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Affordable housing row hits plans for Lodge flats
2:00pm Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
PLANS to convert a former North Oxford Masonic Lodge into flats could go back to the drawing board in a row over affordable housing.
Oxford city councillors have been urged to throw out plans for 17 flats on the site of 333 Banbury Road when they meet next week. A planning officer’s report recommends the plan is rejected next Tuesday as developer Homespace has refused to make half the flats affordable, breaking council policy.
It wants to knock down extensions to the lodge building and build homes in their place, converting the original building into four flats.
Instead of half affordable homes, the developer has pledged two, plus a £500,000 contribution to homebuilding in the city.
Summertown city and county councillor Jean Fooks said: “The problem is there is a shortage of land for housing which is why we have this policy in the first place.
“I think it’s a good site for housing, but they will just have to think again about how to provide a better mixed development.”
But Homespace director Victor Regoczy said: “We spent a year discussing this with the council and seven months in pre-application discussions.
“I don’t know what we plan to do if it is refused.”
The west area planning committee will consider the plan on Tuesday at 6.30pm at the Town Hall. The public can attend.
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