DEVELOPERS are attempting to remove all the affordable housing units from their plans for a former school site as they claim the current scheme is "unviable".

Bracken Developments Ltd received planning permission from Dorset Council to deliver a residential project at the former St Mary's School site in Manor Road, Swanage, in April last year.

The proposal includes the demolition of temporary classrooms and outbuildings and converting the existing remaining buildings to form 10 dwellings and erecting 20 new dwellings with parking and landscaping.

The developers had previously agreed to an affordable housing provision of 11 out of the 30 properties, with one two-bed coach house, three one-bed flats and seven two-bed flats being affordable.

But now the applicants want to be able to sell all the homes on the site on the private market.

An economic viability assessment carried out by chartered surveyor John Newman on behalf of Bracken Developments Ltd says: "It is maintained that the restricted value of the affordable housing combined with the extraordinarily high Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and other site constraints have now made the site economically unviable.

"It is considered that without a reduction in the projects overall planning gain contributions the site will not come forward for residential redevelopment."

Mr Newman's assessment says total works costs to bring forward the scheme would amount to £5,619,774, while the developers have to pay a CIL charge of £576,044.

He concludes: "The viability review demonstrates that the site is not deliverable within the current planning gain framework. The reasons for this are the significant CIL contributions, the on-site abnormal works costs and the provision of affordable housing.

"The CIL charge and abnormal works costs cannot be reduced and as such the project will only come forward on the basis of 100 per cent private sales scheme and even then only on the basis of a reduced profit margin."