HOMES earmarked for an East Lancs development could be affordable, under new proposed changes to a previously-approved housing plan.

Applicant John Heaton has submitted a proposal to Rossendale Council, seeking permission to vary proposals for 41 new homes on former quarry and scrapyard land at Blackwood Road in Stacksteads.

Previously under plans agreed in early 2022, there was an expectation 30 per cent of new homes built there would be affordable. Now, if the new variation is approved by councillors, 100 per cent of the properties will be affordable.

Mr Heaton is working with Together Housing and agent Mark Vaughan, of Hive Land & Planning.

A planning report states a previous agreement for a proposed communal open space at the new development and £5,500 towards habitat improvements at Stacksteads Country Park still stands.

But the overall affordable housing scheme is partly reliant on funding from Homes England, which does not work with planning agreements.

If, for some reason, the site is transferred to a registered housing provider, like Together Housing, then the original requirement for 30 per cent affordable homes will remain, according to the report.

Councillors on the borough’s development committee will have to vote on whether they agree this change.

The planning report adds: “Officers were initially concerned that the removal of the requirement for 30 per cent affordable housing on the development could lead to a situation where the development or land was

sold to another developer, who could potentially develop it without any affordable housing.

“Subsequently, amendments to the wording of the (planning) agreement have been agreed between all parties. This would ensure the requirement for 30 per cent of dwellings would remain in place, unless the site is transferred to a registered housing provider, who would first need to be approved by the council, for 100 per cent affordable housing on the site. The mix of tenures would first need to be approved by the council.”

Planning officers and legal advisers say they are satisfied the newly-worded variation will adequately secure the delivery of affordable housing in any scenario, the report adds.

The report adds: “No changes to the approved design, layout or any other aspects would be made. The proposed variation will enable the site to deliver a large number of affordable houses, which will go some way to addressing the recognised need for such accommodation in the borough.”