A new housing estate located in Cornwall reportedly has been labeled a “ghost town” since developers and council officials could not agree on costs and other development-related expenses. The estate, which is in a village in England that is nearly eight miles north of Plymouth, consisted of much-needed affordable housing for the area.

Council Delays Led To Development Firm Bleeding Money

Delays that occurred from the council reportedly led to the development firm burning through the money available for the estate. One report claims that they bled through the money and accumulated £1,200,000 in interest payments.

Source: Richard Rogerson

Since the council and Bridge View were apparently at a stalemate, the houses throughout the estate plot were closed up. Each house was left vacant.

Firm Director Accuses Council Of ‘Weaponizing’ Legal Agreements

Michael Wight, one of the directors at the firm, accused the Cornwall Council of “weaponizing” the related legal agreements. Wight reportedly told the BBC that the firm allocated over £2,800,000 specifically for the project.

Source: Daniel Dayment

However, even with that amount of money invested, the council still blocked the sale of any of the completed homes within the estate.

New Requirements Added To Building Plans By County Officials

Further reports confirmed that the county officials took things up a notch when they decided to add to the existing plans. The officials added more requirements to the building plans – including a second road and a highly-complex drainage system.

Source: Daniel Dayment

Another major addition that was included within the building plans was a retaining wall that was reportedly worth £750,000.

Councilors Wanted Development To Get Lower-Income Residents On Property Ladder

Parish councilors reportedly wanted lower-income residents to finally be able to get on the “property ladder” with the completed developments in this estate. Planning permission for the application for the included homes was granted back in 2018.

Source: Daniel Dayment

According to one report, there were 15 homes that were set to be affordable enough for local residents to purchase and own.

Council Spokesperson Said Council Is ‘Committed To Working With Developers’

A spokesperson with the Cornwall Council stated that “the council is committed to working with developers that have been granted planning permission.” The permission was intended to ensure that a housing development is delivered “in line with the planning permission.”

Source: Daniel Dayment

The spokesperson further explained that development issues “have been going for several years.” The statement further expressed that the Council has “done all in its power to work with the company.”

Council Spokesperson States They ‘Must Adhere To Local And National Planning Policy’

The spokesperson of the Cornwall Council also explained that the Council “must adhere to local and national planning policy” – which includes the “local neighborhood plans.”

Source: Pixabay/Fernando zhiminaicela

The spokesperson also indicated that the Council has continued having “active discussions with stakeholders to find a solution to secure the delivery of the development.” This apparently includes the “vital affordable housing element” as well.

Nearly 160 Households Reportedly Waiting For Homes In Parish

There are over 200,000 households listed within the housing register. However, nearly 160 are reportedly waiting to receive a home from within the parish.

Source: Daniel Dayment

Cornwall Times reported that the developer dropped the count to 10, claiming that it would not be able to afford it.

House Prices Piled Up With Interest Rates, Making Affordable Home Budget ‘Eroded’

The houses created within the Cornwall estate were reportedly priced as low as £500,000. However, they also went as high as £800,000, according to parish councilors.

Source: Pixabay/StockSnap

With the interests accrued on top of the high prices of the houses, Wight claimed that the affordable home budget had essentially “eroded.” Developers made it clear that the sky-high costs associated with the homes indicated that they were unable to continue with the construction work. One report claims that the delays cost the firm approximately £800,000.

Affordable Housing Operators Exited In November, Project Abandoned

The affordable housing operators reportedly headed for the “EXIT” door in November. Once they exited the project, no other firm was interested in taking over the project.

Source: Pixabay/Pete Linforth

Funding had reportedly expired the prior month. Officials responded in January, but the latest set of submissions for amendments was first submitted to Cornwall Council last April.

Parish Councilor Does Not “Want Calstock To Be Deprived Of Homes’

Parish Councilor Dorothy Kirk stated that it is a “tragic situation where everybody loses.” In an interview with the BBC, she stated that it was her hope that “somehow we can rescue it.”

Source: Flickr/Phil Beard

She further expressed that “we have to find a solution.” She added that she did not “want Calstock to be deprived of homes” nor did she want “to see the developer lose everything.” The ultimate goal is to fulfill the need to “have houses for local people.”

Cornwall Council Claims Empty Properties Are ‘A Wasted Resource’

On the official website for the Cornwall Council, it is stated that “empty properties are a wasted resource that could provide much-needed homes.” In addition, these empty properties could be “an eyesore” for the local residents.

Source: Pixabay/Michaela

The statement from the Cornwall Council went on to say that the empty properties could “cause other concerns as well.”

Cornwall Council ‘Working Towards Bringing Empty Properties Back Into Residential Use’

The statement on the Council’s website also stated that the Council is “working towards bringing empty properties back into residential use.” It is also “helping to meet housing requirements.”

Source: Pixabay/Paul McGowan

In addition to focusing on making plans for new housing development, the Council is also focused on being able to “continue to raise housing standards.”

Cornwall Council Offers Assistance To Empty Property Owners

The website also lists different options that owners of empty properties have that the Council can provide to them. For instance, the Council reportedly offers “low cost loans scheme” and “letters of evidence for VAT savings.”

Source: Pixabay/Tumisu

In addition, the Council lets residents know that they also offer “other advice about bringing empty properties back into habitable use.”

Cornwall Council Offers Money Off Council Tax, Exemptions To Qualified Homeowners

Another offer that the Cornwall Council provides to owners of empty properties is money off of their “council tax or even an exemption,” according to the Council’s website.

Source: Pixabay/Nattanan Kanchanaprat

The Council also offers short-term loans with low interest rates specifically for “properties that have been empty or unused for at least six months.”