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Developers Tell Council It Can’t Afford Public Realm Improvements

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Developers behind plans to build hundreds of new student flats in Newcastle-under-Lyme say they cannot afford to pay £1.3 million towards improvements in the area.

Abode Residence is looking to build studio apartments on the former Bristol Street Motors site but has said contributions towards public realm improvements would make the scheme financial unviable.

The plans, which also include 203 parking spaces and 253 cycle bays, were approved by the council in 2017.

But developers have been told to pay £1.2 million towards public realm improvements, along with funding highways and transport work in the town.

Abode has now requested the council reduce the amount it has to pay. An independent valuer added: "Sensitivity testing shows that the proposed scheme could support the payment of contributions of no more than £280,000 without being rendered unviable on the basis that this sum is payable prior to commencement of construction. If payments were to be delayed then this figure could rise to £296,000."

The request from Abode is to be discussed at a Newcastle Borough Council planning meeting.