Homes row builder issues legal threat
Date published: 29 October 2013
CAMPAIGNERS fighting to stop developers at Royal George Mill avoiding £450,000 in affordable housing subsidies have been threatened with legal proceedings.
Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents’ Association received a letter from Wiggett Construction threatening action over “perceived inaccuracies” from secretary Mike Rooke in a BBC Radio Manchester interview in September.
Wiggett claims the “numerous inaccuracies” seriously damage their reputation.
A decision over the payment will be made tomorrow, when proposals go to the planning committee for the third time.
Mr Rooke refuted claims of inaccuracies - and revealed this wasn’t the first time the company had acted this way.
He said: “We’re not backing down over this. People can’t understand why the council is throwing away money at a time when we need it. If a developer has an obligation, they should meet it.”
If authorised, the decision will see Wiggett, which agreed to pay a £701,283 sum in three instalments rather than build 20 per cent of the development as “affordable housing”, cap payment at £233,761 — leaving Oldham Council over £450,000 out of pocket.
Wiggett claims the housing market downtown has significantly affected the viability of the project.
Mr Rooke added: “The market is rising rapidly so citing poor market conditions doesn’t make sense.
“Since the developer’s report, 10 more homes have been sold - almost a third of the number sold in the previous decade.”
Company director Phillip Wiggett said he would not comment on the proposals before the meeting.
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