A COUNCILLOR has demanded a developer is transparent after it was revealed they won't provide affordable homes as they are not viable.

Developer Persimmon Homes has submitted revised proposals for the Cowdray Centre site in Colchester after concerns were raised by planning officers at Colchester Council.

The plan is now for 265 homes.

Permsimmon has said it would not be viable to build the affordable homes.

Colchester Council’s policy is for 20 per cent affordable homes to be built on developments of more than ten homes.

But this is negotiable “subject to project viability”.

Councillor Martin Goss said: "I've written to senior officers at Colchester Council and asked them to conduct a full "open book" appraisal where every cost and line item is painstakingly challenged with Persimmon Homes so we get to the bottom of the real detail where they claim affordable homes cannot be delivered."

A spokesman for Persimmon Homes Essex, said: “The site at Cowdray Avenue comprises largely vacant brownfield land which has an existing planning permission for residential development.

"In line with its policy, Colchester Council subjected that development to an independent assessment and concluded that the development would be unable to viably support affordable housing alongside the raft of other financial contributions secured.

"Persimmon Homes have subsequently submitted a planning application for the site which is pending consideration.

"Negotiations as to all aspects of our application including affordable housing are ongoing and we are confident that a satisfactory outcome, which aligns the interests of all parties, will be achieved.

“We have had extensive dealings with Councillor Goss over the years and welcome further discussion over any concerns he may have.”