HOPES are fading that a controversial development in Calstock will deliver any affordable homes for local people.

The Bridge View development of 33 houses looks set to be mothballed while only some homes built – all with price tags well out of the reach of locals – after talks over affordable housing provision between developer Construction Partners and Cornwall Council broke down.

The application for 33 homes was granted planning permission back in 2018, of which 15 were supposed to be affordable for locals. This was recently reduced to ten homes at the request of the developer, who says they cannot afford to build them.

Now planning authority Cornwall Council has been told by Construction Partners that they cannot afford to build any of the promised affordable homes - leaving the planning application in limbo and the housing development half-built.

The matter was discussed by Calstock Parish Council’s planning committee on Tuesday last week, with parish councillor Alastair Tinto branding the situation ‘disgraceful’.

He said: “The application would have brought 15 much-needed homes to Calstock. What would be left is market houses which Calstock doesn’t need at prices around £500,000 to £800.000. That is not affordable. That price is way out of the pockets of the people.”

 This follows a Planning Inquiry held in Calstock in December 2022, which saw a planning inspector tell Cornwall Council and the developer to go back to the drawing board to renegotiate providing affordable homes.

The inspector concluded that costs had been higher than expected to provide infrastructure on the steeply sloping site off Church Lane. However, he also noted that the application had only been allowed back in 2018 on the basis that 45 per cent - 15 homes - would be available at either affordable rents or on a part-buy part-rent shared ownership basis.

A subsequent application to reduce the number from 15 to ten affordable homes submitted by Construction Partners last May was backed by Calstock Parish Council and then approved by Cornwall Council.

However Construction Partners, based in Exmouth in East Devon, are now citing Cornwall Council’s planning authority’s rejection of their choice of housing association to build the homes.

Adele Fulner, who runs Construction Partners with business partner Michael Wight, said: “It’s a very complicated issue. The delays that have been caused by Cornwall Council have stopped us delivering as many affordable homes as we wanted. 

“We had an offer at the beginning of 2023 from Rentplus which guaranteed ten affordable homes. However, Cornwall Council didn’t want us to use Rentplus and two days before the determination date told us that they wouldn’t accept that model. The council would only accept other affordable operators. In December we had zero offers from affordable operators. So we had no offers that Cornwall Council would accept. 

“We are going to appeal as we don’t have any options. We’ve stopped all building so the site is now mothballed.

“It’s devastating to us. It’s a complete disaster. It’s heartbreaking as myself and Michael have put a lifetime into this and we’re not a big company. The whole situation is completely avoidable.”

Calstock residents have reacted with distress to the news that it looks as if affordable homes are not going to materialise.

It leaves the planning application in limbo.