A CONTROVERSIAL development site has submitted a bid to remove the offer of affordable housing due to no housing associations wanting the homes.

Phase one of the Burnham Waters retirement community development was approved with the inclusion of 50 affordable housing units.

Now the developer has submitted an application to cancel the affordable housing in phase one following a reported struggle to get any housing associations on board.

According to the plans, both Burnham Waters and Maldon District Council's housing department have been unable to secure interest from a housing association for the units.

Due to restrictions in the original plans for the development, construction work will have to stop at the site after the completion of the 63rd home in or around June 2024.

This is because of a condition which prevents occupation of more than 55 per cent of market dwellings on the site until all of the approved affordable housing units have been built, completed and transferred to a housing association.

In a meeting in 2022 with the council’s former head of development management and the former area planning officer, it was suggested that 20 affordable apartments, age-limited but not assisted living might be the maximum number of units to suit a registered provider.

The Chelmer Housing Partnership purchased 20 age-restricted, one-bedroom affordable apartments on the phase one site, but no other provider has expressed interest.

The Chelmer Housing Partnership is also the joint applicant for the parallel 40-apartment planning application on the site.

Within the recent application, a spokesman said: “The need for the applications has arisen because no registered provider (housing association) is willing to purchase the 50 units of affordable housing approved in phase one of the retirement community, which are required by the S106 agreement to be delivered as independent-living extra care apartments.

“This is despite the best efforts of both the applicant and the council’s housing department to secure a housing association’s interest in the approved units.

“Accordingly, an alternative provision to the same quantitative amount of approved affordable housing is proposed, which the three applications described jointly facilitate.

“A developer contribution equivalent to the 12 additional affordable apartments generated by the new application for 40 apartments is also proposed.”