Will Sandry, has pressed the local Conservatives to improve transparency around the affordable housing element of new housing developments.
It is widely perceived that some developers try to use ‘viability assessments’ as a way of reducing their obligations around social and affordable housing provision. Notable examples in Bath have been Hope House and the Warminster Road MOD site.
In questions to the Cabinet member last week, Will called for viability assessments for developers’ affordable housing contributions to be published. He also highlighted a recent decision by Bristol City Council to make more information available. However, the Cabinet member has refused to open up viability assessments to public scrutiny. Will said:
“Residents are angered that some housing developers are playing the system to dodge their affordable housing responsibilities. I have asked that B&NES follows the lead of Bristol City Council in publishing variability assessments, unfortunately it seems the Conservatives don’t want to be transparent.”