The Scottish Government issues guidelines to developers about the proportion of any residential development to be reserved as social housing. It is a way of encouraging mixed communities in places where people really want to live.
However, the Government acknowledges that, in some exceptional circumstances, developers should be allowed to build such ‘affordable’ housing off site.
Now there has grown a suspicion among planning observers that developers increasingly seek to exploit this concession. Some argue that they try to maximise the number of greatest profit-making luxury properties in the most attractive areas whilst locating ‘social housing’ out of sight and out of mind elsewhere, usually in or adjacent to more industrial zones.
Leith Central Community Council is aware of such suggestions and resolved at a recent meeting to oppose the practice strongly (Extras 4.5.10).
They will press for the full social housing allocation to be integrated with market housing when planning permission is sought by Hackland & Dore for their proposal at 130 McDonald Rd (Issues 180–1; Breaking news 31.3.10; Extras 1.4.10). Spurtle applauds this decision.
[For the reaction of the New Town and Broughton Community Council to the same proposal, see Breaking news (16.5.10).]