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The new affordable homes being built on former coal yard

Work has started on affordable homes at a multi-million pound housing development on the edge of Coventry.

The new £3.9 million development of 21 affordable homes is being created in Ryton-on-Dunsmore.

The site, just off High Street in Ryton, was formerly a coal yard and has appropriately been named the Old Coal Yard.

The properties being built are be a mix of two and three-bedroom homes.

Some will be available under shared ownership schemed, while others will be offered on an affordable rent basis.

The development is set for completion in spring 2020, with the homes themselves constructed using an off-site manufactured timber-frame system.

Providing much-needed affordable homes

The brownfield site development is being built by the Deeley Group, in partnership with Waterloo Housing Group, Rugby Borough Council and Homes England.

Cllr Emma Crane, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for communities and homes, said: “Working with our partners, we aim to increase both the number and choice of properties available in the borough while supporting sustainable development.

“The development of the Old Coal Yard in Ryton-on-Dunsmore supports this vision, bringing a brownfield site back into use by building a range of affordable new homes for rent and shared ownership.”

Peter Deeley, managing director of the Deeley Group, said: “We are very pleased to be working with such great partners in delivering much-needed affordable homes for the area.

“We are bringing into use a brownfield site and giving it new purpose as homes for the local community.

“It is a great example of how we can identify a site, work with partners to develop a scheme that’s right for the area, and then, through our construction division, deliver the development.

“This is an area of the market we know very well, having created several schemes of affordable homes over recent years, and we know just what it means to the people who will build their lives in these homes.”

Neil Adie, development director (east) for Waterloo Housing Group, said: “Waterloo Housing Group is pleased to be working in partnership with Rugby Borough Council, Homes England and Deeley Group to provide much need affordable rented housing for local people and to help others into home ownership through the shared ownership initiative.”

By Enda Mullen

Source: Coventry Telegraph

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Plans proposed for new affordable homes in Bearsden

East Dunbartonshire Council has unveiled proposals to demolish properties at Nithsdale Crescent in Bearsden to make way for new affordable homes.

The draft proposals set out plans for a mix of 26 new homes including large family homes with private gardens and smaller apartments.

These were developed following a 2017 feasibility study which considered four options for the redevelopment of the current flats, surrounding open spaces, and car parking areas in council ownership.

Councillor Billy Hendry, convener of the place, neighbourhood and corporate assets committee, said: “These proposals represent a great opportunity to transform this site and help meet the high demand for larger affordable housing in the area.

“Over the years, the Housing Service has regularly received complaints from tenants and residents about the site and instances of anti-social behaviour.

“The current open layout of the landscape around the blocks in part exacerbates these problems and we now have a chance to regenerate this area of Bearsden and offer local families high-quality housing in an attractive environment.

“I would encourage everyone who is directly affected by the new development to get in touch and make their views known.”

The council is also inviting everyone to a drop-in event at Bearsden HUB on Monday 12 August to discuss the new-build proposals.

Source: Scottish Housing News

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More than 80,000 affordable homes built in Scotland over last decade

The number of affordable homes built in Scotland has increased by a fifth in a year, while more than 80,000 have been completed since 2007.

Scotland’s chief statistician released figures showing 18,182 new houses were finished in the one-year period measured until June, an overall rise of 4%.

Of the total number of new builds, 8,767 are considered affordable, up 21% on the 7,271 completions in the previous year.

There were 5,340 social rented homes delivered, a yearly increase of 864 homes.

In the same period there were 19,903 new houses under construction, a decrease of 1,231 homes (6%) on the 20,534 starts in the previous year.

Private-led starts fell by 1,593 homes (11%), while local authority starts increased by 577 homes (48%), but housing association approvals decreased by 215 (4%).

I am proud that this government has now delivered more than 80,000 affordable homes since 2007

Kevin Stewart, Housing Minister

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Making sure everyone has a safe, warm and affordable home is central to our drive for a fairer and more prosperous Scotland.

“That is why I am proud that this government has now delivered more than 80,000 affordable homes since 2007.

“This is a significant achievement – boosting the supply of affordable homes in communities right across the country.

“During the course of this Parliament we are investing more than £3 billion to deliver our target of at least 50,000 affordable, high-quality homes, including 35,000 homes for social rent.

“While we know this is an ambitious target, we have shown we can deliver on housing and we will continue to do so.”

Compared to England, approximately 50% more affordable homes and more than five times as many social rented properties have been built per head of population in Scotland since 2014.

Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “The programme to develop 35,000 new homes for social rent by 2021 is one of the most important projects on the Scottish Government’s agenda.

“The latest figures show that with half the time gone only 11,825 social homes have been completed to date.

“This leaves much of the target on the drawing board and means we will have to see an acceleration in building if the target is to be met.

“The more homes programme is a promise to Scotland that must not be broken.

“It represents the biggest investment in social housing since the 1970s and a chance to begin to restore the foundations of our housing safety net which has been badly damaged by decades of underinvestment.”

Source: Shropshire Star

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Khan announces £1bn plan to build 11,000 new council homes in London

The mayor of London has announced a £1bn scheme for 26 London boroughs to build an extra 11,000 council homes at social rent levels, plus a further 3,750 other homes in a bid to tackle the housing crisis.

Sadiq Khan announced that under the new ‘Building Council Homes for Londoners’ programme, the first-ever city hall programme dedicated to council homebuilding, councils will increase their buildings rates by five times over the next four years.

The scheme was first launched in May, promising 10,000 new houses in London, but due to “big uptake” and “overwhelming interest” from boroughs, Khan has now announced that an additional 11,154 houses will be built over the next four years.

The largest sum secured was £107m by Newham Borough Council, followed by Ealing’s £99m, with both planning to build over 1,000 properties.

Khan said: “London’s housing crisis is hugely complex and has been decades in the making. There is no simple fix – but council housing is the most important part of the solution.

“Londoners need more council homes that they can genuinely afford, and local authorities have a fundamental role to play in getting London building the homes we need for the future.”

Khan welcomed the prime minister’s recent announcement that councils will be able to borrow more money to build houses, but said that lifting the borrowing cap alone wouldn’t fix the housing crisis alone.

He said: “Today, City Hall is using money we secured from government to help councils go much further.

“But let me be clear: lifting the borrowing cap for councils must be just the first step of reform, not the last.”

He said that the money currently received from the government for new social and affordable homes needed to be quadrupled to help tackle the problem.

The mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “I am very happy our bid for £107m of funding from the Mayor of London has been successful.

“This funding will kick-start our ambitious housing programme, which will see the construction of more than 1,000 quality homes across 40 sites in Newham started by 2022, and available at London Affordable Rent.”

He continued: “Newham residents are at the forefront of the housing crisis. Too many families are desperately in need of a sustainable home they can genuinely afford.

“Only through a massive council housebuilding programme can we begin to address the scale of this challenge.”

Last month, Theresa May announced £2bn in funding for affordable housing to be assigned over the next 10 years.

Source: Public Sector Executive

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Plans for 200 new homes in Brighton go on show

Plans for more than 200 new homes in Whitehawk are due to go on show next week.

The 217 homes are to be built as part of the £120 million joint venture between Hyde Housing and Brighton and Hove City Council.

The joint venture, called Homes for Brighton and Hove, said: “Come and have your say on our proposal to build affordable homes in Whitehawk.

“We are holding a public exhibition to show our proposal to build homes on the land adjoining Brighton Racecourse in north Whitehawk.

“The exhibition will be held on Wednesday 10 October and Thursday 11 October from 4pm to 7.30pm at the Valley Social Centre, Whitehawk Way.”

The proposals include

  • 217 new Affordable Homes
  • 114 two-bedroom Apartments
  • 103 one-bedroom Apartments
  • 700 new opportunities for education, training and apprenticeships

Homes for Brighton and Hove said that the joint venture would mean 400 full-time construction jobs and that it would inject £350 million into the economy over the next five years.

Homes for Brighton and Hove said: “Our aim is to create 1,000 new homes for rent and sale, specifically for lower income, local working households in the city of Brighton and Hove.

“Brighton and Hove is a growing city with high housing prices, low incomes, an ageing population and a significant proportion of households with support needs.

“We want to create new developments entirely focused on affordable housing, with new homes available for rental and shared ownership.

“We pride ourselves on working with the community to ensure we deliver a scheme the local community can be proud of.

“Each home will have a private balcony or garden. Each home will have generous windows to gain maximum benefit from sea views and natural light. They will also face on to parking areas and the natural landscape.

“There will be lift access to all floors. There will be easy access to bin stores for convenient recycling.”

The homes would be well insulated to reduce the amount and cost of energy needed to heat them, keeping bills low.

And the jot venture promised environmentally friendly building materials which relate to the surrounding area and have minimal impact on the surrounding landscape.

The plans include realigning some paths and surfacing the “Elm Grove link path”.

Source: Brighton and Hove News

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Work underway to build almost 100 homes on former council depot in Nuneaton

A new £14.5million housing development is now underway at the former home of Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council depot.

Once finished the land that used to play home to the St Mary’s Road council depot will instead boast 83 houses and 12 flats – all of which will count as affordable.

The council has never divulged how much the land was actually sold for but Midland Heart and and Derby-based developer Partner Construction are behind the new housing development, which is reportedly worth £14.5m.

Joe Reeves, executive director of growth and corporate affairs at Midland Heart, said: “There is much need for new affordable housing in Nuneaton with demand outstripping supply.

“This is an unusually significant development for Midland Heart – 83 houses and 12 flats – and all will be at affordable rent or for shared ownership, giving first time buyers a chance to step on to the property ladder.

“This is very much in line with our ambition to develop in areas where people want to live and where quality affordable housing is in demand.”

Brent Davis, executive director for operations at the Town Hall , said: “This new development will deliver many new affordable homes for local residents and do much to enhance this pleasant residential area.

“The land has been released for development following the relocation of the council depot to a more suitable location and the move has been welcomed positively by local residents.”

Planning permission for the new homes was granted back in May .

The council’s maintenance and cleaning teams since 1959 before making the move to the new super depot in Gresham Road.

A waste licence has still not been secured for the new council depot in Gresham Road.

The new depot has not been without controversy as the council has come under-fire about the £1.2m over spend on the project .

There have also been issues about the fact that the new depot did not have a waste licence when it opened and was having to continue to use the old depot to get rid of waste.

It is still unclear if the council’s application to the Environment Agency for a licence has been approved.

Source: Coventry Telegraph

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19,000 new homes needed for Dorset

Massive housing growth – but a failure to meet affordable home targets are outlined in a review of the Local Plan which will guide development in Weymouth, Portland and West Dorset until 2036.

The plan review, being put to councillors next week, says there will also be a need to find up to 15,000 new jobs in the area.

If the housing targets are achieved it could mean having to build almost 800 homes a year with one projection putting the global figure for the area at more than 19,000 new homes by the end of the plan period.

To achieve the target a new extension to Dorchester could be build to the north, beyond the water meadows, with more homes in neighbouring Charminster. There would also be large scale developments around Littlemoor and in Weymouth at Southill and Markham and Little Francis.

Bridport and Crossways would also have to help meet the development target with several sites identified around both towns, together with others around Chickerell and Sherborne.

District and borough councillors are being told that without the revised plan and a five-year supply of housing land, which the area is currently short of, it becomes increasingly difficult to reject speculative housing developments.

There is also an admission that not enough affordable homes are likely to be built: “The total projected need for affordable housing is not expected to be met in the plan review,” admits the report authors.

The document will be first discussed by West Dorset district councillors next Tuesday, June 12th.

A ‘preferred options’ document will be published for public consultation in mid August, with a consultation period lasting for eight weeks, concluding in October. A series of public exhibitions will also be held as part of the consultation exercise.

The document says that with a high percentage of the area enjoying legal protection from development and with good quality farming land needed for food production the scope for finding suitable building sites can be challenging.

Yet the area suffers from one of the highest differences in the country between average wages and average house price, pricing even families on better than average local wages, out of the market.

In September 2017 there were more than 3,000 people on the housing register – shared almost equally between Weymouth and Portland and West Dorset.

In a ‘vision’ statement the report says: “In 20 years time, we want to be proud of the area in which we live. We want more and better paid jobs, more affordable homes, improved access to public transport and a network of community facilities that enable all ages and abilities to contribute to their community enabling a real sense of belonging and engagement.

“We wish to see significant investment and regeneration providing infrastructure to encourage businesses across the area to start and grow.”

Source: WessexFM

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Council confirms record number of affordable homes

A RECORD number of affordable homes were built in Stratford-on-Avon district last year, the district council has confirmed.

The final figure was 377 homes for rent or shared ownership through housing associations, eclipsing the previous highest amount of 288 in 2015/16.

Schemes completed last year were in Alcester, Alderminster, Bidford-on-Avon, Broom, Gaydon, Harbury, Long Itchington, Lower Quinton, Meon Vale, Napton, Newbold-on-Stour, Salford Priors, Shipston-on-Stour, Southam, Stockton, Stratford-upon-Avon and Wellesbourne.

It comes amid changes to national planning policy that aims to close loopholes that are currently allowing developers to wriggle out of affordable homes requirements.

Council leader, Tony Jefferson, said: “Last year’s record achievement is a reflection of the district council’s long-standing commitment to providing more affordable homes for local people and our local communities.

“Our district is a great place in which to live and work, but, sadly, the reality for many people is that they’re priced out of the local housing market: to the detriment of our local economy and our local communities.

“To tackle this, the district council has been working hard with its partners over many years to get the homes we desperately need built and last year’s figure is also a reflection of the good working relationships we’ve built with our partners.

“Despite a substantial reduction in funding available at national level, as well as other changes, the fact that we were able not only increase the overall number of new homes built last year but also maintain their quality is of great importance to the district council.”

Cllr Daren Pemberton, the council’s cabinet member with responsibility for affordable homes, added: “Building new affordable homes aren’t just about numbers, it’s also about ensuring the right type of homes are built in the right places and that they are of good quality and genuinely affordable to those that need them.

“Not only that, but also ensuring we get the support of our local communities that host those new homes. All this has been a challenge, but – as last year’s results clearly show – we can deliver.”

The Herald reported in March how the council had estimated that 340 will be built over the coming year, but warned that other changes to government funding policies could increase demand for low-cost properties, predicting the 2019/20 figure could be as low as 100.

Source: Stratford Herald

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Housing group pledges to build 1,500 affordable homes across mid and North Wales by 2022

A North Wales housing group has announced it will build around 300 homes over the next year – along with plans to create a total of 1,500 new homes by 2022.

Pennaf Housing Group, based in St Asaph, say it completed 135 housing units across North and Mid Wales in the financial year to March 2018. The group say this was achieved by working in partnership with six local authorities and the Welsh Government, as well as arranging private finance for both these and a number of separate initiatives.

The new homes planned in the current financial year include a mixture of general and supported housing to be managed by Clwyd Alyn Housing Association, which is part of the Pennaf Group, and by Offa, the group’s commercial property services arm.

They will also complete specialist homes for older people such as three new extra care schemes in Anglesey, Flintshire and Wrexham which will include a total of 196 self-contained apartments and communal facilities for those aged 60 and over who have some level of assessed support need.

Locally the group is set to complete a new development of 50 one and two bed affordable apartments to rent in Rivulet Road in Wrexham; as well as the new Maes y Dderwen extra care housing scheme on Grosvenor Road, which will include 60 one and two bed apartments and a wide range of communal facilities for those aged 60 and over.

Craig Sparrow, corporate director commercial services for Pennaf said: “We are working closely with our local authority partners across the region, as well with the Welsh Government to create a wide range of high-quality affordable housing options, meeting the priority housing needs in each specific county area.”

Clare Budden, group chief executive for Pennaf added: The Pennaf Group Business Plan includes a commitment to create a further 1500 new units of housing across north and mid Wales by 2022, representing an overall investment of more than £200m.

“This will not only provide much needed affordable homes for local people, it will also make a significant contribution to the economy of the area, creating and safeguarding jobs in the construction sector.

“Our commitment to creating great homes and thriving communities is made possible thanks to partnership working with local authorities and the Welsh Government. Together with our partners we are working to transform housing options across the region.”

Source: Wrexham

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Labour pledge to build one million affordable homes to end housing ‘crisis’

The rise in homelessness shows there is something “deeply wrong with our country”, Jeremy Corbyn said as he set out Labour plans to build a million “genuinely affordable” properties over 10 years.

The Labour leader promised a “new era of social housing” and a return to a system where a decent home is “not a privilege for the few”.

The plan involves building 100,000 affordable homes a year – with Labour promising to tear up Conservative rules which allow homes worth up to £450,000 to be classed as affordable.

Launching a consultation on Labour’s plans at an event in London, Mr Corbyn said it was a “time of crisis for our housing system”.

“A million on housing waiting lists, tens of thousands of children in temporary accommodation without a home to call their own, homelessness up by 50% since 2010, the indignity of sleeping on our streets at night or sofa-surfing among friends,” he said.

There were “sky high” rents and house prices, and “luxury flats proliferating across our big cities while social housing is starved of investment”.

He said that housing had “become a means of speculation for the wealthy few”.

On the plight of homeless people, he said: “There is something that I think is deeply wrong with our country that we tolerate the idea that several thousand of our citizens should sleep rough on our streets every night, or if a church is open they will sleep on church pews.

“We can, must and will do better than that in the future.”

He promised a Labour government would “immediately purchase enough places so that rough sleeping can end as quickly as we can possibly do it”, while also building more housing and move-on accommodation for people leaving shelters.

As part of the reforms to the housing market, Labour would create a new English Land Sovereign Trust – backed by compulsory purchase powers – to make land available for building more cheaply.

Under the scheme, landowners would lose a slice of the extra value created by the granting of planning permission, which can see the price of agricultural land rocket 100-fold from £21,000 to £2.1 million a hectare outside London.

Labour always make big promises and always fail to deliver them

Housing Minister Dominic Raab

In response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Labour would introduce new decent homes targets for social landlords, including fire safety for the first time. And a new independent national organisation and a Commissioner would be created to represent the views of tenants.

Local authorities in every part of England would face a “duty to deliver affordable homes”.

The policies would be driven through by a new Department for Housing and monitored by an independent watchdog.

Labour accused Conservatives of making “bogus” claims on affordable house-building on their watch, by stretching the definition to include properties for sale at up to £450,000 or rented at 80% of market value – more than £1,500 a month in some areas.

A new definition would be linked to local incomes to ensure homes are genuinely affordable. And Labour will suspend the “right to buy” scheme as part of a package of measures to stop the loss of existing social rented homes.

Housing Minister Dominic Raab dismissed the plans, saying: “Labour always make big promises and always fail to deliver them.”

He claimed that Labour would “kick away the housing ladder from everyone living in council houses by taking away their Right to Buy, just as Labour did in Wales”.