just feel quite strongly about that area of Kenilworth. They should have done their sums and found out how much it would cost before submitting a plan.”
And Cllr Michael Coker (Con, Abbey) said: “It seems to me that they’ve underestimated the cost of building the bridge.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to change it. If they miscalculated it’s their problem.”
Officers at Warwick District Council have warned the development will be unlikely to go ahead if the changes are refused because it will no longer be economically sound.
Duncan Mackay, land director at Bloor Homes Western, said: “Our involvement in this project extends over five years and since the initial application was submitted both the planning context and technical constraints associated with the scheme have fundamentally changed.
“As a result we have had to make some alterations to the scheme in order to ensure its viability. However, the development will still deliver the same number of affordable homes as proposed in the original application.
“We remain committed to providing a high quality scheme on this allocated site and have been working with both the local planning authority and county council highways team to ensure that this site can deliver much needed housing for Kenilworth in the short term.”
The original plan approved in 2014 was controversial. At the time, Cllr Felicity Bunker (Con, Park Hill) said it made ‘a mockery’ of planning.
A decision on the changes will be made at a meeting on Tuesday January 31.