The first of the new houses at Hayes Place, by the green, are almost ready for occupation by their new owners, who are expected to start moving in this month (November).
Once the site is completed next year, it will be end of a long saga in which your councillors have been involved for many years. Following our intervention, the number of the units in the development was reduced to make the site less cramped, and a block of flats was included which will go a small way to replace the provision for senior residents that was on the site previously.
In answer to some queries that have been raised with us, there has also been a change of scaffolding contractor on the site, so residents may have noticed scaffolding being removed and replaced during this and last week.
After complaints from residents about various aspects of the works at the former flats at Hayes Place, we have been in touch with council officers and Affinity Sutton. We can now report back as follows:
Location of site accommodation: the site compound is located on the green in front of the site; Keepmoat (the builders) have permission for this (the alternative would have been to use part of the highway), but on completion the accommodation and hoarding will be removed and the green returned to its original condition at no cost to the council taxpayer.
Works outside permitted hours: some construction activities, including starting up a generator, have been undertaken before and after permitted hours. Affinity Sutton have now have taken this up with Keepmoat and have assurances that this will not happen again. A full time site manager (who has been on leave for the last two weeks) will now be in charge and should be aware of the permitted hours of work.
Noise and smell of generators: Keepmoat advise that the existing generators are temporary and will be soon removed when a fixed builders supply is brought to site. In the meantime Keepmoat have been asked to ensure that the disruption caused by generators is kept to a minimum.
Muddy paths: Inevitably there will be mess from the site, but Keepmoat have been reminded to keep paths clear and clean at all times.
Affinity Sutton agree that there does seem to have been a lack of communication between the builders and residents, however we now expect a newsletter from the developers to come out shortly.
The former warden-assisted flats at Hayes Place, Bourne Vale, are now disappearing behind hoardings as builders prepare to demolish the blocks. Developers will then build twenty-six new houses and eight flats under plans that were eventually approved, after a number of revisions, nearly a year ago.
The new development, for Affinity Sutton, is the culmination of a long process which, after intervention by your local councillors, saw a notable reduction in the number of units to minimise housing density on the site, and the inclusion of flats that will be particularly suited to the elderly or less able-bodied residents.
We are aware that local neighbours are concerned at the parking situation, particularly in Chilham Way, and the mess that is arising from the works, as well as the area of the green being used by the builders. Although this is of course a temporary situation we will be watching closely to see that the impact on the local area is minimised as far as possible.
At tonight’s Plans Sub-committee the Council approved Affinity Sutton’s plans for redeveloping the site of the former sheltered housing on Chilham Way.
The revised plans already included a reduction in the number of houses and the bulk of the buildings, as well as more green space at the front of the houses – not least as a result of your local councillors’ lobbying.
Tonight further measures and conditions were imposed including physical protection of the green between the site and Bourne Vale, and removal of ‘permitted development’ rights for the new homes, making it harder for the housing density to be increased further on the finished site.
Affinity Sutton, the successors to Broomleigh Housing Association, recently submitted their long awaited planning application to redevelop the site of the former sheltered housing in Chilham Way, overlooking the greens of Bourne Vale.
Although some public consultation was carried out before the application was made, the plans met with considerable opposition, particularly with regard to the density of the development, inadequate green space at the front of the units, traffic issues and impact on the green, among other objections.
The inclusion of housing designed for the elderly was welcomed, however, as were changes to increase the amount of off-street parking on the development.
The application went before a plans committee in late November where your local councillors and a representative of the Hayes Village Association spoke. The application was refused.
It now remains to be seen whether Affinity Sutton will resubmit amended plans, go straight to appeal on the rejected plans, or both.
Last December Cllrs. Anne Manning and Neil Reddin had a meeting, arranged by Bob Neill MP, with the Chief Officers of Affinity Sutton (Broomleigh’s parent company).
Our meeting with Keith Exford, the Chief Executive of Affinity, and Neil McCall, the Group Operations Director, was useful. Unfortunately, it appears that plans to redevelop the site will go ahead, despite the strong case we had put. However, any proposed planning application remains on hold and the assurance that no resident will be forced to leave has been renewed and welcomed.
In the last few months some residents have already moved out and some more are in the process of seeking alternative accommodation. Clearly any resident who wishes to take up the offer made by Broomleigh/Affinity is free to do so and it is right that they should feel free to do so without intimidation.
However, a large number of residents appear to want to stay at Hayes Place and we shall continue to seek assurances that any request to “stay put” is managed in a kindly and appropriate way. In the meantime we are seeking information and clarification regarding the timetable for any closure and redevelopment.
We will continue to liaise with Affinity/Broomleigh and keep you all updated.
Serving Hayes, Coney Hall, West Wickham Common and Hayesford Park