PLANS to build a tower block of flats have been thrown out after a developer tried to avoid contributing to affordable housing.

Initial plans were submitted to build a four- storey building consisting of 15 flats and commercial units on the site of an old warehouse in Beech Road, Hadleigh.

But when the developer was informed that 15 flats would require a contribution to an affordable housing scheme, the plans were reduced to include just 14 homes.

The scheme would have meant that some of the 15 flats would have been been affordable, or contributions would have to be made to build affordable homes elsewhere in the community.

The decision angered Castle Point Council, who threw the plans out despite principally agreeing to a block of flats on the site.

During the Development Control committee meeting on Tuesday, councillor Norman Smith, said: “In principal we did agree to flats going on the site but I do pick up the point that affordable housing should be provided or a contribution at least should be provided on the site.

“And when you look at the commercial use of the site, that is potentially another two flats, and I wouldn’t mind betting in a few years there they become that. So on that basis I don’t support the fact that we are asked to make a decision on this being mixed use.

“I do not like the fact that it is residential and commercial in what will become a residential area.”

The area is surrounded by several other tower blocks, with the council highlighting the area for residential development in the future.

And Mr Smith admitted the plans would be likely to go ahead if they were purely residential.

He added: “When you look at all the flats around there, they are all residential.

“I would rather see that the whole of that block becomes residential, and if that was the case the applicant would have to give a contribution to affordable housing.

“As council’s we hear all the time that we need affordable housing.”

Similar plans on the same site had been rejected by the council in June. Then the council stated that it was refused on grounds of mass scale, the prominent view of the site, its proximity to the site boundary, the adverse impact on privacy and a lack of refuse and recycling plans.